Gross Vehicle Weight Rating… OF DOOM!

Challenges abound to making the Ninja 250 a tour-worthy bike. The latest may be me, myself and I – in conjunction with the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating… OF DOOM!

For long trips, people talk about their bikes being overloaded. I’ve had a vague sort of concept that there must be some sort of ‘maximum load’ the bike could carry, and I knew that at some point I’d have to find out what that max load is – preferably before I begin buying all the *other* gear I’ll need, like camping gear, spare parts, etc. Masukomi did some Googling for me and came across a website that said the “Max Load” of a Ninja 250 is 340 pounds.

I really wish I knew if this was the same thing as the GVWR.

We found another website that said the GVWR of the new Ninja 250s (2008-present) is 749. I get that this weight includes the wet weight of the bike, plus the passenger and all the gear. I could work with that.

The “Max Load” number we found doesn’t make it clear to me if that load includes the weight of fuel and liquids, so it’s essentially the dry weight of the bike + max load, or if it’s the maximum load that a Ninja 250 can carry after wet weight.

We figured out that the ‘wet’ part of the wet weight (the difference between the wet weight and the dry weight of a Ninja 250) is 51 pounds.

So if the “Max Load” has to deduct that 51 pounds as part of the load, which seems plausible, that gives me 289 pounds to work with for me and all my gear.

Now we get back to the fact that I’m a big girl. Me and just my riding gear are eating up a good chunk of that weight limit. Me + riding gear + Camelbak + tank bag + spare gas for the bike would probably push over the edge of that weight limit. That’s pretty sparse. I might be able to squeeze in a very lightweight tent and a very lightweight sleeping bag and still fit under that weight, but only just.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t give me any weight allowance at all for things like: tools, spare parts, spare tires, first aid kit, spare clothes, protein bars, rain gear, thermal gear or even the weight of the saddle bags to carry it all. So now I’m a little stressed about this GVWR.

At this point, I’m going to do some poking around and see if I can confirm that I do only have 289 pounds to work with, or if I have the full 340. 340 would let me fit me and all my gear in, if I’m careful not to overload (which is always a concern). 289 I have no problem doing on regular jaunts, but I question the viability of taking a long trip if me and all my gear have to come in under that weight.

Ultimately, I’m determined to make it happen on a Ninja 250. It’s still the bike I want for my ‘starter’ bike – it’s a bike that I feel is small enough for me to handle comfortably – and I love it. I don’t *want* to take another bike. So I’m going to find a way to make it work on the Ninja 250.

But this whole GVWR thing is annoying.

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