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The dangers of overloading your motorcycle

Sure, your motorcycle may be a durable steed, but it also has its limitations.

The dangers of overloading your motorcycle

It goes without saying that motorcycles are among the most efficient and versatile means of transportation out there. Leave it to us Pinoys to think of ingenious and sometimes crazy ways of carrying all sorts of things on our motorbikes. Indeed, a trip to the province will make it apparent that the use cases of motorized two-wheelers go far beyond personal mobility—with folks carrying everything from livestock, to produce, and even construction equipment aboard their two wheelers.

Of course, it doesn’t need to be stated that not only is overloading your motorcycle illegal, it’s also incredibly dangerous, and can cause some serious damage to your steed in the long run. Let’s take a look at things more closely, and pinpoint the dangers of overloading your motorcycle.

It's illegal

First and foremost, overloading your motorcycle is illegal. According to the LTO, you’re only allowed to make use of motorcycle-specific luggage accessories and top boxes. For luggage, saddle bags, and tank bags are ideal. However, when carrying bigger objects, a top case may be necessary. The LTO mandates that the maximum dimensions of a motorcycle top box should be no more than 2 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 2 feet tall. As such, it’s understood that any piece of cargo mounted to the back of the bike exceeding these dimensions is illegal. 

Additionally, the maximum number of people allowed to ride on a motorcycle is two. The reason for this is commonsensical, as no motorcycle in the market is designed to carry more than two people at any given time. Consequently, carrying three people—even if the third person is a child—on a motorcycle is against the law. 

It's dangerous

The dangers of overloading your motorcycle

Having said all that, there’s a reason why overloading is illegal, and if your concern about overloading is simply about its legality, then you surely have your priorities messed up. Naturally, overloading is accompanied by a plethora of safety issues. For starters, loading your motorcycle with a lot of cargo can seriously upset the bike’s weight distribution, resulting in an extremely heavy rear end and a light front end. This is amplified further if the stuff you’re mounting on the back extends way behind the rear wheel. This could result in the rider losing control of the bike, and extremely unstable riding conditions at high speeds.

Of course, the risk of injury is much greater if you have a sack of rice, a ton of boxes, or heavy equipment right behind you in the event of a crash. Instead of flying off the bike in a crash, these items could pin you down and cause even more injuries, or worse, even death 

In the case of carrying extra passengers, this is also dangerous, not only because of the added weight, but also because the third rider won’t have anywhere to hold or place their feet. After all, a motorbike only has two sets of foot pegs—one for the rider, and the other for the pillion. Adding a second pillion is surely a recipe for disaster. 

Say goodbye to your bike's longevity

The dangers of overloading your motorcycle

Out of the factory, all motorcycles come with their own load ratings. It goes without saying that staying far from the limit of these load ratings is essential in ensuring the longevity of your motorbike. Overloading your motorcycle can cause premature wear on your tires, suspension components, wheel bearings, and even your frame. Should any of these parts fail catastrophically while you’re out on a ride, well, let’s just say you’ll be in for quite a bad day. 

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