Man in a Gym and on Motorcycle Lost 600 Calories Animated Image

Can Motorcycling Be As Good As A Trip To The Gym?

What if we told you that you don’t have to go to the gym to burn calories and lose weight? You don’t because motorcycling can be as good for you as a trip to the gym.


Not only it helps to burn calories, but it also gives most of your muscles a good workout. You may have noticed this during long-distance trips, feeling very tired after a few hours of riding.


Plus, riding out in nature and breathing fresh air is much better for you than spending an hour in the gym. Read below to discover how does this work and what are the benefits to your body.

illustration of motorcycle riding on the rear wheel

Does Riding a Motorcycle Burn Calories?

Although no scientists back up this theory, it’s easy to understand how the numbers add up. In theory, you can burn some 170 to 600 calories per hour, depending on your riding style.


Luckily, riding any motorcycle gives your muscles a workout, although some more than others. In other words, a smooth cruise on your Harley might not burn as many calories as a fast ride on an enduro bike.


Also, the type of road you’re on has a significant role. A bumpy off-road terrain is much better for burning calories than a smooth city road.

How Does It Work?

You’re always using your muscles when even if it’s just a daily commute. When you ride, you have to use muscles to balance the motorcycle and keep it balanced at all times. You’re using your arms, but also your legs, even though it may not seem so.


You’re also using your hips and lower back and most of your upper body to balance and control the weight of your motorcycle.


You also move your head as you look out for hazards, which also takes energy.

Calories Burned After Motorcycle Riding

As we mentioned, you can use up to 600 calories per hour, depending on your style as well as a motorcycle. Off-road adventures require more energy than commuting, so that’s also where you’ll burn most calories.


Even a 20-minute ride on an off-road terrain can help you burn enough calories to feel pretty tired afterward. Riding on a track can help you burn up to 400 calories as you balance the motorcycle, adapting to changes in terrain.

Calories per Hour
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Benefits of Motorcycling to Our Body

Mental Health

Riding a motorcycle takes more effort than driving a car. Navigating requires more work, both physically and mentally.


A study at the University of Tokyo tested male bikers between 40 and 50 in two groups. One group of men rode regularly while the other didn’t. They were later examined for cognitive skills and brain function.


The study showed that those who rode regularly had increased cognitive functioning. It was also proved that these improvements would disappear if they’d stop riding as regularly.


Read more about motorcycle therapy.

Body Fitness

Biking can provide an entire daily exercise such as fast walking. More precisely, it allows you to burn 200 to 300 calories each hour. As we said, you can burn even more riding on bumpy terrain and against the wind.


What you’re gaining is a full-body workout. You’re using energy and nearly all muscles to balance and maneuver the motorcycle.


You’re improving muscle tone, trying to control, balance, and steer the vehicle.

Areas to Improve for Better Motorcycling Performance


The first thing you should do is focus on some flexibility exercises. You need to be at least a little flexible so that you can open your hips, open your shoulders, and adapt to weird riding positions.


Make sure to stretch before riding, so that you can be more flexible and with that more mobile.

Illustration of a Man Riding a Motorbike In an Uncomfortable Position
A Man Riding A Big Motorcycle


It’s well-known that you need muscle strength to control and balance a motorbike. However, you have to be gentle on the handlebars, using your core and lower back to support the body.


Supporting your weight using handlebars instead of your core muscles will result in aching wrists.


Endurance is quite significant when it comes to improving your riding. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a commuter or a Grand Prix racer.


Being able to endure the ride takes a lot more work than most people think. Incorporate some endurance training in your routine to avoid physical fatigue.

Long Distance Motorbike Ride

Frequently Asked Questions

Does riding a motorcycle build muscle?

Although you’re burning calories and toning muscles, you probably won’t build any. It’s not impossible; it’s just that you can’t compare the results to those you’d get in a gym.


However, biking is good for your core strength, endurance, sight, mental health, and many other things.

What are the best exercises for long-distance motorcycle riding?

The best way to prepare for a long-distance trip is to ride as often as possible. Do you know how marathon runners do longer runs as the race-day approaches? Well, you should do the same.


Another excellent exercise that can help you prepare is cycling. It helps your body work similar muscles and get used to the fixed position.


At this point, you probably understand how beneficial motorcycling is for both your body and mind (find out more about how it relieves stress!). Although it doesn’t compare to going to the gym when it comes to building muscles, it’s more than enough to burn lots of calories.


And, as we said, motorcycling is a great way to improve your eyes, cognitive skills, brain function, and also body fitness. All of this is even more enhanced during long-distance and riding on bumpy terrain.


Needless to say, biking is much more fun than going to the gym. It’s also healthier in more ways than one, especially because you’re outdoors.

Road Racerz