I'm not even in the realm of knowledge of aircraft so don't chew me out on lack of terminology please.

My objective is to fly myself and a 300-pound motorcycle to destinations to ride from there.

I weigh 185 lbs, the motorcycle weighs 300-400 lbs, any secondary seating and other interior furnishings would most likely be removed to reduce weight, and, obviously, all the necessary components would stay. As a side note, the aircraft needs sufficient enough door to get a small motorcycle in. Let's not even talk about how unsafe this might be; this is all hypothetical.

How large, or what class, of an aircraft would be needed for such a task to be completed?

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    $\begingroup$ A Cessna 206 comes to mind as being the smallest aircraft I can think of offhand that might be able to do it, although getting the motorcycle up and through the double side door would be interesting. Check out kansasaircraft.com/Websites/kac/images/SpecSheets/…. $\endgroup$
    – Terry
    Sep 30, 2015 at 15:48
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    $\begingroup$ You're awesome, thank you for taking this seriously!! $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2015 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ taking the wheels off the bike, i bet i could jam a bike up in the rear double doors with the seats removed! that's awesome, now its on the list of things to buy!! $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2015 at 16:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Terry Yes, a 206 works :-) $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Sep 30, 2015 at 16:23

3 Answers 3


The question is incomplete without information about the range this aircraft should have. Pilatus in Switzerland is always fond to tell of one of their customers who bought not one, but three PC-12s for exactly this purpose, and has one plus a Harley-Davison motorcycle stationed on each continent of interest. The size of a PC-12 allows the installation of a crane, so loading and unloading of the motorcycle are simplified.

PC-12 side view

PC-12 side view, with open cargo door (picture source)

Obviously, even a PC-12 does not have the intercontinental range to go anywhere, but if you plan to stay within one continent, range is not an issue. Alternatives in this class are the Czech Aero 270 or the Cessna 208 Caravan. All use a PT-6 turboprop engine, and you will need professional maintenance to keep them flying, so using them does not come cheap.

A more reasonable alternative would be piston-engined, and here the Cessna 206 or 207 (which @Terry already suggested) would be a candidate. However, fitting the bike in will be a challenge.

If you want more internal space and are not afraid of antique taildragger airplanes, the Antonov An-2 or the Canadian DHC-3 Otter would also be a good and reasonably priced choice - however, maintaining one (and especially its radial engine) will also burn a hole in your pocket.

DHC-3 Otter

DHC-3 in Pensacola (picture source)


The question is what small light GA aircraft has a payload of

185 + 400 + 185 (ball park for the second passenger) = 770LBS

The second question is how far you want to fly and thirdly getting the bike into the plane. The list may include

and the list goes on (these are just the common ones). Remember that you can always take a gain in useful load if you sacrifice fuel but this is highly dependent on how far you want to go. Removing the seats will buy you back some useful load but here in the US that will require a new weight and balance to be prepared for you by and A&P. This is a pretty common task but need to be done for the plane to be legal without seats. On top of that since most motorcycle weight is in the engine I would be very cautious when doing your W&B for the flight. I can only assume you will strap the bike in, in which case I would measure engine to CG for calculation purposes. You can also take a bit of a gain by draining the gas from the bike before flying. Since you are presumably going to an airport you will be able to gas it up again (possibly with 110LL...).

Continuing on from the above list you get into turbo-prop land, depending on cost that may be doable or not for you. Can you further define your mission to include both distance and budget, that will make a big difference.

  • $\begingroup$ I've never heard a Caravan called small or light before, they're turboprops that can carry 14 passengers $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Sep 30, 2015 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ Agree. You might consider the 206 (StationAir) rather than the 208 (Caravan). $\endgroup$
    – ryan1618
    Sep 30, 2015 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed I will amend my answer as I now see you need a type cert for a 208 (I figured that it was under 12,000LBS) and could be flown with a PPL $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Sep 30, 2015 at 17:58

Cessna 206. This plane has been to Alaska twice carrying a motorcycle.



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