How Many Axles Does A Motorcycle Have? And How Do They Work?

It is common to wonder about the different components of a motorcycle, especially for those looking to buy a new one. Having the proper knowledge about motorcycle components will help you learn to ride quickly.

However, while exploring a motorcycle’s components, a question may perplex your mind: “How many axles does a motorcycle have?”

Well, motorcycles have two axles, as they only have two wheels. These axles are usually on the middle shaft of the motorcycle’s wheels to allow the wheels to rotate efficiently and smoothly.

To know more about the axles of motorcycles, keep reading the entire context.

How Many Axles Does a Motorcycle Have?

Depending on the vehicle, each wheel contains an axle. As most motorcycles are equipped with two wheels, they have two axles. Other two-wheeled vehicles, like bicycles, also have two axles. How Many Axles Does a Motorcycle Have On the other hand, three-wheeled motorcycles known as trikes contain three axles. Axles are typically connected to each wheel. So, it’s worth mentioning that the number of wheels on the motorcycle might determine how many axles are required. For example, if the motorcycle has two, it will mainly have two axles on the two wheels.

Why Do Motorcycles Have Two Axles?

Axles are the components of Motorcycles that let the wheel’s hub rotate. It is usually a solid piece of round metal that is threaded on both sides. Threads help secure axle bolts and bearings in place.

Traditionally, solid metal axles have been used for strength and rigidity, but sometimes hollow axles are used for quick-release systems. The axle is often installed in the middle shaft of the motorcycle to assist the wheels to rotate effortlessly.

Additionally, axles support the motorcycle’s weight and allow the wheels to rotate freely while being secured.

How Do Axles Work on A Motorcycle?

Each motorcycle is assembled with a hub that holds a set of bearings inside the shell at the center of the wheel. This component is primarily responsible for rotating the wheel. How Do Axles Work on A Motorcycle An axle is a component in the hub and the center point around which the hub bearing rotates. To allow free rotation, bearing cones are screwed into threaded axles on either side of the hub. Bearings sit within the axle and screws help lock the cones into position.

What Are The Different Motorcycle Axle Sizes?

The size of the motorcycle axles completely depends on the bike’s size and brand. Below, we have made a list of different-sized axles that are commonly used in the most popular brands of motorcycles. Remember, measuring the axles’ size might not be the same, but these will help you get a clear idea. What Are The Different Motorcycle Axle Sizes

Motorcycle Rear Axle Diameters

  • 15 mm
  • 17 mm
  • 20 mm
  • 25 mm

Motorcycle Front Axle Diameters

  • 10 mm
  • 12 mm
  • 15 mm
  • 17 mm
  • 20 mm
  • 25 mm

Different Types of The Motorcycles Axles

There are three types of axles mainly used on motorcycles. Below we have demonstrated these three types of axles.

  • Front Axle: This type of axle is placed on the front wheel of a motorcycle and helps in steering as well as absorbing shocks from rough road surfaces.
  • Rear Axle: It is placed within the rear wheel that helps to rotate the entire wheel. The sprocket is attached to the rear axle which is connected to the motorcycle engine through the drive chain.
  • Stub Axle: Stub axles are mainly used on motorcycles with two rear wheels. This axle enables angular movement of the wheels and keeps them securely in place.

How to Know if My Motorcycle Has a Bad Axle?

A bad axle causes the hub and wheel to wear and tear quickly. So, if you find that your motorcycle has a bad axle, you should replace it ASAP. Below we’ve outlined how you can determine if you have bad axles.

  • If you hear a clunking noise while shifting the motorcycle gears, your axle is in bad condition.
  • When you try to brake or turn you will feel a loud vibration throughout the motorcycle.
  • If your motorcycle wheels are visibly out of alignment, your axles are bad.
  • A cracked universal joint on a motorcycle is another sign of a bad axle.

Frequently Asked Questions About Axles on Motorcycles

Riders have different queries about the motorcycle’s axles. For this, here, we have answered some frequently asked questions. If you have any queries about motorcycle axles, check out this section. You may find your answer here.

What Are the Reasons an Axle Breaks?

Axles can be broken for different reasons. Some common reasons are as follows:

  • Carries excess weight over the required standard.
  • When axles are rusty and brittle.
  • Riding a motorcycle over rough terrain.

Is It Safe to Ride Motorcycles with A Broken Axle?

Riding a motorcycle with broken axles is very dangerous. A broken axle will resist you from riding the motorcycle properly, leading to losing control and causing crashes into other vehicles.

How to Keep the Motorcycle Axle in Good Condition?

To keep your motorcycle axles in good condition, you can put grease on them. It is good to use a light coating of white lithium grease, which helps the shaft and prevents axles from invading the bearings.

You May Also Read: How to Clean Motorcycle Chain without Stand?


That’s all there is to know about the question: how many axles does a motorcycle have? You can easily check the axle number by looking at the side of the motorcycle and looking at its wheels.

As motorcycles are integrated with two wheels, they have one axle on each wheel. Although most riders don’t focus on the axles, they play a major role in the motorcycle’s performance. So, you should properly maintain your motorcycle axles like other components.

If you find any defects in the axles of your motorcycle, you should replace them with new ones. In that case, you can follow the tricks mentioned above to determine whether your motorcycle’s axles are in good condition.

Ryan Walker

Ryan Walker

Hi, I'm Ryan Walker, the chief editor and the founder of this site, Motoable. I’m a bike rider, and I’ve been riding motorbikes for almost thirty-five years. I worked for a renowned motorbike accessories manufacturing company for twelve years as a quality in charge.Later, I start my own business where I sell different bike accessories and safety gear for motorbikes. I created this site Motoable to share my experience with other bikers who are new to this field and don’t have adequate knowledge about motorbikes and their accessories.

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