Choosing the Right Paramotor Engine Size for You

If you’re going to purchase an engine, it needs to be suited specifically to your needs. No one wants to waste their hard-earned money on products that don’t work well.

A pilot needs to be able to carry and run with whatever engine they choose to use. On top of that, the output of thrust needs to be manageable. When choosing a paramotor engine, it’s best to wait until after the pilot has undergone training.

How much you weigh, engine weight and the amount of thrust output needs to be balanced when you fly. Being able to carry a heavy engine needs to be taken into account when you choose as well.

Popular Engine Choices and Why Pilots Like Them

While it’s important to choose a motor which suits each pilot, knowing what is popular can sometimes be an indicator of what’s reliable and safe. In this case, following the crowd isn’t all bad.

All of these example engines I’ve mentioned below are among the most popular and safe. All models have their own characteristics that make each a good option.

Most of these suggestions are Italian by origin and design.

Engine Choices According to Pilot Weight

Pilot WeightEngineEst. Weight Capacity
Light Pilots-Miniplane TOP 80
-Nitro 200
175-80 lbs
Heavier PIlots-EOS 100190 lbs or more
Both Pilot Types-Vitorazzi Moster 185
-Minari F1
-Simonini Mini 2
175-190 lbs or more

The numbers in this table are an estimate so when you go to purchase your paramotor, be sure to double check.

Vitorazzi Moster 185

Weight is probably the most important factor for choosing an engine, but durability and sustainability are also important. Don’t know what I mean? Knowing what type of flying you are going to be doing is going to influence what motor you choose to use.

If you’re planning on flying long distance, pick an engine that will make the trip. If it’s twisting and turning that you are interested in, pick an engine that will be suitable for that. You can’t just go around willy-nilly, be educated about your choice to avoid problems during flight.

Cross Country

Across the countryside and into the wild blue yonder you go! A cross country flight is a steady flight which starts and ends in different places. You may be flying to a camping spot, meeting someone, or anything along those lines. It is generally a pretty low key type of flight.

Most likely, with this type of flight, you will not be going too fast or doing anything too crazy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not boring at all and can be very relaxing, but it’s not your only option.

For this type of flying, you’ll want an engine that can handle keeping up high altitude. This would probably be an engine that is more heavy duty with higher fuel capacity.

Possible Engine Choices for this Type of Flight:

Acro flying is for those who like to do loops, twists, and turns. It’s kind of like those acrobats in the circus who twist and fly in ways you wish you could too. It’s much more of a thrill and a lot more dangerous, though. It’s definitely worth learning how to fly like acro.

However, this type of flight is not for the faint of heart. Unfortunately, humankind wasn’t born with wings, so having the right experience and equipment to do it is important.

Smaller and lighter engines are better for acro flying because they are easier to maneuver; if that’s what you want. Also, you don’t want an engine that will make you look like a bird with a tumor, something light and sleek is good.

There are some pilots that choose to use heavier motors/engines, but that’s really personal preference. (You can obviously tell what my preference is, just saying)

Possible Engine Choices for this Type of Flight:

  • Nitro 200
  • Miniplane Top 80

Any engine that will get the job done is just fine. Everything else, walk right on outta there! You don’t need anything extra.


By definition, a thermal is a column of rising air in the lower altitudes of earth’s atmosphere; an atmospheric updraft.

Thermals are created by the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface from solar radiation. Now that you know what a thermal is, I bet you can guess what thermalling is?

Yup! You are basically using those updrafts to create a thrilling and dangerous ride for yourself. Awesome huh? This type of flight is for those who are more experienced in paramotoring. It is very dangerous but very fun!

As a beginner, you probably won’t be doing much of this because of how unsafe it can be, but it’s good to know your options. I would even suggest that you talk to your trainer about this and what you can do to prepare now to fly in thermals.

Thermalling requires you to turn off your engine and for your propeller to be completely stopped. This means your engine should be non-clutched; clutched engines create drag. Drag is the last thing you want when you’re thermalling.

Low Level

Low-level flying is exactly what it sounds like. It’s like those anime shows where the male lead lifts the female lead up into the sky and they fly low over the countryside while romantic and classical music plays for five minutes and you wonder when the action scenes are going to come back on.

So, basically, a flight that is closer to the ground. This kind of flying is dangerous in areas with a lot of trees and obstacles.

If you’re in a more open area you don’t have to worry about low-level obstacles. You’ll probably start out with low-level at the beginning just because it might take you a while to get off the ground and into a flight. In the right places, it’s usually pretty safe.

A powerful electric start engine would be best for low level flying because you can more easily avoid obstacles and it’s less likely to die.

Possible Engine Choices for this Type of Flight:

Pylon Racing

This is a type of flying is basically paramotor racing. Pilots who do pylon racing are generally more experienced. It’s good, however, to keep in mind whether you want to get into racing or not.

Depending on the type of race, this version of flight involves pilots racing around pylons, or passing through an obstacle course; in the air and/or on the ground. The competition varies, and injury is obviously higher, but it’s worth a try to get into this adventure.

With racing, pilots need an engine with a lot of power. The idea is that they can move forward quickly to get around the pylon while maintaining altitude.

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Possible Engine Choice for this Type of Flight:

  • Vitorazzi Moster 185

Trikes and Quads

Being able to carry a paramotor on your back doesn’t apply to trikes. That’s actually the beauty of flying a trike. It really doesn’t matter what you choose to use as an engine; at least with regards to getting a running start.

If you do choose to use a trike, the larger and more heavy duty engines are the best to use. You need a lot of thrust and prime fuel efficiency.

Don’t worry if the engine is a little smaller. There are some smaller engines which can handle tandem and wheeled paramotors just fine. Looks can be deceiving with paramotors.

Technology has come a long way and engines are built to be more lightweight and powerful, with the capability to handle a lot of weight.

Why Weight Matters

Weight is a big deal in paramotoring; manufacturers for paramotors are always trying to advance their designs to be lighter, sturdier, and more reliable. If you want a great lift off and landing; the lighter the better.

However, not all pilots weigh the same, nor do they fly the same way with the same equipment. A heavier pilot- say 250-300 lbs- is not going to be able to fly a paramotor with a low weight capacity. If they want to, they’ll either have to lose weight or lose baggage as they fly.

Pilot, engine, and equipment all add to the weight of a paramotor. The more weight, the more energy, and fuel are emitted to push the craft forward. There are ways to lower weight. If you are willing to use these methods, your options widen.

What Size Outboard Motor for What Size Boat? (Boat Horsepower Chart)

What Size Outboard Motor for What Size Boat (Boat Horsepower Chart)

Once you buy a boat you want, it is time to determine what size outboard motor for what size boat. As you can guess, there is no magic formula for estimating it precisely, but you can get rough numbers when you check relevant information.

You should start with a boat type, a maximum passenger number, and the equipment weight you plan to carry. Then, you can determine the maximum horsepower recommended for your vessel. Finally, think about 2-strokes and 4-stroke motor options, right propeller size, and fuel type. Sounds complicated? Let’s make it easier!

Table of Contents

Motor Size Matters

Motor Size Matters

Yes, an engine size matters, and it is crucial to pair it with an adequate boat size to let it run smoothly.

Bigger motors with higher horsepower offer numerous benefits for comfortable boating, such as:

  • You can sail at high speed
  • A more sizable engine provides better handling, particularly when sailing at midrange speeds
  • It makes water sports cozier
  • You can count on better time maneuvering
  • Such an engine will give you better control and provide more secure sailing in harsh weather condition
  • Surprisingly, a motor with a bigger fuel tank uses less fuel

Downsides of a small engine

A too-small engine typically has difficulty powering a bigger boat so it will spend more fuel than a bigger model. Another problem is sailing with more passengers and equipment since extra load requires a motor with more horsepower.

Therefore, you should check the max HP a boat can handle before purchasing. That rating will show you a top weight it can carry, and you can risk uncomfortable and unsafe sailing, plus possible Coast Guard fines when exceeding it.

Outboard motor size for your sailboat

The vessel horsepower ranges from 2.5 to 1,000+ HP for contemporary outboard motors. You should pick out the most powerful one your boat can handle to provide smooth and comfy sailing.

Things to Consider When Selecting an Outboard Boat Engine



Horsepower is used to measure the engine power. On average, your vessel will need 5 HP per 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg) its weight. Small boats shouldn’t use more than 75% to 80% of the max HP because of the possibility of rough waters and headwinds while sailing.

Only that way, you can count on enough thrust to drive as desire. You should think about a few things when determining how much horsepower your boat needs, including:

Manufacturer limits

Manufacturers’ recommendation always shows a maximum passengers number and cargo weight your boat can carry. You can also find the absolute max boat HP in the manual.

If you have a boat built after 1972, you can find a capacity plate with this information inside the transom. Older vessels, home-built models, and those made overseas typically don’t have that plate.

However, you can contact the manufacturer or look for their manuals online to discover limitations and recommendations for your boat.

Horsepower-to-weight ratio

The only way to precisely determine your boat’s necessary horsepower is to consider its weight. You can calculate this ratio in horsepower per pound or vice versa.

HP/boat weight = required horsepower per 1 pound (0.45 kg)

boat weight/HP = number of pounds per horsepower

Let’s say you have a boat weighing 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg) with an engine of 300 HP. The calculation will look like:

  • 5,000 pounds / 300 HP = 16.6 pounds (7.5 kg) per horsepower
  • 300 HP / 5,000 pounds = 0.06 HP per 1 pound (0.45 kg)

You should do the math to match the desired outboard engine with your boat size correctly. The result will show how fast your boat will go since its speed will be higher when these numbers are lower.

Boat use

Boat use

Horsepower your boat needs will also depend on its use. Any additional equipment weight or pulling water skiers behind the vessel increase the power it needs.

Number of passengers

In this case, the rule is simple. Your boat engine will work properly only when it carries 25 to 40 pounds (11.5 – 18 kg) per horsepower.

Once you have this information, you can check the boat weight and add the total weight of the passengers you plan to host on it. Then, you can effortlessly determine engine HP that matches your boat.

Fuel efficiency

As you can guess, the motor HP impacts the boat’s fuel efficiency, but that doesn’t mean a higher-horsepower engine necessarily consumes more fuel.

For instance, your motor with lower HP will use more gas at full throttle than the one with higher HP running with less throttle.



Engine type

Both 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines are good options. You should choose one or another, depending on the feature crucial for you.

The rule of thumb is that 2-stroke motors are lighter and less expensive, while 4-stroke models with the same power are quieter. However, these differences are diminishing nowadays.

Engine weight

One of the vital things is to match the outboard engine weight and boat size. That way, you will ensure sufficient power for the desired speed without jeopardizing safety and maneuverability.

Most 2 to 10 HP outboard engines weigh 35 to 90 pounds (16 – 41 kg). On the other hand, you should count on 100 to 160 pounds (45.5 – 72.5 kg) for a 20 to 30 HP motor. In this case, you can have a problem carrying a too heavy engine around.

Required speed

Required speed

The rule of thumb is that your boat needs more power to reach a higher speed. The equation says that 1 HP can move 40 pounds (18 kg) of boat weight at 20 mph (32.2 km/h). According to that, you can calculate that your boat weighing 2,000 pounds (907 kg) needs 50 HP to reach the speed of 20 mph (32.2 km/h).

Federal regulations

Federal regulations

In the US, it is illegal to overpower your boat. The Code of Federal Regulations clearly defines vessel overpowering, so you should check it before getting into a situation to break federal law.



You should know that your boat’s horsepower directly affects its insurance, and models with higher HP typically has higher premium costs. Keep in mind that the insurance company won’t cover a boat with an upgraded engine that exceeds the max HP recommended by the manufacturer.

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Ways of Pair an Outboard Motor with Your Boat Size

Ways of Pair an Outboard Motor with Your Boat Size

The best way to properly pair an engine with a boat of a particular size is to determine its horsepower.

2 to 3.6 HP engine

These small, less than 40 pounds (18 kg) weight, 2-stroke outboard engines are an excellent option for portable boats, like:

They can push small boats at 5 to 9.5 mph (8 – 15 km/h), depending on weather conditions, current, as well as boat weight and design.

5 to 6 HP engine

This horsepower range is ideal for boats weighing 8 to 11.5 pounds (18 – 25 kg), including:

  • 12 feet (3.65 m) long inflatable boats
  • Portable folding boats
  • Large canoes
  • 8 to 12 feet (2.5 – 3.65 m) long inflatable and dinghy boats

Such an engine can propel your vessel with one person at 10 to 17.5 mph (16 – 28 km/h).

8 to 9.8 HP engine

You should pick out this small but powerful 11.5 to 20.5 pounds (25 – 45 kg) heavy outboard engine for your:

  • 10 to 14 feet (3 – 4.5 m) long inflatable and aluminum boats
  • Large portable folding boat and sturdy canoe
  • Up to 14 feet (4.5 m) long light fiberglass boats

An outboard motor in this range is an excellent option for propelling a boat carrying a light load and two people at 9.5 to 17.5 mph (15 – 28 km/h).

15 to 25 HP engine

Although powerful, these 16.5 to 23.5 pounds (36 – 52 kg) heavy 4-stroke outboard engines are still in a small outboard HP class. They are an excellent choice for:

  • 10 to 14 feet (3 – 4.5 m) long inflatable boat
  • 12 to 16 feet (3.65 – 5 m) long Jon boat, fiberglass boat, and aluminum fishing boat

These smooth-running engines can propel most boats to 25 mph (40 km/h) when carrying several people and heavy loads.


Whatever boat type you have, you should buy the smallest possible outboard engine that can allow a max hull speed with 90% of the revolutions per minute. Unless you want a higher-speed boat, you can use your 20 HP engine for twenty years and get an excellent fuel economy.

How to Choose a Motorcycle Size That Fits Your Height and Weight

image of a motorcycle that's being sized

Have you sat on a motorcycle, and it just didn’t feel right? Too high? Too low? Too wide and unable to reach the ground well? Does it seem to fit, but you don’t like the balance from side to side? Perhaps you’re just wondering what size motorcycle you need?

There are a lot of reasons why a motorcycle may not feel like it’s meant for you. Motorcycle riding is about comfort and feel, and lacking those key ergonomic components can be unsettling. To get the most out of your motorcycling experience and ensure that your rides are as safe as they can be, you need to have a motorcycle that fits your height and size. This article will help you achieve that below.

Signs of a Poorly Fitting Motorcycle

Motorcycling is about balance. Here are some signs that you can use to help identify poor fit:

  • Unable to sit with both feet flat on the ground
  • Being on the tip of your toes while standing
  • Unable to reach the controls
  • Stretching excessively to reach the hand or foot controls
  • Unable to sit comfortably on the motorcycle

It’s natural for a new rider to feel awkward when handling their first motorcycle. However, if you generally feel awkward while on your motorcycle, that’s reason enough to take a closer look at the ergonomics and see if changes can be made to accommodate you. If you have a question on how you should sit, check out this article on motorcycle ergonomics.

How to Calculate the Right Height for Your Motorcycle Seat?

A popular method that bicycle riders use to determine their ideal seat height suggests standing barefoot on a hard surface with your back to a wall. Place a book between your legs with the spine facing away. Measure the distance from the floor to the top of the book and multiply the result by 0.883 and subtract an eighth of an inch to arrive at the right seat height.

Regardless of the results of a formula only you know whether you feel comfortable sitting on the motorcycle. A heavy bike may be difficult to keep upright when stopped without having the soles of both feet flat on the ground. A light motorcycle may be comfortable even when the seat height puts your weight more toward your toes.

Sitting on the bike also lets you feel how the suspension yields to your body weight to lower its profile. Other factors affecting seat height include the width of the seat and what you wear on your feet when riding. A wide seat may lift your legs farther off the ground while boots with thick soles and heels extend the reach of your legs and feet.

Considering Rider Weight Capacity

Before heading to your local dealer to shop for a motorcycle, weigh yourself. No, seriously, you need to know how much you weigh. How motorcycle maneuvers and the ability of its engine to perform at peak capacity depend on the amount of weight it carries.

You may not be close to the carrying capacity of a particular motorcycle, but your motorcycle will be carrying more than just your own body weight. Gear that you pack into saddle bags or carry in a backpack needs to be considered, and don’t forget to add the weight of passengers who may be joining you.

Carrying capacity or weight limits range from 350 to 450 pounds. An easy method to determine the carrying capacity of any motorcycle is to subtract a motorcycle’s weight from its gross vehicle weight rating or GVWR.

We’re not quite done with carrying capacity. Motorcycles have two weights: Dry weight and wet weight. Dry weight is found in the owner’s manual, but it does not include the weight added by gasoline and other fluids motorcycles need in order to operate, which gives you the wet weight. Use the wet weight to get the carrying capacity of a motorcycle by subtracting it from the GVWR. Here’s a hint to make the calculation easier: Those fluids weigh about 50 pounds.

Now that you know how much carrying capacity you need, use it to determine the size of the engine. Smaller engines work well when carrying lighter loads. If you plan to carry heavier loads, opt for a larger engine for more power and better efficiency.

Finding The Right Type of Motorcycle

Everyone has their perfect motorcycle in mind, and the question of what fits is always associated with that perfection. So, to give you an idea about the different types of motorcycles, we’ve broken them down a bit to give you enough information to have an opinion on what style will work best for you. For even more information on different types of motorcycles and which one may be the best size to start with, visit our Beginner’s Guide to Types of Motorcycles.

  • Cruiserstypically have pretty low seat heights. It’s often said that you sit in, rather than on, a cruiser which makes them a “comfortable” option with new riders. Cruisers come in various designs, from fundamental to intricate ones. are nimble athletes designed to be aerodynamic and allow high lean angles in the corners. Unfortunately, this can mean shorter riders will be on the tip of their toes trying to reach the ground. motorcycles are the comfortable La-Z-Boys of the motorcycle world. Designed to ride an extended period with all the comforts, they tend to be on the heavier end of available choices. They can vary slightly from brand to brand and are typically mixed with Sport Touring designs that offer fewer comforts and replace them with sports styling.
  • Standard styling is a simple mix of function and visual appeal. They do everything on the streets well and aren’t designed with a particular focus. Standards come in a variety of engine sizes, and accommodating motorcycle sizes, so you should be able to find something that fits you well.
  • Dual-Sport motorcycles can do it all. They can cruise across the country, on the highway, or the dirt, so if you want the one style that you could ride anywhere year-round, the dual-sport may be what you’re after. The seat height tends to be a little taller because of the off-road clearance, so be sure to consider that when sizing.
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A couple of things to note about generalizing the styling as it relates to fitment:

  • Engine size doesn’t always equate to the capability of the motorcycle. A 600cc engine on a Standard may have half the power of a 600cc engine on a Sport motorcycle. Be sure to define what you want the motorcycle for, and allow that to guide what you need to look for. If you plan to commute and ride a little on the weekends, it may not make sense to get something with a big engine if it’s not necessary.
  • Allow your experience also to guide you on the choice. If you’re new to motorcycling, be sure to decide on a motorcycle that fits your needs and what you can handle. A Touring motorcycle may be more weight than you’re ready to handle, yet a small standard may not be enough if you’re a big person.

What Size Motorcycle Do I Need?

There are several ways to check whether the motorcycle you’re looking at is the right size for you. Try the following:

  1. Get the bike in front of you: Whether you’re buying used or from a dealer, the first step should be to actually sit on the motorcycle you’re looking at.
  2. Get a feel for the weight distribution: Lean from side to side, move forward and backward, and generally get a feel for how the motorcycle feels under you. If any of those motions feel unnatural or overly difficult, that’s a good sign that the motorcycle isn’t a good size for you.
  3. Check the distance from the seat to the controls: Make sure that you can easily reach the foot and hand controls from the seat. If you have to stretch or twist to do this, the motorcycle is not a good size for you. This is also a good time to check how easy it is to reach the ground.

If for some reason you aren’t able to test the motorcycle out in person, or if you’re just doing some casual online shopping, don’t worry! You can use the information available online along with your own measurements to size your bike.

  1. Use published seat height measurements: This information is always available on the manufacturer site when looking at the motorcycle, typically under the “specs” section, and is an excellent way to compare motorcycles of a particular type. The process is easy; you simply check the seat height against your inseam to identify a rough estimate of whether the motorcycle will fit you while standing.
  2. Using online tools: We found a nifty motorcycle ergonomic simulator that you can try out before you head to the dealership. You input your height and inseam and the potential bike you’re choosing to see if it’s a comfortable fit. It’ll give you a good head start on which models to try first.

How to Adjust Your Motorcycle For a Perfect Fit

Sometimes we get locked into a motorcycle in our mind, and we can’t say no. So if you’ve found the perfect motorcycle, but it doesn’t fit perfectly, here’s what we’d do to make it fit right:

  • Adjust the suspension to fit you: Off-road, motocross, and dual-sport style bikes have some of the highest seat heights to accommodate more suspension travel. You might assume that they would be too tall for shorter riders. The softer suspension on these bikes means they sag more under the rider’s weight and have relatively narrow seats, so it can be surprisingly easy to reach the ground on an off-road bike. If you are riding around on the street, you may be able to replace the suspension or add a modified suspension system to lower or raise a motorcycle to fit your size.
  • Replace the motorcycle seat: One easy method to change the fit of a motorcycle is to change the seat. This works well for large touring bikes or cruisers where standard seats can have a lot of padding. Swapping for an aftermarket seat with a different shape and less padding can make a significant difference to seat height and reach to the ground, as well as the distance to the controls. In a lot of cases, it can increase comfort too.

Why It’s Important to Pick the Right Motorcycle Size

A motorcycle remains upright when in motion, but when it stops, the only thing keeping it from falling over is the rider. The right-size motorcycle is one that you can control at all times whether in motion or stopped.

Unless you can touch the ground and keep the bike from falling over, you will end up damaging your motorcycle and possibly injuring yourself. Standing on the tips of your toes will not give you the control needed to keep a cruiser weighing in excess of 550 pounds upright at a red traffic light. Before taking a test ride, sit on the motorcycle you’re thinking of buying with the engine off to see whether you can keep it from falling over.

The size of a motorcycle also affects your ability to reach controls and should not require over-stretching to reach handlebars. If anything feels awkward or not quite right, try a different model or brand until you find the motorcycle that fits you.

The goal is to find a motorcycle that feels right. You do not want one that requires adjustments in the way you sit or reach for controls and handlebars. If you do not feel comfortable now, try imagining how you will feel after riding for an hour or more in your current riding position on the motorcycle.


You might think of yourself as Goldilocks if you spend a day at the dealership sitting on bike after bike until you find the one that fits just right. We all have a reason why we want to ride. That may have a little input from styling or just the freedom of the open road. Whatever the case, whether buying new or shopping for a used model, be sure to try a lot of motorcycles until you find one that fits well enough. After all, motorcycles are an investment. If it doesn’t fit perfectly, there are ways to go from good enough to great. The options are out there, but be sure to check the safety and handling before you venture cross-country with new handling. All you need now is the proper gear and you’re ready to ride. As always, be safe out there!

Michael Padway

Michael Padway uses his expertise in personal injury and motorcycle accidents to represent a broad spectrum of clients dealing with life-changing and permanent injuries for the first time. His offices are located at 235 Montgomery St., Ste 668, San Francisco, CA 94104 and at 3140 Chapman St. Oakland, CA 94601. For more information, please call (800) 928-1511.




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