how to measure wheelbase

How to Measure Wheelbase? Things You Need to Know

Wheelbase is referred to be the distance in between the center of the rear and front wheels. This might not tell you how long the vehicle is, it would roughly measure the size of the passenger compartment, and it could also give you an idea of whether how big is the interior. But, you might also ask whether how to measure wheelbase.

Besides, wheelbase indeed has a significant influence on the longitudinal stability of the bike together with the height of the center of mass of the combined rider and the vehicle. Short vehicles could be a lot more suitable once performing stoppies and wheelies too.

But First, What Is A Vehicle Wheelbase?


The difference between wheelbase measurement and the length of the vehicle is that the former is simply the distance between the rear and front wheels whole the latter is being calculated right from the principal point to the rearmost point of any vehicle.

Wheelbase could be measured right from the center of the wheels and would serve as an indication of the level of interior space as for the provided external size.

Wheelbase: Short VS Long?

Based on the kind of vehicle you might need, either from short or long wheelbase could be appropriate. Those with longer wheelbase would tend to have a larger interior since there would be more space in between the axles.


Apart from that, longer wheelbase would also ride a lot better because of the greater time in between the rear and front wheels that hit the bumps. And a long wheelbase would feel a lot more stable at speed because of its bigger footprint on the road.

On the other hand, a shorter wheelbase would come along with a smaller cabin since there would be a lesser space in between the axles. Those shorter wheelbase vehicles do but suit the city traffic since there could be a lot more manoeuvrable and could turn tighter too.

So, How To Measure Wheelbase?


You could measure the wheelbase through taking a straight length of the metal or wood, align it with the center of the two axles, mark the stick and finally measure the length in between these marks. Wheelbase would measure the distance in between the center of a certain axle to the center of another axle.

Follow these steps on how to measure wheelbase:

Straighten The Wheels

Simply place the vehicle or the equipment on the level surface. Straighten the turning wheels for them to point forward. Then find the center of every wheel particularly in the middle of the lug nuts or in the screws.

Find A Straight Stick

You could find a sturdy and straight stick, particular a straight piece of wood or metal. There is a need to make sure that the length is a lot longer compared to the distance in between the two wheels. This stick doesn’t need to have the measurement markings such as the yardstick.

Place The Measuring Tool

Put the measuring tool adjacent to the center of the rear axle, and there should be a helper to place the measuring tool adjacent to the center of the front axle too. Then mark the spot wherein the wood or the metal is at the center of both the axles exactly.

Measure The Distance

Now, take a tape measure and then denote the distance in between the two marks. This length would be referred as the wheelbase. Compare the measurement to the measurement of the factory specifications. In most cases, the wheelbase is the same on both of the sides of the vehicles. You could simply repeat the process for the other side.

Consider these steps above once on the process of measuring the wheelbase of any vehicles. These steps could indeed help in getting the right measurement of the wheelbase. Being guided by proper steps on how to measure a wheelbase of any vehicle could be a great way in order to learn its measurement. You don’t want to assume its measurement, right? You can also watch this to learn more about how to measure a wheelbase.

The Importance Of Wheelbase In Motorcycling

Aside from knowing the process or steps on how to measure wheelbase, it could also be significant if you are to learn about the importance of wheelbase in motorcycling. Though not everyone could notice, but if you are going to properly check your vehicles, bikes in particular, you might notice that the distance in between the wheels could be different.

There could be advantages when it comes to choosing either from long and short wheelbases. It would as well depend on the type of use. Once the wheelbase on a individual bike or vehicle is long then it could has a better stability on the road. This would also mean that the motorcycle would keep going within a straight line a lot easier and changing direction easily might be a bit of tussle.

The same could be in inverse with regards to bikes having the shorter wheelbase. These bikes could be manoeuvred a lot easier however it loses out on the stability as they stay on the road. There could be chances wherein the bike might wobble easily within extreme speeds that don’t happen in case of those longer wheelbases.


This is considered as the reason why those drag racing bikes are into having a very long wheelbase. Moreover, it also answers the question “Why is the weight distribution of the motorcycle affected making it forward biased and would eventually cause the bike do not keep going straight?”.

On the other hand, short wheelbases would allow the bikes to be a lot lighter and more compact and would also make it a lot easier for the bike to move around the corner within higher speeds.

You must then understand that there could be no pre-calculations that are being made by anyone as to how much the wheelbase must be. It would all depend on the manufacturer as to how the wheelbase measures based on certain factors such as the purpose of the vehicle, its aesthetic appeal, ground clearance and tire sizes too. And this is the reason why there is a need to remember the importance of the wheelbase.


You might be among those people who are into wondering or even asking about the measurement of the wheelbase once in the process of owning any vehicles. But if, just in case, the manufacturer or the provider of your vehicle failed to provide you with the wheelbase measurement doing it yourself could be considered. Following the steps being provided above could be simply considered.


In fact, it isn’t actually required that you should be professional just to measure the wheelbase. You just need to be well-knowledge about the process and would have the right measuring tools as well. With that, there will be an assurance that you could get to know how to measure wheelbase of any vehicles that you have. The steps are a lot simpler and easier to follow that even a single person could do the entire process without any help.

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