Get better MPG from your motorcycle - ride smarter

Fuel economy: It's a drag, but it doesn't have to get you down. Our guide offers tips for better MPG

Posted: 15 September 2011
by Robin Goodwin

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You

YOU are the catalyst for poor fuel consumption and riding smoothly will rectify any issues of your bike guzzling gas needlessly. Maintain momentum by reading the road and anticipating the incoming corners and obstacles ahead.

Check out our advanced motorcycle riding guide for more information.

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the purple patch


 
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The three fundamental factors affecting the consumption of go-juice are weight, speed and acceleration. All affect each other, Some are affected by outside factors. And then there is the nonsense spouted by egg-spurts.
But the ultimate trusim still remains "He who stops least, travels fastest" as ultimately average speed is MORE impacted by stopping for fuel than it is by doing 120 instead of 70.
But chuffing around at forty is also not good. A motorcycle (or any engine) is only using fuel when it goes bang. If you can extend the time between bangs on the road (by extending the gearing or slowing the engine for a given road speed) you can go more frugally, but only down to a point, as if you drop too far below the `purple patch` efficiency suffers for no benefit in overal consumption.
Finally, the aerodynamics of a modern motorcycle are about the equivalent of a 1920's car, so just going 10mph faster has a serious impact on fuel consumption. This can be offset to some extent by getting to that 10mph faster a little slower - or accelerating more slowly (given the margins most motorcycles enjoy over cars in this regard you can still maintain a very hefty time-to-speed-over-distance advantage.
When the motorcycle manufacturers wake up to the fact that ALL modern motorcycles are overweight and undertuned for aerodynamics, we shall finaly see the next generational development. But given that Honda think 77mpg is great from a crappy 700cc twin, I don't think that's gong to be anytime soon...

Posted: 30/09/2011 at 14:42

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