Get better MPG from your motorcycle

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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The truth is, petrol is going to run out, it’s not a question of if but when. This has given to a rise in the price of petrol in the UK and around the world; you don't need to get a calculator out to estimate the fact that, on average, a tenner won't get you as far as it used to . The simplest option for burning less fuel and saving money on a trip would be to stop riding - not something any of us are interested in. Compared to a car, motorcycles still offer great mpg and some motorbikes - mostly 125cc and scooters - can even achieve over 100mpg.

Use our six step guide to improving the miles per gallon you get from your motorcycle. Feel free to share your tips below.

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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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