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10 Ways to Get Better Gas Mileage From Your Motorcycle

How To: 10 Ways to Get Better Gas Mileage From Your Motorcycle

You’ve heard all of the doom and gloom on the news: gas prices soaring, dwindling supply of fossil fuels, double dip recession, we’re all feeling the pinch at the pump. Luckily for you, motorcycles can take you very far on very little gas, if you ride them the right way.

Here are 10 ways to get better gas mileage from your motorcycle and cover the most distance for your dollar.

Gorilla on a scooter

1. Roll off the throttle sooner.
If you’re looking ahead you won’t need to go from gas to brakes. Let it roll.

2. Avoid unnecessary shifts.
If there’s a stop sign at the end of your street, you might want to rethink shifting up just to shift back down.

3. Be steady on the throttle.
Try to stay smooth on the throttle. No rushing from gas to brakes and back.

4. Keep your tire pressure up.
Follow the recommendations in your owners manual and your tire’s sidewalls and watch your miles per gallon rise.

5. Limit your “warm up” time.
If your bike is fuel-injected, it’s probably ready to go before you are.

6. Lose the junk.
Removing unnecessary baggage or items stored on your bike can reduce weight and may even improve aerodynamics.

7. Make sure your air filter is clean.
If you don’t know what or where it is, it’s probably time to find out.

8. Perform other essential maintenance.
Replace spark plugs, change oil and filter, and make sure you’re keeping up with your valve adjustments. Check your owners manual for your valve adjustment schedule.

9. Forget about monkeying around.
You’ll get better mileage when you aren’t banging off of the rev limiter in every gear.

10. Get low.
It will reduce aerodynamic drag, meaning your engine won’t have to work so hard.

Of course, there’s always the option of downgrading. My girlfriend’s Honda CBR-125R returned 95 to 100 MPG. My Harley-Davidson XL-883 got 27 to 44 MPG. Our 250cc motorcycles averaged 55-70 MPG and are a nice middleground. There’s always the option of a small to mid displacement scooter.

What’s your mileage like? Leave a comment!

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  1. I ride a Yamaha MT-01, 1670cc Vtwin and I have kept track of my consumption for the two years I’ve owned it…15,000kms and I’ve averaged 5.8L/100kms. Not too bad.

    But it’s time for a change, so I think a DL1000 VStrom will be hading my way.


  2. 5.8L/100km = about 39.15 miles/gallon in the US for madjak30 About 40 mpg is what a big cruiser ought to get if ridden right and without engine modifications which slightly raise power and kill the mileage.

    The Harley Road Glide with a similar size engine is getting 42 to 43 mpg, probably because of the more aerodynamic fairing and this rider’s desire not to be a rocket.

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