While motorcycles are generally one of the more economical forms of travel, whether you ride your motorcycle purely for leisure, or use it for your day-to-day transportation needs, you will know that petrol is never cheap, and is not getting any cheaper any time soon!
Here are some proven ways to make your motorcycle run more efficiently to maximise your fuel mileage and save you a bit of money in the long run, because fuel is one of the largest recurring cost associated with motorcycle ownership.
Check your tyres
Correctly inflated tyres can reduce your fuel consumption. One of the simplest things to do to ensure that your motorcycle is running as efficiently is to ensure that your tyres are inflated to the correct psi. Under-inflated tyres can impact your overall fuel consumption not to mention that it can be a safety issue. Properly pumped tyres will improve the performance of your motorcycle and make it handle better on the road, especially in wet or unfavourable conditions. Find the recommended pressure in your bike’s owners manual and check your tyres regularly.
Perform regular maintenance
Have routine servicing and change motorcycle parts as needed. Worn out or dirty motorcycle parts can be a large part of reduced fuel mileage. Having routine services and maintenance performed properly will help to keep your ride in optimum shape and ensure peak performance. Oil changes should be performed regularly and dirty or clogged filters removed and replaced. Apart from the obvious safety aspect, routine maintenance will help you realise maximum miles per gallon and efficient operation.
The filters job is to block all the smog and grime from getting into the engine, therefore its frontline and collector of the dirt. So if you haven’t checked it lately, have a look and see what state the filter is in.
There are loads of knock-on effects when your chain is at the wrong tension. A slack chain can result in premature wear to the sprocket and gear. On the other hand, a chain that’s too tight can cause strain on the wheel and also drive shaft bearings. The increased drag will definitely affect your MPG negatively; check the owner’s manual when adjusting the chain tension. Another one to remember regarding the chain, keep it properly lubricated. Running a dry chain can mean snapping and drag; therefore you’ll have more fuel consumption.
Lose some weight
Not you personally! But you might want to take a look at what your motorcycle is carrying. Check what is necessary and what you can remove from your motorcycle to lighten the load. Your bike has to work harder the more weight it carries so losing some kilos translates directly to increasing your fuel mileage. Changing or removing heavy or unnecessary parts can give you a real cost saving so assess whether you really need those large panniers, back box, spare footpegs or any custom parts that you have added. If you must add custom extras have a look at buying carbon fiber parts that are much lighter. But overall, anything you don’t use, remove and save on your fuel consumption.
Check your driving habits
Aggressive riding or fast and erratic acceleration will reduce your fuel economy. If you like to rev your throttle, burn rubber, or blast off from traffic lights at high speed then you are burning more petrol than you need to. Adopting a calmer, smoother approach to your riding will help to reduce your fuel consumption. When accelerating try to ramp up speed steadily and ride within speed limits. Try not to sit for too long with your engine idling too, it just burns through petrol and kills your fuel economy.
Consider engine size
Before purchasing determine exactly how much bike you need. If you are in the market for a new motorcycle consider how much bike you really need to have. Engine size will directly impact fuel consumption, the bigger the engine, the more fuel it will burn. So if you are tootling 3 miles to work and back every day you may not need that 1800cc Goldwing and can opt for something a bit lighter and more economical. You might be able to select a smaller scooter or even an electric bike that does not use petrol at all.
Hit the motorways
Leaving the city streets can help you to save on your petrol bill. The more stops and starts and gear changes you have, the more fuel you will consume. Depending on where you have to drive take your motorcycle to the major roads and highways where possible and avoid city streets. Keeping to straight open roads at a steady speed will burn through much less fuel than zipping in and out of traffic in town. It will also reduce your chances of getting stuck in traffic jams which are no good at all for your fuel consumption.