Do You Know Your Motorcycle Mileage?

Miles per gallon? Maybe you know if you have a factory bike but only if your brand discloses it.  As surprising as it can be, unlike cars, federal laws don’t require motorcycle manufacturers to perform fuel-economy tests or, if they do, to reveal their numbers! Why? The reason given by government representatives is that bikes make up a small percentage of overall vehicles and are already considered fuel efficient and offering great mileage. Result? There is not an industry wide protocol for motorcycle MPG testing. So, from where come from the fuel economy figures that a limited number of manufacturers publish (Harley-Davidson since 1982 and recently Yamaha & Suzuki?). From EPA emissions tests that manufacturers are already required to perform to sell bikes in the United States. How? By measuring a vehicle’s tailpipe emissions under urban driving conditions. The test is run on a chassis dynamometer and it involves a series of accelerations, decelerations, idling, cold starts and hot starts and running at 21 mph a distance of 11 miles at a temperature of 75 degrees. IMHO, nothing to represent real-world riding conditions! So, if you don’t know for sure your MPG, you have the choice between to answer 50 miles per gallon (the answer that you are supposed to make when you have no clue) or like me,  to answer that you don’t really care because you ride for pleasure. (even at close to $4.00 per gallon!).

6 Responses to “Do You Know Your Motorcycle Mileage?”

  1. 1 Brian Apr 11th, 2008 at 11:05 am

    And this has what to do with mileage?

  2. 2 goldiron Apr 11th, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Were you born stupid or is it a skill that you have acquired by wearing your helmet too tight?
    With regards to mileage, I fill the tank and check it each and every time. Lets me have a reminder about serivicing other things on the bike.

  3. 3 Rodent Apr 12th, 2008 at 9:37 am

    My bagster gets 32.8465MPG in town and 46.9146MPG on the highway the old fasion way divide miles into gallons the way I learned in grammer school

  4. 4 saorijohn Apr 12th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    “……to answer that you don’t really care because you ride for pleasure. (even at close to $4.00 per gallon!).”


    $4.00 a gallon is a bargain. In England we are paying around $9.50!! But it is still a pleasure.

  5. 5 Brian Apr 12th, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Please ignore my first comment to Bikerchic, her post has been erased.

  6. 6 Nicker Apr 12th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    “…fill the tank and check it each and every time…”

    I’m with goldi- on this one.
    -1- you can catch a burned valve before you can feel it, just be the radical mileage drop-off.
    -2- and avoid that “can i make it to the next stop on whats left in the tank?” feeling….

    just a thought.

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Cyril Huze