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How Many MPG Does a Motorcycle Get?

motorcycle with helmet

With the cost of fuel on the rise, many people are looking for ways to get better gas mileage, and a motorcycle can be a great way to do that. Many people thinking about getting a motorcycle want to know how many miles per gallon (mpg) they can expect to get. The short answer is that motorcycles average a little over 56 mpg, but that can vary considerably based on several factors. Keep reading as we look at how to get the best gas mileage from a motorcycle.

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Things Affecting Motorcycle Gas Mileage

male rider riding his motorcycle
Image Credit: TSKvado, Pixabay

Engine Size

The size of the engine in your motorcycle will be one of the biggest factors affecting your gas mileage. Bikes with large engines will supply more power, but they will also use more fuel. The Kawasaki Z900, for instance, has a large 948-cc engine, so its MPG is going to suffer, and some users report it being as low as 37.9. The Yamaha YZF-R1 gets a little under 32 miles per gallon with its 1,000-cc engine. Other bikes with a small engine can get better gas mileage. With its 159.6-cc engine, the Honda PCX gets 106 miles per gallon, and the Yamaha YZF R15 V4 with its 155-cc engine gets about 104.

Bike Name Engine Size CC Gas Mileage
Yamaha YZF-R1 1,000 32
Kawasaki Z900 948 37.9
Honda PCX 159.6 106
Yamaha YZF R15 V4 155 104

Transmission Type

man riding in motorcycle
Image Credit: SAVA86, Pixabay

Manual Transmission

One thing that can affect how much gas the engine uses is the transmission. Manual transmissions are the least expensive and the most popular, but they have the poorest gas mileage. That said, this type of transmission requires the rider to switch the gears when necessary, so a more experienced rider can get better gas mileage than a new rider.

Dual-Clutch Transmission

A dual-clutch transmission is a type of manual transmission that enlists the help of an onboard computer to hasten the transition from one gear to another, which can help improve gas mileage. More experienced riders will still have an advantage over new riders, but both would experience an improvement.

Automatic

Automatic transmissions take care of all the gear shifting for you, so it takes place at the appropriate time, resulting in a significant improvement to gas mileage. This type is becoming more popular, and it offers a new rider the same gas savings that it offers an experienced one.

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

While most transmissions use several gears and hydraulics, a continuously variable transmission uses one single gear that makes use of a pulley system. This transmission type enables motorcycles to get better gas mileage, but it’s not that popular yet. Both beginner and expert riders will receive the same benefit to gas milage because the system is entirely automated.

motorcycle parked in pathway
Image Credit: Piqsels

Semi-Automatic

A semi-automatic transmission is similar to a manual transmission, but the driver doesn’t use a clutch. It enables the driver to have complete control over gears without the complexity of working the transmission. It provides a smooth ride and increases gas mileage. While experienced riders will experience better gas mileage, the learning curve is much smaller, so beginners will benefit too.

Other Options

One option that modern bike riders can choose is an electric engine. Several brands, like Harley Davidson, Zero, and Brammo, have bikes that can get more than 100 miles on a single charge. This technology will only improve in the future.

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When choosing your next motorcycle, we highly recommend taking a look at an electric model, as it can help cut the cost of fuel while reducing your environmental impact. If battery power isn’t for you, you will find much better gas mileage with an automatic transmission than a manual one, though the manual transmission is much easier to find and less expensive. A CVT, dual-clutch, or semi-automatic transmission will also help improve your gas mileage, and it will pay for itself in savings.


Featured Image Credit: MrTozzo, Pixabay

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