Gas is the cost of owning any sort of motor vehicle including a motorcycle, if you want to ride then you need to buy fuel. Some people choose to ride a motorcycle because, typically, they save money on gas.
However, with the price of gas generally heading northward, motorcyclists have joined the fuel-conscious and are looking for ways to enjoy their bikes without having to spend more on gas each year as the price rises.
There are multiple ways to save fuel ranging from keeping the motorcycle well maintained to how you ride your bike. Of course, none of these suggestions will relieve the pressure at the pump alone, but as the old saying goes, look after your pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves.
These Are the Best Ways to Save Fuel on Motorcycle
1. Skip the Warm-up
While historically many a new rider was taught to warm their bike up before heading out to avoid the bike stalling when it stops at the first set of traffic lights or to prevent getting off to a sluggish start up the first incline on your trip. This is no longer a necessity.
Most of the new fuel-injected bikes are good to go when you turn the key. Warming them up is only going to burn through the fuel quicker and cost you money.
The result is the fuel economy for the motorcycle improves as the bike reaches operating efficiency quicker and improves the combustion efficiency. That said, this does not mean you shouldn’t take it easy over the first few miles to give the motor time to warm up.
2. Keep Your Motorcycle Maintained
Keeping your bike well maintained will save fuel in the long run. This includes regular services when they are due. In particular, change the oil at regular intervals. It is responsible for the lubrication between the moving parts in the motor.
When it deteriorates, it becomes less energy efficient, especially if it is starting to clog parts up. The use of a high-quality 100% Synthetic motor oil can also help improve fuel efficiency and as well as increase the engine’s life.
The air filter and spark plugs should be checked at regular intervals to ensure they are clean. Despite today’s fuel being reasonably clean, it is still important to regularly clean the fuel tank and fuel lines to ensure they don’t become clogged.
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3. Tires Matter
Tires are your point of contact between the road and your bike. They play a significant role in fuel economy and consumption. It is essential that the tire pressure is correct, and your tires are inflated to the correct pressure and not unevenly worn.
This prevents drag which uses more fuel. While they may look cool, fitting wider tires on your bike will hurt your bike’s fuel consumption.
The correct tire pressure for your motorcycle can be found in the owner’s manual. Ensuring the tires are inflated to the proper PSI will not only save you fuel but will make your ride a whole lot smoother and more comfortable.
Not only will it increase the number of miles you get to the gallon, but it makes your bike safer. Running tires underinflated is one of the most common mistakes that people make that hurts fuel economy.
4. Keep it Smooth
Irregular gear changes, quick throttle bursts, and over-revving your engine in low gears will all add to your fuel consumption. Also, when you are riding, make sure your foot is not accidentally touching the rear brake or that you are not riding the clutch. These habits also put extra stress on the engine and add to its wear over time.
While riding, focus on maintaining a constant speed and avoiding unnecessary braking. Steady, gradual accelerations should be preferred over fast throttle-ups.
And although the adrenaline burst from riding at high speeds can be addictive, it will also chew through your fuel budget. So, maintaining a slightly lower speed will see your fuel bill lowered.
5. Lose the Saddlebags
While saddlebags can be convenient, they can also contribute to a higher rate of fuel consumption. Firstly, they add weight. The more weight your bike is carrying, the more fuel it will need. This goes for all the added accessories as well.
So, if they are not essential, they are only adding weight and costing you money in the long run.
Secondly, saddlebags often hang over the motor, which means that air cannot circle around it as it was designed to do. Not only does this overstress the engine, but it increases the bike’s fuel consumption.
6. Other Tips
Some motorcyclists swear by fuelling up at the same gas station each time. Each brand has a slightly different mix, so this stops the motor from having to adjust to different blends, which is more economical.
Others suggest shutting the engine down at traffic lights when you know the light sequence and know the wait is more than 30 seconds. This helps to conserve fuel on motorcycles.
If your wait is likely to be more than 30 seconds, keep the engine running as restarting will burn more fuel than you save.
By following these suggestions, you will see your fuel consumption decrease. However, regardless of what you pay at the pump, take heart in the fact at least you’re not paying what the guy in the car next to you at the lights is.
About the author: Michael Parrotte was the Vice President of AGV Helmets America, and a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, Sparx Helmets. In addition, he is the founder and owner of AGV Sports Group.