While motorcycles are generally one of the more economical forms of travel, (the average motorcycle achieves 56.7 miles per gallon) motorcycle owners still spend around £500 a year on petrol. 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!
Here are 5 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.
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 driving 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 driving will help to reduce your fuel consumption. When accelerating try to ramp up speed steadily and drive 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.
Motorbikes with smaller engines are also cheaper in another important way—motorcycle insurance policies tend to cost less for bikes with smaller engines. For example, the cost of cheap motorcycle insurance ranges from £340 for a 125cc Honda to £424 for a 900cc Yamaha Tracer GT to £846 for a 1200cc BMW R1200 GS.
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.
Other Ways to Save at the Pump
Another way to save on fuel for your motorbike is by using a rewards credit card, sign up to a loyalty programme or look for offers. For example, Tesco recently offered a coupon for 10p off a litre of fuel if you spend £60 or more after discounts and promotions in a single shop (in-store or online at tesco.com/groceries)—while this offer was scheduled to end 25 August 2019 be on the lookout for other offers.
Shell Go+ rewards motorists with discounts of between £1 to £50 off fuel purchases every 10th visit (a visit counts if you've bought at least £10 of petrol or bought £2 of other products, subject to conditions). On the other hand, loyal Sainsbury's customers can earn one Nectar point for every litre of fuel purchased at participating Esso branded service stations.