How to get the most bang for your buck!
Ever wondered how you could Get the Most Money out of Your Fuel While Riding. We at AMERiders are giving you a few tips on how to do just that. We know that fuel prices are sky high and the oil industry basically scoffs at us while prices soar away. We as motorcyclists fair better at the pump than our 4-wheeled counterparts do, however, this doesn’t mean that we have money to burn. So here is our list of ways to help get the most out of your fuel while riding.
Size does matter when it comes to bikes
We have all heard the saying, “Size doesn’t matter”, however, in motorcycles, as a rule, a small bike will burn less fuel that a larger bike. For instance, a moped uses way less fuel than a gorgeous Harley would. Now, we are not saying to go out and buy a moped, as that would be ludicrous. What we are saying is that size really does matter when talking fuel and motorcycles. Let’s compare two bikes of similar design but different sizes to see how they match up with fuel consumption.
The Honda VTX1800 and its lesser companion, at least as far as displacement goes, the VTX1300. When tested the smaller 1300 (33 mpg) faired better than the larger 1800 (45mpg) by a difference of 12mpg. While that seems like a large difference how does your wallet fair with that 12mpg margin? Let’s take a look and find out.
Let’s say both bikes travel around 10k in miles each year, all things being equal, and let’s also assume that the price at the pump is $3 a gallon. (Remember this is an assumption at best) It will cost the 1800 rider around $243 more to tag along next to his buddy riding the VTX1300. Now that cost won’t put anyone in the poor house but it could buy you any number of things, a weekend getaway, or even cool new things for your bike.
The Trick is in the Stock
I know we Americans don’t like to think small, however, we do like to think efficiently. So what are some ways that we can help our bike to sip fuel better? First off, ensure to keep the engine stock most of us are not willing to make this sacrifice, however, in some cases, it will save fuel. The angle to this is that most mods are made to the pipes, air filter, and the jetting change, the biggest complaint afterward is reduced fuel mileage. So, it stands to reason that if you increase the amount of air flowing through the engine during throttling then your will lose mileage. If you’re really intent on running a huge open exhaust, removing the airbox and installing a main jet four sizes larger than stock, we can assure you that mileage will suffer.
Maintaining your ride will help with mileage
It is definitely true that the overall mechanical condition of your bike has a profound effect on its fuel consumption. New bikes don’t have the reliability issues that would have stopped an old bike dead in its tracks. It is because of this that routine maintenance sometimes falls by the wayside. Each issue that gets overlooked will account for a small drop in mileage, riders may not realize anything is wrong until a real problem arises.
Maintaining your Mileage
Let’s take a look at what needs to be maintained to help with fuel mileage. Obviously, carburetor/EFI maintenance, or rather the lack of it, is going to have a major effect on mileage. As far as maintenance for this goes, it’s system is pretty straightforward. Water and Dirt can create mischief so if your bike has a carburetor make sure to drain the float bowl on a regular basis. Carburetor or throttle-body synchronization is a big ticket item, manufacturers recommend checking sync on these at every major service or X amount of miles. The air filter has a direct effect on your mileage when dirt starts to accumulate it will restrict airflow. Ensure following the manufacturer’s recommended intervals for changing out the air filter.
Not all bikes have fuel filters, but they will be found on all EFI-equipped models and on some carbureted bikes as well. It has to be in pretty tough shape before it’ll reduce power enough to compromise fuel economy. There’s no sense waiting for it to plug up completely and leave you stranded either. Replace it on a yearly basis and you can put it out of your mind. Spark plugs normally affect mileage if they are bad, replace the plugs at a recommended interval.
Oil- Synthetic or energy saving?
Improving your fuel mileage by switching from conventional oil to a full synthetic or “energy saving” oil is a yes and no answer. Synthetics do reduce parasitic internal engine friction, but the effects are minimal. As for “energy saving oils” this, not a good idea. In an effort to increase fuel economy many car manufacturers are now specifying very light viscosity oils. These oils work well in low-stress automotive applications but are not suitable for use in motorcycle engines, at least not yet. We should also warn you that many of these oils contain Teflon; using them in most motorcycles, even if the viscosity is suitable, can likely to lead to clutch slippage.
Tires and Tire Pressure
Tires, yes Tires can cause low mileage as well. A low-pressure tire can cause poor mileage, not only that it can also invite handling problems, increase wear and also increase the bike’s rolling resistance. For every pound of air below the recommended pressure accounts for a 0.4 percent drop in mileage, so a tire 5 pounds low can reduce your fuel mileage by 2 percent, and yes, double that for both tires. Simply check your tires on a weekly basis and make certain they’re always inflated to the correct pressure. Another important note is to resist the temptation to overinflate the tires. Overinflated tires may increase the fuel mileage, but they also create handling problems.
Will all this bring the oil barons to their knees? No, it won’t but you can thumb your nose at them while saving a few bucks at the pump every time you fill up. Increasing your fuel mileage comes in small gains, plus a well-maintained bike is also a safer more reliable bike as well.
And as always….
~Live Free Ride Hard~
AMERiders is all for Getting the Most Money out of Your Fuel While Riding, so ensure your bike is maintained.
And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.
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