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Are bikes truly fuel efficient?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by robsalvv, May 19, 2005.

  1. Here's a thought prompter for ya.

    One of the often quoted justifications for riding is fuel efficiency. Sounds reasonable... but is it really??

    My '97 commodore wagon will get 10ltrs/100km on the highway - sometimes a little better, and weighs near 2 tonnes.

    My 9R will gets just under 6ltrs/100kms [not pushing it] and with me on board weighs something like 310kg.

    On a weight to weight basis the car would seem to be 4 times more fuel efficient. Car = 200kg/litre consumed. Bike = 51kg/litre consumed

    But on a fuel consumed / kms travelled basis, my bike is almost twice as fuel efficient as the car.

    Which one is the more appropriate stat?

    It gets worse when you consider that if me and 3 buddies go for a drive in my car, the fuel economy is still about 10kms/100 kms... but if me a three buddies go for a ride on our 900cc bikes, we'll consume 24ltrs / 100kms...

    I suppose the truly telling stat though is the enjoyment / kms travelled... it's orders of magnitude way better on a bike than a car!

    Just thinking out loud... I'll turn the volume down now.


  2. Fuel effecientcy is exactly what it states. The amount of fuel you burn in comparison to distance travelled. The best way of looking at it is how far will it get you for X amount of fuel. In that case the bike wins. What is the fuel economy of your commo around the city and town??? i'd say it's a fair bet it goes up around 12-14l/100km mark. Whereas your bike's economy won't change so much.

    However it is really like comparing apples and oranges. You just really can't directly compare them on an overall scale because they both have there benefits. The car can take HEAPS if luggage and 5 people but will use significantly more fuel compared with a fully loaded bike with panniers travelling the same distance. I hope what i'm saying is making sense.

  3. What's the bike's efficiancy like when you ride like a granny rather than hard on the trottle?

    As stated before, litres:distance is the better stat. However if you want to include people transported, then for an overall picture, you'd need to look at how most people use their vehicles. 90 odd percent of the time I am the only person in my car, as is the case for most cars on the road. Any single person's going to use less fuel on a bike than a car. How would a ride with mates compare to the car if each bike had a pillion. My bike uses a little more fuel when I take a pillion but if you compared it with the wieght of the bike or the number of people transported over a distance then the fuel useage would improve.
  4. I think the answer you might be looking for is "No, bikes are not especially fuel efficient".

    My girlfriend's Ford Festiva uses around 6L/100km. My Aprilia Pegaso uses around 6L/100km.

    In addition to that, car drivers don't tend to go for a 600km drive to nowhere in particular just for the hell of it.

    Oh and most bike riders also own cars, too ;-)
  5. No way, my RS250 does 7-10litres/100km and its only a 250cc.
  6. It depends what you are riding a bike for!

    If you are riding for economy get something that's economical..........NOT a BIG one!

    If you are riding something big ,economy is NOT what you are after........
  7. So here is a different one for you to think about - thermal efficiency....I BET that a motorcycle engine is more efficient....

    Or (along the same lines) hp/cc....

  8. But I don't wrap my bike engine in thermals.

    Its a Triumph and I have enough trouble keeping it cool on hot days!
  9. lets see, I get under 5L/100km without holding back on a 300kg bike (+rider) and can do the 1/4 mile in 11 seconds.

    or 20-30L/100km in a 1200kg car that can do the 1/4 in over 13.

    looks pretty similar to me, except the bike is much faster. (comparison of a yzf600r vs a pulsar gtir)
  10. I have the same argument with my wife... should I ride to work or drive??
    VFR750 5.6l/100km or the Charade 6l/100km

    if you add up the cost of servicing*... VFR $23 every 5000km Chearde $24 every 5000km...

    If you add cost of tyres... that is where driving becomes cheeper... cherade 4x$40 = $160 (second hand tyres) every 50,000km VFR $492 (new tyres) every 45,000km

    * all servicing is done by ME and using the cheepest avalable oil and oil filter.
  11. To make x amount of horsepower you x amount of fuel. How much fuel you use depends on how much horsepower is required to move your vehicle at a certain speed. You will find that most modern engines will use nearly the same amount of fuel per horsepower -within a few percent. The rest is up to aerodynamics & your own right foot/hand (and how well tuned your engine is) Bikes are generally less aerodynamic than cars so lose out a bit in this respect but less weight to accelerate evens things out a bit. Weight does not have much effect at cruising speed as the increase in rolling resistance is very minor
  12. I've sort of figured that I get the same fuel economy if I ride easy, normal or hard! (about 5 - 5.5l/100km).

    After going for a bash through to marysville (trying to chase gsx-r1000's and busas) and giving full throttle/redline the whole way, I filled up and got about 5.5l/100km! :eek: not much different to normal riding!

    A car won't do that :wink:
  13. If you look at the figures based on litres per km per person for bigger vehicles, things get even more mixed up:

    That's pretty damn good economy, and faster than any car or bike will do it too!

    I've gone from the Range Rover doing ~23L/100kms to the Commondore doing ~11L/100kms, and hopefully next to a bike doing ~7-8L/100kms. The lack of touring range will be a shock to the system though.. :?

    Bugger - now I've "un-lurked", I'll have to wander over to introductions..
  14. Woah dude that is serously fcuked up. Are you sure your doing the maths right??? A new GSXR1000 get a better average then that. Do you ride like Full throttle all the time??? Or maybe that is just 2 strokes for you?? i don't know much about 2 stroke bikes so i cannot comment on that.

    On the note of Bigger = worse fuel economy is not true. Compare a CBR250RR with a new CBR1000RR. I'd bet that the average 250 rider has a worse fuel economy then the average 1000cc bike rider. To get the same speeds etc you have to ring the neck out of the 250 whereas you can just cruise along nicely in the 1000cc thanks to it's uber more amounts of torque. Just something to think about.

  15. Go to India and ride a Honda Hero (75 of 100cc I think) or one of the many scooters. Most bikes there use about 3 litres per 100km.

    High revving 250's are not real good on the juice (ex Across owner speaking from experience here).

    A big twin like the firestorm is around 6 to 6.5 litres per 100k riding in nanna mode.

    Bikes seem cheaper because you put less fuel in them but more often. I hate putting 80 litres in the Ford wagon every couple of weeks but don't mind put 16 litres in the bike a couple of times a week.
  16. Jeez .. how do you manage this? I couldn't get anymore than 15,000km at a complete stretch. What sort of rubber do you run? I'm astounded!!
  17. On the RS250, 170-190km of FUN I need to switch to reserve (full take is 19litres with 3litres reserve). If I take it easy (whats the point) then I can get about 270km before hitting reserve.

    Yes you need to ride the RS250 in powerband (warp speed captain) to be happy. It is a race bike with blinkers. You don't ask a Ferrari driver about fuel economy do you?

    Well you need to pay to play I say, but its still cheaper to run than my car.

    Rear tyres suppose to last about 8-10k km before they are completely worn. I do run softer sticker tyres.
  18. 4.5L/100km, thrashed or otherwise. How my bike is ridden seems to have little effect on the fuel economy... granny rider might see 4.2L/100km :p
  19. My Across is 6L - 100km.
    As of last night I'm also the proud new owner of another Suzuki but this one has 4 wheels. Bought myself a 2 door soft top Vitara, filled it up from empty and it only took $37 of petrol :shock: as opposed to the EA I traded in which would take $60 to fill up. I'll let you know how many Km's I get out of my new toy :D
  20. 380km for about 12 litres and then another 60km or so on the two litre reserve. Of course depends on how well (or badly...:LOL:) the bike is ridden. Averages about 31 km per litre or about 3.5litres/100km.