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stillsearching 02-20-2013 03:16 AM

50cc scooter real world MPG?
 
Something I noticed while perusing lists like this:

MPG Guide: The Fuel Economy Of 250 Top Selling Scooters

Modern scooters like the 50cc Honda Dio 144mpg?? What sorcery is this... (well technically i'm not surprised, but I was surprised when I first discovered it) What I mean is, others on the list get like HALF that, it's like things have really climbed into the stratosphere for some of the newest scooters. I mean on that list it's exclusively 50cc scooters (except for the 90cc honda joker) above 100mpg. And yet some others don't even post 70mpg which baffles me.

Or is the mpg figures actually a lie? I've read people saying their Dio gets 75mpg, is it no magic but marketing, and things like driving 18mph that you'll never see otherwise... what i'm really asking is, what will I honestly see for MPG for modern vs older scooters? Is it driving it easy or keeping up with the 40mph faster urban roads? In my seeking of extreme efficiency i'm willing to join the ranks of the townbound rarely exceeding 30-40mph, but if I don't actually get well over 100mpg I don't see the point, since it sounds like 125cc motorcycles get a pretty solid real world 90mpg and 250cc ones in the 70-80mpg range even driven poorly. And when I read of ecomodders getting 90mpg plus on a Ninja 250cc, and there's probably little if any room for further improvement on a tiny scooter as it's probably wrapped to 110% just trying to keep up (no P&G here), I wonder whether the 250cc is the way to go.


PS are there any older (ie cheap used, ie what can I get for like $500? :P) 4 stroke scooters that will get me 100mpg since once I start saving fuel money I can save up for something better later?

wmjinman 02-20-2013 03:45 AM

Wow!! Impressive list! I had heard of figures "approaching 100 mpg", but never knew some of them far exceeded it!!

stillsearching 02-20-2013 07:16 AM

But are they real? :P Even one commenter with a Dio said "bullsh__" getting half that... i'm wondering if they get the same mileage wound out at 40mph as they would at 25mph.

razor02097 02-20-2013 07:58 AM

As a person that owns a motorcycle with a 3 gallon fuel tank let me say that it is VERY difficult to get accurate fuel economy calculations. After 120-130 miles I put about 2 gallons in. I have to look at a physical reference inside the fuel tank to determine when the tank is full. The smaller the fuel tank on a vehicle the more the fuel economy calculations can vary in 2 ways... range and volume. Here is an example....

I ride my motorcycle 120 miles then fill the tank with 1.925 gallons. That works out to 62.3MPG right? I ride another 120 miles and fill the tank with 2 gallons even that is 60MPG which is a 2.3MPG difference.

I drive my car 320 miles then fill the tank with 10.925 gallons. That works out to 29.3MPG. I drive another 320 miles and fill the tank with 11 gallons even that is 29MPG which is only a .3MPG difference.

Both vehicles the second scenario took .075 gallons more however you can see since the motorcycle had less range and took less total fuel that tiny amount of fuel made a HUGE difference in fuel economy calculations!


.075 gallons is about 1.2 cups... I don't know about you but looking in a 2" filler port on a fuel tank I can't tell if I've put 1.2 cups more in than the last time... I would assume the manufacturer has much more accurate means of measuring fuel economy than the average Joe... However I wouldn't discount the average Joe because we all know OEM will inflate fuel economy numbers...

user removed 02-20-2013 09:17 AM

Of the 5 bikes I now own, my favorite is my Suzuki TU250X. The others are a 71 CB350, 87 Yamaha SRX250, 87 Honda Rebel 450 and a 05 Kawasaki Vulcan 500. My average speeds are just under 40 MPH. It usually takes me a little less than 35 minutes to ride 20 miles, through 23 traffic lights.

Best tank for the 2009 Suzuki was 98 MPG, worst was 80. It has a low fuel level warning light and I have no problem with consistent refills. EFI, catalyst, pushing 6k miles with two oil changes. Bought it for $2300 with 2800 miles.

A scooter would be a total frustration for me since it could not average anything close to 40 MPH. I started riding again after decades on a Kawasaki Eliminator 125, which got about the same mileage as the Suzuki and I had to run it full throttle to keep up with traffic, which although it is not necessary, is essential for timing the 23 ights in 20 miles.

I usually only get caught by 2-5 and those are not timed for the road, but tripped by crossflow traffic, and very stupidly at that.

regards
Mech

Ryland 02-20-2013 05:53 PM

A lot of the Honda Scooters are using a tiny water cooled 4 stroke engine and top out at 30mph because that is the top legal speed for a 50 cc scooter in most states.
I used to have a Tomos Arrow scooter, they are a 2 stroke engine with oil injection and a two speed automatic gear box, I'm 250lb and would get 100mpg on it almost every fill up, kept track over a number of different tanks of gas.
Most scooters mpg are tested with a 140 pound rider, so with a heavier rider or hills the mileage will drop, but 120 to 140mpg on a honda with a little 4 stroke engine seems pretty reasonable, some of them even have fuel injection now.

alvaro84 02-26-2013 02:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by razor02097 (Post 357303)
As a person that owns a motorcycle with a 3 gallon fuel tank let me say that it is VERY difficult to get accurate fuel economy calculations.

True, smaller volume is bad for the accuracy (my Teresa has a 4-gallon tank, it's a bit better). This is why I try to go as long as I can with a tank, well beyond the low fuel warning (there's officialy 4 liters | more than a gallon fuel left then, which is easily more than 100km, even under the worst conditions) - to minimize this inaccuracy, and to maximize range.

Funny enough, but I can fill up our motorcycles much more accurately than our car. They have relatively wide filler neck where I can physically see the fuel level. The YARDIS has a narrow filler which is obstructed by either the nozzle or a little metal valve plate, so I usually don't have the faintest idea where the fuel level is :confused: So I can only play the 'fill to click, pull back the nozzle a bit, repeat' game :o

Which can result in spilling the expensive and toxic liquid, further deteriorating the already uncertain accuracy :( Yes, I'm new at it (first car, first few tanks) and still practicing, but I'm not amused by this game.

sendler 02-26-2013 06:59 AM

50cc 4 stroke scooters won't make 40 mph. Honda is fuel injected with a cat and an O2 sensor across the board on all their small bikes. They probably will do 140 mpgUS at 25 mph but where can you comfortably ride that slow in the US. Many of the air cooled 110cc bikes in India get close to 140 mpgat 30 mph and top out at 50.
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My tank fills are way more accurate on my bikes than in any car because you actually see the fuel at the top.
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The Swiss army knife of hypermiling motorcycles right now is the CBR250R. You can buy a used one in the paper for $3000. 90 mpgUS at 40 mph. Top speed of 92 mph. Occasional two up capable if you work at it and don't have hilly super highways.
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A used Honda PCX125 for $2500 has an automatic and can get 100 mpg at 40 mph but tops out at 60 mph.
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You can get a used Insight for $10,000 if you search nation wide that still runs good and get 60 mpgUS in traffic. A little more if it is not stop and go and you go extreme with a kill switch and a MIMA.

mechman600 02-27-2013 12:02 PM

I had an 01 Yamaha BWS50. I bought it as a beater for cheap. At first it would do 55 km/h (34 mph) and get 65 mpg. After a tune up (new variator rollers and belt) it would do 65 km/h (40 mph) and get 80 mpg. Then I got crazy and installed a 70cc top end kit and a tall final drive gearset. Then it would do 90 km/h (56 mph), 100 km/h (62 mph) if I tucked behind the dash. I must have looked ridiculous. After that it would get 100 mpg.

Lazarus 02-27-2013 01:06 PM

I had a Yamaha C3. Watercooled and fuel injected. Great Scoot to ride. Topped out at about 45mph. I drove it everywhere at about 35 mph, that seemed to be the sweet spot for FE. Here's the gas log.Even riding it like I stole it I got over 100 mph. It was an outstanding ride. :turtle:

renault_megane_dci 02-27-2013 01:43 PM

Basically, properly driven gear bikes should see more mpg than equivalent scooter because on a scooter you can't fiddle with the gears, someone clever did all the work for you, you paid money to start with to save yourself the hassle of thinking (and you will pay twice throught running costs (belt, fast disapearing tires and around 10% more fuel))

That being said, FI is a very good MPG boost, especially on smaller high performance engine (bikes and scooter have performance engine, they have 100cv / liter and more)

Honda100 03-15-2013 10:36 PM

I didn't run through the whole post, but I do have a wide variety of scooters and motorcycles. Also keep in mind that all of my mpg figures are very accurate as I use a measuring pitcher to add fuel to my bikes and top them off to the very brim (which you can do on a bike like a Super Cub or Metropolitan 50).

Anyway, my observations are this. Japanese fuel economy numbers are based on a cruising speed of 18 mph, which of course you just can't do. My Metropolitan (called the Crea Scoopy in Japan) is rated at 71 km per liter or 167 mpg in carb form, and 78 km/l in FI form. Now at 18 mph my Metro runs at roughly 4500 rpm and 1/4 throttle. At 30 mph it's at 7000 rpm, and at 40 (where you need to be most of the time on "normal" roads), it's at 8200 rpm and hitting the redline. So little wonder I "only" get 97 mpg. Also to note, scooters are geared for acceleration and speed, so instead of being able to take advantage of better fuel economy, you're constantly over 4-5k rpm so that you can keep up with traffic and no be run over.

Now my Super Cub 100 is geared a lot taller, and even at 40 mph it's doing a smidge under 5000 rpm. At that speed I get about 130 mpg. However, if I drop that speed to 20 mph like the Japanese ratings suggest, I am well over 250 mpg and even managed 320 on one tank. US mpg. At 20 mph and tall gears, it runs at 2200 rpm in top gear, and if you can imagine a 102cc motor at 2200 rpm, it's really nothing.

Then take my Wave 125, it has 4 speeds vs. 3 and is geared even taller so that at 20 mph it's around 1500 rpm or just above idle. Again, you can manage 200 plus mpg on it at that speed, but of course when you need to keep it at 1/2 throttle or above, you're down to 120-130 mpg again.

Anyway, I guess my point is is that cars are a lot easier to predict because they are driven in roughly the same circumstances and throttle ranges most of the time. No one can keep their foot glue to the floor for obvious reasons, so it's all 20-30% throttle most of the time, where as motorcycles and scooters need to be flogged to match speeds on road with the cars they are surrounded with. Also, remember motorcycles have the aerodynamic properties of a parachute so the faster you go, a MASSIVE decrease in fuel economy takes place.


Also, in the real world, I've found that my FI bikes (the Wave is fuel injected) isn't really that much better than the carbed ones for fuel economy. I think it's down to them being air cooled and run a tad on the rich side. Also, the fuel injected Metro (Crea Scoopy) even though it's water cooled, does noticeably worse than my carbed 02 Metro for reasons I don't understand. The 02 would do 100 plus mpg all the time whereas I am lucky to break 100 with the FI one.

ciderbarrel 03-16-2013 12:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by razor02097 (Post 357303)
ere is an example....

I ride my motorcycle 120 miles then fill the tank with 1.925 gallons. That works out to 62.3MPG right? I ride another 120 miles and fill the tank with 2 gallons even that is 60MPG which is a 2.3MPG difference.

I drive my car 320 miles then fill the tank with 10.925 gallons. That works out to 29.3MPG. I drive another 320 miles and fill the tank with 11 gallons even that is 29MPG which is only a .3MPG difference.

Both vehicles the second scenario took .075 gallons more however you can see since the motorcycle had less range and took less total fuel that tiny amount of fuel made a HUGE difference in fuel economy calculations!


.075 gallons is about 1.2 cups... I don't know about you but looking in a 2" filler port on a fuel tank I can't tell if I've put 1.2 cups more in than the last time... I would assume the manufacturer has much more accurate means of measuring fuel economy than the average Joe... However I wouldn't discount the average Joe because we all know OEM will inflate fuel economy numbers...

MPG is not a linear measurement. Gallons per 100 Miles is linear and differences can be compared accurately

120/1.925 = 62.338 MPG = 1.604 G/100M
120/2.000 = 60.000 MPG = 1.667 G/100M
That is a difference of 0.063 gallons (8.064 cups, which is just over 1 cup) of gas over 100 miles

320/10.925 = 29.291 MPG = 3.414 G/100M
320/11.000 = 29.091 MPG = 3.437 G/100M
That is a difference of 0.023 gallons (2.944 cups, which is just over a 1/3rd a cup) of gas over 100 miles.

I would not say that using .075 gallons of gas more on the 2nd tank makes a "huge difference" in fuel economy since it would only use 8 cups more gas over 100 miles. At those high MPGs, .075 gallons isn't that big of a deal, small tank or not. Its difference in fuel consumption between tanks vs the car was only 0.040 gallons (5.12 ozs, which is about 2/3rd a cup)

On the other hand, look at this example with a truck using the bike mileage to see how MPG isn't linear:
120 miles and fill up 14.925 gallons vs 120 miles and fill up 15.000 gallons
120/14.925 = 8.040 MPG = 12.439 G/100M
120/15.000 = 8.000 MPG = 12.500 G/100M
That is a difference of 0.061 gallons (7.808 ozs, or just under 1 cup)of fuel over 100 miles.

The bike had a difference of 2.338 MPG and 0.063 G/100M
The truck had a difference of 0.040 MPG and 0.061 G/100M

See how the difference in MPG doesn't mean a thing? The bike had 2.298 more MPG but used only 0.002 gallons (0.256 ozs, or about half a TABLESPOON) more fuel over 100 miles.

You have to look at fuel used over a set distance, not a distance traveled over a set volume.

renault_megane_dci 03-16-2013 03:22 PM

Real world FE of vehicles is very much dependant on the driver's skills and inclination.

Since all vehicles are tested and every vehicle manufacturer cheats as much as possible, I assume we can compare the numbers given to compare the vehicles to each other even if it is not easy to see those numbers on your fuel gauge.

pepperedchicken 03-25-2013 09:42 AM

never got much over 100mpg with my old honda metropolitan.. but ALWAYS wot everywhere and revving at stops lol :)

Honda100 03-25-2013 09:50 AM

^^^ I still have yet to average 100 mpg with my Metro, and I usually only use 3/4 throttle.

stillsearching 04-13-2013 02:32 AM

Well my biggest thing is trying to figure out what reasonable speeds give what mpg. Perhaps a larger displacement bike would actually get better mileage being capable of pulse and glide, whereas a 125cc that's running flat out to keep up at 60mph would do worse?

From running numbers and such it almost seems that if I were to get a 50cc scooter, I almost might as well just run a motorized bicycle - in minnesota we can have 2hp and run 30mph on a bicycle on the street, gas or electric. With the general cheapness of electricity where I am, that would defeat even the best scooters i'd guess in cost per mile without question though i'd still need a 50 mile range or hauling spare batteries with.

However I don't really want to take 2 hours per day commuting when i'm overworked as it is - a straight shot on the highway makes the total commute time just under 1 hour. So i'm still trying to find some bike solidly in the 75mpg or better in the real world at highway speed to do this run since at 50ish I might as well run a geo metro. It's seeming like the Ninja 250 might be one of the best fallbakc choices since it wont be overstressed and is about the smallest bike that can actually pulse and glide by what I can tell, everyone else needing hugely more displacement to do so. There are other 'cool' bikes cruisers and such that even at 125cc I wouldn't mind riding around in the slightest, but it seems they only are capable of better mileage at the slowest of speeds, and they aren't available any cheaper on the used market/everything still over 2k that i've seen.

So partly what i'm wondering now (as the topic shifts away from scooters afterall) is what kind of 'medium displacement' mpg figures are obtainable with P&G on a bike? Because that's a total topic change i'll start a different one along that line.

alvaro84 04-13-2013 02:43 AM

If 650cc complies your definition of "medium displacement", then you can look Teresa's log on the left of my posts. We get essentially the same FE with a 250cc Hyosung cruiser (GV250). Both run with the factory gearing.

ciderbarrel 04-13-2013 04:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stillsearching (Post 366443)
It's seeming like the Ninja 250 might be one of the best fallbakc choices since it wont be overstressed and is about the smallest bike that can actually pulse and glide by what I can tell, everyone else needing hugely more displacement to do so.


The 300 is fuel injected and will get better mileage. Plus you don't have to play with the choke and waste fuel warming up the engine.

sendler 04-13-2013 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stillsearching (Post 366443)
a straight shot on the highway makes the total commute time just under 1 hour. So i'm still trying to find some bike solidly in the 75mpg or better in the real world at highway speed

You have just described the Honda CBR250R. It is the only stock bike that can do that. A Rebel or a TU250 will be tapped out at 70 mph. The CBR is still singing. There aren't any used ones yet but there are some left over 2012's for about $3,800. Ninja250's can get close to 75 mpg and good used ones are around for $2,000 but I don't like carburetors. The new 300 is a nice bike with more power and fuel injection but won't match the Honda on fuel consumption and has less room around the tank for taller rider's knees.

sendler 04-13-2013 08:34 AM

P.S.
Your not going to find anything that is reliable for $1,000 now. It is Spring.

longprime 08-06-2013 02:28 AM

New Taoi, 50cc, still in breakin @170miles/285km. Today, ran it out-of-gas... took 0.95gals, but manual says 6L & dealer said 1.5 gals. When gauge hit E, I had another 50km. Running 92 octane, pure gas. Driving scooter hard, full throttle on hills up/down on ~40% of time. Based on 2 fills, 104mpg

sendler 08-06-2013 05:37 AM

I'm getting over 100 mpgUS at 50 mph with E10 gas in my Honda PCX150 including a couple miles on the highway at 65 mph.

COcyclist 08-10-2013 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stillsearching (Post 357275)
PS are there any older (ie cheap used, ie what can I get for like $500? :P) 4 stroke scooters that will get me 100mpg since once I start saving fuel money I can save up for something better later?

I picked up a used Chinese 50cc 4 stroke scooter for $300 about three years ago. I use only in town as the top speed is about 30 mph. I usually run it wide open sometimes with a passenger and hills and still get right around 100 mpg. This scooter sold new on-line for only $800 shipping included.

Grant-53 08-10-2013 10:11 PM

For comparison of FE by displacement and rpm look at the mass rate of flow. That is how many cc per minute of air/fuel mixture is going through the engine. Compression ratio, air drag, and weight all affect FE. What you may want to ask is the total average annual cost per mile. This includes fuel cost, depreciation, and the value of your time spent on the road.
In Northern climates traction in snow and wind chill are key safety issues that need to be seriously addressed. Dual purpose tires, a full fairing, and a heater would be necessary on a motorcycle. An electric mountain bike with a Mullen fairing is the cheapest outlay but you need to value your time on the road. If you build your own Vetter style full fairing the drag will be cut in half so range or FE will increase by 50%.
Driving overtired is like driving drunk.

SentraSE-R 08-10-2013 11:55 PM

With >100,000 miles ridden on motorcycles, I can say 144 mpg is indeed possible with a 50 cc. scooter. My mid-60s Honda Cub got 145 mpg. I owned a series of two-stroke cycles which were gas guzzlers compared to the four-stroke Honda. My 90 cc 1970 Suzuki TS-90 averaged 75 mpg, my '66 Suzuki T20 (250 cc.) X-6 Hustler got 55 mpg, and my 500 cc T500 Titan got 30 mpg. My '77 Suzuki GS-1000 (four-stroke) got 50 mpg. All were ridden WFO with no clue about hypermiling.

sendler 08-11-2013 07:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grant-53 (Post 384606)
Dual purpose tires, a full fairing, and a heater would be necessary on a motorcycle.

Heated gear such my full set of jacket liner, glove liners, pants liners, and foot beds from Venture Heat are indispensable to a two wheeled commuter depending on the length of your commute. Mine is almost one hour each way and there many mornings that start at 45F even in July. I rarely ever turn this gear up past 40% even late into the season at 30F. I am toasty warm. Power draw is minimal.
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12V Heated Glove Liners by VentureHeat
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A nice full face helmet is also a must for cold weather. You must use a pin lock visor to eliminate fogging and I appreciate the tight seal all the way around my neck offered by a modular helmet like my Schuberth C3 or the Shoei Neotech.
.
.
Schuberth C3 Helmet - RevZilla
.
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Unfortunately, snow tires for motos are nearly nonexistent. I may try to find an automotive snow tire small enough to put on my PCX150 for winter use around town.
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The PCX150 is expensive but it is far and away the most advanced high fuel economy two wheeler on the market that is almost super highway capable. I run mine for one exit at 65 mph ever day but I wouldn't want to ride it all the way home on the interstate at redline so I keep to the back highways at 55 mph and still break 100 mpgUS. Used PCX125's are starting to pop up in the $2,000 range.

ProDigit 09-29-2015 11:36 PM

I had regular 100MPG on my 63cc scooter, sometimes even 105MPG.
I think it's very possible, when the scooter is variator limited.
Meaning, if the engine is going at max legal speed (in many places that is 30-35MPH), while doing only 5 or 6k rpm. The engine can do more, but the RPM limitation allows it to run less hot, and more efficient, compared to a lower geared scooter, that will do the same speed at 7.5k rpm.

Also, a fuel injected 50cc running 35MPH at about 4-5k rpm could easily exceed 120MPG. 144MPG is a bit hard to attain, but possible, especially when getting rid of the Variator, and install a gearbox (usually tri or quad-speed gearbox).
Speeds above 40MPH tax the 50cc too much, and will make it run less efficient.
Also speeds above 40MPH bring more wind resistance.


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