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Old 02-20-2013, 03:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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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?

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Old 02-20-2013, 03:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow!! Impressive list! I had heard of figures "approaching 100 mpg", but never knew some of them far exceeded it!!
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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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...

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Old 02-20-2013, 09:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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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.

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Teresa - '04 BMW F650CS
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Originally Posted by razor02097 View Post
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 So I can only play the 'fill to click, pull back the nozzle a bit, repeat' game

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.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Honda CBR250R FI Single - '11 Honda CBR250R
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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.
My tank fills are way more accurate on my bikes than in any car because you actually see the fuel at the top.
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.
A used Honda PCX125 for $2500 has an automatic and can get 100 mpg at 40 mph but tops out at 60 mph.
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.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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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.

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