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Old 08-21-2011, 02:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Motorcycle for gas saving commutes?

Would it be worth the risk of riding a motorcycle for gas savings? or would it better to do some type of conversion on car i.e an EV, modify my current car's aerodynamics or trying out some hypermilling techniques?

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Old 08-21-2011, 09:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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only way that buying a motorcycle will save fuel is if you buy a SCOOTER..
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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How often have you crashed your motorcycle over how many years with how many miles?
If you have never ridden a motorcycle before and are buying one with the idea of saving gas, then it's most likely a bad idea and you will spend more then you will save.
But if you have a motorcycle already and the gear to go with it and have a good record of riding without crashing or getting run over then it will cost you nothing more then putting fuel in the tank.
At that point it's a matter of looking at your own personal route, for weekend riding people tend to take routes that have less traffic because it is less stress, safer and it is an option, for commuting to work every day on a motorcycle you then have to look at your route, are you choosing a route that is safer but longer and there for going to use the same amount of gasoline?
The increased safety that you can gain from riding a motorcycle is that you can move out of the way of other vehicles easier, the big decrease in safety is that it's harder for other drivers to judge how far away you are and to see you at all and that when/if you get hit you have less around you.
But then if you look at motorcycle crashes you'll notice a pattern, they tend to happen to new or young riders, happen at night or in bad weather, they don't tend to be wearing a helmet and they tend to either be tired or have been drinking, or going to fast, all of those things are things that you have control of, other then the weather.

It's also depends a great deal on the motorcycle you have as to if it will save any gas at all as there are motorcycles out there that get 45mpg but like was pointed out, some scooters get great mileage and cost less, but they also go slower so once again you have to look at your route, is it all 25mph speed limits? scooters are also nice because most places you can park them for free on the side walk and at bike racks so if you are otherwise paying $10 per day in parking then a scooter really could be the way to go, but if you sit in traffic where people are often rear ended and have an otherwise ugly commute a scooter will not work at all and even a motorcycle at that point is going to be a poor choice.

Last edited by Ryland; 08-21-2011 at 12:22 PM..
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Most of my commute is through the streets but there are some places where the speeds are 55 so I dont think a scooter would be good. I was thinking of getting a 250cc which tend to be at 60mpg if not more depending on model.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just remember two things you get free $hit and advice and it is hard to tell the difference some times. Now with that said, in the early 80ís I rode a 650 Yamaha and loved it. Couple of years latter, While riding with my girlfriend on it, I laid it over and havenít rode since except my sons crotch rocket 2 years ago, 90 in 3rd gear 100 feet or so they should be outlawed by the way did not have insurance so I married her so she couldnít sue, this year marks our 25 year wedding anniversary. Anyway, I bought a Suzuki dr200 this year just for gas mileage. I did not get the advertised 105 mpg. I got 74. I changed the front sprocket and now getting 80mpg. I drive 15 miles one way at 55mph(really at 56to 60) and the bike handles it great. My opinion (like a$$holes, I have one ) is find some one with a motorcycle, visit many dealers, just donít jump to quick but find the style you would like and then think small cc if you want fuel economy. I am no expert and I probably havenít done all the research like some have but I say buy a motorcycle ... dive in the water is great
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with Ryland - it all depends...
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I doubt it is worth while but, start with your car gallons used per week, using 45 mpg for the bike figure out how many gallons per week it will use, the difference is gallons saved if you ride it every day.

Convert gallons to dollars, divide the cost of the bike by those dollars, and see how many weeks it will take to break even. Also take miles per week times week to break even and see how many miles that is.

Lastly factor in you most likely won't ride it every day.

45 mpg may seem really low, but its kind of factoring in cost of tires, insurance, helmet etc.... Depending on the bike 5,000 miles a set of tires is normal.

I've had 4-5 bikes in last 10 years, all but one averaged 45 mpg.

If your going to do it, dual sports are great first bikes, the Dr200, xt225 will do what you need for speed, mpg, cheaper tires the sporter bikes, ability to go offroad to learn to ride is a huge plus. But my concern is if you buy new(first time owners tend to) is how many miles the bike needs to last to payfor itself. Better money spent on upgrading/replacing your car if it isn't capable of 35+ mpg.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Bike 10k miles @ 85 MPG = 117 gallons
Car 10k miles @ 33 MPG = 333 gallons
Truck 10k miles @ 19 MPG = 526 gallons

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Old 08-23-2011, 05:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Saving money on a motorcycle. If you don't have a car yes you may save a bit. If you have to pay an extra registration and insurance it is doubtful unless you have a lot of places to go. I don't ride for economy but for sport but ride my bicycle more miles a year than on my motorcycle.

In response to a certain class of motorcycles should be outlawed. What a pitiful idea that is entirely possible by a government who undoubtedly would be also trying to subjugate it's citizens into subjects. Quite the opposite effect that most motorcyclists would want.

The easiest way to reduce the average Joe's carbon footprint is to eliminate cash and require that purchases be made by implanted chips which could be cut off when big brother says you have bought enough. Of course the ruling class would be exempt.

"A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits."
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ďThere's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.Ē
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