Gas prices are high at the pump and rising higher, and prospective motorcycle buyers -- especially first-time buyers -- often cite fuel efficiency as their No. 1 reason for wanting to swap four wheels for two.
It’s always a good swap, as far as mileage goes. Even the thirstiest gas-guzzling motorcycles get more miles per gallon than the most economical cars. Honda’s road racing CBR1000RR gets a reported 41 mpg, for example, while a big beast like BMW’s R1200GS gets close to 50 mpg. A powerful road bike like KTM’s 1190 RC8 gets close to 40 mpg, as does a mid-range cruiser like the Moto Guzzi V7.
But some motorcycles are really fuel efficient. Advances in engine technology, fuel injection technology and tire technology, among other things, have produced a wide variety of motorcycles that get 60 mpg and up.
A bike like Suzuki’s sporty GZ250 gets 80-plus miles to the gallon, while Yamaha’s V Star 250 gets more than 90, according to a study compiled by the online moto destination TotalMotorcycle.com.
The website has been compiling fuel economy figures for more than a decade, working with most of the major manufacturers and information supplied by some of its network of 3 million monthly visitors. (It has a network of 147 million visitors, and has logged 4.3 billion hits since it started in 2000.) TotalMotorcycle.com publishes its fuel economy figures once a year.
Check out the accompanying gallery for images and details of 10 of the most fuel-efficient bikes, with fuel economy estimates supplied by totalmotorcycle.com and other sources.