Sunday, February 3, 2013

Improve your Sports Bikes MPG

 In our end of year survey I asked, ''What would be the best improvement you could make to your motorbike?" and the most common reply was better Economy.

Every year we at EDSBK while on one of our road trips do an ECO challenge, this is mostly to give us something to think about when on the long journeys between fuel stops. We record the miles traveled and the fuel added this gives a reasonably accurate measure of how well the bikes are performing and to make it more interesting make a competition out of it. Over the few days we are away our average MPG ranges from 37 - 52 MPG  depending if we are cruising or going for it. 
  Sports bikes are designed to go fast, the engine is designed to deliver lots of power to the rear wheel and not to deliver lots of MPG. The shape of the sports bike is to cut through the air and its low weight is also an advantage to achieving a higher MPG, but you don't buy a sports bike for its economic fuel usage. Taking advantage of its design and keeping it in a good condition can yield a reasonable MPG figure providing you ride in a fuel conserving way.

The Miracle Product

 At this point I would like to say there is a product out there that's going be the answer to our question giving an average 60mpg to the typical sports bike rider. There isn't one. However, an improvement can be made with some thinking around your bike,kit and riding style.

What works?

 I have been reading other peoples fuel saving tips, there are some good ones out there. Here's some examples of them and my thoughts on how it affects sports bike riders.

 Remove excess weight
EDSBK - Our bikes were designed to be light,  after market exhausts can save a few kilograms for the money they cost, but unless your a racer with a good budget realistically there's not much to be made here. If you worry about saving weight try putting yourself on a diet!

 Use correct tyre pressures.
 EDSBK - We regularly check our tyre pressures, it makes such a difference to how the bike handles and improves MPG. Best of all this improvement only costs 50p

  Slow Down. Twisting the throttle uses more fuel.
 EDSBK - Boring. OK the way to improve here is on roads like motorways and dual carriageways just cruise along in 6th gear at the speed limit, tuck yourself behind the screen and your MPG will be as good as you can get it. Once you get onto the more exciting stretches of road you can give it some beanz as you will have saved a bit of fuel.

 Keep the bike moving, an idling engine does 0 MPG
EDSBK - The advantage of a motorbike is being able to avoid queuing by passing any stationary traffic waiting to get into the field to the car boot sale. Even riding slowly and getting 5 MPG is better than nothing. However if you can see that there's nowhere to go and your going to have a long wait, turn the engine off for the best fuel savings.

  Be aerodynamic, use a full face helmet and tight clothes.
EDSBK - I dont like a face full of dead flies so always use a full face helmet. Last years trip to Scotland rained a lot, so flappy wind catching waterproofs were required on some parts of the trip. On all the bikes the MPG dropped when wearing these, but as our speed was slightly lower due to the poor weather conditions it almost evened things out.

  Keep the bike in good condition
EDSBK - A nicely polished clean bike with correctly aligned wheels,adjusted chain and a fresh set of plugs,oil and filters will improve you MPG by a fraction.
The main thing to remember is the harder the engine works the more fuel it uses and the more money you spend. 

 Change to a different style of motorbike
 EDSBK - Not for me yet. All of the above will help to save fuel, you might get up to an extra 5 MPG if you really try, but you have to ask yourself, why have a sportsbike if you want excellent MPG? If the difference between riding as normal or riding economically on a Sunday morning ride is only 3 or 4 MPG will you even notice when you next fill up the fuel tank. Why worry about fuel costs when the tyres and insurance cost as much as they do?
  For most of us owning a sportsbike is for fun, racing around a circuit on a track day, an escape from the usual daily routine or for a morning out with your mates, so is the best thing just to take it for what it is?
 Of course you can do all the above on any style of motorbikes, but for now I still like, the look, speed, handling and sound of Sports and Superbikes.

 Go green use electricity
EDSBK - Sports bikes that run on electrickery have a few major flaws so far. They weigh more than a petrol bike, and more importantly cant do the mileage, OK 90-100 miles seems to be the figure most manufacturers are quoting which is good enough to get us to the Cafe on a Sunday morning, but how do we get back home? Going touring for a few days would be out of the question. The good thing is these latest electric bikes look right, they have very similar dimensions to the petrol bikes and as time goes by these bikes are getting better. Who knows in 10 years time electric super bikes could out perform petrol bikes and charge times could be just a few minutes. Until then I will be riding my petrol bike.

Some of my favourite Electric Superbikes


Nope I'm not ready for one of these yet!

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