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Imagine jumping on your bike, starting the engine, feeling your heartbeat increase to prepare for the adventure ahead — only to realize you don’t even have enough gas in your tank to get you further than the end of the driveway. You’re frustrated, the adrenaline has left and the next step is to walk over to the gas station to pay up.

If you’ve got the itch to ride, it is going to be the only thing on your mind; don’t let an empty gas tank ruin the fun. Sure, you may not have a bike with excellent mileage, but there are things you can do to improve it. Avoid the headache: check out these recommendations to assure your bike is going as far as it can.

Choose Routes Carefully

When traveling long distance, people often want to take the scenic route. You know, the one with the beautiful mountain views and winding roads perfect for cruising. While those options may be jaw-dropping, they are definitely not the most gas efficient. Motorcycles have the ability to save you about 3.6 gallons of gas per week compared to a car, but only if utilizing the most gas efficient processes possible. Riding on highways means less stop and go because you keep a more constant speed. Driving through winding roads, or up and down that mountainside, is stressful for the bike. There’s a large amount of braking and accelerating, all of which quickly deplete your fuel source.

Eliminate Weight

Despite the recent trends of tiny houses and smaller-than-ever compact cars, people love and need storage space. Believe it or not, there’s plenty of storage options available to strap to your motorcycle. Amongst those are leather saddlebags. While these are aesthetically pleasing and functional, they are also heavy. This excess weight will not only slow you down, but also negatively affect gas mileage. Some of you may be thinking, “Well, what if I’m traveling long distance and desperately need storage?” If that’s the case, choose one of the other motorcycle luggage options. Soft luggage is lighter and easier to carry, while weatherproof luggage gives you protection from the elements.

Upgrade Your Investment

You might believe your motorcycle is an extension of yourself. I get it. However, if riding long-distance is your thing, or you just need to save some money on gas, a different bike could be the solution. Gas mileage may not be the top reason for switching to a newer bike, but do you have a long list of other problems? It never hurts to be just a little more conscious of how things can be improved. For example, the Kawasaki KLX250 is the lightest bike currently on the market — weighing in at 138 kg plus fuel — but it’s a street bike. Maybe you ride a touring bike right now, but you’re no longer going on the long rides you used to, and you want to adapt to that. If that’s the case, you can consider a cruiser or something a little lighter. No matter what you’re looking for, the results are clear, lighter equals better mileage.

Make Your Trip Count

No matter what type of trips you’ll be taking, there are numerous ways to improve the gas mileage of your bike. Paying attention to your route, type of baggage, as well as your bike model, will drastically increase your miles per gallon. Remember, those highways provide a flat, straight method of getting where you want to go. Better yet, it’ll save your tires better than many local roads. Of course, there will be times where you want to take the scenic route, that’s what the bike is for, right? But remember that gas can add up and Americans spend an average of $2,000 per year on gas. So, weigh the options and make your trip count. You’ll quickly see that these small decisions can yield a big impact, ensuring the health and livelihood of one of your most prized possessions.

Heather Harrington
About the Author

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