Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - BobbyG
When I was filling up the other day there was a guy filling a small scooter. I commented to him along the lines that he probably got more miles to the gallon than anyone else on the road. Unfortunately he didn't have a clue what his consumption was, and I am not sure if his scooter was big enough to even take a gallon!

Anyway it made me think and on a lazy Sun morning like now, I have just browsed both the Honda and Suzuki websites, and although they feature all their models and tell you their compression rates etc there is no mention anywhere (that I could see) of fuel consumption.

Why is that - is it not legal like with cars? I am sure every car website would have detailed mpg figures. Do Motorbikes have the same urban / extra urban etc figures to comply with ?

Also, what is the realistic fuel consumption of say something like a 125cc Scooter? Presumably if a 1 litre car can do 50mpg, then a smaller engined, lightweight, more aerodynamic with less electricals scooter should do hundreds to the gallon?

I would have thought this would be a boom time for scooter sellers, fuel costs rocketing, summer weather in, lots of people maybe to be persuaded to switch over? Certainly something I would maybe consider if the information was available!
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Pugugly
A CB125 we had here for a while managed a respectable 80 to a 100, the BMW manages somewhere around 60mpg however hard you ride it, I think that the little scooter things are in triple figures. Most of the types I see around seem to view them as mere transport rather than a something they'd want to know anything about.
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - BobbyG
I like the sound of the triple figures! I am in the fortunate position of having a van at work to drive round if needed, so the cheaper the better for getting the 12 urban miles to work.

Of course the cheapest is by cycling but last time I did this, on 22 April, my house went on fire and been in temp accomodation since with nowhere to store my bike! Maybe once we get settled again it will be back to cycling but this thought of a scooter has been going round my head for a few years now.

What are the downfalls other than the obvious weather related issues? One website seemed to suggest an oil change very 4k kms?
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Pugugly
Don't buy a moped, especially if you ride on rural roads, they can just about hold their own in towns, if you're after weather protection by one of those step through things, otherwise buy a decent 4 stroke 250cc motorbike and go the Direct Access route. MZ are well regarded now otherwise Japanese is best. Chinese replicas are a mixed bunch. If it was me I'd go for a 250cc motorbike.
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Pugugly
Danish design Chinese made Branson BS125, according to last month's Ride magazine is 1.3k on the road, does 84mpg but is a four stroke..
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Alby Back
Seen quite a few of those bikes with an electric "helper" motor round here. Mind you it's pretty flat here. Strikes me that they would be very cheap transport. May be wrong but I don't think you have to pay specific tax / ins either.
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - maltrap
Scooters used to have a reputation for being unstable on wet roads. Perhaps a small motorbike would be safer.
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - ifithelps
Quite - bigger wheels = more stability.

The step-thru Hondas have been around for years and are reckoned to be unbeatable for reliability/longevity.

Not sexy, but very sensible.
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Pugugly
* te

Photograph of HONDA CH

4 photos
2001 X Reg HONDA CH CH250 ELITE SCOOTER 250cc (trade)


* 4,935 miles
* Silver
* 250 cc
* X reg (2001)

4,935 miles, Metallic Silver. Electric Start, Full Service History, Garaged, Grab rail, All books and spare keys present, Excellent condition. Very similar to Honda Spacey scooter. Ultra-reliable Honda 4


From Bike Treader
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - DP
Most <= 600 cc bikes are capable of 50 mpg on the road unless you go mad with the throttle in my experience. I don't think I ever got the ZZR below 45, even caning it, and touring it's more like 55 mpg. A friend regularly sees 45 mpg from his ZRX1100 and he's not gentle with it.

I did manage to get the ZX7R down to 32 mpg average over a tankful once, but that was being very, very silly indeed. There is no way I would ride like that again, let alone regularly.


Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - b308
I started off with an FZ50 but don't know what the consumption was, that was followed by a Honda C90 (step through) but I couldn't get used to the semi auto gearbox and it was swapped for a Honda CG125 - reconed to be the ultimate commuter bike - top speed about 60-ish, dead simple 4 stroke single cylinder engine (the older ones like mine were drum brakes all round) and no problems getting 125mpg even when I was pushing it (it was quicker than most cars from traffic lights!). The similar Suzuki offerings are all over 100 mpg as well, as I believe, are the Chinese clones. Many of the 125 scooters are as well though like its been said above they don't feel as stable as a proper bike like the CG - I'm currently looking again at a small 125 motorbike - tax is £15 and insurance around £50!

My last bike was a GPz305 which had no problems getting well over 70mpg, but could hold its own on open roads with the cars....

If you're buying a small bike for commuting then be careful not to get ones that are designed for the boy racer (I think the CBR125 by Honda is an example), they lose the economy for out and out performance - a 125 can go awfully quick when tuned! Go for one that is advertised as a "commuter" or possibly "custom" as they are often low tuned as well - you should have no probs getting over 100mpg!

BTW make sure you wear the right gear - if you come off wearing a T shirt and no gloves don't expect much sympathy when they clean you up in hospital!! (a tip from the paramedics when I came off once - I was dressed suitably, btw!).
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - BobbyG
b308, your last paragraph reminded me of when a friend worked in a large hospital. They received a letter from a biker claiming compenstion for his leathers. Apparently he was brought in by ambulance after being seriously injured in a crash.

In theatre they cut his leathers off him, and apparently he wanted the hospital to pay for new ones!

On my commute to work the highest speed limit is 40mph and to be honest I don't think I would want a bike capable of doing 60mph, think i would find it quite scary and not required in the overall picture.

It would be about getting the balance of highest possible mpg but still being able to get away from the traffic lights (of which there are loads) and not holding everyone up in the process!

My starting point so far is (25 mile return journey)
Cycling - nil cost
Return train journey - £5
Car - probably about £4.50 pure fuel cost, exc wear and tear etc.
Scooter - purchase costs, eqpt costs, running costs. Will these be recouped?

Cycling is the clear winner so far......
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Alby Back
I remember, a long time ago, in a fit of witlessness, hiring a scooter somewhere in the Greek islands. This despite never having ridden anything with an engine before. I know ....I know....Anyway, this thing frightened me to death and I took it back to the hire place the following day and the guy suggested I try one of the step through Hondas with bigger wheels. Peasy easy to ride by comparison. Might have had clutchless manual gears I think?
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Pugugly

I hope you wore appropriate shoes/boots !
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Alby Back
I expect they were safety flip flops ;-(
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - bathtub tom
A drawback of motorbikes/scooters is you freeze in winter, just sitting there in a 30MPH and above wind. A pushbike's much warmer.
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Clanger
My Suzuki V-Strom 650 used to do about 55 mpg until I changed the standard screen for a bigger one. The last couple of tanks have shown a drop to about 50 mpg.
Also, what is the realistic fuel consumption of say something like a 125cc Scooter?
Presumably if a 1 litre car can do 50mpg, then a smaller engined, lightweight, more
aerodynamic with less electricals scooter should do hundreds to the gallon?

What on earth makes you think that motorbikes and scooters are aerodynamic ? There isn't a smooth, contiguous surface to be seen anywhere.

Furthermore, as long as motorcyclists demand, and get, grin-inducing acceleration figures, I can't imagine a motorcycle that would compare, cc for cc, with a car for consumption.
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - b308
B-T - if you are wearing the right gear its quite warm - I used to be an all year round commuter and the only thing I needed was heated handlebar grips and I was ok - still got 'em just in case!

Hawkeye - thats why I suggested a "commuter" bike - they are not geared for acceleration (though they can out accelerate most cars from lights) but for ease of use and mpg...

Bobby - with regard to the 60 speed - its not really necessary but having that extra means that you're not short on power - if your bike tops out at 40 it means you have no leaway and its acceleration will be blunted as well.

One reason I got rid of the FZ50 was because of how dangerous it was in traffic - you had no power to get out of the way and other road users tended to "crowd" you - its not much faster than a pushbike and carries a lot less respect from everyone else.

A 55/65 top speed is in fact a sensible option, even if you never use it - remember that most engines are most efficient at less than full revs so only travelling at 1/2 throttle, instead of flat out like you'd be on a moped, means more mpg and less hassle!

Edited by b308 on 18/05/2008 at 13:34

Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Baskerville
Motorbikes don't use much fuel, but they are nowhere near as efficient as a car. On a mostly motorway trip my car does 40 mpg with four people on board, bikes on the roof, and towing a (small) caravan. Try that with a 125cc scooter. Aerodynamics are the problem for motorbikes and may be the reason why accurate figures are not available. Different sized riders, sitting in different positions, and wearing different clothes, could be dramatically different in terms of mpg.

Edited by Baskerville on 18/05/2008 at 14:48

Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Dynamic Dave
My Honda CB125TDC (that spends most of the time in the corner of the garage these days) used to do 80 to 100 mpg when I used to use it regularly.

On the flip side my old unrestricted Yamaha FS1E (Fizzy) only did approx 30 mpg. Mind you that could have had something to do with it being race tuned ;o)
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - nick62
On the flip side my old unrestricted Yamaha FS1E (Fizzy) only did approx 30 mpg.
Mind you that could have had something to do with it being race tuned ;o)

I presume that means you removed the head gasket and took the baffle out of the silencer :-)))
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Dynamic Dave
I presume that means you removed the head gasket and took the baffle out of the silencer :-)))

No. The previous owner fitted a 60cc barrel and piston. Changed the rotary disc valve and fitted a bigger main jet in the carb. Still had the standard exhaust (with baffles fitted) and the original 50cc head. Had to fit a hotter grade spark plug though as it kept melting the tip of the recommended one.
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - b308
Motorbikes don't use much fuel but they are nowhere near as efficient as a car.

On a motorway I'd agree with you, but around town they are usually far more efficient, they are smaller-engined thus using less fuel, they are carrying around less weight, and, unlike cars, they are usually on the move in heavy traffic, I could get home in 35mins on the biek when it would take 80 mins in the car...

We are talking commuter use here, not motorway use...
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - doctorchris
In my experience, smallish bikes are economical but multi-cylinder blasters are heavy on fuel.
I had a BMW F650, not a big motor, not that fast and only a single. It could only manage around 50mpg inthe town whilst our Honda Jazz could usually manage 44 mpg in similar circumstances.
On a similar point, have you noticed how many motorcycle users, even on scooters, line up behind the cars at junctions rather than move to the front of the queue.What's the point?
Motorcycles are really not very fuel efficient.

Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Pugugly
....but they are easy to park in towns and can queue bust in the right hands. Just changed the bike to full business use so may well end up doing my 6 mile commute by bike.
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - paulb {P}
IME, a 125cc scooter/light motorcycle will give better mpg than a 50cc, purely because the 50 is working at or near max rpm the whole time, particularly if 2-stroke; the 125 less so.

This was illustrated perfectly by the Bandit's predecessor, a Kymco Cobra Racer scooter bought for my (then-urban) commute - for some reason the good people at Kymco had kitted it out with a rev counter. Idle was about 1,500, the centrifugal clutch would begin to bite at 4,500 and cruising rpm, depending on speed, was within 500 rpm either side of 7,000. Red line was at 8,000. Best ever mpg was about 80. My Dad's 125cc Kymco scooter will do better than 100 mpg on similar usage.

Bandit mpg (600cc) is 52+ mimsing, 46-48 ridden normally - which, given the performance compared with cars and the gloriously old-tech engine (4 carbs and manual choke) and my not-inconsiderable (and unaerodynamic) bulk on the back, seems pretty good.
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Harleyman
It's not often Harley riders can obtain bragging rights, but my XL1200R Sportster averages over 60 mpg, and that's with Stage 1 tuning and loud pipes. for a relatively large-engined (and pretty quick) bike that's rather good.

My old 1972 Sportster had a top-end rebuild a few years ago, and during the running -in period I was getting close on 75 to the gallon.... mind you it was the most frustrating and boring 500 miles I ever did on a Harley! One thing I don't miss at all on modern vehicles is running-in the engine.

Edited by Harleyman on 18/05/2008 at 23:21

Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Garethj
On a mostly motorway trip my car does 40 mpg with four people on board
bikes on the roof and towing a (small) caravan. Try that with a 125cc scooter.

From what I see on the road every day, most cars have 1 person inside. If you want something that'll cope with every eventuality (6 people, towing something, bikes on the roof, over a muddy field) then you'll end up with a decent sized 4x4.
Aerodynamics are the problem for motorbikes

Agreed, most bikes are awful for aerodynamics. The OP was after some figures, and my 125cc Honda Varadero would do around 70mpg, a CG125 is 80mpg minimum and 100mpg more often. My old Honda Hornet 600 was around 45mpg if I remember right, and the ZZR1100 gives 48mpg every day.

That's 150bhp from 1100cc, but it's so fast that you just can't ride it hard for long - you'd be dead or banned within 10 miles. Even travelling quite quickly the bike is laughing its head off at less than 1/2 full revs so consequently it's just sipping its unleaded.

I agree with a post up there somewhere, in traffic (and almost everywhere has heavy traffic these days) a bike is more efficient than a car because it's almost always moving.
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - DP
One of the most aerodynamically efficient bikes around is the Suzuki Hayabusa, but even that illustrates perfectly the effect of wind resistance on a motorbike. Look at the acceleration times:

0-60 2.74s
0-100 4.92s
0-150 10.24s
0-180 18.84s

100-150 mph takes longer than 0-100.
150-180 mph takes nearly twice as long as 0-100.

Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - oldpostie
The old Honda CG125 four stroke single was good. It did about 120 mpg. One took me from Huntingdon to Munchengladbach with its little tank.
My last big bike, a 750 Kawasaki was about 45 mpg.
The 800cc BMW did barely 40 mpg, i.e. slightly more economical than a Vauxhall with an extra 1000cc.
I don't think small two strokes are very economical, but the old Honda step-thru 90 was amazing, if you could get used to it.
The thing about bikes is that they are far better in traffic, and can be great fun,but I doubt if it makes sense to buy one just for saving money.
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - b308
If you are using it in heavy commuter traffic that is stationary a lot of the time (ie in and out of most big cities these days!) then something like a CG125 will pay for itself pretty quickly as you won't be sitting there... and then there is the time saved....

As regards the aerodynamics, at commuter speeds I can't see that it would be much of an issue!
Motorbikes / Scooters Fuel Consumption - Lud
In the late fifties I was once or twice a pillion passenger in London on a friend's Vincent V-twin, a long heavy black machine with unpainted aluminium mudguards and racing handlebars like sheep's ears down on the steering column. How he managed the thing in London I can't imagine. No helmets in those days of course. With the throttle closed, idling, in top gear it breezed along at about 45mph. I don't know what its fuel consumption was but I imagine in those conditions it was quite economical. The owner, who wasn't a close friend but whom I liked largely because of the Vincent, a clear sign of a sympathetic individual, later committed suicide.

Edited by Lud on 19/05/2008 at 15:58