The 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Motorcycles

These bikes prove that motorcycles can be green as well as fun

Woman sitting on motorcycle outdoors
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Motorcycles tend to get decent fuel economy compared with cars, although it's surprising that their mileage isn't better than it is given the dramatic difference in size and weight between bikes and autos. In fact, some bikes get worse mileage than some cars.

One reason why motorcycles aren't very fuel economical, according to magazine, is that most riders simply don’t care: "They don’t buy a motorcycle for economy, but for thrills."

Two other hurdles to improving fuel economy from a motorcycle are aerodynamics and weight. Good aerodynamics improve fuel economy, but most aerodynamic motorcycles have fairings—parts added to a bike to reduce air drag—which have become less “fashionable.” Sales of faired sports bikes are waning, while sales of cruisers, "naked" (stripped down) bikes, and adventure bikes, which are not faired, are growing.

Also, the rider is on a bike rather than in a car, which adds to the drag because the body "protrudes."

That rider also is part of the weight problem. Each pound of body weight means there's more to push, and a human body on a bike can add 35 percent to the combined weight. With a much heavier car, the driver's body weight is almost negligible.

The following selection highlights 10 bikes that stand out for their exceptional—and, sometimes, surprising—efficiency:

10
of 10

BMW F650GS: 63 mpg

BMW F650GS
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Though the BMW F650GS is not a small bike, its 63 mpg fuel efficiency puts it in the company of competitors with far smaller engines in terms of gas consumption.

09
of 10

Honda NC700X: 64 mpg

Honda_nc700x_sw_side

Cweinandt/Wikimedia Commons

The 2013 Honda NC700X is rated at 64 miles per gallon, thanks in part to its mildly tuned 670-cc liquid-cooled parallel twin engine.

08
of 10

Suzuki DR200SE: 68 mpg

motorcycle

Suzuki

The 2013 Suzuki DR200SE is carbureted, which typically isn't the most efficient fuel delivery method. But its slight curb weight of 278 pounds and mere 199-cc engine displacement help it reach 68 mpg.

07
of 10

Kawasaki KLX250S: 70 mpg

KAWASAKI KLX 250

welwy/Wikimedia Commons

It also uses an old-school carburetor, but the Kawasaki KLX250S's liquid-cooled 249-cc single helps it achieve a reported 70 mpg, aided in no small part by its 297.7-pound curb weight.

06
of 10

Honda CRF250L: 73 mpg

honda crf250L

 Takeaway/Wikimedia Commons

The 2013 Honda CRF250L is equipped with a 249-cc engine, a hardworking little mill that helps it achieve an impressive 73 mpg.

05
of 10

Kawasaki Ninja 250R: 77 mpg

kawasaki ninja 250r

 Holger 1983/Wikimedia Commons

The Kawasaki Ninja 250R is one of the sportiest beginner bikes you can buy, but it also happens to be one of the thriftiest, reporting 77 mpg.

04
of 10

Star V-Star 1300: 78 mpg

V Star 1300

 hamilmarker/Flickr

Despite its big, 1,304-cc liquid-cooled V-twin, the Star Motorcycles V-Star 1300 has been reported to score 78 mpg.

03
of 10

Suzuki TU250X: 80 mpg

Suzuki TU250X

 Dédélembrouille/Wikimedia Commons

The Suzuki TU250X's fuel-injected, 249-cc single-cylinder engine is thrifty on fuel,​ reportedly achieving 80 miles per gallon.

02
of 10

Honda Rebel: 84 mpg

Honda Rebel

 M536/Wikimedia Commons

The Honda Rebel is powered by a modest 234-cc air-cooled parallel twin engine. Its tiny power plant enables a reported 84 mpg, making it among the most fuel-efficient motorcycles on the market.

01
of 10

Royal Enfield 250-cc: 85 mpg

Royal Enfield

 Thgrube/Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Enfield packs a 250-cc engine, a single-cylinder version that has been reported to yield 85 miles for each gallon of gas.

Sources

  • "" Los Angeles Times.
  • "" Motorbike Writer.
  • "" 1aamotorcycles.com.