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America’s 10 (now 11) most fuel efficient bikes

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Old 10-06-2008, 02:21 AM
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xcel xcel is online now
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America’s 10 (now 11) most fuel efficient bikes

A few choices for those willing to take a ride on the “Wild Side.”

http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/Suzuki_DR200SE_105_mpg.jpg
Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Oct. 6, 2008

2009 Suzuki DRS200S – The 249 pound On/Off road bike is the most fuel efficient all roadworthy bike available in America and perfect for a short distance commute.

Est. annual fuel cost: $131
105 mpg
Base price: $3,949

While we all wait for the next new or used diesel, hybrid, PHEV, or BEV release, there are other vehicle choices most have never considered before that are available today. These bikes are not only easy on your wallet at time of purchase but are even easier on the same when it comes time to fill up.

As we experienced with the Yamaha XT250 this past summer, fun and fuel economy can go hand in hand. The standard questions about safety and year round road worthiness still abound but for some, traveling 60 + miles on less than a single gallon of fuel can make up for what a bike may lack.

A bike's fuel economy is measured similarly to our automobiles -- using a standard EPA fuel economy test cycle. For bikes, it is the EPA city test. Different from the 1985 through 2007 EPA city test numbers however, a bike's fuel economy rating does not include the 10% offset that the automobile rating was subjected too. In other words, a car that was rated for 50 mpg City actually achieved 55.5 mpg on that test cycle. A bike that achieves 55.5 mpg on the city test cycle is rated at 55.5 mpg.

The following can make sense in today’s tougher economic times. Excluded were scooters and bikes with the same engines built within a slightly different platform. The following are capable of at least 60 mph so as to tackle any roadway in America; some are also dual purpose allowing off-road utility for those odd times when the road less traveled doesn’t actually include a road!

Estimated annual fuel costs were based on 5,000 miles per year at $2.75 per gallon.

http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/506/2009_Kawasaki_Eliminator125.jpg
2009 Kawasaki Eliminator 125 – The Kawasaki Eliminator® 125 embodies classic cruiser qualities in an incredibly fuel efficient, lightweight bike. An excellent choice for newer riders.

Est. annual fuel cost: $145
95 mpg
Base price: $2,799



http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/thumbs/Honda_CRF230M_-_85_mpg.jpg
2009 Honda CRF230M – An On/Off road air-cooled 223 cc Sport like bike with 17-inch wheels and low-profile tires.

Est. annual fuel cost: $162
* Estimated to achieve 85 mpg
Base price: $5,399



http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/thumbs/Honda_Rebel_-_85_mpg.jpg
2009 Honda Rebel – A comfortable and stylish beginner road cruiser ready for a trip across town or the country.

Est. annual fuel cost: $162
* Estimated to achieve 85 mpg
Base price: $3,999


http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/thumbs/Suzuki_GZ_250_82_mpg.jpg
Suzuki GZ 250 - An entry-level 249cc cruiser that's affordable and easy to operate and includes the classic styling of larger bikes.

Est. annual fuel cost: $168
82 mpg
Base price: $3,799



http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/thumbs/Yamaha_TW200_-_78_mpg.jpg
2009 Yamaha TW200 – The distinctive “fat-tired” dual-purpose bike offering both rider comfort and fun over almost any terrain.

Est. annual fuel cost: $176
78 mpg
Base price: $3,990



http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/523/thumbs/Yamaha_XT_250_Review_-_Right_Rear.jpg
2009 Yamaha XT250 - A dual-purpose that set the standard in single cylinder On/Off road versatility and utility.

Est. annual fuel cost: $188
73 mpg
Base price: $4,690



http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/thumbs/Yamaha_WR250X_-_71_mpg.jpg
2009 Yamaha WR250X – Not exactly an Enduro or a Sport bike, the WR250X is for riders cruising mostly paved surfaces without sacrifices. Liquid cooled and fast!

Est. annual fuel cost: $194
71 mpg
Base price: $6,190



http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/thumbs/Kawasaki_KLX_250S_-_70_mpg.jpg
2009 Kawasaki KLX250S – The second 250cc liquid cooled model in the group. It is a lightweight dual-purpose bike that is equally at home on the pavement or off-road and always ready for your next adventure.

Est. annual fuel cost: $196
70 mpg
Base price: $4,999



http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/thumbs/Suzuki_DRZ400S_65_mpg.jpg
2009 Suzuki DRZ 400S - The liquid cooled DR-Z400S is the performance dual-purpose bike with unmatched On/Off road capability -- yet it still achieves great fuel economy!

Est. annual fuel cost: $211
65 mpg
Base price: $6,699



http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/thumbs/Kawasaki_Ninja_250R_61_mpg.jpg
2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R – The only Sport bike in the list with both a rider-friendly engine and chassis topped off with Super Sport styling. This inexpensive bike performs the 0 to 60 mph dance in less than 6 seconds.

Est. annual fuel cost: $225
61 mpg
Base price: $3,999

An inexpensive lineup of capable, fun and fuel efficient Dual-Purpose, Cruisers and a Sport bike that not only saves fuel but allows a ton of fun while doing so.

*Honda motorcycle city fuel economy ratings were estimated due to the lack of publicly released information.
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Last edited by xcel : 04-25-2010 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Updated pricing, fuel costs and MSRP's to August 2009
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:54 AM
gershon gershon is offline
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Re: America’s 10 most fuel efficient bikes

Wayne,

Nice report.

There are also some nice Maxi Scooters. I can review 3

Burgman 400

Cost: $5,900
Est mpg. low 60's

Burgman 650
Cost: $7,900
Est mpg: mid 50's to low 60's

Yamaha Majesty
Cost $5,900
Est mpg: High 50's to low 60's

Suzuki C50 (this one is a motorcycle)
cost: $8,000 (including rear bags)
Est mpg: Mid 50's

All these mpg's are based on being light on the throttle and staying below 70 on the interstate.

I personally own the last 3 and the mpg's are based on experience.

In my opinion the large scooters have many advantages over motorcycles. They tend to be more controllable at slower speeds due to the fact they have much less rake. The rear brake on the handlebar is much easier to reach than the foot pedal and may be more controllable for some.

For a beginner I'd recommend either the Burgman 400 or the Yamaha Majesty 400. For the person with some experience, the Burgman 650 is the winner by a huge margin.
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Last edited by gershon : 10-06-2008 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:01 AM
sailordave sailordave is offline
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Talking Re: America’s 10 most fuel efficient bikes

What's the miles per gallon on the cooler scooter?
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:07 AM
flatty flatty is offline
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Re: America’s 10 most fuel efficient bikes

Excellent writeup!

PS- they're more fun than a barrel of monkeys, too!
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:29 AM
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Re: America’s 10 most fuel efficient bikes

Hi Gershon:

___Here was my reasoning for leaving the scooters you mentioned off the list…

___I could not find any FE information on the Suzuki Burgman 400 but looked at the Yamaha Majesty 400 and its FE rating was listed at only 51 mpg. With that in my hand, I assumed the Burgman 400 and 650 would be rated in the 40’s and 50’s and neither were close to the Top 10 most fuel efficient bikes.

___I also looked at the Yamaha Zuma and Vino 125’s but with a bit of sleuthing, it appears they may have a top speed of just 55 mph and that will not cut it for highway travel. The FE for these two 125’s was 89 and 96 mpg respectively.

___The Honda CRF230L was to close to the CRF230M so I left it off as the same engine with a slightly different platform.

___In the case of the XT250 and WR250X, they both had different enough aspects so I included both. I excluded the WR250R because it is the 250X with Off-road wheels and tires. I uploaded the pic of that one given it is a 71 mpg rated bike but with its heritage being the 250X, I thought it was to close to include it in the list.


Yamaha WR250R – 71 mpg.

___There was also the Suzuki TU250 which is a retro 250 street bike. I know it has to have a 75 + mpg rating but Suzuki did not list its FE for some reason?

___The Suzuki Boulevard C50T (800 cc) was reviewed by WomanRidersNow and the 800cc bike was only pulling in the mid 40’s for a cross country ride which would not make the cut. Is that the bike you thought should be included?

___Good Luck

___Wayne
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Last edited by xcel : 10-06-2008 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:25 AM
Madmario Madmario is offline
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Re: America’s 10 most fuel efficient bikes

To and from work I ride a Yamaha vino 125. It gets an average of 84mpg and I got it new for $2900 out the door. Plus it's a blast to ride.

Last edited by Madmario : 10-06-2008 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:53 PM
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ChenZhen ChenZhen is offline
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Re: America’s 10 most fuel efficient bikes

Do they make 'em with 3 wheels and a top? LOL

/Minnesota
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:42 PM
gershon gershon is offline
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Re: America’s 10 most fuel efficient bikes

Wayne,

I'm not partial to any bike in particular being included. On my C50, I get 55 mpg around the city and on the interstate as long as I keep it to 65 or 70. On thing, once I start, I seldom shut it off until I need gas.

The Yamaha Majesty 400 and the Burgman 650 both get in the neighborhood of 55 mpg as long as I keep the RPM to 3000 for acceleration on the Majesty and 3500 on the Burgman and keep the speed on the interstate to 65 or so.

Of the 3, my Burgman 650 is the favorite. It's nimble around the city and has the comfort and handling for cross country tours. In the last 15 months, I've put just under 30,000 miles on it.

Here is a review I wrote on it awhile back:

"On May 26th I bought a white Burgman 650 at the Pueblo store. Thought you might be interested in this. I wrote this a few months ago for a motorcyle forum and thought I'd pass it on. It's titled: "What I don't like about my Burgman 650" When I bought my Burgman 650, I bought it because I liked it. Not because I wanted to have people say how nice it is or to be part of some motorcycling group, but because it felt good when I sat on it. Now I find I can't get out of a gas station in less than half an hour because people come over to admire it. The first question is always "How fast does it go?" (ans: The speed limits with me on it.) I try to find empty gas stations so I can get in and out quickly, but it never seems to work. Fortunately I don't have to stop so often as it gets 55 mpg on the interstate. 60 mpg on secondary roads. With a 4 gallon tank, I can ride a long time between fillups. It's my wife who gets all the excitement that she might run out of gas. Yesterday I was stopped first in line at a red light and a guy crossing the street walked over to admire it. He totally ignored the "other" bike that was stopped next to me in the other lane. I was afraid he would be stranded in the middle of a busy intersection when the light changed. Another thing I don't like is how effortlessly it cruises on the interstate. I try to keep my speed at 70 mph as that is the most efficient speed for long distance riding. But if I don't watch it closely, I find myself going 90 indicated. I'm totally against speeding, so this is a major deficiency. Since riding on the interstate is so smooth, I figured I'd go out on a very windy day and get some challenge. Even with a 26 mph steady direct crosswind, the scooter wasn't moved. Sure, I had to lean a little into the wind, but it was very comfortable. After 150 miles of this, I gave up trying to find a challenge in the wind. The comfort is another big issue. Other riders seem to hobble after only 100 miles or so. 100 miles seems like a quickie. After 300 miles with only one quick stop for gas, I feel as fresh as when I got on. Where is the satisfaction in that? Twisties are no challenge at all. The scooter handles flawlessly at the speed limits. And with the engine braking, setting the speed entering the curves is simple. You would think it would be more fun riding twisties downhill, but with the engine braking, even the steepest twisties are effortless and don't require any braking. Slow speed handling is too easy. A 20 foot U turn isn't a challenge at all. Figure 8's in 4 parking spaces are also very simple. But then, people figure it's just a scooter and it should be easy. Oh, and the acceleration...what's so good about that. Merging onto the interstate, I can pick a hole and accelerate into it with ease. No excitement wondering if I'm going to get run over. And no having to worry about what gear I'm in while looking for traffic. (Yawns.) Why is it that no other bike or car ever keeps up with me when I leave a stop light? I don't use more than about 3/4 throttle. (I don't participate in races if someone seems to want one.) The worst part is, I figured I'd be buying a few more bikes as I "moved up." Now there is nothing to move up to. Everything bigger would be a compromise of some sort. Why did I buy the perfect ride as my second scooter? (The first is a Yamaha Majesty.) Now the only way to get a new one is to wear it out. But the dealer says that is impossible. I intend to prove him wrong after I get the 5 year unlimited mileage warranty. Some people complain the windscreen isn't big enough, but this is a problem that just disappears with time. With a full face helmet I don't notice the little bit of wind. On another board, I see people having fun working on their bikes fixing little problems that come along. They get to ask all sorts of advice about how to fix their carburetor, etc. None of that with the Burgman 650. Nothing has broken yet in almost 9,000 miles. (updated to 29,700 miles) The only problem I've had is a persistent whine: "Honey, are you going riding again?" Perfection is so boring...I have to wear a dark visor so people don't see me grinning all the time. PS: If a white Burgman 650 somewhere around the western United states with a rider wearing leather and a yellow vest, that's probably me. The country looks small now. I'm planning a ride to Cincinatti in March, and one to Washington, then down through part of California, and back east on Hw 50 in June. Last summer, I rode up through Wyoming, through Yellowstone Park and into Montana. Then west to Idaho, down through Utah, and then into Colorado. It's a great touring machine. My only complaint is I fit everything I needed under the seat. (Did I mention it has a big trunk?) I tied a small bag to the back of the seat so I would look like I was touring. Gary T. Pueblo"
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:15 PM
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Re: America’s 10 most fuel efficient bikes

Hi Gershon:

___Have you kept up with your FE on your Burgman 650? If so, you can write a full blown long-term and formatted CleanMPG review if you would like? I can take care of the formating part but you will have to take care of the pictures

___Good Luck

___Wayne
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:26 PM
gershon gershon is offline
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Re: America’s 10 most fuel efficient bikes

Wayne,

I don't have a written record of my fuel economy on the Burgman 650, but I have a real good sense of what it is under varying conditions. I'd be happy to write a review.

Gershon
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