Your Product Has Been Added to Cart
View Cart

Why Your Motorcycle Gas Mileage is Off

Posted by Wiley Moody on Feb 7, 2020

parked Yamaha cruiser bike

Motorcycles make commuting easy and fun. They’re a fuel-efficient way to go wherever you need to go. But sometimes, you might start wondering why your motorcycle is getting bad gas mileage. This can be frustrating, especially if you use your motorcycle to commute every day. There are different reasons that could cause your gas mileage to be off-balance.

Here, we discuss some of the common reasons why you could be experiencing bad gas mileage, a few insights into normal gas mileage, and some tips on increasing gas mileage on your motorcycle.

Your Motorcycle Engine is Running Rich

This is most likely the reason why your motorcycle could be experiencing bad gas mileage. Running rich means that the motorcycle’s fuel delivery system is delivering too much gas and not enough air into the engine’s combustion chamber. If your motorcycle is simply running poorly, sputtering, or backfiring, these could be signs that your engine is running rich.

Other signs of bad motorcycle gas mileage caused by this problem include a strong smell of gas when the engine is running, gas setting spewing out of the exhaust pipes, or a flooded engine. These problems can be caused by a sticking throttle needle, open floats in the carburetor, or malfunctioning or damaged spark plugs. Replace these with the right motorcycle parts.

If you’re still noticing poor gas mileage even when you’re sure your engine isn’t running rich, take these steps:

  • Before going for a ride, turn your bike on and do a walk around to check for leaks and a strong smell of gas, especially if your motorcycle is old.
  • Check for small-pin holes that could form on your gas tank.

Tight Brakes

While this is not a common cause of bad gas mileage, tight brakes may be causing the problem. It could be newly installed brake pads or a braking system that has been fiddled with. Have your braking systems checked again to ensure the pads are not too tight as this may put a lot of back force on the engine.

This often makes the engine work harder to get up to speed, using more gas. To determine if this is the problem, take your motorcycle for a ride, get up to speed, then let off the throttle and let your bike coast. There should be minimal resistance or lug.

City Driving

Another reason why you could be experiencing bad motorcycle gas mileage is because of city driving. Most motorcycles are designed to get optimal gas mileage per gallon on freeways and highways at approximately 50-60 miles an hour. But with city driving where you have to stop constantly, you’re definitely going to see reduced gas mileage.

What is the Normal Gas Mileage You Should Expect?

motorcycle rider cruising

You can only know whether or not your motorcycle is getting bad gas mileage if you know the gas mileage that your motorcycle should be getting. The average motorcycle should give you around 35-40 miles per gallon. This can vary with the type of motorcycle you own. Despite this, these low-end numbers are great for cost-effective transportation.

If you’re recording lower motorcycle gas mileage than normal, there could be an underlying problem. Check for the problems we’ve discussed above and visit your mechanic for a thorough inspection. Larger bikes like touring cruiser bikes may have lower gas mileage because of their weight.

How to Increase Your Motorcycle Gas Mileage

  • Do regular maintenance on your motorcycle - oil changes and tire pressure are vital
  • Always use high-quality gas to protect your engine and ensure higher gas mileage
  • Be an aerodynamic rider - get an aerodynamic helmetfairings, and a windshield

Customize Your Motorcycle Today

Even as you find ways to improve motorcycle gas mileage, you should also think of how you can make your ride more stylish, comfortable, and a better performer on the road. If you own a V-twin cruiser bike, you know the value of a custom look. West End Motorsports brings you aftermarket exhaust kitsfairings & windshieldsseats, and even tires to customize your bike.

Get started by shopping at our online store. Order and enjoy guaranteed fitment and free shipping on orders over $99.