Top 50 Best MPG Motorcycles

Anyone who has purchased a car based on some "official" MPG figure and then found out that they are getting but a mere fraction of the economy they were promised will testify that fuel mileage figures are illusory at best. Fuel mileage is primarily determined by driving style and a driver who presses down on the accelerator as if he were trying to keep from cracking an egg under his foot can get as much as 50% better mileage than the green light drag jockey who believes that the accelerator is a toggle switch and it should be either ON or OFF.

Determining accurate motorcycle fuel mileage figures is even trickier than with automobiles. Not only is there no universal fuel mileage standard for two wheelers, but riding styles on motorcycles are only part of the equation. A couple of morbidly obese riders on their way back home from the Circus Circus Buffet are going to get far lower mileage on their 250 Rebel than a teenager on her way to ballet class. The passenger weight carried by a motorcycle is a far greater percentage of the total vehicle weight than in a car or truck.

How about a Yamaha Electric Monkey Bike for great MPG?
How about a Yamaha Electric Monkey Bike for great MPG?

That is why this list of the 50 best fuel mileage motorcycles is approximate to the max and is most assuredly not definitive or all-encompassing. It is only a rough guide to some of the more fuel efficient motorcycles (not scooters) on the road today that get 50 MPG or more.

  • Lifan 200 Sport : 84
  • Yamaha TW200 : 75
  • Honda 125 Varadero : 74
  • Honda 200 Twinstar : 74
  • Honda XL185 : 74
  • Honda XL250S : 72
  • Kawasaki Ninja EX250R : 72
  • Yamaha Virago 250 : 71
  • Honda Nighthawk 250 : 70
  • Yamaha 125 Virago : 69
  • Hyosung GV250 : 68
  • Honda XL500 : 65
  • BMW F650GS : 63
  • Suzuki Intruder VL125 : 62
  • Yamaha XV535 Virago : 62
  • Buell Blast : 61
  • Honda CMX 250 : 60
  • Kawasaki Ninja 500R : 59
  • Yamaha YZF600R : 59
  • Yamaha XJ550 Seca : 58
  • Honda Shadow VLX : 57
  • Kawasaki KZ550 : 55
  • Suzuki LS650 Savage : 55
  • Suzuki GS425 : 54
  • Suzuki S50 Boulevard : 54
  • Suzuki V-Strom DL650 : 54
  • Honda Shadow Aero : 53
  • Suzuki Marauder 250 : 53
  • Honda CB350 : 52
  • Honda CX500 : 52
  • Yamaha XJ900 Seca : 52
  • Yamaha XS650 : 52
  • Kawasaki GPX250 : 51
  • Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic : 51
  • Suzuki C90 Boulevard : 51
  • Suzuki GS500 : 51
  • BMW R850R : 50
  • Honda CB400T Hawk : 50
  • Honda CX500C : 50
  • Honda V30 Magna : 50
  • Kawasaki 125 Eliminator : 50
  • Kawasaki 454 LTD : 50
  • Kawasaki EN500 Vulcan : 50
  • Kawasaki KLR650 : 50
  • Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 : 50
  • Suzuki C50 Boulevard : 50
  • Suzuki Katana GSX 750 : 50
  • Suzuki S83 Boulevard : 50
  • Yamaha FJ600 : 50
  • Yamaha FZ6 : 50

There seem to be some significant surprises in this list and not much should be made of them as the figures are anything but precise. However, we can look at the good showing put forth by the BMW F650GS, Buell Blast, Honda Shadow VLX, Suzuki LS650 Savage, and Suzuki V-Strom DL650 as indicators that there is some great mileage to be wrung out of the mid-range motorcycles. The Honda Shadow Aero as well as the Suzuki C90 Boulevard, Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic, BMW R850R and the super heavyweight Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 are the standouts in the big bike categories. You can only shake your head at why the Kawasaki 125 Eliminator gets the same mileage as its 1500 cc bigger brother! You know which one I'd rather ride!

Whichever motorcycle you decide to ride, you can always maximize your mileage by minimizing the weight it has to carry and the stress you put it under. Gentle acceleration and keeping just under the speed limit will work wonders for any motorcycle, from a Honda CB125 to a Triumph Rocket III 2300 cc.

 

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Comments 34 comments

MsChris 8 years ago

Hal, this list is very helpful for those of us who are looking to save gas. I'm curious though - where did these figures come from?


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

Hi. I checked around on each individual bike and averaged out my findings. One of the most helpful sites was Total Motorcycle.


MsChris 8 years ago

Wow - thanks for doing all that work!


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

I live to serve, madam. :)

Actually, the fact that there is no definitive or authoritative source for motorcycle MPG figures is an outrageous omission. In

http://hubpages.com/autos/Finally-2009-Official-EP...

I deal with how neither the EPA nor the manufacturers can seem to get their act together!


Ayesha08 profile image

Ayesha08 8 years ago from Saudi Arabia

You did a great job! Your article is certainly informative and helpful. Good Job!


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

Thanks Ayesha! I appreciate the kind words!


koncling profile image

koncling 8 years ago from Nice Winding Room

is it prototipe..?


Lemiarty 8 years ago

I ride a CMX250, listed here at 60MPG, I'm currently getting 75MPG and I'm not a small guy.


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 8 years ago from Burlingame, CA

@Hal, what about scooters? I have a short commute to the BART station and I'm thinking about getting one.


mahasson profile image

mahasson 8 years ago from Georgia

Thanks for the info. I need to get a good, efficient bike soon.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

Koncling: I don't understand. What on this page is a prototype?

Lemiarty: Again, your riding style can drastically vary your mileage on a motorcycle to a far greater degree than you can get different mileage in a car. Two big people on a motorcycle can double its gross vehicle weight, while even seven people in a minivan would only increase the weight by one quarter!

Paul: How DID you know? I've been working on this for about two weeks and I haven't told anyone about it. Well, enjoy your scooter party by checking out:

http://hubpages.com/autos/MPG-Guide-The-Fuel-Econo...


JPSO138 profile image

JPSO138 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

I have always wanted to buy a motorcycle. Most especially that it consumes lesser fuel than cars. This article is definitely helpful and informative. Keep it up!


funrivers profile image

funrivers 8 years ago from Rio Frio, Tx

Nice Hub! We'll be seeing lot more of these on the road very soon. Saw on the news earlier this week how Cali dealerships were selling Vespas like hotcakes.


JAY777 profile image

JAY777 8 years ago

very informative hub, in times like these wherein the prices of gas worldwide is increasing, fuel-efficient means of transportation is a must.great hub!


tom 8 years ago

Most Harley's get 50MPG (even the loud one's) and they are fun, powerful and comfortable. So, why are no Harley's on this list? Most of the 50MPG bikes on this list have small engines, which are almost certainly buzzy and uncomfortable for all but the shortest trips.


tom 8 years ago

No I'm not kidding, 50MPG from a Harley - better than a Prius - and you don't have to pretend you hug trees :)


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

Tom, HD's don't necessarily get 50 mpg. Check out http://hubpages.com/autos/Hals-Master-Motorcycle--...


indo 8 years ago

The Kawasaki Eliminator is listed at returing just 50MPG, but I've put around 1,000 miles on my 2007 model and I'm averaging 80 MPG. I'm just wondering where you got the 50MPG estimate from? Thanks.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto Author

indo, one of various possibilities. You could be riding your bike down a mine shaft with a tailwind. Another possibility is that your odometer has been smoking wacky tobacky. Yet another is that since the 125 Eliminator has been produced for many years, the latest models may have engineering changes that may have increased mileage. In fact, on my MPG Guide Kawasaki Singles Hub, some Kawi 125 four stroke singles are getting around the 60s in MPG. Check out my MPG Guide: The Fuel Economy Of 700 Top Selling Motorcycles Hub for more detailed info on a whole lot of bikes. Keep in mind that riding style, speed, load, weight, etc. has a powerful effect on the MPG on a motorcycle, especially a lighter one.


ElitePoetz profile image

ElitePoetz 7 years ago from Right Near the Beach

Nice hub Hal. Great content, very informational. Great work. Thanks


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Thanks, ElitePoetz! :)


AndyBaker profile image

AndyBaker 7 years ago from UK

GREAT bit a research here.

***** (5 stars!)


Andrew  7 years ago

Hey, don't use this page as your only resource when comparing MPG.

My honda CMX 250 (rebel) gets between 70 and 80 mpg not 60


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

ElitePoetz and AndyBaker, thanks!

Andrew, 70 maybe if you weigh 110 lbs and baby it. 80, only down a mine shaft with a tailwind. :)


Adrian 6 years ago

Hmm... my Kymco Venox easily averages 60 MPG after over 5000 miles of monitoring mileage. When I'm not riding like a fiend it does 70 mpg consistently. Please see the link.

And as Hal Licino mentioned, after putting 7000 km on a Honda Rebel I can confirm they do get 70+ mpg easily and consistently.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 6 years ago from Toronto Author

Yeah, different riders get wildly different mileage on bikes. I borrowed a friend's Kawi Zephyr for a week and got 50% better mileage than he did. He burns rubber at every stoplight! :)


foreignpress 6 years ago from Denver

Always fun to read about motorcycles and comparisons. One possible difference in the gas mileage is how the bike is tuned, aftermarket mods, gravel or asphalt, windshield or not, etc. I just synched the carbs and regapped the plugs on my Ninja and I'm getting much better mileage. Also patched a hole in a muffler. Even altitude can make a big difference in mileage. There's just too many variables to even argue about gas mileage difference unless the conditions and equipment are identical. I still have a real problem with buying anything Chinese. Thanks for a good post.


Philip Skinner 6 years ago

My Honda CBF 125 does 223.5 miles a week, and I put in roughly 9.5 to 9.7 litres of fuel every week (I keep the receipts and note the milage for tax purposes), equates to roughly 105mpg. That's riding at 60 to 70mph and really revving it up to accelerate quickly (otherwise the cars behind me get annoyed). When I was going to London on it I was doing 72 miles a day, having to fill up every 4 days (288 miles) again with about 10 litres of fuel (which is even better mpg). Think this list might be a bit out of touch with reality (oh and I weigh 16st, I nearly double the weight of the bike).


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 6 years ago from Toronto Author

foreignpress... I'll buy a Chinese motorcycle on the same day I swear allegiance to the Politburo. Thanks!

Philip, I'm not at all surprised at your great MPG figures. I really should get one of those myself! (And I weigh a lot more than 16st!) :)


ab420 profile image

ab420 6 years ago from MA, USA

Great Hub Hal, that is very useful information. I know a lot of people thinking about 2-wheeled vehicles as a way to save money on gas. By knowing which motorcycle gets the best mpg they can save even more!


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 6 years ago from Toronto Author

Thank you very much. I appreciate your kind words! :)


scarface2000 profile image

scarface2000 6 years ago from Mendon MI

i have three honda ct70 and i love them they were made in 1970


KenWu profile image

KenWu 6 years ago from Malaysia

Honda c70 is a classic and it seldom can be seen in big cities nowadays.


adorababy profile image

adorababy 6 years ago from Syracuse, NY

A 600cc Honda VLX will get between 50-70, do highway speeds, take you there in comfort.

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