Finally! 2009 Official EPA Harley & Yamaha MPG Figures
Yamaha has finally bitten the bullet and has issued MPG figures for its motorcycles. After decades of shying away from stating any form of fuel economy for its models, the pressure of $143+ a barrel petroleum has convinced the triple tuning fork folks to finally attach MPG figures to its model specifications.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Federal Test Procedure (FTP, not to be confused with the web's file transfer protocol), is a particular process which according to the EPA is "designed to measure a vehicle's tailpipe emissions under urban driving conditions." The FTP is conducted on a chassis dynamometer and the motorcycle is not ridden on the streets or a track by a rider. The dyno test is run through a simulated distance of 11 miles at an average speed is 21 mph at an average ambient temperature of 75 degrees F. The test takes the motorcycle through a series of accelerations, decelerations, as well as times of idling, and includes cold starts and hot starts.
What does the FTP have to do with real world fuel mileage? Not much. The FTP is engineered to quantify the levels of pollutants issuing from the motorcycle's exhaust system. The Carbon Dioxide emissions are used to calculate MPG. This is somewhat akin to measuring how many miles you've walked not by determining the distance you've covered but by collecting and measuring your perspiration. It's damn near ludicrous. It's no wonder that people are being alienated from their own governments' bureaucratic absurdities.
The EPA sucks $7.2 billion dollars out of the wallets of US taxpayers and unfortunately it can't find the money to get some high school kid to ride some motorcycles around DC for an hour or two and calculate the real world MPG. Although the EPA conducts government-mandated fuel-economy tests for automobiles, there is no such testing procedure for motorcycles, even at a critical time in the country's history when fuel economy is the number one issue affecting Americans. So we're left with the FTP which has become the de facto procedure even though it's largely imaginary. Yeah, I always ride my bike at an average of 21 mph too. Duh.
Yamaha wisely places a disclaimer on these EPA FTP-derived figures by stating that the motorcycle's actual mileage "will vary depending on road conditions, how they ride, and the maintenance of each vehicle, vehicle accessories, cargo that may be carried and the operator's and passenger's weight." Yeah. No kidding. A scrawny kid babying the bike to school and back is going to get better mileage than two 300 pounders doing burnouts at stoplights. I didn't know that. Double Duh.
Here are Yamaha's figures. Take them with all the grains of salt on the Bonneville Salt Flats:
- FJR 1300 • 39
- FZ1 • 35
- FZ6 • 40
- R1 • 33
- R6 • 40
- R6S • 42
- Raider • 42
- Road Star • 36
- Roadliner • 42
- Royal Star Tour Deluxe • 42
- Royal Star Venture • 42
- Stratoliner • 42
- TW200 • 78
- V-Star 1100 • 44
- V-Star 1300 • 42
- V-Star 250 • 78
- V-Star 650 • 49
- Warrior • 39
- WR250X/WR250R • 71
- XT 250 • 73
- Majesty • 51
- Morphous • 56
- Tmax • 47
- Vino 125 • 96
- Vino 50 • 110
- Zuma • 123
- Zuma 125 • 89
Harley Davidson is a whole 'nother matter. Although they claim that their city figures are derived from the EPA FTP, where they've come up with their highway figures is known only to Willie G. and he could tell you but then he'd have to kill you.
- XL 883 • 60 hwy / 45 city
- XL 1200N • 57 hwy / 42 city
- VRSCAW • 42 hwy / 34 city
- FXD • 54 hwy / 35 city
- FXDWG • 53 hwy / 34 city
- FXSTB • 54 hwy / 35 city
- FXCWC • 54 hwy / 35 city
- All FLHs • 54 hwy / 35 city
Who knows why the FXDWG Wide Glide gets one fewer MPG than the rest of the Big Twin line? Maybe it's the extra drag of the wider front end. Or maybe it's just because the rest of the figures are illusory anyway.
Proper EPA tested standardized real world fuel economy motorcycle figures are decades past due. When is the US government going to wake up and smell the desperation of the American people to squeeze every drop out of their gallons of gas through motorcycling?
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