7 Ways to Save Fuel on Your Bike
Proud as we may feel, at our relatively smaller carbon footprints compared to the cagers, we have to admit that petrol is becoming an increasingly dirtier and costlier source of energy for our society as a whole, and there are things happening both, around us and at far off places to which we cannot turn a blind eye. Climate change is a reality and we cannot expect to address this new reality without making changes in our behaviour and our lifestyles.
We’re not exactly suggesting switching to an electric motor engine, although that might be a good idea for at least city commute, we love the good old combustion engine just as much as you do. But there are always things you can do which can not only improve the life of your engine, but also give you increased fuel efficiency. A lot of these things are suggestions you’ve already heard from others or read before and may well even be aware of subconsciously, but the reason why they need reiteration is cause we hardly apply those methods to our riding style.
So here are 7 ways you can get the last mile out of the last drop of fuel in your tank:
7. Maintain Tyre Pressure: One of the quickest and most effective ways to boost your fuel economy is to check your tyre pressure. Find the pressure rating for your tyre on the sidewall or owners’ manual; not only will hitting the correct PSI boost your fuel economy, it will also improve your bikes’ handling. And While some hyper-milers swear by running on higher-than-recommended PSIs, we suggest you stick to the recommended figures for maximum safety.
6. Ride smoothly: Focus on maintaining Constant speeds, smooth throttle inputs, and avoid unnecessary slowing down, and you'll Watch you're fuel economy rise. Not only does even-keeled riding allow you to stretch your fuel budget, it makes for smoother and potentially more enjoyable rides.Ride at lower cruising speeds. Motorcycles offer amazing performance that fits between you legs--hence the term "crotch rocket”--and the rush of acceleration and high-speed cruising can be addictive. But twisting the throttle hard quickly kills your mileage, as does high-speed cruising.
Think of it this way: highway speed limits we created partially in order to conserve fuel, and following the rules will not only enable you to ride farther, it could also help keep your DMV record clean.
5. Get That Junk Out of Your Trunk: The more weight your motorcycle has to haul around, the harder the engine has to work. Don't take anything that you don't need. If you’ve got saddlebags on your bike, empty them out if you can afford to do without extra junk. Even better; if you're not using the saddlebags all the time, remove them for relatively quick and easy weight-loss tactics.
4. Use High Quality Fuel: Using a higher grade gasoline can not only help you get maximum mileage out of your fuel, but also helps keep the engine in better shape by leaving less carbon residue as a result of a more refined combustion.
There are two ways to attain this, you could either go for certified high-octane fuel or use a fuel additive every time you fill up your tank. Both of these methods will have you spend a few extra bucks, but in the long run will save you a lot of money in terms of extra gas mileage and maintenance costs.
3. Improve the Aerodynamics: And that doesn’t just mean making your motorcycle look sleek and getting rid of any lose ends or unnecessary body parts which might create additional air-resistance, but also means wearing appropriate ride gear and helmet so as to stream-line the airflow and encounter least wind resistance. A proper wind shield is a step in that direction and getting a full faced helmet instead of a half helmet is another. Might we suggest that you avoid loose clothing and flubbed jackets while riding, they aren’t exactly helping your cause, despite of what you might think.
2. Keep the lungs clean: And by that we mean, pay special attention to the bike parts that play a crucial role in fuel combustion, such as air-filter, oil-filter, spark plug and the carburettor. These are easy to clean and replace and you don’t even need to visit your mechanic to have this taken care of. Check them every 1,500 kms or so and make sure they’re in good shape and replace them if need be, these are the least costly spare parts of your bike after all.
Also, when things are turning smoothly inside the engine and the gearbox, it takes a lot less fuel to spur them on, and for that reason, we suggest you also make sure your bike engine is well lubricated at all times.
1. Unlearn Bad Ride Habits: Let’s face it, most of us never went to a ride school and got a proper training in the art of riding the motorcycle, and had to make do with half-baked information passed on to us by others or learn through our own, often bitter experiences, by the way of trial and error. Now that may have gotten us this far, but that also means most of us, if not all, carry a large residue of bad riding habits that we picked up from our early riding days, and never cared to correct them.
What we may not have realised is that apart from altering our bikes’ performances, it might also be digging a whole in our pockets by inflicting higher fuel and maintenance costs on us. So what are these habits we’re fretting about? There are plenty of them and we’re sure most of us are guilty of at least few of these sins. Such as keeping the clutch lever half-pressed while riding; we understand that you might be anticipating a gear shift in the near future, but that shouldn’t mean you have to choke the engine by constantly half-engaging the lever. There are many others, unnecessarily high-revving the engine, sudden accelerations and sudden breaking, riding above or below the recommended rpm range, frequent gear shifts, riding in lower gears for long, all these activities take a toll on the bike engine and in the long run end up costing you extra money and compromising your bike’s performance too.
Even something small as switching off your engine at a signal for more than 30 seconds, can save you al lot of fuel in the long run and if emulated by everybody, could greatly alleviate the pollution situation on our streets.
There’s a lot one can achieve by applying a little constructive thinking in the daily areas of one’s life. If only one was willing enough..
So what are your ways of saving fuel? Think we missed out on something? Drop your comments and let us know. We always appreciate new ideas.
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