Which motorcycles on sale today give the best mpg?
And a guide to help you extract maximum mileage off a tank of fuel from your motorcycleby Sagar Patil, on
The beginning of this century saw the world views changing gradually towards climate change and the need to preserve the environment. This, along with stringent policies, has forced the manufacturers to develop motorcycles that can run cleaner fuel and extract the maximum economy from it, sometimes even at the cost of performance.
Bad news for people who seek the element of thrill, but a pretty good one for someone living in urban jungles where folks prefer commuting on a motorcycle rather thank a car for its practicality and frugal fuel-efficiency. Then there are us few who love the idea of putting serious miles on two-wheels and living the adventure.
We here have compiled a list to give you the best available tools for such situations and save some money on gas while at it.
1. Pocket / Monkey motorcycles with the highest mpg:
1.1. Honda Grom
Honda created a niche for itself with the original Grom in 2014 when it combined big-bike features with scooter-like proportions. Honda stuffed a reliable little thumper into the Grom. The 125cc mill comes with an unbeatable fuel economy of 125 miles per gallon. This makes it the best fuel-efficient two-wheeler on the entire list. MSRP on the 2019 Grom is $3,399 without ABS and $3,599 with it.
1.2 Honda Monkey 125
Mechanically, the Monkey 125 sees major updates with its new 125cc heart that has been borrowed from the current Honda monkey favorite, the Grom. Similarly, this Monkey also pulls off an impressive feat of 125 mpg. Thanks to the relatively low, 9.3-to-1 compression ratio and a well-engineered four-speed, manual transmixxer. MSRP: $3,999.
Small and relatively fast, excellent fuel economy and a bargain-basement price. The Z125 is also a commuter if you have to navigate congested traffic because it’s small, lightweight, and narrow, so filtering through traffic is a breeze. This Japanese green Monkey can easily do an average of 80 mpg and runs a good over 150 miles from the two-gallon tank. MSRP on this little gem is $3,199 — just a couple of bills over last year, and the SE and KRT Edition run $3,399.
2. Street / Naked Motorcycles with the highest mpg:
2.1. Honda CB300R
Like the CB1000R, it showcases a whole new flavor of Honda, and it looks brutishly handsome with the sharp looks of a naked sports machine and that retro flair of a modern café-racer. Powering it will be an all-new liquid-cooled, 286cc, single-cylinder engine that can churn out 75 mpg. It is priced at $4,649 MSRP, with a $300 premium for those who like the notion of ABS.
2.2. BMW G310R
Although it is the smallest bike from BMW, it is perfect for a handful of folks new to motorcycles. It is a rocket trainer for the experienced purists and is sure hell lot of fun for everyone riding on this machine around town. This engine will deliver 34 bhp and give an impressive 70 mpg. This baby BMW is priced, starting at $4,750 (including ABS).
2.3. KTM Duke 390
There is no doubt in the fact that the updated 2019 Duke 390 is one of the best motorcycles under the 500 cc naked category. The 2019 Duke 390 will continue with the same 373cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine which is capable of producing about 44 bhp and have a 68 mpg rating. KTM USA has raised the asking price of the Duke 390 to $5,299.
3. Cafe-Racer motorcycles with the highest mpg:
The Continental GT 650 is Royal Enfield‘s way of making the most powerful and the lightest modern-day cafe racer, which blends retro style with modern appeal perfectly. An all-new in-house developed 648cc parallel-twin engine that features a single piece forged crank with a 270-degree firing order and gives a 65 mpg. MSRP stands a buck shy from $6,000.
3.2. Kawasaki W800 Café
Unveiled at the 2018 EICMA, the W800 from the Japanese Green just got equipped with a Café fitment and thus makes it onto this list. The 773 air-cooled parallel-twin engine churns out 47 ponies and 44 pounds of grunt while giving a 55 mpg figure. Kawi manages to keep the base MSRP below 10 K with a $9,799 sticker.
3.3. Triumph Thruxton R
Over the last many years, the Triumph Thruxton has been giving us the unadulterated essence of motorcycling with its simplistic café racer stance and smooth power delivery. It houses a 1200cc parallel-twin engine putting out 96 hp of power and 82 lb-ft of torque. Impressively, it still manages to give out a decent 50 mpg. MSRP of this Café is a hefty $15,000.
4. Sportsbike motorcycles with the highest mpg:
4.1. Honda CBR250R
Designed for those who are starting to learn the secrets of sporty motorcycles, the CBR 250R has a lot to love. The single-cylinder mill features a broad powerband with plenty of low-revving torque and is perfect for an excellent fuel economy of 70mpg. MSRP stands at $4,199.
4.2. Yamaha YZF-R3
The new YZF-R3 is a light and practical everyday useable motorcycle. Powered by a 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, four valves 321 cc engine, this motorcycle produces about 42 bhp of peak power. It gives a fuel efficiency of 67 mpg and is priced at $4,999, while the ABS version is available for $5,299.
4.3. Hyosung GD250R
2017, the year the GD250R made its entry onto our shores, ran hot on the quarter-liter segment with many manufacturers coming up with low displacement products at cut-throat pricing, making it a tough challenge for the GD. A 250cc single-cylinder, water-cooled engine with electronic fuel injection that provides improved fuel efficiency of 70 mpg and retails at $4,099.
5. Classic / Standard motorcycles with the highest mpg:
5.1. Suzuki TU250X
Available for 2019, the TU250X with it’s classic styling and spunky 250 cc engine makes a nice commuter and all-around economical transportation. A one-lung, air-cooled engine drives this classy little ride. At 249 cc, the engine is small and gives a healthy 80 mpg. MSRP: $4,649.
Royal Enfield brings the old-school, British charm to the American market like no other builder in the world. Mechanically, the 499cc Single Cylinder, four stroke, Twinspark, Air-cooled mill produces a healthy 28 hp power and gives an impressive 70 mpg. The Bullet 500 EFI will set you back a cool $4,999 MSRP.
5.3. Yamaha SR400
Re-introduced to the American market after a long absence, the SR400 still shows the remnants of the old British bike style it was originally meant to emulate in the 1970s. A 399 cc, “thumper” engine drives this classic ride. The engine cranks out a modest 24 ponies and has a good 60 mpg. MSRP on the SR 400 is $5,999.
6. Scrambler motorcycles with the best mpg:
Talk Scrambler and Ducati has its sub-brand for the Scramblers. And starting the range is the SixtyTwo that runs on a powertrain made of the 399 cc, air-cooled, L-twin engine that cranks out 41 ponies and 25.5 pounds of grunt. This rates at 50 mpg and is priced at MSRP $7,995.
Set up like an urban scrambler, Husky bills the Svartpilen as an entry-level commuter/explorer with an easy-to-ride and fun nature. A 375 cc thumper drives the “Black Arrow” with 43 horsepower and gives out 65 mpg. MSRP is $6,299.
The retro-modern design language is literally in fashion now. And this Leoncino has got the same treatment by the fashion gurus at CentroStile Benelli. A twin-cylinder, four-stroke engine, liquid-cooled, 500cc powers the Leoncino with a maximum power of 48 hp, and fuel efficiency stands at 60 mpg.
7. Bobber motorcycles with the best mpg:
7.1. Honda Rebel 500
For more than three decades, the Honda Rebel has been the quintessential beginner’s bike - lightweight, easy to maneuver, and, more importantly, cheap to buy and maintain. The Rebel 500 gets the liquid-cooled parallel-twin from the 471cc CBR500, which makes around 45bhp and giving 75 mpg. MSRP on the 500 is $6,199. ABS adds $300 to the price.
7.2. CCM Spitfire Bobber
The newest member of the Spitfire range is the new Spitfire Bobber that comes with a stripped-back bobber styling but still carries the cues from the rest of the motorcycles in the range. The powerplant on this Bobber makes use of the same Husqvarna TE630 motor used on all the other Spitfires giving out 60 mpg. MSRP is $13,930.
7.3. Yamaha V Star 250
Introduced in 2008, the V Star 250 replaced the Virago 250 but was essentially the same bike spec-wise. Here we have an air-cooled, 60-degree V-twin in the house that would give out 78 mpg. MSRP on the 2020 V Star 250 is $4,349.
With the Himalayan, Royal Enfield has opened up an all-new chapter in its glorious book of functional motorcycles. The Himalayan runs on a fuel-injected engine, which has been christened as LS410, is a single-cylinder, air and oil-cooled, 411cc motor that gives 80 mpg. The model will retail for $4,499.
Tall stance and a narrow body are designed to mean equal parts functional and stylish. The liquid-cooled, 4-valve, parallel twin, 296 cc mill in the “X” is a variant of the mill that drives the Ninja 300 range and makes 70 mpg. MSRP: $ 5,699.
8.3. BMW G310 GS
This motorcycle will be BMW’s second sub 500 cc offering in the world market after the naked streetfighter G 310R. As far as the powertrain is concerned, it is powered by the same 313 cc water-cooled, single-cylinder engine that has a 70 mpg rating. MSRP: $ 5,695.
9. Cruiser motorcycles with the best mpg:
9.1. Suzuki Boulevard S40
The Suzuki Boulevard S40 takes a timeless single-cylinder design, Air-cooled and carbureted, the only reason it can meet emissions. A 652 cc total displacement is one of the largest, single-cylinder four-stroke engines currently in production and gives out 55 mpg. MSRP: $5,799.
This is Harley’s hot little urban commuter that doubles up at a cruiser stance. While it is, in fact, based on the current Street 750, multiple changes in the setup and equipment turn it into another animal entirely. The relatively new Revolution X powerplant — an iron-sleeved, water-cooled, 60-degree V-twin can manage a respectable 55 mpg and comes with a price tag of MSRP $8,699.
9.3. Kawasaki Vulcan S
A typical Japanese cruiser, the ER-6N boasts of both modern and retro elements, which make it a distinctive motorcycle. The bike sources its power from a four-stroke, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, 649cc motor, which churns out 61 hp and has a 55 mpg rating. MSRP on the Vulcan S is $7,099 without ABS and $7,499 with it.
This two-wheeled machine made by the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world, Hero Motorcorp from India, is a special mention in this segment of ours. This, however, is not being sold in the States currently, and it might never even come here. But there couldn’t have been a better article for this motorcycle to be featured in albeit it’s puny 97.2 cc, air-cooled, 4 - stroke single cylinder OHC engine that could cough up just about 11 hp. For enhanced fuel efficiency, the engine is combined with a modern i3s technology, which automatically switches it off when idle and switches it on when the clutch is pressed. So what’s the mpg number on this?
Let that reel in for a minute.
|TYPE||Make and Model||MPG|
|POCKET / MONKEY||Honda Grom||125|
|Honda Monkey 125||125|
|Kawasaki Z125 PRO||80|
|KTM Duke 390||68|
|CAFE-RACER||Royal Enfield Continental GT 650||65|
|Kawasaki W800 Café||55|
|Triumph Thruxton R||50|
|Royal Enfield Bullet 500||70|
|SCRAMBLERS/ TRAIL||Ducati Scrambler Sixty2||50|
|Husqvarna Svartpilen 401||65|
|Benelli Leoncino Trail||60|
|BOBBER||Honda Rebel 500||75|
|CCM Spitfire Bobber||60|
|Yamaha V Star 250||78|
|ADVENTURE TOURER||Royal Enfield Himalayan||80|
|Kawasaki Versys-X 300||70|
|BMW G310 GS||70|
|CRUISER||Suzuki Boulevard S40||55|
|Harley-Davidson Street Rod||55|
|Kawasaki Vulcan S||55|
|The One||HERO SPLENDOR ISMART||235|
Useful tips to help you improve your motorcycle’s MPG:
1. Obey the speed limits on all roads and try to maintain constant speeds.
2. Avoid aggressive riding styles with quick braking and fast acceleration.
3. Choose routes with the least curves or traffic, and prefer highways rather than through the cities.
4. Maintain the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressures.
5. Use good quality fuel with the right blend of octane and/or ethanol as prescribed by the manufacturer.
6. Avoid accessorizing your motorcycle that would increase the weight of your ride and increase wind resistance.
7. Wear a full-face helmet and avoid clothing that decreases your aerodynamic footprint.
8. Keep your engine clean and service it at regular intervals to get the best performance.
9. Keep adjusting your chain and sprockets to the right strains.
10. Reduce drag by riding with the correct posture, especially at higher speeds. Tuck in close to the body of the motorcycle.
- Hero-Honda Splendor
- Triumph Thruxton
- Kawasaki Vulcan
- Kawasaki W
- Harley-Davidson Street
- Royal Enfield Continental
- Suzuki Boulevard
- KTM Duke
- BMW GS series
- BMW G series
- Kawasaki Versys
- Honda CB
- Royal Enfield Himalayan
- Kawasaki Z
- Yamaha V-Star
- Honda Monkey
- Honda Rebel
- Honda Grom
- Husqvarna Svartpilen
- Ducati Scrambler
- Yamaha SR
- Royal-Enfield Bullet
- Suzuki TU
- Yamaha YZF
- Honda CBR