Which motorcycles on sale today give the best mpg?
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.
Which are the Highest revving production motorcycles ever made?
Motorcycles engines are known for their high-revving nature. Since they are limited in size and slapping them with massive big-block motors like the ones you see on automotives is a non-option, they compensate for making that big power by revving higher than most cars out there. For most motorcycles, 8000 to 11000 rpm’s are a standard affair, and all current sports bikes rev happily at these ranges and push the redline a wee bit more too.
But you are not here for these, are you? Well, fret not. Top Speed has got you covered. Although emission laws make things like those an impossible dream today, the motorcycles we are featuring here will give you a glimpse of that very high revving creation of our pasts. And it all starts with the Big four’s from Japan. But of course!
2016 - 2020 Yamaha Bolt
The Yamaha Bolt continues into 2020 with that classic "bobber" style, high tank, and short wheelbase, folks expect to see in old-school styling. Powered by an air-cooled V-twin engine, but with a plenty of technology on board, the Bolt is a good in-between size: not too small that you’ll outgrow it soon and not so big that it is intimidating for new riders. The bobber-style solo seat, easy cruisin’ rider triangle, and naked-bike look make the Bolt a choice little bar hopper or commuter ride.
2015 - 2020 Yamaha V Star 250
If you’re a carburetor fan, you’re still in luck for a 250 cc commuter bike with the 2020 V Star 250 from Yamaha. Simple, classic-cruiser good looks and scooter-like fuel economy make the V Star 250 a no-nonsense choice for a budget-minded or entry-level rider.
2020 Yamaha MT-03
Yamaha expands its MT lineup (formerly the FZ in the U.S.) with an all-new, entry-level model, the 2020 MT-03. Previously available in other markets, it joins the MT-07, -09 and -10 within Yamaha’s hyper-naked range it touts as the “Dark Side of Japan.” The MT-03 toes the family line with minimalist appointments that waste not an ounce on superfluous details. Power delivery is both smooth and predictable to reinforce its rider-friendly nature. ABS protection provides an extra safety net to help make sure you keep it rubber-side down.
2016 - 2020 Yamaha Bolt R-Spec / Bolt C-Spec
The Bolt from Yamaha’s Star cruiser line is a cool little bobber-style bike with its high tank, short wheelbase and solo seat. It’s a nice around town bike — lightweight and agile — and naked with real-steel sheet metal, so it just begs you to customize it. What could be better? Enter the Bolt’s siblings, the dressier Bolt R-Spec and the café racer Bolt C-Spec. The Spec duo are every bit as snappy and fun to ride as the Bolt, but with some upgrades, both hardware and cosmetic. Powered by the air-cooled 942 cc V-twin engine, the Specs are in the same size slot as the Bolt: not too small that you’ll outgrow it right away and not so big to be overwhelming for new riders. At just a few bills more than the Bolt, they’re worth a look.
2018 - 2020 Yamaha Star Venture
Yamaha took a little hiatus from the full-dresser market to the tune of almost a half-decade, but the Tuning Fork Company broke its fast in 2018 with the release of the all-new Star Venture. This ride clearly comes geared to take on Harley-Davidson’s touring line in general, and the Road Glide Ultra specifically. Ambitious? You betcha, but Yamaha did its homework and put together a machine that brings a torquey, big-inch, V-twin to the U.S. market in a rather tour-tastic package with over 35 gallons of dry storage across the two hard bags and trunk box on the base model with additional storage available as part of the “Transcontinental Option Package.” The very name speaks volumes.
2017 - 2020 Yamaha YZF-R6
If you’ve ever wanted to own a bona fide racing machine but didn’t have the money or vanity to go for one of the $100K-plus literbikes on the market right now, I’ve got good news for you; Yamaha updated its mid-size YZF-R6 in MY2017, and it can be had without selling a kidney or your firstborn. At just over the $12K mark, the R6 claims over 120 horsepower with a host of features to help riders manage the tremendous forces this thoroughbred generates. The 600 cc-ish bracket has been getting a little stale as of late between competition from the liter category and the burgeoning interest in the 300 cc bikes, so the updated version of a proven mid-size racetrack champ is exciting news indeed.
2019 - 2020 Yamaha YZF-R3
Done properly, brand indoctrination starts early, and the updated-in-2019 YZF-R3 is Yamaha’s primary bid for the supersport larvae it needs to support the rest of the range. The”R3” presents a race-tastic face to the world with design elements borrowed from its big brothers, the YZF-R6 and YZF-R1. It sports lower-drag bodywork and the same powerplant as the ’18 model for a net performance gain, however slim, and maintains its agile nature/fun factor for experienced pilots.
2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M
Yamaha announced the new 2020 YZF-R1 and R1M to boost its supersport lineup with improvements throughout the build. A refined engine pushes optimized fairings and cowlings across the board, and the R1M has panels made of carbon fiber in a bid to keep weight down. The upgraded electronic ride-quality and safety suite has new top-shelf goodies to make this latest generation R1 family a marvel of engineering. While it isn’t a racetrack-only bike, it definitely falls in the stupidfast category, and of course, track days are still a viable option with very little tweaking to set it up for the circuit.
2016 - 2019 Yamaha Super Ténéré / Super Ténéré ES
The Super Ténéré ES returns for 2019 without its stablemate, the Super Ténéré. The “ES” brings all the adventure capability that gave the Ténéré its name. A compact 1,199 cc parallel-twin engine coupled with the wide-ratio six-speed transmission carries you over hill and dale and back to the pavement with aplomb. Its narrow chassis and low center of gravity make the Super Ténéré easy to handle as well as maneuverable and nimble on twisty roads. Named after the Ténéré desert region in the Sahara, the Super Ténéré and Super Ténéré ES from Yamaha give you on-road and off-road confidence wherever your journey takes you.
2015 - 2018 Yamaha XT250
It seems like when God said “Let there be light,” Yamaha was already making the XT250. Okay, maybe not that long ago, but it has been since 1980 and I’ll bet a lot of folks reading this weren’t born yet. In 1982, Rambo rode one inFirst Blood. If it was mean enough to carry Sylvester Stallone, you know it was pretty awesome. With a wide-ratio five-speed and an air-cooled 250 cc engine, the XT250 is a proper little dual-sport machine and with a little more attention to two-up riding than you might expect in an off-road-capable bike.
2018 Yamaha Star Eluder
Inside every full dresser is a bagger begging to get out, and for Yamaha’s Transcontinental touring line, that distinction falls to the Star Eluder. Power comes from a massive V-twin lump, and it carries an electronics suite that includes safety-related features under ride-by-wire control plus some ride-quality items that let you dial in for preference and conditions. All that comes coupled with long-distance/cold-weather comfort and infotainment system to round out the Eluder as a potential tourbike and a solid candidate as a commuter.
2015 - 2019 Yamaha FJR1300
The biggest sport-tourer in Yamaha’s lineup are better than ever. In 2016, the FJR1300A and its stablemate the FJR1300ES saw some evolutionary changes that brought just enough tweaks to make them smoother, more comfortable rides. Probably the biggest change in that update was in the transmission with the addition of a sixth gear and adding a slipper clutch to reduce hand fatigue at the clutch lever. Both of these tourers run a 1,298 cc liquid-cooled four-banger and come on a sportbike frame for a bit more thrill than just a tourbike.