Motorcycles vs. cars for gas mileage

Written by elijah clark | 13/05/2017
Motorcycles vs. cars for gas mileage
In addition to being great fun, motorcycles save on gasoline (motorcycle camping image by Greg Pickens from

Fuel consumption is a major concern for auto buyers. Cars are the dominant mode of transportation but motorcycles and scooters have experienced a tremendous upswing in popularity as fuel prices have risen.

Miles Per Gallon

In terms of raw miles per gallon (mpg), motorcycles seem to have the advantage over cars. Commuter motorcycles regularly prove themselves capable of 60mpg or more, while even hybrid cars top out at 50mpg. Cars do have an advantage because they can get that kind of mileage while transporting four people, while motorcycles can only carry two people at a time.

Cost for Efficiency

The major difference in efficiency between cars and motorcycles comes from their cost. For £2,665 you can purchase a new motorcycle that will get 61mpg. A Toyota Prius retails between £14,300 to 28,000 and gets 51mpg. Scooter aficionados can get as much as 150mpg from £845 machines, though with greatly reduced performance and carrying capacity.

The Used Market

High mpg cars are more competitive in the used market. Cars such as the Honda CRX and Geo Metro get fuel mileage comparable to large displacement '70s and '80s motorcycles such as the CB750 or Virago. Used EX250 motorcycles frequently sell for £1,300 or less and consistently get 60 to 70mpg. Many dual sport motorcycles get 50 to 60mpg and are extremely reliable.

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