The Best Fuel-Efficient Motorcycles Available Today

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The Best Fuel-Efficient Motorcycles Available Today

Honda CBR600RR
Honda CBR600RR

The Sportbike

Honda CBR600RR — 42 mpg

Already our pick for comfort in the 600cc supersport class, it turns out the CBR600RR returns the best fuel economy too. If you can only have one bike and you want that bike to be on something fast, look no further.

Ducati Monster 696
Ducati Monster 696

The Exotic

Ducati Monster 696 — 50 mpg

Want that most recognizable of exotic badges? The Ducati Monster 696 is the most accessible model in the range, it works great in city traffic and returns fuel economy equivalent to a Toyota Prius. Really!

Star Bolt
Star Bolt

The Cruiser

Star Bolt — 50 mpg

Are you bad to the bone? Not only is the Star Bolt a superior ride to the Harley-Sportster, but it returns 4 mpg more. Its higher quality suspension equals much greater comfort over city streets and it is not quite as terrifying on the highway either.

Suzuki DR-Z400SM
Suzuki DR-Z400SM

The Supermoto

Suzuki DR-Z400SM — 55 mpg

Want to enjoy your commute? There’s no better way to do so than on a DR-Z, which wheelies all the way to 55 mpg.

Suzuki V-Strom 650
Suzuki V-Strom 650

The Distance Bike

Suzuki V-Strom 650 — 50 mpg

Need to ride a long way on the highway each and every day? You can’t find more comfort than you can on the V-Strom 650 and it’s pretty manageable in city traffic too.

Do you disagree with any of these picks? Tell us your choice for best fuel-efficient bike. Do you commute by motorcycle? What do you ride to work everyday?

  • http://krtong.com/ Kr Tong

    HAH. Not in california.

  • http://www.karinajean.com/ karinajean

    FIST BUMP DRZ400SM. srsly. as shown in my icon.

  • SniperSmitty

    I am dead serious here folks. I get 48-52 mpg on my 2000 CBR 600 F4. I keep the rpms under 6k and cruise in 5th gear going about 55-60mph. I get 200 miles on 3.5 to 3.8 gallons. This included the occasional caning of Nicole as well.
    Keep the dirty side down riders.

  • Guy Simmonds

    If you really want fuel efficiency, get a 125… I get around 120mpg (that’s UK gallons, mind – about 100mpg US) out of my CBF125, and I used to get more out of it, back when I was more cautious.

    Might be a little limiting on the motorway, but I can still push the little thing up to 70mph on level ground. Struggles with hills, though, and acceleration about 40 or 50 mph leaves a lot to be desired. But if you’re looking for a little bike just to run around the city, and want a little more room to tie down luggage than the Grom gives you (basically nothing), then it’s pretty ideal.

    Any idea what the Grom gets, since I’m guessing that’s one of the few road-legal 125s available state-side?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      In American cities, highway ability is essential. I ride a Grom around LA most days, but that’s because I’ve very central and don’t mind putting in the effort to avoid the highways. I also have multiple bikes at my disposal. Most people aren’t going to be that flexible.

      • Guy Simmonds

        I don’t disagree – as much as I love boasting triple-digit MPGs to my car-driving friends, lack of parking space and the cost of insurance would make keeping two bikes prohibitive. I need to make journeys on highways JUST often enough right now that the 125 is feeling restrictive, so I’ll probably be selling that on and buying a CBR500R in a few months. (I know, not as practical as the 500X, but I’ve ridden both the 500R and 500F for extended periods, and the wide handlebars of the F made me feel… uncomfortable. I felt more at home on the 500R.)

        I wonder, though, if they’d thrown a fifth or sixth gear on the Grom if it’d be able to do highway speeds? That said, with a wheelbase that short, I don’t think you’d WANT to do those speeds…

        Anyway, point being, if you wanted to buy a bike solely for the city runabout – and had another motor for those times when you need more speed, and your primary concern was fuel efficiency, then 125s do super well in that regard. But I guess people in that category are relatively few and far between.

        • Justin McClintock

          Guy, it’s not about whether a 6th gear would make the Grom run those speeds. It’s that in the US, a 125cc bike isn’t even interstate legal. And besides, no, even with a 6th gear, 65 mph just isn’t going to happen.

      • ThinkingInImages

        You’d think the Grom would be popular here in NYC for street riding and commuting – but I’ve never seen one. Other than Ninja 250′s and CBR250R’s, “small” motorcycles are mostly scooters.

        Even for someone as compact/light as I am, a 250cc motorcycle is as small as I would go for highway riding here in New York.

    • Piglet2010

      A 125cc motorcycle can get over 220 mpg with a full-body fairing added.

      http://www.velomobiel.nl/allert/Recumbent%20motorbike.htm

      • Guy Simmonds

        Very very cool, though sadly I don’t think it’ll catch on. Shame.

  • Rob

    You left out the most fuel efficient bike on sale in the US right now. The Suzuki DR200 SE gets around 125 mpg

    • Piglet2010

      Fuelly reports from the low 60′s to about 90 mpg for the DR200 SE: http://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/suzuki/dr200se

      Seems about right, since my Yamaha TW200 weighs about the same, has a similar engine design and displacement, and gets around 70 mpg.

  • Rameses the 2nd

    You are not going to get 49 MPG on Bonneville in a major city. 35 MPG is more realistic.

    • Piglet2010

      My ~80 pounds heavier, shaft-drive Honda Deauville gets better mileage than my Bonnie – suspect it is more aerodynamic.

    • Nate Terrill

      I see over 50 on the highway. In the city you are spot on at 35. I don’t particularly care, but it can get annoying when the gas light comes on at 100 miles on the trip meter.

      • Piglet2010

        The low-fuel light on my Bonnie comes on with 1.4 gallons left in the 4.2 gallon tank. Usually this is between 120 and 130 miles, so about 42 to 46 mpg.

    • 200 Fathoms

      Totally agree. My Fuelly average is 37. I do ride a lot in the city, but not hard.

    • stever

      Mine took a dump immediately after the 18,000 mile service and went from 42mph to 34mpg or less. I suspect the shop servicing it did something to it, but nobody can figure out what.

  • IRS4

    My 2001 FZ1 is weirdly consistent. I get 40 MPG wether tooling around town, attacking the Angeles Crest, or high speed cruising on the freeway. I did get caught out once along the edge of the Salton Sea when my mileage plummeted into the twenties when I forgot to account for how much aero drag there is in triple digit travel.

  • John

    Ah, the good old days when this didn’t matter. But, you know, my VT Ascot got 60mpg 30 years ago even with supposedly lossy shaft drive. Also, some of the dual sports get well into the 70s or even 80s.

    • ThinkingInImages

      I had the FT500 and VT500 Ascots and both were fuel efficient – and fun. 60mpg and higher was easy.

  • runnermatt

    I usually get 67mpg out of my CBR250R. Usually no less than 64mpg. I”ve seen as high as 84mpg, but I believe that was inaccurate due to inconsistently filling the tank to the same level every time, even a few tenths of a gallon can throw off the numbers.

    • Aaron Baumann

      I typically get around 65, with a high at 74 and a low around 60, but I also do a lot of highway driving.

      The only thing that I hate about the CBR is that it makes it really hard to find a bike to replace it with. I don’t want to give up the fuel efficiency or the ease of riding.

      • Brian Collins

        Replace? ADD on! the 250 is now my “one-up” bike, and the F800GT is the “two-up” bike. Both get great gas mileage btw. The GT’s engine doesn’t like being over 5K rpm (BMW parallel twin vibrations…) for too long so it’s easy to get great mpg on it.

      • runnermatt

        You don’t have to give it up. The term “second bike” can mean two things. The second bike you ever purchase or that you own two bikes. I plan on going the two bike route. I’m trying to decide which second bike I want now.

    • ThinkingInImages

      Same here. It’s a sweet motorcycle – that’s hard to fuel up. Luckily I don’t have to do that often.

      • runnermatt

        My last job my commute was close to 50 miles one way so I was doing about 100 miles a day. I was filling up every day and half. But with a 3.5 gallon tank the fill-ups with 93 octane (I know only 87 is required) cost less than $8 and take about 30 seconds once the gas nozzle is in the fuel filler.

    • Mill0048

      I use my CBR250R daily for work and school. I thrash the piss out of it and average 70mpg, all city no highway and with a 13T front sprocket. Driving it like a saint on the first few fill-ups, I got 93 and 98 mpg. Never seen them numbers since. What a great bike.

      • runnermatt

        My commute was mostly speed limits of 55 mph, which meant I was usually going 60 if by myself or the speed of traffic which might be 65-70 in a 55. With a 100 mile round trip commute that meant that most of it was spent sitting at 7k rpms.

  • Cory McNair

    2002 Ducati ST4s—Stayintune pipes, K&N filter, Desmoporsche ECU, 42 rear sprocket—56mpg during normal commuting. Obviously less on more recreational rides. There is something in here about having your cake

  • timdnml .

    Don’t forget the Vespa GTS 300…60 mpg, 80 mph

    • Doug Erickson

      or the piaggio bv350 — 70 mpg, 90 mph ;-)

  • Mariofz1

    Mi FZ1 ’04 gets 36-38 mpg on Miami traffic, which is hell…does 43 mpg.on the highway at 90, indicated Love the fact that I can go to my buddy;s house in Orlando, 229 miles driveway to driveway without stopping for gas….Over 121,000 miles and counting…..

    • ‘Mike Smith

      My R1 gets 39-40 mpg whether I ride on the interstate or around town. 121,000 miles is crazy!

  • 80-watt Hamster

    Pulling a 49mpg average on an ’09 Versys, primarily commuting.

  • BillW

    I’m really impressed by the 66 mpg of the 500X. That’s better than I get on my KLX250S. But I do whip the little thing pretty hard. My 80+-mile round-trip commute includes an 18-mile freeway segment, turning about 8000 rpm at 75 mph indicated, a 26-mile segment of twisties up/down a mountain where I ride it pretty hard, and a 2.4-mile stretch of dirt road that I ride very cautiously in 2nd gear, being a complete wuss on dirt. I get about 55-60 mpg.

    • zombarian

      According to fuelly my best on the klx sf is 77 and my average is closer to 70.

      • BillW

        I can’t recall, but is the sf geared higher than the s, being more street oriented?

        The best I’ve seen on the S is 65, on a different ride than my commute with involved less freeway, less elevation change, and more gentle riding because the bike was new to me.

      • zedro

        My klx250s gets 40mpg if I’m lucky. I guess the 351cc big bore kit, pumper carb and intake/exhaust mods don’t help ha. Thank IMS for 3 gal gas tanks.

  • Nemosufu Namecheck

    BMW Sertao claims 74mpg, but I get around 70. G’head – throw the bullshit flag.

    • Joshua Winn

      2007 F650 single here with just over 75k miles. I get between 60 to 65 mpg at 75+mph. Used to be about 70 mpg too, but I’ve changed my commute since then. Love those savings!

      • Nemosufu Namecheck

        That would make sense since most of my commute is 55mph and below. I think they have a list of good bikes but they obviously have their faves. Love the F650.

        • Jeffw

          When i was cycle shopping 6 years ago, the F650 was pretty much the only serious motorcycle showing up as fuel efficient. I bought a Dakar because it was something that would fit a 6’5″ body on. I had no interest in the dual sport craze back then, but i have to wonder how a bike that can do 110MPH, carry you and your camping gear through some sketchy terrain, easily averages 60MPG, and can be coaxed into going over 100 miles on a gallon wouldn’t make a list like this…

          • Piglet2010

            Wes Siler hates the BMW thumpers for being dull and boring (in his opinion).

            • Jeffw

              I won’t say much about the Burgman 400 maxi-pad since i guess it’s there to fill a formulaic slot in the article, but the V strom? Is it sexy and thrilling enough to trump the 10+MPG difference? I’ll have to avoid riding one and being spoiled…

              • Piglet2010

                I like the way the Burgman 400 looks in real life.

                • Jeffw

                  Why would anyone ride one of those unless they had a dress, skirt or a kilt on?

                • Piglet2010

                  I ask myself a similar question about overweight, underpowered, poor handling cruisers – but they do seem to be popular here, eh?

    • runnermatt

      How is the Sertao on the roads and at freeway speeds? I’ve read a few articles saying that it is kinda of miserable to ride one in those situations for any length of time?

      • ThinkingInImages

        That sounds about right for my CBR250R, too. I was concerned about the high rev’s for about three seconds. Then I stopped thinking about it. It may be spinning fast, but it doesn’t feel stressed. I’ve had it up a bit higher, too. It’s not how high the revs are at speed but how the engine feels there. Some drone, some whine, some buzz, others are just annoying.

      • Jeffw

        What is making these authors miserable? On the Dakar with stock gearing, 60MPH is right in the sweet spot of the engine at 4k rpm. At 4500 it gets slightly buzzy, but still much smoother than other thumpers from what i’ve read. The only significant difference with the Sertao is a bigger fuel tank AFAIK. The complaints i’ve heard are about the stock seat and/or power when 2up and loaded with gear, but personal experience has been satisfactory.

        • runnermatt

          Thanks for the reply. It has been a while since I read those articles, but I think they were complaining about wind protection and vibration. I’m sure there are better options available for the seat and windscreen and I realize vibration can be a subjective thing. A smooth vibration free bike for one person may be too vibey for another. What I would like is to know is how vibey a bike is compared to other bikes, which I’ve never seen a journalist do.

      • Blixa

        I have the Dakar, which is essentially the same bike as the Sertao but has a larger fuel tank. I am not an iron butt rider, but I’ve done some 300+ mile days on it and probably could have ridden longer. It’s a thumper so it’s going to vibrate, but I haven’t found its ride uncomfortable or annoying, and I’ve heard anecdotally that it’s one of the smoothest thumpers out there. I do have an aftermarket windscreen, a lowered seat and Bark busters on it which help with seating comfort and wind protection. I think it’s a nice bike and very versatile as well as fuel efficient. I was zooming around on it on some muddy back roads in Maryland yesterday. It’s in desperate need of a wash, but a dirty bike is a happy bike.

      • Nemosufu Namecheck

        Here is the good news, vibration only really kicks in around 80mph. Bad news is that highway speeds can be a little miserable if your bike isn’t loaded down with gear. If your commute is below 80mph its a great option. I’ve never owned a car 250 but my old ninja 500 was a dream on the highway.

    • atomicalex

      My ratty old F650GS thumper gets 61 day in, day out, and about 72 in the Alps.

  • Piglet2010

    I get 90-95 mpg around town on my Elite 110, and around 80-85 mpg in rural riding (where I am going WFO at just over 50 mph).

    • eviladrian

      PCX150, city riding: 102mpg last week!

      • Piglet2010

        You likely are moving less weight around.

  • Nathan Haley

    The article title is a little bit misleading – these aren’t actually the most fuel-efficient motorcycles available today (that would just be a list of 50-125cc scooters). These are just selections of your favorite fuel-efficient motorcycles, grouped by category. Why not call it “Our Favorite Fuel-Efficient Motorcycles Available Today”?

    The DRZ is arguably the only factory supermoto currently sold new in America, I’ll grant you that – since the KLS250SF and WR250X are both recently discontinued. But the KLX250S, CRF250L and a WR250R are all substantially more fuel efficient than the DRZ and the only real difference between a dual-sport and a supermoto is the wheels.

    Sorry to nitpick you guys to death. It’s out of love, I swear!

    This is somewhat unrelated, but I also have a bone to pick with Fuelly. I could be wrong, but does Fuelly not distinguish between American gallons and British ones (yes, they’re different)? A UK gallon is bigger than a US one so a motorcycle that has more reports from the UK will have an upward-biased average MPG rating as compared with one that has more US reports. True, it’s usually only a difference of a few MPG but sometimes people think that matters. Hrumph.

    • Scott Otte

      As a user of Fuelly I know that it does ask if you’re using imperial Gallons or US, so it should not skew the results.

      • Nathan Haley

        I stand corrected! I poked around in there a bit but I didn’t want to set up the account to check for sure, so thanks for clarifying.

    • Eric

      This article does smell a bit to me too. The Star Bolt comes a lot in articles featured here, sure… I like it too. It’s good looking, airbox is a bit on the huge side and no place to put your knee other than hang it over into the next lane, but it’s certainly not the most fuel efficient cruiser. CTX700′s get considerably better MPG, even the Honda Shadow line squeaks out 54MPG. More I harp on the subject, the more bikes I can come up with better fuel economy that reported in this article.

      I like having new content more frequently on rideapart, but it’s starting to feel like linkbait.

      • Nathan Haley

        Maybe “The Best Fuel-Efficient Motorcycles Available Today” would’ve been a more accurate title.

        I agree – for the regulars, it sometimes seems like link bait. However, I think the slightly redundant nature of some of the articles would certainly help get a newbie pointed in the right direction when researching their first bike/gear/school/etc. New content is also constrained by the rate at which new motorcycles are released, so I think RideApart does a good job re-covering (re-presenting?) bikes from differing perspectives, in comparison with each other. And good God, they’re better than any other biker site I’ve found.

        Unrelated – I think we’re all anticipating more from RideApart TV! I’d love to see a “cheap bike challenge” a la Top Gear, but maybe I’m the only one.

        • Eric

          Motorcycle News years ago did something like Top Gear challenges years ago, wasn’t too shabby and wish that someone would take that flag and run with it.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDZIjuw_j6k

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOWPSbKXSIQ

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mglJwIi5rI

          • Nathan Haley

            I remember those! They weren’t quite as smooth as Clarkson et al but it’s a really noteworthy effort and I think RideApart could do it really well. Cheap adventure bike challenge is perfect for a topic when you think about it, since most current new ADVs are so expensive (some would even claim they were overpriced given their typical use). I could definitely see a $3,000 ADV challenge, featuring a craigslist KLR650, plated WR450F and an ancient R1150GS or a TW200 or something…RideApart, are you listening?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      And we clearly state we’re editorializing a bit. Wouldn’t want to recommend anyone buy a bad bike.

  • Scott Otte

    I have no idea if this will work, but here it is.

    • Flying Couch

      I’ve been thinking about a 620. Fuel economy and tank range is one of the last concerns that I’m having trouble finding information on.

  • nomad2495

    of course the low displacement bikes get great mileage. You guys should do the mpg’s of high performance bikes.

    • Zanpa

      Yeah, the Monster 696 or CBR6000RR are low displacement, low performance bikes. Right?

      • Flying Couch

        Well, in fairness, while the 696 isn’t exactly slow it’s hardly gonna light your world on fire. But yeah, implying a 600RR isn’t a “high performance bike” is pretty silly.

  • Brian Collins

    (this will probably be an unpopular post)
    MPG?? eh, ride the freakin’ thing! We spend thousands of dollars on a bike that for most of us we probably don’t “need”, and then worry about a dollar here and a dollar there at the pump. it’s 4-6 gallon tank, and anything over 35 mpg is good gas mileage. I wish my 4-wheeled vehicles could even sniff that: the F-150 with a 26 gallon tank and 19 mpg, now THAT $$$ is something to worry about. I understand that there is a convenience factor regarding fewer fill-ups, but aren’t there greater things to worry about? put the gas in it and go!

    all that being said, my CBR250R gets GREAT gas mileage!!!

    • Zanpa

      Some people commute on their bike. That’s what this article is about, as explained in the first few words of the article.

      • Brian Collins

        Really? Is THAT what this articles about??? Oohhhhh… ;)

        Point being: pretty much EVERY motorcycle gets good gas mileage. I say just be happy to be riding and don’t sweat the details. Even if my bike got sh*tty gas mileage, I’d still prefer to commute on it then any cage. Oh, and I commute about 500 miles/wk in the warmer months.

        • Jeffw

          Every motorcycle might get good gas mileage compared to your truck, but some cycles get good mileage compared to the inefficient bikes. If someone is second thinking buying one they want because of the sticker price, saving a few hundred a year on their commute might convince them to lay down more moolah for the motorcycle they wanted more to start. Having saved $500 or so in gas riding a Dakar puts the initial cost difference with a KLR in better perspective for me.

          • Brian Collins

            In the movie “Why we ride” not one person mentioned the great gas mileage they get.
            “Every motorcycle might get good gas mileage compared to your truck,”
            not just MY truck, every truck! hahahaha

            show me a guy (or gal…) who picks out a bike according to it’s mpg rating, and I’ll show you my ocean front property in arizona.

            • Jeffw

              There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio…

            • Stuki

              I right off the bat wrote of the KTM SMT as even a candidate for touring/adv bike once I poked around and saw owner complaints about mileage. Not just for cost reasons; but just as much due to the 20-some mpg’s influence on range.

              Don;t know where you’re at, but here out west, range is a non negotiable in any bike bought even partly for long distance touring. And, given space constraints on MCs, mpgs tend to have a large influence on range.

            • runnermatt

              One of the main reasons I picked my CBR250R was for gas mileage. There were other reasons as well, such as all the glowing reviews I read, its a Honda, it got better gas mileage than a Ninja 250 that were considered somewhat buzzier on the highway because of running at a higher engine speed. I considered the Honda Rebel as well because it was rated at 84 mpg to the CBR’s 77, but was concerned about the safety of the Rebel in 70 mph traffic.

              Also, my car is rated at 31 mpg highway and I usually average 28-29 mpg. Sure any bike will get good gas mileage compared to current trucks. But with Ram (formerly known as Dodge) trucks 1500 model getting 25 mpg with the gas V6 and now with the available 3.0L V6 turbo diesel (that I haven’t yet seen MPG ratings for) in the same truck I expect that being able to say a 35 mpg bike gets good gas mileage when compared to trucks is not going to be true for much longer. Also, GM/Chevy is going to be have a diesel engine available in the 2015 Colorado. A Compact/Midsize truck with diesel should get awesome gas mileage.

              I didn’t mention cars, but the ’05 VW Golf TDI that I used to have averaged 46 mpg over a 45 mile commute that included about 8 miles on 2 lane roads, 30 miles at 75 mph on the interstate and about 5-6 miles in the city. With that experience, outside of cruisers and outright sport bikes I would consider 35 mpg unacceptable for a bike.

            • Kirk Roy

              There are lots of people posting their motorcycle mileage on fuelly so it’s not just this article. One thing I hated about my superhawk was the terrible fuel economy (sub 30 mpg for general riding, less if “spirited”). I care about my own fuel economy and keep one of my bikes displays on the fuel economy display. I bought my last bike based on low miles, like new condition, and low price but I’ve been disappointed in the mileage and probably won’t keep it as long as I would otherwise based on the relatively poor mileage.

            • Scott Otte

              It may not be why I ride, but it definitely influences my choice of motorcycle that I ride. If it’s not getting significantly better gas mileage then my Honda Civic it’s not even an option.

    • Piglet2010

      It is an issue when a sport-touring bike such as Shamu (aka VFR1200F) has limited range – here in the Upper Midwest it can be hard to find a gas station open after 10 PM unless one sticks to multi-lane roads, not to mention much of the western part of the country and Canada where towns can be more than 150 miles apart.

    • runnermatt

      When I bought my CBR250R I was spending on average $425 a month in fuel. And that was with my 2009 VW GTI that is rated at 31 mpg highway and I was averaging 28-29 mpg. I hate the Toyota Prius and MOST other hybrids. The CBR250R was only $4k AND gets substantially better gas mileage than said Prius. I really want to get vanity plates for it that say “77 MPG” (rated mileage for my bikes year). One day while riding my bike to work I saw a Prius stopped in front of me that had a bumper sticker that said something along the lines of “My Prius’ MPG beats your vehicles MPG”. I was really, really tempted to pull alongside it and inform the driver otherwise.

    • Mykola

      Meh. My first motorcycle, a Virago 250, was about being able to get around as a poor college student.
      After I put on a +1 front sprocket it went from a very nice ~65mpg average to an unreal ~75mpg. City or highway, though almost never over 70mph, tank after tank after tank of gas.

  • equ

    My personal measurements with multiple bikes… 1. Suzuki tu250x:
    72-82 mpg. 2. Kawasaki w650: 45-58 mpg 3. Moto Guzzi v7 cafe: 38-44 mpg 4
    & 5. Ducati 696 & s2r 800: 38-44 mpg. 6. BMW f650gs (800cc
    twin): 48-60mpg. Varied riding conditions, higher number usually means
    easy country roads, neither city nor highway. Lower number is over
    winter fills, plenty of warm up or higher highway speeds.

  • Doug Erickson

    star bolt over the ctx700, the latter of which pulls down 60+ mpg? man, i think the press forgot honda’s style-free supercommuter cruiser exists…

    • Stuki

      It may also be that the CTX is too sanitized for anyone considering buying a “cruiser”

  • Joseph Zarrella

    I am on fuelly with my 2012 dl650. Bought it for commuting. 110 miles round trip every day. Averaging 54 mpg. Its perfect for my everyday ride.

  • Kirk595x

    What about the Ninja 250/300? My 03′ 250 can get 60-75 mpg depending on how my driving habits are. Shoulda been mentioned along with the CBR 250.

    • Piglet2010

      I get just over 30 mpg from my 2004 Ninja 250R.

      At a track day, that is.

  • RideaTart

    I like that Rideapart at least occasionally goes where many motojournalists fear to tread: in praise of practicality in a motorcycle. So articles like this are a pleasure to read. That said, most motorcycle shoppers are fairly capable on distinguishing which bikes go easier on gas. The real advantage, both on an individual and societal level, is getting more people out of their cars and onto 2 wheels for the daily commute. From that perspective, any bike that turns someone on and makes them want to ride daily is a good commuter bike.

    I think the fallacy, if you will, in touting motorcycle mileage is that although our commute might be, say, 50 miles, we are willing at the drop of a hat to take the scenic route home and make that into a 100 mile ride.

    • Scheffy

      ^ this. While my bike gets 50% better gas mileage than my car, my commutes end up being 50% longer. This on top of the countless long weekend rides where there would be zero gas consumption if I only had a car because I get absolutely nothing out of “going for a drive” now that I’m used to riding. I might as well be sitting in a cubicle and getting paid to do something equally mind-numbing.
      But at the same time, $20 gets me an entire day of riding on the weekend when the weather’s nice. As soon as winter hits I end up spending way more money on stupid crap that’s only half as awesome on the weekends because there’s nothing else to do. So…. economics.

  • Reid

    I regularly get between 58-63 on my Duke, but 55 is the average.

    • Stuki

      I was wondering about the Duke as well. A problem with doing fuellly style economy studies on KTMs, is that their riding population (at least in the US) is singularly selected to be most monomaniacal throttle twisters on the planet. Even the mighty NC700 would suffer a bit if ridden solely by guys who insisted the only use for a front tire at all, is for doing stoppies…… So, 50+ on one of them things, actually mean something, as far as efficiency goes.

      Come to think of it, I’m sure a GSXR is no different FE wise from a CBR. But since every self respecting Gixxer owner uses 3rd for freeway cruising and 1st for everything else, in addition to fitting straight pipes and ‘dump the tank on every throttle application’ fuel commanders, what can Zuk engineers possibly do…..

      • Reid

        I had a good hearty laugh reading your reply. I am definitely not of that monomaniacal throttle-twister sect of KTM jockeys, and I’m kind of glad I never met any of those folks I’d feel woefully inadequate. I’ve never done a stoppy. Never wanted to…maybe. But yeah, I can have never gotten worse than 53 mpg. I’m sure my Duke is the most babied one of its kind anywhere in the world.

      • wbizzle

        Thank you for this comment! The “dump the tank on every throttle application” is priceless commentary, along with the 1st and 3rd gear references. And the KTM ones for that matter. Extremely funny and a great way to end a day!

  • 2wheelsgood

    Suzuki TU250 – mid 70′s mpg, upright seating, good suspension and top racks available. The less you weigh, the faster it goes. No bad vibes evev at full throttle, which you will do alot. But really mpg is not a good reason to get into bikes, it’s the fun. Ride a bicycle, take public transit, carpool, or move closer to your job if economy is the goal.

  • ticticticboom

    I rev the crap out of my BMW F800 GT, rode almost 7000 miles last year and averaged 54 mpg.

    • Richard Gozinya

      BMWs seem to all get good fuel economy for their respective classes. I know the boxers do a lot better on fuel economy than the very similar Moto Guzzis, while also being more powerful.

  • ThinkingInImages

    I understand the commuting “angle” – but it’s hard for people to equate “commuting” to “fun”, or “fuel efficient” to “fun”.

    • Ryan Kiefer

      Why’s that? I commute early in the morning, about 5:30-6:00am, and the light traffic allows me the flog the piss out of my CBR250R. Still get over 60mpg.

  • Justin McClintock

    My DRZSM, I usually get right at 50 mpg around town. Same for my DT175 actually. Then again, it’s running way up there in it’s rev range at over 50 mph (most of the speed limits near my house are 45 or higher). The SV1K gets around 40 in town, but I’ve seen as high as 57 when traveling out of town on it but not particularly beating on it.

    • Piglet2010

      Think if it had fuel injection.

      • Justin McClintock

        No kidding. It NEEDS FI, a 6 speed, and a tach. There’s absolutely no reason it can’t have all of those at this point. An extra 50 cc’s would be nice as well, but aren’t mandatory if they fix those other shortcomings.

        • Piglet2010

          Just maybe KTM coming out with a 390 Duke based motard and dual-sport for 2015 will force the Japanese to pay as much attention to the segment as they do to sportbikes.

  • Flying Couch

    Are you guys just going with whatever the most-reported figure is on Fuelly, or are you averaging it out? 50 might be the most-reported number in the example graph at the beginning, but averaging it out I got 53.3. May be some math errors on my part, but you know what I mean. Might be worth noting.

    • Piglet2010

      I would throw out any reported number more than one standard deviation from the mean, and re-calculate the average.

  • ThinkingInImages

    It’s interesting to see so many CBR250R’s here, as well as other single cylinder motorcycless. Many people think “single cylinder” and associate it with “primitive”. That’s no longer true. These are all quite sophisticated engines, even the venerable KLR650. Nobody can say the KTM engines are primitive. KTM is getting a lot of power out of a single cylinder four stroke.

  • SVR

    No love for the Suzuki TU-250?

  • Mr.Paynter

    I’m baby-sitting an NC700x now for 2 months and it is most definitely a Honda, and far more than the sum of its’ parts!

  • Ryan Kiefer

    I only manage about 62mpg on my CBR250R, but I don’t consider myself the typical 250 rider, being a porker (~250lbs with gear on) and riding mostly 60+mph highway miles. While I’d love one of Honda’s 500s now, I chose the 250R for a couple of reasons: price (discounted to $3799 because leftover 2012 model purchased in mid-2013), availability (500s were scarce in KC at the time), and honestly, as a new rider with only 150cc scooter experience to my name, I was intimidated by the idea of anything more powerful. And since I was honest and told my insurance company I was a new rider, 250cc insurance rates were substantially lower.

    If I were buying now, after 5000 miles of riding under my belt, I’d definitely take a longer look at the 500X.

    I got to commute this morning after over a week out of the saddle due to icy conditions here in KC. Balls-out riding is such a great cure for the winter blues.

  • Arno

    I keep saying it, the CB500X is an amazing motorcycle, commuter buddies don’t listen, just enough power and efficiency than the smaller bikes (and looks)

  • http://kclose3.com/blog kacey3

    Why would you use the Bonneville as your “Retro” fuel efficient bike when Royal Enfields are genuinely more retro, and get considerably better gas mileage?

  • Rich Wentz

    There are more fuel efficient bikes than that. Enfields anyone? 70mpg. My Street Triple in stock form got better mpg than the Bonnie. Just over 50. 44-46 with a sport map.

    • http://kclose3.com/blog kacey3

      No kidding, even my crap riding keeps my Enfield over the 60mpg mark.

  • josh

    San francisco? Bahahahahahahahaha ooooooooooooooo bahahahahahahahahahah. Ha. Bart is a bad disgusting(1) joke. It only goes down one corridor in the city. Muni (the sf bus and “train” system) is a equal mess(2). Ac tranisit is the best of the bunch, and that’s Oakland and the east bays bus system, so you can expect a certain level of filth and absurdity(3, 4 ). Nothing lines up, you have to take three different services in a average commute, paying anew each time. A local paper did a series about how its about equal money if you can beat a bus to your destination by walking. I have gotten from south san fran (near sfsu) to to emeryville in 17 minutes, during rush hour on a vfr 800. The same trip by public transit is 2 hours. Now i wouldn’t recommend riding quite that fast, but its 1/2 a hour at a reasonble pase.

    1 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/us/06bcseats.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
    1 http://media.baycitizen.org/interactive/muni-sa/2012.html
    2 http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/09/30/ac-transit-bus-passenger-shot-in-oakland/
    3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4OnhnvczTk

    In short, if you live in sf, for the love of god get a bike. There are whole sections of the city you would spend hours getting to otherwise. Oh, and you can afford to live farther from the main transit hubs, which will drop your rent considerably, all other things equal.

    (editing to try to hide the video, I want a link, not a embed damn it)

    • josh

      Oh and I am from Boston, I like the T, so I am not anti public transit.