Motorcycles are definitely a cheaper way to travel. However, many people will be interested in learning how to properly calculate their motorcycle’s fuel consumption.
The good news is that calculating a motorcycle’s fuel consumption is very easy, and the more you do it, the better you become at knowing and estimating the running costs of traveling on your motorcycle.
How do you calculate fuel consumption for a motorcycle? To calculate the fuel consumption for a motorcycle, you need to divide the miles you have traveled with the motorcycle by the amount of fuel the motorcycle used up. Dividing the miles traveled by the amount of fuel consumed will give you the fuel consumption for a motorcycle in miles per gallon (mpg).
To find out more, continue reading below. I go into more detail about everything you need to know in order to calculate the fuel consumption of your motorcycle. Including calculating traveling costs, costs per mile, and more.
Table of Contents:
How to calculate the fuel consumption of a motorcycle
Fill up your motorcycle’s fuel tank
First, you need to fill up your motorcycle’s fuel tank.
Make sure you are filling the fuel tank up to the same point every time on level ground and on the same central or side stand each time. This is one of the cases where it may be useful to use the fuel pump’s auto shut-off ability.
See article: How often do you have to fill up a motorcycle?
Record the odometer’s reading
Next, you want to record your master odometer mileage or reset the trip odometer.
The trip meter is like the odometer. Both the odometer and the trip meter are instruments that measure the distance traveled by the motorcycle. The difference is that the trip meter can be reset to zero while the odometer cannot be reset to zero.
The trip meter will be your best friend in determining how far you have gone during each individual trip; it makes calculating your motorcycle’s fuel consumption super easy.
If your motorcycle does not have a trip meter, you can use the odometer by making a mental note or writing down somewhere its current mileage reading, which you will later need to calculate how far your motorcycle has gone.
Take a short trip
After you have filled up your fuel tank and written down the odometer’s reading or reset the trip odometer to zero, it is time to take a short ride.
Take a short ride and make sure to ride as you usually would. Make sure that you have used at least half of the fuel in the tank.
Refill the fuel tank
Ideally, if you have used the fuel pump’s auto shut-off, you should go back to the same gas station. (To make sure you are using the same fuel pump that has the same auto shut-off timing.) Some fuel pumps may auto shut-off at different times, which can affect how accurate your calculations will be.
If you are always fueling up to a specific point, then just make sure you are doing the same thing as you did when you fueled up your tank in the beginning.
See article: Can you overfill a motorcycle fuel tank?
Record the distance traveled and the fuel consumed
Record how much fuel you needed to refuel your fuel tank.
Then record how much distance you have traveled with your motorcycle using the reading from the odometer or the trip meter.
If you are using the master odometer, you need to deduct the new reading from the original reading.
New mileage – Original (old) mileage = Distance traveled during your last trip.
Calculate the fuel consumption in mpg
Now you can calculate your actual mpg of your motorcycle. Here’s how to calculate the mpg of your motorcycle
Miles ridden / gallons used = mpg.
For example, if you have ridden for 124 miles and then you have used 2.5 gallons of fuel, you will get the following
124 miles / 2.5 gallons of fuel = 49.6 mpg.
This means that this hypothetical motorcycle will travel 49.6 miles per gallon of fuel.
Why is calculating the fuel consumption of a motorcycle important?
Calculating your motorcycle’s fuel consumption is important. This can give you a general idea of its fuel efficiency, which is a good way to find out if your motorcycle is burning more fuel than it should or is falling in the normal ranges.
Usually, motorcycles get 35 to 60 miles per gallon (mpg) depending on the riding style, type of motorcycle, fuel type, and other factors.
See article: What kind of gas do motorcycles use?
Knowing the motorcycle’s fuel consumption can help in better estimating how far you can go on the remaining fuel in the tank.
See article: How far can a motorcycle go on reserve?
This is helpful with motorcycles that may not have low fuel level lights or to riders that are riding on reserve.
See article: Can you run a motorcycle on reserve all the time?
Fuel cost per mile
Knowing the fuel consumption of a motorcycle can help riders to better estimate the cost of a trip depending on its distance. This can help in preparing enough money so that they can be sure they will not be left stranded unable to refill their motorcycles.
Understanding how much fuel your motorcycle uses can be a neat way to calculate how much the different trips can cost you, thus allowing you to better prepare and budget for an upcoming trip.
How to calculate fuel cost per mile for a motorcycle?
Now that you have calculated your motorcycle’s fuel consumption (in mpg), you can easily find its per-mile fuel costs.
Simply take the current per-gallon price of gas and divide it by the mpg of your motorcycle. The formula is
The current price of fuel (per gallon) / mpg = fuel cost (per mile).
For example, let’s calculate the fuel cost per mile for the above-mentioned fictional motorcycle. It had an mpg of 49.6, and we will use $2.20 for the fuel price. This is what we get
2.20 (in dollars) / 49.6 (mpg) = 0.044 dollars per mile,
or about 0.05 cents per mile if we round up.
How to calculate fuel consumption for a trip?
If you have calculated your motorcycle fuel consumption (in mpg) now, it will be extremely easy for you to find how much fuel you will need for your next trip if you know its distance.
To calculate how much fuel you will need for a trip, you need to find your motorcycle’s mpg and the distance of the trip. You can use the following formula
The total distance of the trip (in miles) / mpg = fuel consumption (in gallons).
Or if we take the same fictional motorcycle with the 49.6 mpg and want to find its total fuel consumption for a 250-mile trip, we will have the following equation
250 (in miles) / 49.6 = 5.04 gallons of fuel.
Or in other words, we will need 5.04 gallons of fuel to travel that 250 miles.
Now that you know how much fuel you will need for your next trip, you can also easily estimate the cost of your next trip as well. All you need to do is multiply the total fuel needed for your next trip by the current cost of fuel per gallon.
How to calculate travel costs for a motorcycle?
The next really useful thing you can do by knowing your motorcycle fuel consumption is calculating the travel costs.
The formula for calculating travel costs is as follows
Fuel needed for the whole trip (in gallons) × current price of fuel (per gallon) = total travel cost
For example, for the fictional 250-mile trip, we estimated that we would need 5.04 gallons of fuel, which multiplied by $2.20 (per gallon) gives us a total cost of $11.08 for the whole trip.
How to calculate the remaining travel distance?
The next thing you can do knowing your fuel consumption is determining the remaining miles you can go based on the amount of fuel you have left in the tank.
For this, you will need to know the mpg of your motorcycle and the amount of fuel left in the tank. The formula is as follows
The amount of fuel left in the tank (in gallons) × mpg = remaining travel distance (in miles).
If we take again the fictional motorcycle that has an mpg of 49.6 and we have estimated that we should have about 2 gallons of fuel left in the motorcycle’s fuel tank, we can find that we can travel as far as 99.2 miles before running empty.
2 (reminang fuel in gallons) × 49.6 (mpg) = 99.2 miles left in the tank