Indians have 2 things in common regardless of whatever part of India we come from. First is that we can manage to ride a two wheeler in the most hostile of road and traffic conditions and second is that we are a nation obsessed by fuel economy. But why shouldn’t we be? In a world that is facing an impending shortage of conventional fossil fuel resources, getting good fuel economy is what every responsible citizen should be concerned with. Here now, are some top tips on how you can get better fuel economy from your motorcycle.
Tip 1- Watch your ride
Maintain your engine properly and frequently according to prescribed maintenance cycles. A poorly maintained engine will not perform to optimum efficiency and thus give you lesser mileage too. Pay close attention to spark plug gaps and valve seat clearances during regular motorcycle maintenance. Also make sure that oil changes are done as per the prescribed schedules with the right grade of oil.
Tip 2 - Watch your weight
Watch the weight that you are putting on your poor motorcycle. Do not strain the engine unnecessarily by adding on more weight. So, no more than two people on the motorcycle please. Your own weight as a rider matters too. So keep it down, and your motorcycle will give you good efficiency and keep you healthy too. And yes, also do watch the amount of cargo you load on the vehicle.
Tip 3- Watch your fuel
Fuel itself can be the cause for bad fuel economy. Make sure that you fill up with good quality fuel as bad fuel can cause engine knocking, valve pinging and eventually bent valves. Bad fuel also can clog up your injectors or carburetor jets leading to sludge buildup. Also, do not overfill fuel. Most modern petrol pump dispensers have a cut-off mechanism when the level of fuel in the tank reaches a certain percentage the fuel supply is shut off. Do not fill fuel beyond that point since there is a reason for this. Petrol needs space to expand, and when you overfill, you are cutting out on that space. It can reduce your fuel economy.
Tip 4 - Watch your tyres
Ensure that your tyres are filled up to the prescribed PSI pressures specified by the manufacturer. Low air pressures increase your tyre’s footprint increasing drag and reducing economy. On the other hand higher air pressures can increase wear and tear on your tyre and also result in a harsh ride quality. Air pressures can fluctuate with change in temperature so do keep checking your tyre pressures frequently.
Tip 5- Watch your style
Ride in a smooth manner, progressing gradually through the gears ensuring manufacturer recommended engine rpms and speeds are not exceeded. Don’t be in a hurry to bang through the gears since that will reduce your economy. Don’t over-rev the engine since it will consume extra fuel. Don’t downshift unnecessarily to avoid this. Shift down only when required. Many people also ignore basic aerodynamics and thus end up with poor economy. Being aerodynamically efficient can be achieved by simple things like wearing a fitted motorcycle jacket, using a full face helmet than a half faced one since this will all help in reducing drag and giving your better fuel efficiency. Also avoid any unnecessary saddlebags or side panniers on the motorcycle. Your stance on the bike should also make a difference. Riding with your elbows out motocross style only looks good- it doesn’t help much with your fuel mileage. So there we have it. Top 5 tips to keep you buzzing along comfortably and frugally. On a parting note do remember that an unnecessarily idling engine consumes unnecessary fuel. Switch off for longer duration traffic signals, not only is this environmentally conscious, it’s lighter on the wallet too.