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How to improve your bike's fuel efficiency

June 22, 2016 14:18 IST

We list down various ways in which you can derive the best mileage from your bike. It might not match the ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) figures, but will surely get you close.

The market for two-wheelers in India is humungous. But it’s the commuter segment that rule the roost with respect to market share in the Indian two-wheeler space. And the one aspect for the commuter motorcycle that is critical in a buyer’s decision is the fuel efficiency figure of the particular offering. The company quoted mileage, which is certified by the ARAI, can only be obtained under ideal conditions and is almost impossible to achieve in the real world.

1. Friction is the biggest enemy of mileage. To win this battle, make sure you keep the internals of the bike well lubricated and maintained. Keep a close check on the level and condition of the engine oil as well as lube the chain regularly. Also, make sure the air intake filter is clean and allows for a good flow of air into the engine.

2. Poorly inflated tyres also reduce the mileage of your bike drastically. Make sure your tyres are in good condition and are inflated to the specifications of the manufacturer. Every bike comes with different tyre pressure specifications and trusting you local shop to fill 25psi at the front tyre and 35psi at the rear is a bad idea.

3. Make sure when you refuel it is a cold day or try refuelling during early morning or in the night. Fuel is highly volatile and easily evaporates / loses density under heat. Remember, every drop counts.

4. Even at idling, the engine consumes a decent amount of fuel so make sure that the idling rpm of the motor isn’t very high. Throttle input also plays a major role in extracting good mileage of the motor. Be gentle on the throttle and shift the gears between 3,000 to 4,000rpm.

5. Braking momentum is the biggest enemy while trying to extract the maximum mileage. Be alert while riding so that you are always riding in the proper gear and adjust your momentum according to the varying traffic condition. Also predicting the traffic plays a vital role for better mileage.

6. The effort of the engine is directly proportional to the load it has to run. In other words, heavier the bike, lesser the mileage. Now, we don't recommend you go removing mudguards and body panels, but keep the extra heavy accessories such as leg guards to a minimum. Also, if you have a touring kit installed, remove it and use it only when you are going on a long trip. Riding with a pillion also affects the mileage adversely, as the load on the engine doubles. Ditching your friends is not a good idea, but try to ride solo as much as possible.

7. Make sure that you use the throttle gradually and gently. Using the throttle aggressively results in usage of more fuel. Also maintaining the correct speed is important as more the gear shifts lesser efficient the bike will be.

8. Do not keep the bike running at traffic signals and jams if you are stuck for more than 15 seconds. Also, in a jam, kick start the bike, as this will extend your battery life and will give you a free workout.

9. Constantly riding at a steady pace is the key to achieve good fuel efficiency. Also, combine steady engine braking to this and avoid sudden braking at the end moment. All these efforts combined will lead to a higher than average fuel economy.

10. Avoid brake-riding at all costs. Many riders casually keep the brake pedal pressed while riding. This increases the load on the engine and also wears out the brake pads.

11. Shut off the fuel tap (if equipped) of your bike when not in use. Do remember to open it again while riding.

12. When you start your bike after a long interval, say about eight to ten hours, let the bike idle for two minutes for the easy oil flow and the temperature stabilising.

13. Plan your route where you are surrounded by less traffic. Riding in start-stop traffic can be bad for the fuel economy of the bike.

Team BikeDekho