Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kano The Motorcycle Miser Shows How To Save On Gas

Lately I feel like I'm taking it in the shorts six different ways. Yesterday I filled up my Sportster which takes premium gas. It cost me $4.27 a gallon. The word going around the coffee house is to expect $5.00 a gallon by summer's end which translates to about $5.25 for premium. Who ever thought gassing up a motorcycle would be a major expense?

Everything else seems to have gone up too. I stopped at the store on the way home and dropped a 10 spot for a gallon of milk, a carton of eggs and a pack of gum. Jeez!

I've been making some changes in my riding style to make up for all this though. One way I found to save a little of that liquid gold is to hit the kill switch and coast the rest of the way when I get close to my destination.

Another thing, I've come to realize that gunning the engine at stop lights is impressive to my ears only and maybe some small children.

I don't hit the throttle hard and burn rubber when taking off anymore either. That really sucks up the gas. An additional bonus of taking it a little more easier is the windfall of less traffic citations and consequently cheaper insurance. I also don't need to buy new tires all the time.

Keeping the speed down helps too. Not such a problem with a cruiser as it would be with a sport bike. Building up speed gradually, that's the way of the miserly rider.

When there's a red stop light ahead I ease off the throttle and time it so it turns green before I reach the light. That way I don't have to stop and start again.

Yep, there's nothin like the sensation of slowing down, hitting a tight corner and gunning the throttle to get back up to speed on a straight stretch but I've given that up too. I just keep in the back of my mind the sensation of an empty wallet and an empty tank o' gas.

Keeping the bike finely tuned and up on all the maintenance is important too when it comes to gas savings. Now that's somethin I haven't been so good at. My maxed out credit cards sorta put the brakes on that idea for now anyway. I did add air to my tires though after getting a comment from a wise guy about how nice my low profile tires looked. Properly inflated tires can save up to 3%!

Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well

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R.G. said...

All good ideas. The tire pressure one is especially important, for many reasons. I'm always asking riders if they check their tire pressure.
BTW, dig the new picture.

Honda Motorcycle blog said...

Well, if you complain, in Europe is even worse: about 1.2 Euro per liter which translated is $7.25 per gallon. To add some more, in Romania where I live, the medium wage is around $300-500.
Nice, isn't it?

Kano said...

r.g.- glad you liked it! Thought the imposing pic would be appropriate to go with "links to the mob" on the sidebar. Hey, sunny skies and warm weather ahead here in the valley. About time huh.

Kano said...

honda motorcycle blog- I know the gas prices are way worse over there. I've seen on the news how truckers are stopping traffic all over Europe to protest the gas prices. I'm with you man!

I visited your blog and wow that's some interesting pics. I urge my readers to check "honda motorcycle blog" out. Not often do we get a chance to see photos of Romanian bikers cruising the Transylvanian Alps in the shadow of Dracula's Castle!

I'll put a link in my blogroll for you.

Heinz & Frenchie said...

Thanks for the helpful tips on saving gas. The first question everyone always asks us is "How many miles to the gallon?". That seems to be the top thought in everyone's mind now. In Europe fuel has always been more expensive, but this is the good ol USA.

Steve Johnson said...

Higher octane fuel is not necessary with Harleys. Despite what the Motor Company says, it's only necessary if your engine has a 10:1 compression ratio or higher, and your sporty doesn't have a compression that high. The other reason you might use high octane is if you're hearing a pinging from the engine.

I throw regular fuel into my Electra Glide, and I run just fine on it.

I think Harley tells you to use high-octane because they're tired of dealing with owners complaining about noises from the engine.

Kano said...

heinz & frenchie- yep, bet there's alot of Floridians envious of heinz & frenchie's mpg right now!

Kano said...

Steve- Once again you've come through with a gem! I'll give er' a go on the regular. You may have just saved me some fat bank!

mrs road captain said...

All very good suggestions. But is giving up all of the fun of motorcycling worth it? Having to drive a hybrid around like a grandma is too high of a price to pay to save a few pennies. I, for one, recognize that my hobby costs what it costs...it is worth it for me.

Kano said...

mrs. road captain-Well good for you! Me I've got to clutch onto the pennies saved pretty hard! And besides it's about more than just my own self-interest anyway. Using more or less fuel has implications well beyond our pocketbooks. High use means high demand, high demand drives up fuel prices. Higher fuel prices mean higher food prices, higher food prices means more hungry people around the world. Not to mention that each gallon of gas burned puts 5lb. of carbon into the atmosphere, fueling global warming which brings on more draught and floods which again adversely affects food supply, again, more hunger in the world. I commute to work on my motorcycle and have curtailed my recreational riding with those things in mind.- Thanks for your comment!