Why aren’t motorcycles pushed as an energy-efficient alternative to cars?



  1. 0 Votes

    Probably because motorcycles generally aren’t that energy efficient. It’s surprisingly difficult to find reliable fuel economy figures on motorcycles compared to cars, and they vary widely based on the type of motorcycle you’re talking about. Small motorcycles and scooters, like the kind used in large compact European cities, are by far the most fuel-efficient. In America, however, most motorcycles sold get around 25 mpg unless they’re traveling at very high speeds, which in terms of efficiency is pretty bad; you’re propelling two wheels instead of four and typically one person with no cargo, so the power-per-gallon delivered on a motorcycle is fairly weak. Consequently, that’s why you see most motorcycle advertising emphasizing performance, speed and the gestalt of the motorcycle culture as opposed to fuel efficiency or energy savings. Swapping your car for a small light motorcycle might make sense in a very few places in the United States, such as if you happen to live in Manhattan or downtown San Francisco. For the vast majority of the country, however, it’s not really a good option. Why pay $3.00 a gallon for gasoline to commute 15 miles through the suburbs to work every day on a motorcycle when you’ll be spending the same amount of money for a full-sized car? You would only do that if you prefer motorcycles for some reason other than energy efficiency.

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