Here’s a hint on how you can go further and spend less: Switch to two wheels.
Whether you’re commuting, running errands or taking a road trip, you can get more out of a gallon of gas-50, even 70 mpg when you travel by motorcycle or scooter.
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There are further advantages. For one, the cost of owning a two-wheeled vehicle is many thousands of dollars less than having a four-wheeler. Great scooters can be found in the $3,500 to $6,000 range, great motorcycles in the $4,000 to $8,000 range. Maintenance costs much less. So do registration and insurance. Even parking is easier and less expensive.
Those may be some of the reasons the Motorcycle Industry Council sales data shows that motorcycle sales and usage have gone up lately — though many riders add that it’s also just plain fun to do.
“A motorcycle or scooter can be getting two, three, sometimes even four times the fuel economy of the vehicle in the next lane,” said the MIC’s Ty van Hooydonk. “The savings only start at the gas pump and, at the same time, a rider can actually look forward to commuting by bike.”
However you travel, it pays to:
• Ride or drive carefully. Speeding, rapid acceleration (jackrabbit starts) and rapid braking can lower gas mileage.
• Avoid idling. Idling gets 0 mpg.
• Telecommute or stagger work hours. If you can, avoid sitting in traffic and wasting gas, especially during peak rush hours.
• The good kind of inflation. Keep your tires properly inflated.
• Combine trips. If you combine errands into one trip, you ride or drive fewer miles and use less fuel. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip when the engine is warmed up and efficient.
To learn how to get into motorcycling the right way, visit www.motorcycles.org.
Get trained and licensed, wear all the right safety gear, and never drink and ride. Always ride within your limits, obey the traffic laws, and be a lifelong learner.