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Motorcycles Vs. Cars for Gas Mileage

by Elijah Clark

Fuel consumption is a major concern for auto buyers. Cars are the dominant mode of transportation but motorcycles and scooters have experienced a tremendous upswing in popularity as fuel prices have risen.

Miles Per Gallon

In terms of raw miles per gallon (mpg), motorcycles seem to have the advantage over cars. Commuter motorcycles regularly prove themselves capable of 60 mpg or more, while even hybrid cars top out at 50 mpg. Cars do have an advantage because they can get that kind of mileage while transporting four people, while motorcycles can only carry two people at a time.

Cost for Efficiency

The major difference in efficiency between cars and motorcycles comes from their cost. For $4,100 you can purchase a new motorcycle that will get 61 mpg. A Toyota Prius retails between $22,000 to 28,000 and gets 51 mpg. Scooter aficionados can get as much as 150 mpg from $1,300 machines, though with greatly reduced performance and carrying capacity.

The Used Market

High mpg cars are more competitive in the used market. Cars such as the Honda CRX and Geo Metro get fuel mileage comparable to large displacement '70s and '80s motorcycles such as the CB750 or Virago. Used EX250 motorcycles frequently sell for $2,000 or less and consistently get 60 to 70 mpg. Many dual sport motorcycles get 50 to 60 mpg and are extremely reliable.

About the Author

Elijah Clark began his professional writing career in 2003 by covering Oral Roberts University's Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature delegation. He has written for the "Orion Newspaper" and various websites and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in applied computer graphics at California State University, Chico.

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Photo Credits

  • motorcycle camping image by Greg Pickens from