Comparing Gas Mileage Across Top Motorcycle Brands

In terms of miles per gallon (MPG), motorcycles are more fuel efficient than cars. They also emit less carbon dioxide into the environment. With the current cost of gas in mind, riding a motorcycle might make more sense for your transportation needs.

Before you make a purchase, consider gas mileage across top motorcycle brands.

Motorcycles and Fuel Economy

putting fuel in motorcycle The average motorcycle gets just over 55 miles per gallon, although this number can vary by age and design. Semi-automatic bikes get up to 87 miles per gallon and some manual touring bikes get only 35 miles per gallon.

Motorcycle design plays an important role in fuel consumption. Although built to hold a person’s body weight, this can increase drag by as much as one-third. A fully enclosed car does not experience as significant a shift.

Additionally, not all motorcycles have fairings – a feature to improve aerodynamic qualities. Specifically, cruisers and adventure bikes do not feature fairings and tend to get fewer miles per gallon, even before a rider sits on top.

Consider the following breakdown of gas mileage for popular brands and recent models.

Honda Motorcycles

Honda’s newer offerings are more fuel-efficient, like the 2021 Rebel. This single-cylinder cruiser with a 471cc engine offers up to 67 MPG.

Suzuki Motorcycles

Among touring bikes, Suzuki has average to slightly above average gas mileage. Its V-Strom 650, a V-twin-powered bike offering 260 miles on a 4.8-gallon tank, gets about 54 MPG.

Kawasaki Motorcycles

Designed for longer trips, the Versys-X 300 has a parallel twin 296cc engine that delivers 60 MPG. The heavier Vulcan 500 LTD, powered by a 649cc V-Twin engine, gets about 50 MPG.

BMW Motorcycles

The larger BMW F650GS, featuring a 652cc engine and 388 pound weight, delivers 63 MPG. The G310GS features a more adventure-ready design that gets roughly 70 miles per gallon.

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About Harley-Davidson’s New CVO™ Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson announced new models to be unveiled later this year. The lineup includes the Street Glide® ST and Road Glide® ST, the Low Rider® S and Low Rider ST® cruisers and four additions to the Custom Vehicle Operations™ series. The CVO™ series is Harley’s high-end line, defined by performance features and custom paint jobs. All new models will feature the Milwaukee-Eight 117, Harley-Davidson’s most powerful engine to date.

The announcement coincides with the company’s current approach to focus on its classic products and heritage. Here’s what you should know about the new CVO™ motorcycles.

What’s the CVO™ Series?

closeup motorcycle riderCVO™ models are equipped with Harley-Davidson’s most advanced, performance-driven technologies. Bikes are hand painted and feature a greater degree of detail compared to standard models.

Due to these factors, CVO™ bikes embody the peak of Harley-Davidson’s craftsmanship and are produced in limited quantities.

These four new models will continue to feature paint jobs from longtime partner Gunslinger. The Milwaukee-Eight 117 powertrain is joined by Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements and other technologies designed to improve handling in more challenging conditions.

New CVO™ Models

The following four motorcycles are expanding the series:

  • CVO™ Street Glide: Provides the classic Harley-Davidson experience, from the familiar low-riding silhouette with batwing fairing to the distinctive noise and feel. Aside from the visuals and new powertrain, the audio experience is upgraded for long journeys.
  • CVO™ Road Glide and Road Glide Limited: Riders get the recognizable shark-nose fairing and aerodynamic experience that have made these bikes a cornerstone of the brand. The CVO™ Road Glide adds LED headlamps, a 21-inch front wheel and improved audio quality. The Limited model provides a more luxurious experience for longer journeys, including with heated seats and grips.
  • CVO™ Tri Glide: Considered an ultra-premium model, the CVO™ Tri Glide upgrades performance for longer trips and adds a third wheel for stability.

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How to Get Started with Motorcycle Riding

Experienced motorcycle riders have developed proficient skills over the years but we all started somewhere! If you’re curious about riding and want to get started, begin with the following tips.

Take an MSF Course

motorcycle safety courseCourses from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation have a multitude of benefits. You’ll learn to ride in a closed, controlled environment and receive instruction on the basics of operation. The course will also prepare you to take the written exam that gives your driver’s license a motorcycle endorsement.

During these courses, you’ll be taught steering techniques, common causes of collisions, turning and basic equipment. In the controlled riding environment, you’ll learn to use the clutch, turn and shift gears. Instructors will watch your technique, give pointers on how to be a safer rider and prepare you for the test.

Taking a safety course increases your chances of passing the test to get your motorcycle license and plates. After you obtain the endorsement, apply for motorcycle insurance so you’re legally able to ride.

This course does not have to be a one-time occurrence. As motorcycle riding is seasonal, you can enroll in classes before the start of each season to reinforce your skills. Contact your local DMV to find out where courses are being offered and whether MSF curriculum is used.

Research Motorcycles

As a beginner, you want a motorcycle that’s comfortable and easy to control. In general, you should be able to put your feet on the ground when stopped and able to reach the controls.

Secondly, think about when and how frequently you will ride. Are you looking for a bike to commute to work or do you intend to take longer trips? Keep these factors in mind while researching motorcycles.
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How to Choose a Good Pair of Motorcycle Gloves

Among all your riding gear, a pair of motorcycle gloves offer a combination of comfort and protection. Your gloves helps to lessen fatigue and vibrations as you ride and, should an accident occur, provide a more substantial layer against abrasive asphalt.

Whether you’re a beginner or more experienced rider, you’ll come across many types of gloves with various features. As you narrow down your options, consider the following.

Basic Glove Characteristics

leather motorcycle glovesNot all types of motorcycle gloves properly protect your hands. Those offering a baseline of protection typically include:

  • Reinforced palms
  • Knuckle reinforcements or armor
  • A cinching strap

Beyond these attributes, riders also need to consider the following factors:

  • Glove Length: A wrist fitting below your jacket and up part of your arm delivers better coverage, as the material can ride up if you fall.
  • Breathability and Insulation: Gloves are seasonal. The breathability you need to remain comfortable during summer rides will change if you decide to head out for winter, when you will need a layer of insulation.
  • Convenience & Manageability: Gloves should not be too cumbersome because of the clutch and front brake.
  • Certification: Although a European standard, gloves that are EN13594:2015 CE certified have been tested for the level of protection and ergonomics they provide. Only longer gloves have this certification; shorter cuffed designs are excluded.

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Essential Safety Gear for Fall Riding

Spring and summer offer great weather and decent road conditions for motorcycle riding in Connecticut. It takes dedication to ride during the fall and early winter, as temperatures can drop close to freezing and fallen leaves create a road hazard.

While you don’t need to store your motorcycle away yet, autumn conditions require the right gear to ensure your comfort and safety. Here are a few items to consider for riding in cooler weather.

Fall Riding Apparel

autumn motorcycle rideAutumn is a transitional season. Daytime hours can reach the 60s and 70s but when the sun goes down, temperatures can quickly drop into the 50s and 40s. There’s also the issue of rain – fall motorcycle gear must anticipate these changes. The apparel you wear should be adaptable to temperature drops and possible precipitation.

A high-quality leather jacket and gloves, along with sturdy biker boots are always a good idea but even more so when conditions become hazardous.

Cool, rainy days can make fall riding difficult. With a durable pair of leather gloves, you can ride with confidence knowing rain and sweat will not affect your grip, shifting and braking.

A comfortable leather jacket can protect your body from serious road rash, in the event of a spill. With steel-toe boots, your feet also have exceptional protection from cold weather and road debris.

In addition to these basics, consider what’s under your jacket. An overshirt on top of your long-sleeve shirt and adding base layers can provide moisture control and warmth. Lastly, don’t forget your neck! Bring a scarf or balaclava to cover this area.
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Basic Motorcycle Maintenance All Riders Should Know

When your car, motorcycle or truck needs an inspection or repairs, many of us have an auto shop or mechanic we trust. Yet for basic maintenance, you might find that doing certain tasks yourself can be more affordable and convenient.

Even if you’re new to motorcycle maintenance, the owner’s manual can help familiarize you with basic upkeep, including the following tasks.

Changing the Oil

man replacing motorcycle air filterIf you already change the oil in your car or truck, you can do the same for your motorcycle. To start, reference the owner’s manual for the type of oil recommended for your bike and the ideal number of miles between oil changes.

As you’re preparing to change the oil, start the motorcycle for a few minutes to get the fluid flowing and decrease its viscosity.

You should also prepare to change the oil filter, during which the fluid will drain from your bike. At this point, you can add the new filter, replace the drain and oil plugs, and replenish with the proper type.

Changing the Coolant

Coolant helps prevent your engine from overheating when it’s hot in the summer, freezing in the winter, and guards against corrosion.

Drain the old fluid first, which will require you to remove the drain bolt. You can then add new coolant to the system. To ensure you have added the proper amount, restart the bike right afterwards, turn it off quickly and check the coolant level again.

Replacing the Air Filter

This part filters out debris and other particles that could clog the engine and impact its performance. One of the more challenging maintenance tasks to do on your own, the air filter is not always accessible depending on the model. You may need to remove the gas tank to access the air box and the filter.
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8 Motorcycle Riding Habits to Avoid

As motorcycle riders, we all enjoy the sensation of the open road. While safety should come first, certain questionable riding habits can leave you compromised. Learn more about what actions to avoid on two wheels.

Failing to Look Ahead

riding a motorcycle Riders worried about obstacles in the road may solely focus on the immediate area, looking out for potholes and rough pavement. When there’s traffic or another hazard up ahead, these riders can get caught by surprise and may not have time to react.

Look a minimum of 100 feet in front of you to prepare and react to changing conditions.

Ignoring the Car in Front

Riders are advised to pay attention to the car in front. Watching the driver’s movements can help you steer clear of potential hazards, including potholes and slippery roads. Also avoid riding in a car’s blind spots, so the driver can clearly see your bike at all times.

Using the Rear Brake Too Often

The rear brake does not deliver the power needed to fully stop a motorcycle when the car in front comes to a complete halt and may reduce traction.

Riders should use the front brake most often, saving the rear brake for stability on uneven surfaces and taking corners. When you have to decelerate, use both sets of brakes.

Not Safely Pulling Over

To get out another layer of clothing or rain gear, some riders simply pull into the breakdown lane or stop under an overpass. Yet cars may pass dangerously close to your bike. To accomplish what you need to do, search for a nearby parking lot for your own protection.
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Harley-Davidson Announces 2021 Sportster® S

When Harley-Davidson previewed the Pan America in 2018, it accompanied the Bronx Streetfighter and a motorcycle that was then called the “Custom 1250”.

On July 13, 2021, Harley-Davidson unveiled its Sportster® S model after a teaser video and press release came out in June. This custom motorcycle combines power and modern technology, setting a new performance standard for the Sportster lineup.

“This is a next generation Sportster defined by power, performance, technology and style. And it’s part of our commitment to introduce motorcycles that align with our strategy to increase desirability and to drive the legacy of Harley-Davidson,” said Jochen Zeitz, Harley-Davidson Chairman, President and CEO.

What We Know About the Sportster S

view of front motorcycle wheelThe Sportster S is another Revolution Max-powered bike, similar to the Pan America but more accessible.

As part of its revised business strategy, Harley-Davidson now plans to focus on what resonates with its core riders while also building out the LiveWire line. Dubbed “Evolution to Revolution”, the Sportster S teased as more of a classic Harley bike, equipped with the brand’s latest features.

Based on reports, the Sportster S will be released in the fall at a base price of $14,999 with:

  • A 121-horsepower Revolution Max 1250T V-Twin engine
  • Reduced engine weight for more precise handling
  • Lightweight chassis and premium suspension
  • 6-speed transmission
  • Cast aluminum wheels with a five-spoke design
  • Cornering Rider Safety Enhancements by Harley-Davidson®
  • Two power points for heated riding gear and a USB-C port
  • Five selectable Ride Modes
  • Proximity-based security system
  • All LED headlamp, tail lighting and turn signals
  • A round 4.0-inch TFT screen to display all instrumentation and infotainment functions

Are you excited about this addition to the Harley-Davidson lineup? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Introducing the Harley-Davidson Icons Collection

In Spring 2021, Harley-Davidson announced its Icons Collection. The Milwaukee-based motorcycle company has cut back on its offerings, while focusing on heritage appeal.

The Icons Collection will feature a limited-edition bike based on classic Harley-Davidson design, upgraded with modern features. The company is celebrating its history and what customers have loved about the brand for years, while advancing new technologies.

What to Expect

row of motorcycle tiresAs part of its Hardwire effort, Harley-Davidson intends to introduce one or two models for the Icons Collection each year. Every new bike will be produced for a brief period and have a serial number.

The company does not intend to repeat production for these bikes; once purchased, you will be presented with a certificate of authenticity.

Considering its classic appeal, Harley-Davidson plans to introduce models inspired by its most desired and familiar bikes, complete with their signature, historical colors.

While highlighting its legacy, each model will incorporate the company’s most advanced features.

The Electra Glide® Revival™

Kicking off the Icons Collection is the Electra Glide® Revival™, with 1,500 serialized bikes on a global scale. True to its mission, Harley-Davidson based this model on its 1969 Electra Glide, their first bike to include accessory “batwing” fairing.
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How Motorcycles Can Share the Road with Cars

Spring is here and as temperatures continue to rise, you have likely taken your motorcycle on a few trips. While you have no trouble getting back on the road after a long winter, other motorists may not be prepared to see you. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which encourages safe driving behaviors and highlights the specific dangers that riders face.

Based on figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, motorcycle riders are five more times likely to be injured during a crash than a car driver or passenger. This is due to a lack of enclosure, often coupled with poor weather conditions and reduced visibility.

As a motorcycle rider, here’s how you can stay safe and share the road with other drivers.

1. Think About Your Location

truck behind motorcycleMotorcycles should be positioned for other vehicles to see them. Ride defensively, avoid riding in blind spots and use your blinker before changing lanes. To increase visibility:

  • Keep your head on a swivel at all times.
  • Do not lane split, which is illegal in Connecticut.
  • Take care when passing a car or truck.
  • Give yourself enough space from other vehicles.

Also make sure to stay off any painted lines, especially in the rain. When you come to a stoplight or stop sign, be aware the white stop line will be slippery, even if dry.

2. Know How Your Motorcycle Responds

If you’re a younger or less experienced rider, not understanding how your bike responds can increase your accident risks.

For one, a motorcycle is heavy and requires more time to speed up and slow down than a car. This factor increases when you have gear or a passenger on your bike.

Motorists cannot always judge the speed motorcycles are traveling, so keep your distance, use your turn signals and give yourself enough time to slow down when approaching traffic.
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