The average motorcycle has a fuel efficiency rating of roughly 44 MPG.
Meanwhile, modern moto-tech has allowed some motorcycle models to achieve much higher averages. Also, huge tank capacities on modern touring motorcycles allow for some long-distance travel between fuel stops.
Of course, these numbers may vary depending on real-world conditions and how you ride your motorcycle. In this light, this article explores the details of determining how far a bike can go on a full tank, using specific examples.
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Here’s the Short Answer to How Far Can Motorcycles Go on a Full Tank:
The distance your motorcycle will cover on a full tank varies depending on numerous factors, such as engine size, riding style, speed, terrain, and fuel capacity. However, you can estimate the distance by multiplying the fuel efficiency rating of your motorcycle by the tank size.
For example, if your motorcycle has a fuel efficiency of 50 miles per gallon (MPG) and a tank size of 4 gallons, you can expect to travel about 200 miles on a full tank.
You can keep your fuel efficiency average consistent by following some tips, such as maintaining your motorcycle correctly, avoiding excessive idling, reducing wind resistance, and maintaining the ideal gear ratio.
Here are five examples of different types of motorcycles, their fuel capacity, average miles per gallon, and how far the bike can go on a full fuel tank:
1. Honda Gold Wing Tour Automatic DCT (Tourer)
The Honda Gold Wing Tour Automatic DCT is an authentic luxury tourer with a powerful flat-six engine, a dual-clutch transmission, and an adjustable suspension.
It comes with a host of features such as a top trunk, a 7-inch TFT display, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto integration, and an intelligent key system.
The Honda Gold Wing Tour Automatic DCT (Tourer) has a fuel capacity of 5.55 gallons and estimated miles per gallon of 42 MPG2. Therefore, a Gold Wing can go approximately 233 miles on a full tank before refueling.
That said, this figure varies depending on how you ride and maintain your vehicle, road conditions, tire pressure, cargo and accessories, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.
2. Indian Challenger Dark Horse (Full-Dressed Cruiser)
The Indian Pursuit Dark Horse is a bagger-style cruiser with a liquid-cooled V-twin engine, a six-speed transmission, a low seat height, and a sleek blacked-out look.
It stocks modern amenities such as LED lighting, cruise control, keyless ignition, and a 4-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity and navigation.
According to the official Indian Motorcycle website, the Indian Challenger has a fuel tank capacity of 6.0 gallons (22.7 liters).
The average fuel consumption of the Indian Challenger is said to be around 40 mpg (5.9 L/100 km). This means it can go about 240 miles (386 km) on one full tank of fuel. Of course, this is only an estimate, and your mileage may vary.
That said, the actual range of the motorcycle depends on various factors such as riding style, speed, terrain, weather, and maintenance.
3. BMW S 1000 RR (Sportbike)
The BMW S 1000 RR is a sportbike that can also handle long-distance rides with its powerful inline-four engine, quick-shifter, electronic suspension, and dynamic traction control system.
It also has a comfortable riding position, a windscreen, and optional luggage accessories such as saddlebags and tank bags.
The BMW S1000 RR has a fuel tank capacity of 16.5 liters (4.36 gallons). Its average fuel consumption is around 35 mpg (6.7 L/100 km), which means it can go about 145 miles (233 km) on one full fuel tank.
Of course, this is also just an estimate, and your mileage may vary depending on various factors such as riding style, speed, terrain, weather, and maintenance.
4. Kawasaki Z900RS (Street Bike)
The Kawasaki Z900RS is a retro-styled naked bike that combines classic looks with modern performance and technology. It has a smooth inline-four engine, an assist-and-slipper clutch, an adjustable suspension, and a dual-channel ABS.
The bike also stocks a round LED headlight, an analog-style instrument cluster with a digital display, and a comfortable upright riding position. These make it an excellent choice for long hauls, leaving many of its owners wondering how far it can go on a full tank of fuel.
The Kawasaki Z900RS has a fuel tank capacity of 17 liters (4.5 gallons).
While the actual range of the bike on a full tank depends on various factors such as riding style, speed, terrain, weather, and maintenance, the average fuel consumption of the Kawasaki Z900RS is around 44 mpg (5.3 L/100 km).
This means it can go about 198 miles (319 km) on one full tank of fuel – this is only an estimate, and your mileage may vary.
5. KTM 1290 Super Adventure S
The KTM 1290 Super Adventure S is an adventure bike that can tackle any terrain with its potent V-twin engine, semi-active suspension, cornering ABS, and multiple riding modes.
The Super Adventure S also has a large fuel tank, a height-adjustable windscreen, an adaptive cruise control system, and a 7-inch TFT display with smartphone connectivity and navigation. This makes it perfect for long jaunts, provided you don’t run out of fuel.
The KTM 1290 Super Adventure S has a fuel tank capacity of 23 liters (6.1 gallons). With an average fuel consumption of 40 mpg (5.9 L/100 km), it can go about 244 miles (393 km) on one full tank of fuel.
Of course, this is only an estimate, and due to variables like riding style, speed, terrain, weather, and maintenance, your mileage may vary.
Make sure you also check if you can store a motorcycle with a full or empty tank.
What Motorcycles Can Go the Most Miles on a Tank?
For the longevity of your motorcycle’s fuel system and tank lining, we suggest you refill your fuel with no less than 1/4 of a tank left of gas.
That said, if you’re looking for motorcycles that can go the furthest due to having a larger-than-average fuel capacity multiplied by a high AMPG, here are three of the best options:
1. Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sport ES
This rugged and capable adventure bike has a 6.5-gallon fuel tank and a claimed fuel economy of 48 mpg, resulting in an estimated range of 312 miles.
2. Yamaha Super Ténéré ES
The Yamaha Super Ténéré ES is a comfortable and reliable touring bike that has a 6.1 – gallon fuel tank and a claimed fuel economy of 43 mpg, giving it an estimated range of 262 miles from full to empty.
3. KTM 790 Adventure R
This agile and powerful adventure bike has a 5.3 – gallon fuel tank and a reported fuel economy of 52 mpg for a total estimated range of 276 miles per full fuel tank.
Of course, these are just some examples, and your mileage may vary depending on how you ride and maintain your bike.
You can also check out any of the following moto-categories, as they tend to have ample fuel capacities:
- Luxury Tourers
- Sports Tourers
- Adventure Bikes
You might also want to check if Harleys get good gas mileage.
If you’re more concerned with Average Miles Per Gallon for inner city riding and less worried about fuel capacity, here are three of the motorcycle models with the highest AMPG:
1. Honda Grom or Monkey
Owners of these small and fun bikes have claimed up to 166 mpg, making them ideal for urban commuting or just stunting around the neighborhood.
2. Honda NC750X
This legendarily fuel-efficient, versatile, and practical bike stocks a 745cc parallel-twin engine that can achieve claimed figures as high as 80 mpg; thanks to its low-revving design and dual-clutch transmission option.
3. Yamaha YZF-R7
This sporty and agile bike has a 689cc parallel-twin engine that can deliver 58 mpg claimed while offering plenty of performance and excitement.
How Much Does Riding Style Affect Gas Mileage?
The riding style is one of the primary factors influencing a motorcycle’s gas mileage.
As you may have gathered by now, gas mileage, or fuel efficiency, is the measure of how far a vehicle can travel per gallon of fuel, and it is typically measured per gallon.
The higher the gas mileage, the less fuel is consumed, and the lower the fuel cost and environmental impact of riding.
Moreover, the fuel efficiency of a motorcycle is directly affected by how a rider operates the bike, such as how fast they accelerate, how often they brake, how smoothly they shift gears, and how steadily they maintain their speed.
Here are factors that can affect the gas mileage of the same motorcycle:
Engine speed, or rpm, is the number of piston revolutions per minute. The higher the engine speed, the more the pistons must be compelled by combustion; the more fuel is burned; and the lower the gas mileage.
A motorcycle riding style that involves high engine speed, such as rapid acceleration, frequent downshifting, or riding at high speeds, can reduce gas mileage.
Air resistance, or drag, is the force that works against the motion of your motorcycle through the air. The higher the air resistance, the more power is required to overcome it. This translates to burning more fuel and lower gas mileage.
A riding style that involves high air resistance, such as riding with an upright posture, carrying an excessive load, or riding in windy conditions, can reduce your bike’s gas mileage.
Rapid or Frequent Braking
Braking converts kinetic energy into heat energy to slow the bike, which is wasted if you are in motion. The wasted heat expands the needed force for momentum, reducing the gas mileage.
Therefore, a riding style that involves frequent or hard braking, such as riding in heavy traffic, following too closely, or taking sharp turns, can reduce the gas mileage of a motorcycle.
Adjusting to an efficiency-focused riding style involving low engine speed, low air resistance, and smooth braking can improve your gas mileage. It could also help you save money and fuel.
Can You Mount a Bigger Tank on a Motorcycle?
While you can mount a larger tank onto most motorcycles thanks to aftermarket part manufacturers, it isn’t the most efficient way to avoid frequent fuel stops.
Changing your tank requires finding a suitable tank, dealing with the extra weight and bulk of the tank, and managing the cost and complexity of the installation.
Not all tanks are interchangeable; some may require customization and warranty-voiding work to fit the tank to your bike.
A bigger tank means more fuel, which means more weight. It could affect how your bike handles, performs, and feels, especially on curvy roads, steep hills, or rough terrain.
You might want to also read about how to check a motorcycle fuel level.
A larger tank can also change your bike’s center of gravity and aerodynamics, affecting its stability and maneuverability.
If possible, it’s more effective to plan your route carefully, carry extra fuel containers, and ride responsibly to improve your fuel efficiency and range than to swap out your tank.