How to save fuel while still having fun on your motorcycle

Whether you’re learning to ride or an experienced hand, biking is a passion that offers a unique sense of freedom and adventure. But with rising fuel prices and increasing environmental concerns, riders are looking for ways to save fuel while still having fun. Here are some strategies to maximise fuel efficiency without sacrificing the joy of the ride.

Keep a well-maintained machine

When you maintain the working parts of your bike regularly, it performs better and uses less fuel. Sticking to the manufacturer’s service schedule will include routine oil changes, air filter cleanings or changes, brake fluid and brake pad checks as a minimum. If this is done at your dealer they will usually perform a thorough visual check. Every 10,000 miles or so your dealer will schedule a big service which covers more of the machine.

You can, of course, perform simple service routines yourself, such as changing oils, filters and basic chain maintenance.

Lubing motorcycle chain

Maintaining your motorbike also includes:

  • Checking your tyre pressure regularly because under-inflated tyres create more rolling resistance, which increases fuel consumption 
  • Keeping your chain clean, lubricated, and properly tensioned which reduces friction while riding and leads to better fuel efficiency

Adopt fuel-saving riding techniques

How you ride your motorcycle is directly related to how much fuel it uses. A smooth and steady riding technique uses less fuel. Rapid acceleration and jerky deceleration uses more fuel. And frequent changes in speed burns fuel at a faster rate, so maintain a consistent speed whenever possible.

Over-revving a bike’s engine is for people who like to buy lots of fuel. Those who wish to save money on fuel will shift gears at the right RPM and use engine braking to slow down instead of relying solely on the brakes. This also reduces wear on your brake pads, which is another money saver.

Keep aerodynamics in mind when riding at speed

It’s not something riders usually think about, but reducing wind resistance also improves fuel efficiency, especially at higher speeds. Having a windshield will improve aerodynamics by deflecting wind away from your body. And when you’re going faster, adopt a streamlined riding position by tucking in your elbows and knees, thereby reducing wind drag. 


When you’re not touring try and have your bike as naked as possible. Carry only essential items and remove unnecessary accessories to lighten the load. A lighter bike consumes less fuel and performs better. 

Plan routes that balance between fuel-saving and enjoyment

Avoid heavy traffic whenever possible, because riding in stop-and-go traffic reduces fuel efficiency. If you live in a big city that might be hard to do. But if you can, opt for routes with less traffic and fewer stops. These roads allow for a steady speed and more enjoyable rides. When you practise thoughtful route planning you notice the difference in fuel consumption. Using GPS or navigation apps can help you find the most efficient path through urban landscapes.

Of course, if you’re touring then you’d want to take the most enjoyable route. But you may be able to strike a balance between long distances and fuel efficiency with some careful planning as you ride the twisties through stunning mountain vistas.

Riding in scenic mountain landscape

Combine fuel efficiency with fun activities

Combining your fuel-saving efforts with activities you enjoy enhances your overall riding experience. If you like the social aspects of the riding community you could join a motorcycle club and participate in group rides. Riding with others helps maintain a steady pace which is good for fuel efficiency.

Enjoying your motorcycle rides and integrating them with other hobbies can make your outings more fun and enjoyable, like combining riding adventures with camping. Packing lightweight camping gear and discovering new places allows you to enjoy both the outdoors and the journey without needing high speeds. Planning rides through national parks and reserves encourages slower, more fuel-efficient riding and you feel rejuvenated as you take in the natural beauty and stunning landscapes.

Camping in a field

Visiting historical sites and landmarks adds an educational aspect to your rides, making them more enriching and enjoyable.

To truly enjoy your rides while being fuel-efficient, blend practical tips with activities you enjoy. Explore new routes in your local area; visit bike-friendly cafes; discover hidden gems; and journey back in time by visiting historical sites and landmarks. Urban exploration at lower speeds can also be fuel-efficient and just as enjoyable.

Why not start a motorcycle vlog or photography project? Documenting your rides and creating engaging content is hugely satisfying, especially when you share your adventures with others.

Attending live, bike-focussed workshops and festivals is also a great way to learn new skills and meet like-minded riders.

Just a few ideas to get you going, but you get the point – integrate a fuel-saving mindset into your riding activities and you’ll get lots more road time for your buck.

Practical tips for everyday riding

Mindful riding is key to saving fuel. 

  • Throttle Control: Be gentle with the throttle to avoid burning more fuel.
  • Smooth Braking: Anticipate stops to avoid sudden braking and use smooth deceleration.
  • Lighten the Load: Only carry what you need to reduce extra weight and fuel consumption.
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Of all the benefits of riding a motorcycle, the feelings of pleasure, satisfaction and adventure are uppermost. But these days a dark shadow is cast over the thrill of the ride by the high cost of fuel – an unspoken reality for many in the motorcycling community. Hopefully this article has given you a few ideas of how to save on fuel while still having fun every time you climb into the saddle.

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