Usually, vehicles will have a decreased fuel consumption after being used for more than 5 years. In contrast, my 5 years-old Jupiter MX, a Yamaha moped, is still, relatively, fuel efficient. When I first bought it (2006), it took two days of daily commuting before the fuel needle slightly dropped from Full point. Now, it still keeps the same performance. Any motorcyclist will envy my motorbike for that kind of fuel performance and he/she will be very surprised to know that my bike can retain good fuel consumption because of unchanged factory specification, regular maintenance, and proper riding technic.
I never change the factory specification of my motorbike. Whereas some motor bikers modify their bike’s specification to increase its performance, I keep the factory setting intact because it gives everything that I need and I do not have any need nor the urge to increase its performance. At 135 cc, Jupiter MX is a good bike for short and medium distance riding. In terms of fuel consumption, the fuel tank capacity (4 Ltr) is enough for 200 km non-stop riding. In terms of power, Jupiter MX accelerates well in both straight and winding road and it can reach top speed at 120 kph. The bike’s front and rear suspension (a single-shock absorber) provide good damping in bumpy road and surprisingly stable enough during high speed riding and cornering. The only change that I do to my bike is swapping factory’s tyre Dunlop D 109 with Battlax BT 39. I made that change simply because it has been my dream to use Bridgestone Battlax. 🙂 Fortunately, the tires swap put me in for a treat since Battlax is much grippier than Dunlop. The effect of that change makes my bike accelerate fast and stick to the road during braking.
Following factory’s recommendation, I always give my motorbike its regular service once every three months period. On paper, MX should get regular tune-up, oil change, and maintenance every 3000 km. For financial reason, I make it only once every three months. In one year, I go to Yamaha’s authorized garage four times a year for regular service and so far the mechanics never find anything wrong to my engine. The bike parts that I regularly replace are the air filter, oil filter, chain, brake pads, spark plug, and front lamp. Additionally, I also replace the radiator coolant once a year to keep the engine cool at all time. As a result, I never have problems with my bike’s radiator, carburetor, ignition, braking and drivetrain. My decision of using Battlax tires also bring another advantage in which they provide me sticky grip on dry and wet road. The sticky grip of Battlax comes from its high quality rubber which in return helps to maintain my bike’s fuel efficiency. Yeah it’s true. Good quality rubber of a bike’s tyre makes the wheels spin less during acceleration and braking. Less tires’ spinning means less fuel wasted when I open the throttle or pull the brake lever.
Correct riding technic can affect a motorbike’s fuel consumption. It’s a small matter for many motorcyclists but it is one that seldom gets attention. Only a few motorcyclists realize the effect of riding style to a motorbike’s fuel consumption. Try this if you don’t believe it. First, take note of the last count of your bike’s odometer. Then, fill the bike’s tank to maximum point and ride it like hell. I’m talking about opening the throttle as wide as possible, hard acceleration (traffic jam or not) at all time. Try riding your bike like that until the fuel needle starts to drop. After that, count the distance you have covered with that wild riding style by subtracting the km before the ride and after the it. The next day, fill the fuel tank to the max and start rolling, don’t forget to record the odometer count before you go. This time, you ride your motorbike at moderate speed (50-60 kph). When you open the throttle, do it slowly by adjusting the throttle opening with bike’s RPM. If you slow down, pull the brake lever slowly, no late braking. By the time the fuel needle drops, stops and calculate the distance before and after the ride. You’ll be surprised to see the difference. You see, the function of a throttle is to spray fuel into the carburetor. The wider the opening of the throttle, the more fuel it will spray. That’s why if you like speeding with your motorcycle, you will spend a lot of fuel since you will always open the throttle wide. On the other hand, riding at moderate speed (50-60 kph) is fuel saving since the throttle action sprays constant amount of fuel into the carburetor. The weight load of your motorbike also affect its fuel consumption. When the bike gets heavy, it will move slow. Unconsciously, you will open the throttle wider to get more power to your bike. As a result, it will eat more fuel so that your bike can roll at your desired speed. So, I suggest you to start saving weight load of your bike by either you move unnecessary junks from your bag or you reduce your body weight. 🙂 Another technic is to keep your body centered on your motorcycle. Every bike has been designed with a specific center point and you have put your boy just at that point. If you put your body to the rear of your bike, the bike’s center weight will shift to the rear and that will affect the rear wheel. Your bike will feel slower and, without realizing it, you will try to open the throttle wider than before. In addition, shifting your body weight to the front end isn’t going to decrease your bike’s fuel consumption either. To get the best information on this matter, you have to refer to your bike’s manual. One more technic to improve your riding style is to keep your motorbike moving for the most duration of your journey. Avoid busy-traffic jam laden road and look for less busy route. When your bike is constantly on the move, your engine will run cool
In conclusion, the secret of my motorbike’s fuel efficiency is actually simple, keeping factory’s setting, regular maintenance, and correct riding technic.