Mileage of a motorcycle is an extremely important parameter in gauging the motorcycle’s performance and efficiency. While one can approximately estimate the mileage of their motorcycle depending on rough fuel usage and distance figures, an accurate mileage calculation is slightly difficult.
How to calculate mileage of a bike then? There are 2 methods to calculate the mileage of a motorcycle.
- Fill the fuel tank to full and ride for considerable distance. Fill the fuel tank again to full and note down the fuel filled this time to calculate mileage.
- Empty out the fuel to hit the reserve and fill one litre of fuel. Ride till you empty that one litre and the distance gives the motorcycle mileage.
These are the two methods used in a motorcycle to calculate its mileage. The detailed steps and approach is described in the next two sections.
Method #1: Fill the Fuel Tank to Full
This method is the simplest approach to calculate the mileage of the motorcycle.
All you need to do is fill the fuel tank to its full capacity with the fuel. And note down the odometer reading at the same time while you are filling up the fuel tank.
Next, ride your motorcycle freely for a week or two. It doesn’t matter how much distance you travel as long as you are not emptying the tank. A good approach is to travel more than 100 kilometres. Too long a distance, the fuel tank might get emptied. Too short a distance, you won’t get accurate mileage calculation.
Once you have rode enough distance in a week or two, its time to go back to the fuel pump and fill it to the brink once again. Note down the final odometer reading and the amount of fuel required this time to fill the fuel tank completely.
The difference in the two odometer readings provide you the actual distance travelled. You also know the amount of fuel used, which is the fuel filled in the second time.
All you need to do now is to divide the distance travelled by the amount of fuel used, and you will get the mileage figures of your motorcycle.
In case, things are not clear, here is a detailed step-by-step procedure you need to follow.
Step 1: Take your motorcycle to the fuel pump.
Step 2: Fill the fuel tank to its full capacity. The fuel level should reach the brink of the fuel tank.
Step 3: Note down the odometer reading at the fuel pump. The distance reading acts as the reference starting point.
Step 4: Ride the motorcycle for sufficient distance. A good thumb rule is to ride the bike for a week or two, or travel an approximate distance of 200 kilometres.
Step 5: Its time for fuel refill. Take the motorcycle again to the fuel pump.
Step 6: Note down the odometer reading at the fuel pump again. This distance reading acts as the ending point. The difference between this final reading and the initial reading gives you the actual distance travelled by the motorcycle.
Step 7: Fill the fuel tank to full again. Note down the amount of fuel required to fill the fuel tank to its brink.
Step 8: We now have both the distance traveled (from odometer readings) and the amount of fuel used (from the fuel required to fill it back completely). Divide the distance traveled by the amount of fuel used, and you will now have the mileage figure
Here is an example of mileage calculation for your reference.
Suppose the initial odometer reading was, say, 8312 kilometres. You fill the fuel tank to its full by 5 litres of petrol. Please note that these 5 litres of petrol is irrelevant in mileage calculation.
You ride the motorcycle for next 2 weeks and it is time for you to refill the fuel tank again. The odometer is reading 8454 kilometres. And the amount of fuel required now to fill the gas is 4.2 litres.
The mileage calculation is as below.
Distance Travelled = (8454 – 8312) = 142 kilometres
Fuel consumed = 4.2 litres
Mileage = Distance traveled / Fuel consumed = (142 / 4.2) = 33.81 km/l
Method #2: Use the Reserve to measure Mileage
Another method is to use the motorcycle reserve to your advantage for calculating the mileage of your motorcycle.
Here, you need to first empty out the tank until it hits the reserve. Reserve fuel is present across all the motorcycles, especially the carburetted ones. Reserve, as the name suggests is the reserve fuel kept away to be used when the fuel empties out in the main tank.
You can turn the fuel tap to switch to the Reserve, denoted as ‘RES’ in the fuel tap. From there, go to the nearest fuel pump and fill exactly one litre of fuel.
Next, all you need to do is ride the motorcycle until the bike empties out that one litre and hits the reserve again. The distance travelled in between, which can be gathered through odometer readings, provides you the mileage of your motorcycle.
For a detailed approach, follow the steps as detailed below.
Step 1: Ride your motorcycle until the fuel empties out and you hit the ‘reserve’.
Step 2: Note down the odometer reading. This will act as the starting reference point for the distance covered.
Step 3: You can now ride the bike only in Reserve. Turn the fuel tap to the reserve (‘RES’) and ride to the nearest fuel pump.
Step 4: Fill the fuel tank with exactly 1 Litre of fuel. You can also fill with any amount of fuel as long as you note down the fuel amount you have filled in the tank and you adjust that by dividing the distance in mileage calculation.
Step 5: Turn the fuel tap back to ‘ON’ position.
Step 6: Ride the motorcycle to your heart’s content until the motorcycle empties out that 1 litre fuel and hits the reserve again.
Step 7: Note down the final odometer reading again now. You can use the reserve fuel to go to the fuel pump for a refill. Just like we did last time.
Step 8: We now have two odometer readings. The difference between the final and initial reading is the actual distance travelled. And since the fuel consumed is 1 litre. The distance travelled gives you the mileage of your motorcycle.
Below is an example of the mileage calculation through this method.
Suppose, the odometer reading when your motorcycle hits the reserve first time is, say, 8312 kilometres.
You then fill the fuel tank with 1 litre of fuel. So, the fuel consumed is 1 litre. If you have filled more than 1 litre of fuel, it is fine as well. You just have to note down the fuel amount and adjust it in the mileage calculation by dividing it with the distance travelled.
Next, when the motorcycle uses up the fuel and hits the reserve again, the doometer now reads, say, 8354 kilometres. The distance travelled is the difference between the two odometer readings.
Distance travelled = (8354 – 8312) = 42 kilometres
Fuel consumed = 1 litre
Mileage = Distance traveled / Fuel consumed = (42 / 1) = 42 km/l
These are the two methods you can use to calculate the mileage of your motorcycle. Do comment on which method did you finally use to find out your motorcycle mileage.