At what point does fuel mileage / price of gas matter to you?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by _CJ, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. _CJ

    _CJ Retrogrouch

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,012
    Location:
    The 719, Yo.
    At what point do you start to care about the price of gas relative to riding your motorcycle?

    Back when gas got up to $5/gallon, I was definitely doing the math on how much it would cost me to drive my SUV to various places. A simple trip to "the big city", or day trip to go fishing was suddenly costing $50.00, or more, and it definitely impacted how often I did those things.

    Now that I have a motorcycle that gets 80mpg, I don't generally care about what gas costs for a day of screwing around on dirt roads and trails, and I probably wouldn't care even if gas cost $10/gallon. $20.00/gallon might have me doing the math again, but wouldn't keep me from riding.

    How about you guys with "big" bikes? What kind of MPG do you get. Is there a price where you would start to curtail your riding, or maybe look for a bike that was more fuel efficient?

    Would $5/gallon bother anyone here? On some level, I wouldn't mind seeing those high prices return just so there'd be fewer people on the road.




    .
    #1
  2. AwDang

    AwDang Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,448
    Location:
    121 miles from Tellico Plains
    do you realize the impact of that statement?
    That $5/gal gas cost trickles into EVERYTHING your going to buy.
    The fuel the farmer needs to plow, and get his food to market. The raw material to make your favorite UA shirt, the labor costs for the staff at the hospital, everything!

    Just say no!!
    #2
    eakins, Bultaco206, Jarlaxle and 11 others like this.
  3. AlexWS

    AlexWS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Oddometer:
    21
    One of the reasons I'm thinking of trading in my Sportster is to get better fuel economy. Sure, 50 mpg on a trip is way better than any car but to me fuel economy is one of the points of a motorcycle. For me it's not even really about price, I just love how far a couple gallons of go go juice will take me. Even if gas was pennies a gallon I'd still be looking at a more efficient bike.

    While I admit it would be nice to have less cars on the road, I do NOT want gas prices to go up, as AwDang pointed out that jacks up the price of everything.
    #3
    mitchxout likes this.
  4. john howard

    john howard n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Slade Green Kent
    Currently Gas in the UK is approx £1.20 - £1.56 per litre at the lower figure = £5.50 per gallon (IMP) $6.95 per gallon, Diesel is .10p per litre more
    It is cheaper off the Motorway/Main trunk road system, currently oil price per barrel has gone down but they are reluctant to pass this on to the consumer.
    The Government are not interested as they just get more tax the longer the price stays up.
    #4
    kojack06 likes this.
  5. brgsprint

    brgsprint Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,048
    Location:
    Endicott, NY
    It has never been a factor to me.

    To me, choosing a vehicle for a task at hand isn't related to the cost of fuel. Number of people, weather, laziness or ambition and any cargo are factors. Cost of fuel isn't. My preferred method is motorcycle. Not because it may be cheaper, but because it's more fun.

    I've paid $5 per gallon for a long trip in a big truck, and I've paid more than $20 to fill a motorcycle. When I started driving, I paid less than 35 cents per gallon and drove my Barracuda because it was more fun to me than my 60 mpg Honda.

    Last month, I drove 1600 miles to spend Christmas with family and took the 22 mpg SUV instead of the 32 mpg sedan because it has a better sound system. We couldn't take motorcycles. My wife is sick.

    I guess if the cost of gas went high enough, I might consider less driving, but the cost per gallon would have to be more than $5.

    I am not happy paying more, but it won't change my plans.
    #5
    Traxx, SmittyBlackstone and _CJ like this.
  6. _CJ

    _CJ Retrogrouch

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,012
    Location:
    The 719, Yo.
    Yup, and I'm okay with that. Unlike 75% of the people in this country, I don't live paycheck to paycheck. If the price of gas, and other things goes up, and the result is fewer people clogging the roads, yeah, that's a fair trade for me.

    It really just blows me away that people aren't prepared for tough times, like with this whole government shutdown thing. All these people crying about not being able to pay their bills. Are they joking? Two weeks without pay (that they're going to get eventually), and they can't pay their mortgage? As they say, a lack of planning on your part does not create an emergency on mine. And the same goes for the price of gas.
    #6
    Yossarian™, Rockred, kames and 2 others like this.
  7. AwDang

    AwDang Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,448
    Location:
    121 miles from Tellico Plains
    I’m glad your life is perfectly organized. Unfortunatly a greater majority of the population is not in that position. Raising gas prices to incentivise public transit is a poorly thought out plan.
    #7
  8. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,148
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Not really an issue as both my bikes have decent range.

    I do use the more economical one weekdays for the commute which pretty much pays the costs inherent in keeping it on the road. (Registration, insurance). It's the more civilized nature of the DL650 in heavy traffic that was the reason for that, not fuel costs. The cost saving was just a bonus.

    I do have public transport options, but those are a lot more expensive than the bike and I have a transfer so it'd cost me around an extra 2 hours a day as well. (How much value do you put on your own time ?).

    Fuel prices would have to go up a hell of a lot to make it a consideration in how I got to work - I usually spend more on coffee a week than on fuel.

    The difference in real fuel economy on the commute for bike compared to a car is insane though, my wife has a slightly longer commute than I do but mostly the same route and sometimes takes the car, her bike uses 1/4 the fuel compared to the car. On claimed manufacturer MPG figures the difference should be less than 1/2. This is all urban commute, no high speed sections, lots of stop/start.
    #8
  9. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    9,965
    Location:
    Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
    Spending less is always better but it's not a deal-breaker for me. I took a trip around Britain in 2008 when the exchange rate sucked and gas was almost $10 per gallon. I did John-O-Groats to Land's End in a day and put over 25-gallons of fuel in the bike that day. I think it worked out to around $280 of fuel in a day! That smarted a bit.

    If I commuted, I would definitely be driving a fuel efficient car and might even get a scooter for mild weather use. Working from home (when I'm AT home) is the ultimate fuel-efficient commute. When I burn gasoline, it's usually for fun and it's simply "pay to play." If I couldn't afford it, I wouldn't ride so much.

    Most of the time, fuel efficiency is a feel-good thing and the only practical benefits are: (a) an indication that the bike is running properly; and (b) range on a tank. I squeaked 350 miles out of a tank on my 1290SA on the way back from Alaska. My DR350 would go well over 400 miles on it's 5.8 gal tank, if I would stick to 55 mph.
    #9
  10. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    9,965
    Location:
    Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
    Taxing fuel heavily has a benefit in that it removes the need to mandate fuel efficiency standards. The consumer is left to choose whether they can afford a gas guzzler and the market will supply what consumers want to buy. A fuel tax could also replace other taxes which are used to fund highways, etc. The short-sighted would kick off and cry about it of course - but it seems to work ok in Europe. The cynics would say that it would become an extra tax, not offsetting a reduction elsewhere and, sadly, they would probably be right.
    #10
  11. _CJ

    _CJ Retrogrouch

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,012
    Location:
    The 719, Yo.
    Who said anything about public transit? I just want the angry hoard of idiots in cars and giant trucks to stay home on the weekend. Fewer tourists would be nice too.



    .
    #11
  12. RG1984

    RG1984 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    178
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The GS is my choice for long and adventure trips, and I just really love it. I can finesse some extra miles out of it- when distance between pumps has been an issue I was able to coax 55 or so mpg out of it. If gas prices really went insane I'd probably skip using the car, but as it is I'm looking to get an electric car and or bike for commuting.
    My wife and I have solar panels on our home- but more to the question asked... what amount would really impact my driving? Probably $10/gal would force my hand, but I have a short commute.
    #12
    _CJ likes this.
  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,838
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    I always look around for the cheapest fuel and I have some fairly fuel efficient bikes. I ride as much as possible and try not to drive my gas hog truck unless I really need to. I'll wait a day to get groceries if the weather sucks so that I can ride instead of driving. I do that now that gas is under $1.90 a gallon and would do the same if it was $5.00 a gallon. I would never consider a getting a bike that got less than 40MPG and prefer 70+.

    Personally I'm more concerned with the price of tires since I go through a lot of those.
    #13
  14. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    517
    Startidbarfast, get serious-the government use fuel tax to reduce other taxes!

    State gas taxes are by the gallon not a percentage of the price. Higher prices=fewer gallons sold=less gas tax. (The governor of Georgia decided he really needed to do something about the high gas prices a while back-he raised the gas tax.) Governments pay higher prices for fuel just like I do and the school buses must run regardless. Higher cost of government services=higher taxes and probability a cut in services.

    Bob
    #14
    Jarlaxle likes this.
  15. dddd

    dddd Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,219
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    There is a lot to debate here... Some right, some wrong.
    But basically, not everything depends on fuel, certainly not all in significant quantity.

    I've seen a lot of people being incoherent: buy a 24 pack of beer every week but complaining about fuel price;
    Living 50km from the job instead of moving near to it.
    Diesel machinery running and stinking the city for no reason at all, entire weekends.

    The fuel price seems the right thing to tax, especially for CO2 impact, not tolls roads, not tires, not vehicle registration.
    If bananas and kiwi price to up, maybe stop eating bananas or kiwis?!

    The scarce resource is the fuel, not some indirect product or usage.
    We should not lie to ourselves.
    #15
  16. dddd

    dddd Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,219
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    > That $5/gal gas cost trickles into EVERYTHING your going to buy.

    And those using credit cards for everything have no right to complain; prices have gone up 1-2% just because the retailer pays it's CC transaction fee with it. Say no to credit cards.
    #16
    Eatmore Mudd and Rockred like this.
  17. Tall Man

    Tall Man Priest, Temple of Syrinx

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,711
    Location:
    The Occident
    I haven't cared. Not yet.

    The highest local fuel cost in recent memory was ~$4 per US gallon, occurring in 2008. It was at that price point that I noticed the average speed of Interstate traffic decrease during my then-daily commute. A clear majority of vehicles (of all classes) were observed to be driving within 5 mph of the posted limit. This was significant, in my view, and it answered a question that had nagged at me for years: how much would gas have to cost to convince folks to get religion on their fuel consumption habits? Finally, I had my answer.

    Only after fuel price trends fell below ~$3.50 per gallon, and stayed that way, did average highway traffic speed creep back up.

    The foregoing had no discernible effect on my motorcycle riding habits. If I wanted to ride, I did.

    What may be ironic here is that one of the clear advantages of riding a motorcycle -- comparatively superior fuel economy -- hasn't ever been anything that I analyzed or really cared about. I purchase the machine that I want based on a variety of factors, anticipated fuel consumption not being among them. I'll need fuel when I need it, and it will cost what it costs.

    Fuel is a commodity, and the world market will assign the per-barrel cost based on a variety of price signals. We needn't worry about what we can't change here.

    Now, I don't like the wildly varying per-gallon fuel taxes among the different states. This, in my view, is what has a more immediate and punitive effect on many of us than the per-barrel cost of Saudi Supreme. I envy those riders who live close enough to an adjacent state, with measurably lower pump pricing than their home state, to take advantage of the savings. I've no such dispensation.
    #17
    bearcat1 and _CJ like this.
  18. DC2wheels

    DC2wheels Castle Anthrax troll Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,485
    Location:
    N.H.
    Summertime when I am mostly on two wheels, I have no idea what gas costs/ gallon- I just fill it and back out on the road.

    Winter? I'm driving a reasonably efficient vehicle- '09 Pontiac Vibe 5 speed, so it doesn't really bother me either.

    Even when we are pulling our small 5th wheel with a crew cab pickup that sucks gas, I really don't look at prices. What am I going to do, stay home? Nope.
    #18
    brgsprint and _CJ like this.
  19. craigincali

    craigincali I'll try it.

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,309
    Location:
    A town called Hell
    It never matters to me. I don't see why people get upset over a few cents a gallon.
    #19
    Patch, joe a and _CJ like this.
  20. Traxx

    Traxx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    Oddometer:
    514
    Location:
    Ft Worth Texas
    The price of fuel doesn’t matter to me at all. I didn’t get my TEX to save fuel, I got it because it makes me smile.
    #20
    Patch, _CJ and craigincali like this.