What’s the Fuel Economy of Adventure Motorcycles?

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In this blog post, we will delve into the topic of adventure motorcycle fuel economy or gas mileage and explore the factors that can affect it along with some tips to get better fuel economy.

Regarding motorcycle fuel economy, it’s important to understand that various factors come into play.

The economy of a motorcycle refers to the distance it can travel on a specific amount of fuel. However, it’s worth noting that the exact economy of a motorcycle can vary significantly depending on several factors.

Factors Affecting Fuel Economy


The type and specifications of the engine have a direct impact on the fuel economy of a motorcycle.

Adventure motorcycles come with different engine options, ranging from smaller displacement engines to larger ones. Generally, beginner adventure motorcycles with smaller engines tend to have better fuel efficiency and can deliver higher economy.

However, this doesn’t mean that larger-engine adventure motorcycles are inherently fuel-guzzlers. Modern advancements in engine technology have allowed manufacturers to improve the fuel efficiency of larger engines, providing a balance between power and fuel economy.

Fuel Efficiency

The fuel efficiency of an adventure motorcycle plays a crucial role in determining its overall fuel economy. Motorcycles with better fuel efficiency can cover more distance with the same amount of fuel. Several factors contribute to the fuel efficiency of a bike, including the design of the engine, fuel injection systems, and aerodynamics.

When comparing different adventure motorcycles, it’s essential to consider their fuel efficiency ratings, which are usually provided by manufacturers.

These ratings can give you a rough idea of how far you can expect to travel on a full tank of fuel.

Terrain and Riding Style

Another crucial factor that affects the economy of an adventure motorcycle is the terrain on which it is ridden and the riding style of the rider.

These motorcycles are designed to tackle a wide range of terrains, from smooth highways to challenging off-road trails. However, it’s important to note that riding on rough terrains, such as gravel or sand, can cause increased resistance and result in lower economy.

Similarly, aggressive riding techniques, such as rapid acceleration or frequent braking, can also decrease fuel efficiency. On the other hand, maintaining a steady speed and using a smoother riding style can help optimize fuel economy.

While the factors mentioned above play a significant role in determining economy, it’s important to remember that individual results may vary based on various other factors, such as bike maintenance, external modifications, and overall bike setup.

Average Adventure Motorcycle Fuel Economy Based on CC

One aspect that potential buyers often wonder about adventure motorcycles is the average fuel economy based on engine displacement (cc).

The engine displacement refers to the total volume swept by all the pistons inside the cylinders of an engine.

Adventure motorcycles come in a range of engine sizes, from smaller displacement engines to larger ones. Let’s take a closer look at the average fuel economy you can expect based on the cc of the engine.

Below 250cc

Adventure motorcycles with engine displacements below 250cc generally offer excellent fuel efficiency and economy.

These bikes are known for their nimble handling and agility, making them popular choices for riders who prioritize fuel economy.

On average, adventure motorcycles below 250cc can deliver around 60-70 miles per gallon (mpg), allowing you to cover long distances on a relatively small amount of fuel. Examples of adventure motorcycles in this category include the Yamaha WR250R, Honda CRF250L and KTM 250 Adventure.

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250cc to 500cc

Now engine displacements between 250cc and 500cc strike a balance between fuel efficiency and power. These bikes offer more versatility, allowing riders to tackle both on-road and off-road adventures comfortably.

Adventure motorcycles between 250cc to 500cc provide around 50-60 mpg. The slightly larger engines may consume a bit more fuel, but they still deliver respectable fuel economy.

Notable models in this category include the Kawasaki Versys-X 300, Royal Enfield Himalayan, and BMW G 310 GS.

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500cc to 800cc

For engine displacements between 500cc and 800cc, they offer a good blend of power and fuel efficiency. These bikes provide ample power for long-distance touring and off-road excursions.

However, due to the increased engine size, the fuel economy is slightly lower compared to smaller displacement bikes.

On average, adventure motorcycles in the 500cc to 800cc range can achieve around 40-50 mpg. Some popular models in this category include the Suzuki V-Strom 650, Triumph Tiger 800, and Yamaha Tenere 700.

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Above 800cc

Bigger Adventure motorcycles with engine displacements above 800cc often fall into the larger, more powerful category. These bikes are designed for riders who prioritize power, torque, and performance.

While they may not deliver the same fuel efficiency as their smaller counterparts, advancements in engine technology have improved their fuel efficiency a lot.

Adventure motorcycles with engine sizes above 800cc typically offer around 30-40 mpg. Noteworthy models in this range include the Husqvarna Norden 901, BMW R 1250 GS, KTM 1290 Super Adventure, and Ducati Multistrada 1260.

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Now these fuel economy figures are rough estimates and can vary based on individual riding conditions, maintenance, and other factors. The manufacturers often provide official fuel efficiency ratings for their bikes, which can give you a more accurate idea of what to expect in terms of the economy of your motorcycle.

Popular Adventure Motorcycles with Average Fuel Economy 

Here is a table of a few popular adventure motorcycles with their engine displacement (cc) and average miles per gallon. It should give you an approx estimate of what economy to expect from your motorcycle:

Motorcycle Model Engine Displacement (cc) Miles Per Gallon (mpg)
Honda CRF250L 250cc 60-70
Yamaha WR250R 250cc 60-70
KTM 250 Adventure 250cc 60-70
Kawasaki Versys-X 300 300cc 50-60
Royal Enfield Himalayan 411cc 50-60
BMW G 310 GS 313cc 50-60
KTM 390 Adventure 373cc 40-50
Suzuki V-Strom 650 645cc 40-50
Triumph Tiger 800 800cc 40-50
Yamaha Tenere 700 689cc 40-50
BMW R 1250 GS 1254cc 30-40
KTM 1290 Super Adventure 1301cc 30-40
Ducati Multistrada 1260 1262cc 30-40

Tips to Increase Fuel Economy

To maximize the fuel economy of your adventure motorcycle and ensure efficient fuel consumption, there are several essential tips you should keep in mind.

By following these recommendations, you can enhance your bike’s fuel efficiency and extend the distance you can travel on a tank of fuel.

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1. Regular Maintenance

One of the key factors in optimizing fuel economy is ensuring that your adventure motorcycle is well-maintained.

Regular maintenance tasks such as oil changes, air filter cleaning or replacement, and spark plug checks can significantly impact fuel efficiency. A clean air filter allows for better air intake, promoting optimal combustion, while fresh oil helps reduce friction and improve engine performance.

Plus, maintaining proper chain tension, checking and adjusting valve clearances, and inspecting the fuel system for any potential issues are steps in keeping your adventure bike running smoothly and efficiently.

2. Proper Tire Pressure

Correct tire pressure is not only important for safety but also plays a role in improving overall economy of your motorcycle. Underinflated tires can increase rolling resistance, resulting in reduced fuel efficiency.

But overinflated tires can also negatively affect traction and stability. Refer to your motorcycle’s user manual or consult with a professional to determine the recommended tire pressure for your specific bike model.

Regularly check the tire pressure and inflate or deflate them as necessary to ensure they are at the optimal level. This simple step can go a long way in improving your bike’s fuel economy.

3. Smooth Riding Style

The way you ride can significantly impact fuel efficiency. Adopting a smooth and steady riding style can help conserve fuel and increase fuel economy.

Avoid unnecessary aggressive acceleration and abrupt braking, as these actions consume more fuel. Instead, practice gradual and controlled acceleration and deceleration.

Maintaining a consistent speed whenever possible, especially during long highway stretches, can further enhance fuel efficiency. By using your bike’s momentum efficiently, you can reduce unnecessary energy expenditure and improve economy.

4. Weight Reduction

Another way to potentially increase fuel economy is by reducing unnecessary weight from your motorcycle.

Carrying excessive luggage or accessories adds extra load and increases aerodynamic drag, which can negatively affect fuel efficiency. Evaluate the items you carry on your bike and only bring the essentials for your adventure.

Also consider lightweight alternatives when choosing luggage or accessories, as they can help minimize the impact on fuel economy.

5. Aerodynamics and Wind Resistance

While riding adjust your body to minimize wind resistance. Tucking in closer to the bike, especially during highway riding and grabbing your motorcycle with your legs can reduce drag and improve aerodynamics, leading to better fuel economy.

Experiment with different riding positions to find the most comfortable and aerodynamically efficient posture for your motorcycle.

By implementing these tips, you can enhance the economy of your adventure motorcycle and make the most out of your fuel. However, it’s important to remember that the actual results may vary depending on various factors, such as model, riding conditions, and individual riding habits.

6. Fuel Octane Rating

Another tip to increase the fuel economy a little is to use fuel with the recommended octane rating for your adventure motorcycle. The octane rating represents the fuel’s resistance to knocking or pinging during combustion. Using the appropriate octane rating specified by the manufacturer can contribute to better fuel efficiency.

A combination of regular maintenance, proper tire pressure, and a smooth riding style can significantly improve the fuel efficiency and fuel economy of your adventure motorcycle.


In conclusion, the fuel economy of an adventure motorcycle is influenced by various factors such as engine size, fuel efficiency, terrain, and riding style.

Smaller engine sizes generally offer better economy, but advancements in technology have improved the fuel efficiency of larger engines. Regular maintenance, proper tire pressure, and a smooth riding style are key to optimizing fuel economy and having a peaceful riding experience.

Amitabh Borah

Amitabh Borah is the founder of OffRoadPioneers.com, sharing his passion for adventure on two wheels.

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