How Far Can a Motorcycle Go on a Tank of Gas? (Fuel Range)

Written by

James Stevens

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Robert A. Verdin

how far can a motorcycle go on a tank of gas

If you’re into motorcycling or just someone who wants to know how far can a motorcycle go on a tank of gas, the answer is around 120 to 200 miles.

However, how far or near you can go will depend on certain factors, such as the size of your tank, the motorcycle model and type you have, and how well-maintained your vehicle is. If you want to know more about it, continue reading below!

Distance Traveled on a Tank of Gas


In general, the average motorcycle tank size can hold 3-6 gallons of gas. Thus, the average motorcycle fuel tank capacity in liters is around 11 liters to 22 liters.

So how many miles can you travel in a liter of gas? Typically, the rider can go as far as 8 to 15 miles. However, it still depends on the type of motorcycle you have.

  • A lightweight bike (i.e., a 125cc motorcycle) can generally reach around 150 to 400 miles, depending on the model of the motorcycle.
  • Meanwhile, middle-weight bikes, specifically touring motorcycles, can cover 300 to 400 miles partly due to their fuel-efficient engine and 5 to 8.5-gallon fuel tank capacity.
  • However, heavy-weight motorcycles, such as adventure bikes, can only cover 250 to 300 miles on a tank of gas.

Moreover, different models of motorcycles also have different fuel ranges and average miles per gallon (MPG). Please see the table below for a comparison:

Model Average MPG Average Fuel Range
Honda CB500X 78.5 MPG 277 miles
Kawasaki Versys 650 56 MPG 258 miles
BMW K1600GT 47.9 MPG 279 miles
Ducati Panigale V4 R 35.3 MPG 130 miles
Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight 48 MPG 96 miles
Honda Grom 134 MPG 194 miles
Kawasaki W800 Café 50-60 MPG 220 miles
Yamaha YS125 100-120 MPG 407 miles
BMW R1200GS Adventure 47 MPG 340 miles
BMW R80 G/S Paris Dakar 50 MPG 417 miles

Factors That Affect a Motorcycle’s Fuel Efficiency

1. Engine size

Motorcycles with higher CCs will require more fuel to run your vehicle. For instance, a 125cc bike will consume more fuel than a 50cc motorcycle.

Please look at the chart below for more reference:

Engine Cubic Capacity Average Gas Tank Size Average MPG
50cc 1.5 to 3 gallons 100 to 150 MPG
125cc 2 to 4 gallons 90 to 120 MPG
300 to 500cc 3 to 5 gallons 50 to 80 MPG
1000cc and up 4 to 8.5 gallons 30 to 50 MPG

2. Gear changes


Changing gears frequently will cause your motorcycle to burn more fuel. In addition, unnecessarily shifting to a higher gear will decrease your mileage because it will require your motorcycle to use more fuel.

3. Fuel


Your motorcycle’s fuel level will affect your mileage. If you’re riding with low fuel, it will force your bike to consume more fuel to maintain its speed. It may also cause your motorcycle to break down in the middle of your ride.

Moreover, filling your tank to the brim will cause issues. As fuel expands, it might overflow, which will negatively impact your fuel economy.

It’d also help to get high-quality fuel to prevent clogged carbs, resulting in a lower mileage.

4. Aggressive riding


Hard riding may cause you to brake heavily and accelerate more often. This will cause your bike to use more fuel to run your vehicle. It may also result in motorcycle damage.

In addition, unlike on rough terrains, traveling on a highway improves fuel economy, increasing the distance traveled with a tank of gas by about 20%.

5. Aerodynamics

Wind resistance causes drag and thus increases the motorcycle’s need for power and fuel consumption. To reduce your bike’s need for fuel, take advantage of aerodynamics.

For example, you can change your riding position, such as gripping the tank between your knees, ducking, and keeping your elbows bent. This way, you can lower wind resistance, which will help you achieve better mileage.

6. Idling


Too much idling is not fuel efficient and wastes about ½ gallon per hour. It may also contribute to engine wear and tear, so it’s best to reduce your idling time whenever you’re riding. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic, it’s best to just switch off the engine.

7. Weight

The weight of the motorcycle will require your bike to produce more power, thus demanding more fuel. In contrast, a lightweight motorcycle is fuel efficient and can reach around 90 to 150 MPG.

8. Tires

The tires of your motorcycle can influence how far it can go. Like weight, having bigger tires will negatively affect your fuel consumption due to them having more resistance, which requires more power from the bike. On the contrary, if you want to have a fuel-efficient vehicle, choose a motorcycle with smaller tires.

9. Bike health


A well-maintained bike will not only run smoothly but also be fuel efficient. For instance, if you’re not changing your oil regularly, it will increase friction and resistance, causing your motorcycle to use more fuel to run.

In contrast, if your chains are not properly lubricated, it will increase drag, thus calling for more fuel when running. As such, set up a frequent schedule for oil filter replacement and air filter cleaning.

Fuel Tank Capacity

Apart from the factors that impact fuel efficiency, it’s also important to note that your gas tank size affects the distance you can travel on a tank of gas. Usually, the longest-range motorcycles have the biggest fuel tank capacity:

Here’s a comparison between popular motorcycle models vs. their fuel tank capacities and average fuel range:

Motorcycle Fuel Tank Capacity Average Fuel Range
Kawasaki KLR650 23 liters 285 miles
Suzuki DR750 29 liters 300 miles
BMW R1200GS Adventure 33 liters 340 miles
BMW R80 G/S Paris Dakar 38 liters 417 miles

Calculating How Far a Motorcycle Can Go on a Tank of Gas


If you’re wondering how far you can travel with your bike, all you have to do is follow this formula: the amount of gas in the tank x miles per gallon = remaining travel distance

For example, if you average 30 MPG with your 3 gallons, you can travel 90 miles per tank of gas.

Frequently Asked Questions


What’s the reserve tank capacity?

A motorcycle’s reserve tank is there to ensure your motorcycle can still run if the main tank has run out of fuel. Typically, it has 1 to 1.5 liters of fuel or around 10% to 15% of the total fuel tank capacity.

What are the tips for maximizing your motorcycle’s fuel efficiency?

To maximize fuel efficiency, here are some tips to help you:

  • Right fuel: Using the right fuel will not only allow your motorcycle to run smoothly, but it will also help with motorcycle fuel efficiency because the engine will perform optimally. Thus, make sure to follow your manufacturer’s advice for what type of fuel to use for your bike.
  • Bike maintenance: Maintaining your bike is one way to maximize fuel efficiency, as your engine will be in top shape, avoiding oil inefficiency and mechanical resistance, among others.
  • Correct tire pressure: Having the correct tire pressure will reduce resistance; thus, your engine will not require more power.

Therefore, it’s important that your tire has the recommended pressure. In general, your rear tire will require more pressure than the front tire.

  • Limit your motorcycle’s weight: If your motorcycle has too much weight while riding, it will cause it to burn more fuel and may damage your engine. Thus, consider limiting the weight of your bike by removing unnecessary accessories and limiting your cargo.
  • Maintain steady speed: Driving at a steady speed will help you avoid frequent acceleration and heavy braking, which causes more fuel consumption. Therefore, consider maintaining a steady speed when driving to improve your mileage per gallon.


Overall, the range that you can travel on a gas tank in a motorcycle is 120-200 miles. However, different motorcycles have different fuel consumption rates. You need to consider many factors as well. But don’t worry! There are tips to make your motorcycle more fuel efficient such as bike maintenance.

Now that you know the answer to this question, How far can a motorcycle go on a tank of gas, we hope you’re now able to learn how to improve the mileage of your motorcycle!

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James Stevens

James Stevens is an expert bike mechanic who knows everything from basic repairs to custom modifications. What sets him apart is his ability to explain complex concepts in a way that's easy to understand. Check out his content on Speedway if you need help with upgrades or modifications for your bike.