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Hypermiling on a Harley

Posted by admin on May 29th, 2010
2010
May 29

I have been doing some research on finding other Harley owners who have done some experimentation with hypermiling, but haven’t really been able to find anyone posting much about the subject. Since I’ve done a lot of hypermiling in the past, and I own a Harley, I thought I’d start my own testing and report my results here. How convenient 🙂 Here’s my back-story.


It’s been a little over a year and a half now that I’ve been riding a motorcycle as my daily commuter. My commute is just under 45 miles round trip in mostly heavy traffic, so it makes sense to “ride” rather than “drive” for me. Not only is it better in the fuel economy department but it’s also great for cutting down my time in transit (in California it’s ok to “cut lanes”).


The first bike I ever bought was a 2008 Harley Dyna Super Glide. I had never in my life driven a motorcycle when I bought it – I didn’t even have an endorsement. I know, crazy – but that’s how I roll sometimes. There is more to the story, but it doesn’t need to be told here. After finally learning how to ride it, and having taken the certification class, I had my endorsement and could hit the highway. Unfortunately about eight months later I got in an accident and totaled the bike. I then replaced it with a 2009 Dyna Street Bob (I *love* this bike!). Both bikes are rated for about 48mpg on the highway – we’ll get to my reality on that later.


I started out doing a little hypermiling but never really was consistent with it. I was always doing freeway driving and was also more focused on not turning my face into road pizza to be concerned with hypermiling. I’ve since become a much more confident rider and I’m now at a point where I’m going to try to improve my average mpg. It’s not that I’m getting bad gas mileage – I’m averaging about 40mpg now – but I know I can do a lot better. The reason I know this is because of one thing: when I first started riding on the freeway consistently I was getting 46-48mpg. Now I’m getting consistently 40mpg. The reason for this is because of my driving style – since I’m a lot more confident I’m driving much faster which is decreasing my efficiency.


I’m now at a point where I’m ready to slow down and “cruise” more. This alone will help my overall economy, but to further enhance it I’m going to start re-implementing my hypermiling experimentation. The little testing I’ve done so far hasn’t shown any change at all, but I haven’t given it a fully concerted effort to make an educated evaluation. I’m going to truly focus more on seeing what I can do with this and if it can ultimately add any overall improvements in efficiency.


I have had a lot of success in my (former) Dodge Charger. If you’d like to read up on my findings and tactics in the four wheeled arena then please check my other posts on the subject.