Going Green

Going Green on Two Wheels: How Motorcyclists Can Reduce Their Impact

Eco-friendly automotive engineering is no longer a new topic. Toyota’s original green car, the Prius, is more than 10 years old, and almost every auto manufacturer has an option now for those seeking an environmentally conscious, low-emission vehicle. Even electric cars like the economical Nissan Leaf or the futuristic Tesla are becoming the new standard of green. But what about two-wheeled motorists? There are some innovative ways the motorcycle industry is embracing green technology. Ride with these earth-friendly innovations:

Fuel-Saving Engines

Buying a bike with a fuel-efficient engine is not only better for the planet, but for your wallet as well. Hydrogen Fuel News points out that some bikes can get up to 85 mpg, such as the classic Royal Enfield bikes; or there is also the Honda CMX250C Rebel, which gets 84 mpg. If you want something a little more robust, just make sure your bike has a lower RPM engine to cut down on fuel consumption. You may not get the same low roar as the high-powered engines, but you can still find a powerful engine that can get you through rough terrain on less fuel and energy.

Energy-Saving Tires

Motorcycle tires have to be replaced more often than car tires, and old tires can significantly reduce your bike’s fuel efficiency. While a recent green trend involves putting car tires on your bike, many motorcycle enthusiasts cringe at this thought, and the verdict is still out on whether this is actually greener. There are, however, energy-saving tire options specifically for motorcycles.

Fuel-saving eco tires, such as Michelin Energy Saver touring tires, have low rolling resistance to reduce fuel consumption. Another eco-friendly option is buying remanufactured or retreaded tires, which cuts down on waste and production of new tires. According to a recent study from MIT, the tread is only 10 to 20 percent of the tire’s material, so scrap tires are still highly valuable and can be easily recycled and reused. Instead, tires are often thrown away and end up in landfills.

Green Cleaning Products

Keep your environmental impact in mind when cleaning your bike, too. Stay away from harsh chemicals that can be hard on the environment and hard on your bike. For quick clean-up jobs, use a nontoxic waterless cleanser such as Eco Touch. These don’t require any water; you just spray on the surface and wipe it down. For tougher jobs like mud, online retailers like Bike Bandit recommend Maxima Bio Wash. This cleanser is made from biodegradable materials and is gentle and protective on paint and alloys, but is tough on mud, dirt and grease.

Electric Bikes

If you really want to go green and love the latest technology, the electric bike industry is growing fast. Many think an electric bike doesn’t have real power or is more like a scooter, but think again—some of the most innovative, stylish and powerful two-wheeled vehicles on the market are electric. For example, the Brammo electric motorcycle is a high-performance bike that Inhabitant.com compares to Tesla’s stylish and high-powered electric cars. The bike even got an upgrade in 2014, making its new model lighter, faster and even more eco-friendly. If you love the classic motorcycle look, Orphiro makes an electric bike with high-powered performance that looks like a vintage cruiser. If you’re in the market for a more futuristic style, the Johammer Electric Motorcycle looks like something out of a science fiction film, but boasts a powerful battery that lasts for 124 miles.

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