Surprise- Motorcycles are not as Green as Cars

The first thing that you should understand is that I am not a scientist; I am just a guy who is interested in motorcycles.  A few months back, The Discovery Network Show “Mythbusters” did an episode to find out which was more environmentally friendly, a motorcycle or a car.  Well let’s cut to the chase, if you’re riding your motorcycle to save the planet then you better go trade in your cycle for a Ford.  According to Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, the show’s hosts, Cars have a lower pollution profile then Motorcycles.  The Episode “Bike vs. Car” does a good job explaining their rationale but I’m still having trouble figuring out how logically this makes sense.  My logic would dictate that motorcycles with greater fuel efficiency would create a smaller carbon foot print then a car.   Well logic has never been my strong suit so I will defer to the experts.  Luckily for me, I do not ride to save the environment but I do love that my motorcycle gets 46 miles per gallon.  Riding a cycle is just so much more fun then driving a car.  I feel nothing when I get into a cage but when I get on a motorcycle the world changes for the better.  So watch the episode “Bike vs. Car” and see what Mythbusters has to say on the subject.  Either way, I would choose a cycle over an auto any day of the week.



About twotiretirade

Keeping the faith of fanatics who feel fired up for anything motorcycles. It’s all about the journey and the philosophy of riding on two wheels. Let’s bring alive the truly unique culture of motorcycling and never let the ride leave the fibers of our being. View all posts by twotiretirade

10 responses to “Surprise- Motorcycles are not as Green as Cars

  • Peter Radsliff

    That was a fun, and surprising, episode, however, I wonder if the carbon footprint of manufacture of a car would far outshadow that of a bike. Hmmmmmm…’this a puzzlement.

  • Queen of Zoom

    After we bought the Venture we sold our second car. He rides the bike to work year round, except when the roads are snowy and/or icy. The gas mileage is fantastic. Taking the bike also shortens his commute time since he can use the HOV lanes 😉

  • twotiretirade

    Great idea getting rid of the second cage and riding the cycle more. We have little kids so cant get rid of that car yet but once its feasible I am doing the same thing. I love HOV lanes and have a dream of splitting lanes in California..

  • Susan Reichert

    Like your blog. I might just take your advice sometime…and take the course. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • nwroadrat

    I’ll have to look for that episode. If you put a large Fat Boy (that’s a bike btw 😛 ), against a regular car, that makes sense. But I wonder about an European bike that has to meet Euro 3 emissions against a car?

  • cafetbird

    The bikes they were testing had significantly fewer emissions controls than the cars (as is the case even with modern bikes). The Gov’t has less stringent emmissons restrictions on bikes. Bikes are also generally tuned more for perfomance than fuel efficiency. If you tuned and smogged a bike like a car, it would certainly have a smaller carbon footprint, but would also be less fun!

    • twotiretirade

      Another great point Cafebird….Im thinking with news of Gas prices to set records this summer we may see more people buying motorcycles for the simple fact that they could save huge money on more miles per gallon. On that note when gas does hit 6 dollars a gallon more motorcycle companies will market the fuel savings rather then performance of the cycle. It will be a green motorcycle transformation bred by necessity.

      • cafetbird

        I know people in my area who are busy buying up used bikes off CL right now to renovate and sell. Lots of folks have low mile bikes in their garage with dead batteries and gummed up carbs. Smaller cc bikes showing up for sale are getting snatched up quickly at the moment.

        One risk related to all this, of course, will be scores of rusty, low-knowledge, or unskilled riders risking on the highways without proper training, risking their lives, and potentially skewing public opinion on the safety of motorycycles. Training and skill development are crucial for safe riding, and we don’t really require enough of it in this country…

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