100 mpg? Really?

Can any commercially-available scooter really pull 100mpg?.

Let’s take the Buddy 125, for instance. Genuine doesn’t seem to explicitly promise “100mpg” anywhere, to their credit, but the “buzz” is that the Buddy gets 100mpg. I don’t doubt that under very favorable circumstances (a 90-lb rider at constant low revs on a downhill grade with a tailwind) a Buddy can maybe pull close to 100mpg. But under real-world situations (a 200-lb rider revving-out and braking hard from stoplight to stoplight on short trips), I’m betting 70-80mpg is much more realistic. 70mpg is freaking sweet, especially when Piaggio’s scooters promise 60mpg (and surely don’t get that), so I’m not sure why dealers and owners stretch the truth so far. With scooters’ small gas tanks and inaccurate odometers, it’s easy to fool oneself about mileage, but a GPS, gas logbook, diligence, and math are the only way to get a real figure. I’d love to hear results from people who have scientifically tracked their mileage (GPS/log only, I don’t trust odometers or fuel gauges), drop us a line in the comments!

More references to 100mpg:

The Progressive X-Prize is offering $10 million to the team that can develop a 100mpg automobile.

Another story about Get Scootin’ in Valpariso, IN that lists the 100mpg figure.

Story about Scooterville in MN implying the Buddy can get 100mpg.
Later that day, another news story from Minnesota’s, KARE said scooters “get anywhere from 50 to 115 miles per gallon.”

Matt points out the only overt “100mpg” reference we’ve seen from Genuine, on their “Love Bus.”

Yamaha has assigned “estimated” MPG ratings to its scooters, with the 2-stroke 50cc Zuma claiming an astonishing 124mpg and other 4-stroke 50cc bikes claiming over 100mpg.

If a Buddy can get anything close to 100mpg (or even 80mpg) in a real-world situation, Genuine (and other importers and manufacturers) should be explicitly bragging about it. If it can’t, their dealers shouldn’t be using the 100mpg figure as a selling point.

12 thoughts on “100 mpg? Really?

  1. To put some answers to your question:

    I put about 130 miles on a Buddy 125 this weekend (New Orleans to Bonnet Carre Spillway & New Orleans to Lafitte, LA)

    Filled up Saturday to full before the trip to Bonnet Carre Spillway.
    Filled up again at the Spillway Shell approx .5 gallons.
    Filled up again before going to Lafitte, same shell approx .5 gallons.
    Rode w/group to Lafitte, back to Shell at Barataria @ Westbank Expressway (.4 gallons approx)
    Rode home.

    Average was between 55 – 60, with a “stretched out 65-70” and stop & go traffic in town. Figured actual mileage rating would be approx 65mpg (67.5) for the weekend, going with approx figures & not actual. I really wasn’t keeping that good of track of mileage though.

  2. I’ve logged the mileage on my Vino 125 for almost three years.

    5506 Miles
    82.706 Gal
    MPG: 66.57
    Min: 42.63
    Max: 83.25

  3. Oh yeah, forgot to add.

    When my daily commute changed from ~30 miles to ~3 miles, I lost 5.5 mpg.

  4. POC Phil started a Yahoo group in 2005 (I think during one of the first serious gas-price spikes) dedicated to the idea of achieving and documenting 100MPG. It looks like the group is members-only, and I can’t recall any posting activity in ages, but for whatever it’s worth:


  5. I kept a log of my Honda Reflex for the first year and I averaged 72 mpg for over 6,000 miles. I know other riders of the bike get low 60’s, some even in the high 50’s. I think I did well because the bulk of my riding was commuting with speeds around 45-50 mph. I also weigh only under 170lbs. And I was pretty easy on the throttle as it was my first bike.

    I haven’t tracked as closely since the last 6,000 miles but my mpg is closer to 68. I ride faster and a bit more aggressive than I did before. Still very happy with the efficiency of the bike.

  6. On my Honda Elite 80 I get 110 MPG, but no respect. Not from cagers, not from fellow scooterists, not from small children and animals.

  7. I did once get 100mpg with my Chetak, but it was anything but real world riding conditions. I kept it to 25mph, and used the throttle VERY lightly. Nearly got run over by cars. I did this as an experiment for one tank of gas. Im sure my calculations are +/-10% from odometer and fuel volume error. Realistic daily MPG is 70…with a POC pipe and K&N (with appropriate jetting adjustments).

  8. My wife consistently gets over 100 MPG on her Chetak. Pretty normal city riding. Her MPGs go down with long out of town rides with WOT. It’s a stock Chetak and she’s kept her mileage for the three years she’s had it. She’s topped out just over 110 MPG.

  9. I kept a log for 3000 miles on my Baja Chetak when it was stock.

    If I did the first/10mph second/20mph third/30mph 4/40mph shifting I got up to 108MPG. It never fell below 100 MPG when riding it this way.

    Wide open throttle on the high way all day it got 70 to 80 mpg.

    I weigh 180 and live in the hills.

  10. My 2003 ET4 got 60 mpg, no matter how I rode it; Piaggio’s spec sheet said 42 mpg. My PX 150 got 80 mpg before I put on the Sito Plus pipe and rejetted; it now gets 70-72 mpg (I’m using a 103 main jet; at WOT the engine sounded like it was ripping itself to pieces with a 100).


  11. I just finished a highly (un)scientific analysis of my mileage based on my last tank of gas on the ’06 Buddy 125.

    I used about 1.3 gallons and went 113 miles, which makes it about 86mpg.

    This tank was mostly my commute, which is 8 miles and is a mix of neighborhood back roads, a WOT stretch for about 1.5 miles, and city riding.

    I am planning on keeping track now so I can increase the accuracy, since I have to admit only 113 miles isn’t really enough to calculate a fair average. History has shown though that it’s a minor miracle I was able to pay attention long enough to do this with one tank of gas, much less over thousands of miles, several months, or even a few tanks of gas.

  12. David Harrington over at http://www.justgottascoot.com has run what appear to be GPS-based mileage calculations on several scooters. His calculations for the Buddy are 90 mpg. The Kymco Agility came in at 96 mpg. If you wanted more info on his methodology, I suppose you could contact him through his site. So, while these two 125s didn’t break the 100 mpg barrier, they seem to get darn close.

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