Honda NC750X – the case for fuel economy

'With the recent double-whammy of financial rating downgrades set to wreak havoc on our economy, however, even bikers are edgy about increased fuel costs,' writes Dries Van der Walt.

WATCH: Bike almost squashes rider

The British MotoGP was reduced to 19 laps after it was halted following a brutal first-lap collision between Loris Baz and Pol Espargaro.

UK bike group scores in fuel tests

2014-12-24 10:38

SA CHAMPS PAST AND PRESENT: Shado Alston (Honda CBR 500R), left, hands over the mantle from his wins in 2012 and 2013 to 2014 winner Andre Schoeman (BMW F700GS) after the Motorcycle Economy Run in Mpumalanga, Image: Michelle Jordaan

LONDON, England - A group of bike enthusiasts here each year sets itself the challenge of achieving the best-possible fuel-consumption figure for a motor-cycle and the 2014 result was, well, only as good as our guys managed in South Africa.

The UK group has been doing it since 2009; the 2014 winner achieved 2.3 litres/100km - exactly the same as SA's Peter Gibbons achieved in September 2014 on a Honda CG125

The UK contestants were part of the Institute of Advanced Motorists’ London Advanced Motorcyclists’ group which does the ‘economy run’ every year – it’s called ‘What Will It Do, Mister?’


Norton (how apt!) Hawes, group chairman of the LAM, explained: “As riders we always want to set challenges and children and adults alike are always asking ‘How fast will it go?’ and so on.

“We turned this around and decided to come up with a challenge involving fuel consumption, not speed.”

The idea came from one Andrew Craster – though it is not new. South Africa has had a motorcycle economy run for many years and the British one follow some of its rules, among them: not impeding other road-users and sticking to all road safety rules and speed limits.

The LAM route set was along nearly 100km of varied road conditions – main and secondary roads through the countryside and through busy town centres.


There were four categories depending on the stated power output of each bike and a varied collection of machinery took part, including Honda C90’s, BMW 1200GS’s, Yamaha RX100’s, Triumph Tiger 1050’s and a Ducati Multistrada.

The winning rider was Peter Gibbons, who achieved 2.3 litres/100km on a Honda CG125. Second was Peter Raynham (Honda NC750X, 2.77/100) and third Dave Wilkins (Honda C90, 2.86/100km).

Hawes said: “The key to economical riding is staying smooth and avoiding hard acceleration or braking. Look far enough ahead to anticipate road conditions.”

The group was created in 1985 and has 340 members. It meets for group rides twice a month and organises machine control days, first-aid courses and rides into Europe.

South African riders do just as well as their UK counterparts in the annual South African Motorcycle economy run: take a look at how they did in September 2014 when Wheels24's own Dave Fall almost won - over a much longer distance and two days.


There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.