scooterlife - photog's blog

Motorcycles. Scooters. Wheelchairs. Tape. Whatever rolls.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

gas mileage revisited

Okay, I'll admit it.

I'm getting a bit geeky over gas mileage.

Enough so that I'm considering a Bajaj Chetak and Honda Ruckus (the little one) again, just to squeeze more distance out of a tank. Not just for the economics but also the joy of squeezing as many blocks out of a drop of gas as possible. I can't describe it, but it's addictive.

Last weekend during a trip to Virginia Beach, the '95 Saturn got 40mpg despite being flogged mercilessly up and down I-95 with the air conditioner running. I was thrilled. I mean, thrilled, like actually getting a free Coke with a winning bottle cap, or getting some sort of award. That's geeky. It was also helpful, given that the trip from Raleigh to VAB is a frequent thing due to ailing relatives. A few of those trips in a gas hog and it would be time for a second mortgage. Doing it every weekend will drain the piggy bank even in an economical car.

Okay, so if the Stella is the main project based on style, I suppose I am destined to find a 4 stroke scooter that will become the Gas Mileage King. Not since my parents used to hassle me about keeping the Fuel Miser light from coming on in our '75 Valiant have I obsessed about gas. Well, okay, that's not true. I actually squeeze 23mpg out of my 4.0L Grand Cherokee, which isn't bad for a 154K mile Jeep. I'll drive on the highway with one eyeball on the trip computer, which keeps a running MPG current/average.

"Hey, look! It's getting 24mpg right now!" usually elicits a groan and eyeball roll from the right seat.

The Bajaj folks say the Chetak will get 110 mpg and with 10hp, it's likely to have similar overall performance to the 2T Stella, though the torque curve and acceleration characteristics will no doubt be different.

I think I have become an econowonk.