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Moped Riders Association • View topic - How many miles do you need to ride...

How many miles do you need to ride...

A place within the MRA for scooter enthusiasts to exchange information.

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How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby pehuskey » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:31 pm

before the scooter pays for itself in fuel savings?


Assuming $4.00/gal of regular unleaded
Most <50cc Mopeds
100mpg = 1gal/100miles = $4.00/100miles

Most 150cc class, 4-stroke Scooters
80mpg = 1.25gal/100miles = $5.00/100miles

Most 50cc class, 2-stroke Scooters
60mpg = 1.67gal/100miles = $6.68/100miles

High efficiency compact car (Civic, Corolla)
40mpg = 2.5gal/100miles = $10.00/100miles

High efficiency mid-sized Sedans (Accord 4cyl.)
35mpg = 2.86gal/100miles = $11.44/100 miles

Lower efficiency small cars
30mpg = 3.34gal/100miles = $13.36/100miles

Mid-powered Sedans (Camry v6, Accord v6)
25mpg = 4gal/100miles = $16.00/100miles

Most Mini-vans and Small Trucks (Sienna, Ranger Pick-up)
20mpg = 5gal/100miles = $20.00/100miles

High powered cars and Full size Pick-ups (F150, Chevy 1500)
15mpg = 6.67gal/100miles = $26.68/100miles

To figure it out just use:
(purchase price/(current cost per 100miles - new cost per 100miles))100


Someone check my math skills. I deal most in ruler measurements these days and they are growing feeble (but I know the decimals for all the inch measures down to the 16ths).
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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby JD » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:49 pm

That works, Patrick, but it might be a little easier to work with this way:

Miles = PurchasePrice/(GasPrice/CarMPG - GasPrice/MopedMPG)

For example,

$3,000/($4/24 - $4/80) = 25,700 miles

If you're running a two-stroke, you need to add in the cost of of a gallon of two-stroke oil as well.

Miles = PurchasePrice/(GasPrice/CarMPG - (GasPrice + OilPrice/50)/MopedMPG)

Assuming that you're running something like Amsoil ($35/gal) at 50:1, you get...

$3,000/($4/24 - ($4 + $35/50)/80) = 27,800 miles

I like this form because it doesn't require any intermediate calculations, e.g., figuring cost per 100 miles. Anyone who has values for the cost of a moped or scooter, the price of gas and oil, and the MPG of the two vehicles being compared can crank this pretty simply.

I like simple. Fortunately, Lisa does too.

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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby pehuskey » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:57 pm

better, thanks.
The per 100miles thing is how that started. I was talking with another guy about how much it cost per 100miles to drive his truck...then we compared it to my car and so forth.

I took algebra about 100 religion and english classes ago.
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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby steamboat » Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:37 am

A similar discussion from a while back. Jim
courtsey of JD.
The cost/benefit analysis isn't rocket science. If you can REALLY give up your car (and all the fixed costs involved in ownership) to ride a moped, it's going to save you a lot of money.

The problem for many of us is that completely surrendering a car is just not feasible because a moped is not a twelve-month vehicle in northern climes. In addition, many of us have to carry passengers and/or cargo on a regular basis.

If you have to maintain a car, anyway, then the economic justification for a moped starts to slip away quickly. You aren't going to save on car insurance or depreciation, so you're only going to save some variable costs when you use the moped for some trips and leave the car at home. You need to replace A LOT of car miles with moped miles to justify the purchase of a moped on economic grounds. $1,000 spent on a moped would have bought a lot of gas for the car.

My Subaru gets 27 mpg, so at $3.25/gallon it costs me $0.12 per mile in gasoline. The TGB gets around 65 mpg, so it costs $0.05 per mile for the same. If Lisa and I go riding together on both of our bikes, then that doubles to $0.10. We're riding about 2,000 miles annually on the TGBs, and very few of them are truly replacement miles. Even if they were, however, we'd only be saving about $75 in gas per year. It's clear that adding the other cost considerations into the equation isn't going to change the conclusion
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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby JD » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:03 am

You'd never guess that I was a finance guy once, wudya? : p

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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby JD » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:27 am

I just made some changes to the formula, above. You need to add in the cost of two-stroke oil, as well. If you're stubbornly using the expensive synthetic stuff (as I am), it adds 15-20% to the cost of a gallon of fuel.

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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby jswift » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:07 pm

--"After a fell day in the saddle, there is not too much numb bum from the soft comfort seat" www.scooterdepot.us/50cc-Gas-Moped-Scooter-p-436.html"
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Re: re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby JD » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:20 am

...Operating with impunity in the legal gray area between bicycles and motorcycles....
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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby Tab » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:26 am

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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby maddog » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:47 pm

i ride all yr. for the past 15 yrs. maybe thats why i own river front/lake front and close to the ocean properties, those oil companies don't get my money.
Some people dream about speed! blink and im gone!
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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby RockyHa » Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:08 pm

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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby Ike » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:48 am

Only God can make a tree....
and only Tomos can make a Moped!
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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby mopedlar » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:43 am

Ike, I'm confused re. the Silverado savings on the exact trip? Are you referring to all the other cash outlays you incurred besides gas?
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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby cabighed » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:29 am

You could always bring a tent and eat bugs to save some cash! The volume of fuel used more so than the dollar amount is the savings. It's a pisser that after riding my scoot to work all week every time I use my wife or daughter's cars I have to put gas in 'em, so I'm helping them save money.
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re: How many miles do you need to ride...

Postby mountainmoped » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:59 am

They must have spent a lot of money on hoes at the Genital Putman.
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