On Earth Day 2010, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is reminding motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists alike of the environmental benefits of commuting and traveling on a motorcycle.
"Every day is Earth Day when you ride a motorcycle," said AMA Vice President for Government Relations Ed Moreland. "Whether riding down the block, across town or coast to coast, you are doing the environment and your fellow earthlings a favor when you do so from the seat of a motorcycle or scooter."
A typical motorcycle can provide fuel mileage that exceeds that of most fuel-efficient automobiles. Many motorcycles return more than 50 miles per gallon, and many scooters can deliver nearly twice that. In addition to using less gasoline, motorcycles require less oil and other chemicals to operate.
Motorcycles take up less space than cars and trucks both during operation and when parked. They reduce traffic congestion and, in so doing, help increase the efficiency of traffic flow on the road.
Significantly fewer raw materials are utilized to produce motorcycles and scooters compared to cars and trucks. By some measures, it requires thousands of pounds less metal and plastic per vehicle to produce a motorcycle. These environmental benefits are realized during production as well as at the end of the vehicle’s useful life when it is recycled.
Because motorcycles and scooters are so much more compact and lighter than cars and trucks, they cause far less wear and tear on the highways, reducing the cost and environmental impact of infrastructure repairs. In addition, because of their size, many more motorcycles can be transported from factory to consumer using the same or less energy.
"Although most of us take up riding to experience the thrill and freedom that motorcycles provide, there are undeniable environmental benefits from the sport and lifestyle as well," Moreland said. "Riding is not just fun, it’s also easy on your bank account and the planet."
Moreland added that anyone interesting in coming along for the ride should visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Riding > New Rider for more information about getting started in motorcycling.