MythBusters Proves Cars Are Greener Than Motorcycles [Video]

Danny Choy
by Danny Choy

There are many great reasons for owning a motorcycle. They cost less, are cheaper to run, easier to repair and easier to park. They even get better mileage and as a majority of commuter driving is alone, a motorcycle is all you need.

While a typical motorcycle’s mpg numbers do make it seem like its better for the environment, Discovery Channel series “MythBusters” discovers that the relationship isn’t necessarily true.

By testing three cars and three motorcycles, each one representing average benchmarks for 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, MythBusters performed tests to measure levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitric oxide emissions. While it is true that a motorcycle emits less carbon dioxide, it was revealed that motorcycles exhaled more carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and nitric oxide pollution than cars.

To further improve motorcycle efficiency, the team at MythBusters even fitted their own aero bubble fairings onto the most efficient motorcycle in the episode in hopes to push the limits and see if it can compensate for its shortcomings. Even then, it was no match to cars in terms of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitric oxide emissions. Busted!

Be sure to check out the short clip to this Mythbusters segment after the jump!

Danny Choy
Danny Choy

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  • Supamoto2 Supamoto2 on Apr 01, 2013

    Very flawed and unscientific as usual by them! Using a single cylinder trail bike as their modern control was just stupid. If they used a modern road bike with four cylinders and at converter like all new bikes have then you would have seen a much different view! I would have been much happier if they used a 600cc Honda four cylinder road bike or even a BMW F800 tourer instead. As for the bubble gimmick, how stupid. We all know streamliners have been settling fuel usage records for decades now. Nothing new! I have been getting very unimpressed of late with a lot of their so called "myth busting " more like sensationalist viewing!

    • See 2 previous
    • Thomas Thomas on Jul 15, 2013

      I agree,they could spent a little more time and effort.Even the bubble was flawed in the sense making the viewer's think streamlining is jamming your your body into a egg.A super aerodynamic vehicle can look and act like any other vehicle while returning incredible mileage and or range in the case of electrics.

  • Thomas Thomas on Jul 15, 2013

    this could have been done a lot better had they put more thought into it.Streamlining a motorcycle will double the fuel economy and or the range[electric] when done right.They could have spent more time on the body and educated the public about how important this is.Small commuter type enclosed vehicles could clean up American highways in major cities,traveling will become fun again,when 4 dollars can take you 100 or 200 miles down the road.We can reduce our dependence on imports,it's a win win.