70 MPH, 4 Bags of Groceries and 100+ MPG!

This year’s Vetter Challenge brought out six entrants who broke the 100-mpg mark.

| December 2011/January 2012

On July 22, 2011, during the American Motorcyclist Association’s Vintage Motorcycle Days event in Ohio, a dozen motorcycles and two cars rose to the latest Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge — named for and run by Craig Vetter, renowned motorcycle inventor and designer. The riders drove 104 miles through towns, over rural roads and on the freeway to demonstrate their vehicles’ ability to marry fuel efficiency with comfort, convenience and speed.

The Vetter Challenges were created in the 1980s to show what motorcycles could do if they were designed purely for economy at moderate speeds. The highly specialized bikes that competed then were remarkably efficient but too cramped and uncomfortable for everyday riding. The modern Vetter Challenge rules are tailored to encourage economy and practicality — a comfortable seating position, enough power to go 70 mph into a head wind, and enough luggage space for four bags of groceries. As Vetter notes, “If your great 100-mpg machine isn’t useful, you won’t use it.”

Six of the entrants — including MOTHER’s own do-it-yourself diesel sports car, MAX — broke the 100-mpg mark (read more about the car in 100-MPG Car: MAX). The winner was Max Perethian on his 1989 Honda NX250 street/dirt bike, which achieved 157 mpg, followed by Fred Hayes’ streamlined diesel motorcycle at 143 mpg. Both Perethian and Hayes spent less than 3 cents a mile for fuel.

Electric motorcycles don’t yet have the range for the full Challenge distance, so the winner of the electric class was the one that went farthest: The two entrants, Kraig Schultz and Kyle Ginaven, tied at 38 miles. Vetter Challenges are scored on fuel cost, and comparing Perethian’s 2.4 cents per mile for gasoline with Ginaven’s 1.8 cents per mile for electricity shows that once the range issue is solved, electric bikes will be hard to beat.

Keep an eye out for more Vetter Challenges in 2012!

Read more: Craig Vetter shares his stories about the Vetter Challenge and fuel-efficient motorcycles in his blog for MOTHER EARTH NEWS: Craig Vetter, Inventor and Designer

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265