AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Craig Vetter is pleased that his one-off, experimental high-mileage bike can go a long way on a small amount of fuel, but he knows it can do even better. So, on July 19, 2013, at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, Vetter will host his Fuel Economy Challenge, designed to push the energy-conserving limits of even the most fuel-efficient motorcycles.
In the Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge, competitors ride their motorcycles under real-world conditions while attempting to consume the least amount of fuel. This year, the route takes participants from the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio. After touring the museum, participants will enjoy lunch before heading back.
Led by Vetter and AMA Riding Manager Dave Hembroff, the ride is 80-90 miles each way, with a two-hour planned stop in Pickerington. Participants will leave the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at 9 a.m. and are expected to return to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days by 3 p.m.
“The Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge demonstrates how motorcycles can help us live better with less energy,” Vetter said. “The goal is to test our machines in real conditions on real roads under normal circumstances. We want to discover the least amount of energy it takes for us to travel the way we really ride.”
Vetter doesn’t require the motorcycles in his contests to only get good fuel mileage. They also must do so while carrying a reasonable load, such as four bags of groceries, be comfortable and look like a real motorcycle.
“Innovators have understood for a long time that competition advances the innovations of those who compete,” Vetter said. “That is the purpose of the Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge. Regardless of what type of motorcycle you ride, modified or not, we welcome your participation. I want to make clear that the challenge is not just for those who are striving for the best mileage. For casual competitors and friends, this is a great way to discover, under safe conditions, just whose bike goes the farthest on the least amount of fuel.”
The winning challenger at 2012 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days was Fred Hayes. Hayes consumed averaged 143.6 miles per gallon on his custom bio-diesel motorcycle. His fuel cost was 1.93 cents per mile.
Awards will be available for the overall winner, the best electric bike, the best alternative fuel challenger and the best traditional fuel challenger. Details, including further descriptions of each category and how costs per mile are measured, are available at craigvetter.com.
Proceeds from AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days benefit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. For more information, call (614) 856-2222, or visit the Hall of Fame’s website at motorcyclemuseum.org.
AMA members can purchase discounted tickets to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days through May 27 by calling (800) 262-5646. For more information about the event, visit amavintagemotorcycledays.com.