In these trying times of high gas prices, fuel economy is a factor that’s more important than power or torque when it comes to buying a motorcycle for daily use. Reaching a figure like 40km/L is quite a feat, with 100km/L sounding downright mythical. So imagine what kind of wizardry and skill went into the 133.53km/L record set at the Yamaha Sight Safe Run finals held in Cagayan de Oro City.
Don’t raise your eyebrows yet, because what you’ve just read is true: 133.53km/L!
The Yamaha Sight Safe Run was an event where participants ran along a set course throughout the local area astride a Yamaha Sight 115cc, the Japanese manufacturer’s most fuel-efficient motorcycle product. The challenge (for fuel-run cheaters) was that the riders’ fuel tanks were sealed and closely monitored, and the winner was selected based on who could get the best fuel-consumption figure.
Powered by a 114cc single cylinder, four-stroke, liquid-cooled engine mated to a four-speed semi-automatic gearbox, the Yamaha Sight units used in the event also underwent scrutineering to make sure there were no modifications done on their engines. It’s also worth mentioning that the Sight’s engine is equipped with a fuel-injection system.
Regional legs happened first, of course, with the top 25 riders backed by their respective dealerships making it to the championships. This year’s grand finals saw participants launching off at Yamaha Revzone Lapasan, Yamaha’s flagship store in CDO, and traveling 223km in a loop around Mindanao. They stopped at select Petron stations along the way to get their rider passports stamped, then went back to the dealership after approximately six hours.
The previous record was an already astonishing 129km/L, posted by Robby Malapitan earlier this year. The figure was so hard to believe that Patricio Malapitan, Robby’s father, claimed that his son received criticism and accusations of faking the record.
Despite being impressed by the 129km/L claim, Yamaha Philippines wanted the results validated, so it initiated the Yamaha Safe Run fuel-economy challenge staged in three legs. Robby wasn’t able to attend the finals in Cagayan de Oro, his father appeared in his stead to offer commentary, give tips, and ride along with this year’s participants to observe their riding styles and techniques.
Riding discipline and mastery of aerodynamics are among the most important aspects of competing in a fuel-economy challenge like the Sight Safe Run, said Patricio. To maximize fuel mileage, the participants’ average speed was around 40-60kph.
Riders who managed to make it into the fabled 100km/L range while weathering the challenges of the open road had special prizes in store for them. All riders who completed the finals received a certificate of participation, a commemorative T-shirt, and a finisher’s medal, while the winners received a little bit more extra: P15,000 for the second runner-up, P20,000 for the first runner-up, and P30,000 for the champion.
Oh, and did we mention that all three podium finishers received brand-new Yamaha Sights as well?
The winners’ circle was populated by second runner-up Joenmar Abendan from Motorjoy Buug, who posted a fuel-economy figure of 115.54km/L; first runner-up Virgilio Pasanting from Unique Motor Center, with a figure of 116.75km/L; and champion Ephraim Onahon, who posted the record-breaking 133.53km/L.
Want to get in on the fuel-saving action? Better start training your throttle control, maintaining your bike’s momentum, and practicing aerodynamic riding positions, because when it comes to saving gas, speed is irrelevant—skill and patience are key to getting the best results.