How to calculate motorbike CO2 emissions

Written by Kit Brennan on 25 Mar 2021

Calculating motorbike CO2 emissions is very straightforward. There are two methods to calculate motorbike CO2 emissions, depending on whether you know the amount of fuel used or if not, the distance travelled. Once you know one of these two numbers, you calculate motorbike CO2 emissions by multiplying them with the numbers in the table below.

Method 1 to calculate motorbike CO2 emissions: the amount of fuel used

If you keep track of when you fill-up the tank, you can calculate your motorbike CO2 emissions by multiplying the fuel using the table below. This is by far the most accurate way to calculate motorbike CO2 emissions since you don't have to guess the amount of fuel used based on distance.

Type of fuel

kg of CO2e, per litre

kg of CO2e, per imperial gallon (UK & CA)

kg of CO2e, per US gallon

Petrol / Gas

2.1602kg

9.8204kg

8.1772kg

Here are some examples:

  • If you fill up your tank with 10 litres of petrol, your motorbike's CO2e emission for this journey will be 21.6 kg of CO2e.
  • If you fill up your tank with 2 imperial gallons of petrol (UK/CA gallons), your motorbike's CO2 emissions will be 19.6 kg of CO2e.
  • If you fill up your tank with 3 US gallons of petrol, your motorbike's CO2 emission will be 24.5316 kg of CO2e.

Method 2 to calculate motorbike CO2 emissions: the distance travelled

If you don't remember how much fuel you used, no worries! Instead calculate motorbike CO2 emissions by taking the distance you travelled, the size of your bike, and multiplying them using the table below.

Size of bike

kg of CO2e, per km

kg of CO2e, per mile

Small

0.08277kg

0.13321kg

Medium

0.10086kg

0.16230kg

Large

0.13237kg

0.21302kg

Average

0.11337kg

0.18245kg

Here are some examples using the distance method:

  • If you travel 100 km on a small motorbike, your motorbike's CO2 emissions will be 8.3kg of CO2e.
  • If you travel 60 miles on a large motorbike, your motorbike's CO2 emission will be 12.8kg of CO2e.
  • You're not sure about your motorbike's size, but you travelled 8 km, so you will use the average size, giving you a motorbike CO2 emission of 0.9kg of CO2e.

How can I offset my motorbike CO2 emission?

Great, you've finished calculating, and now you're wondering how to offset. Offsetting is one of the best methods currently available to help mitigate the damage of CO2 emissions.

It's much more affordable to offset than you might expect, with the average price per tonne (i.e. 1000kg of CO2e), costing between $2 and $10. Once you have calculated your motorbike CO2 emission, head over to https://www.thrustcarbon.shop to offset.

Getting into detail

What is our source for motorbike CO2 emissions?

We're proud to use the expert research published by the UK Government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. We try our hardest to keep this document up-to-date, which is why the numbers we use to calculate motorbike CO2 emissions are from their latest 2020 guidance.

Wondering why we talk about CO2e instead of CO2 when calculating motorbike CO2 emissions?

Your motorbike doesn't just release CO2 when it burns fuel. It also releases other greenhouse gasses, such as CH4 and N20. These gasses warm the planet more than CO2. Rather than needing to list all the gasses when calculating motorbike CO2 emissions, it's best to convert them to a CO2 equivalent number, or CO2e for short. That way it makes it easier to calculate, and easier to understand, when you talk about motorbike CO2 emissions.

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