Gas mileage


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Maddogg
Posts: 150
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Location: Fresno, ca.
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500
1994 Suzuki 800 Intruder

Gas mileage

Postby Maddogg » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:48 pm



I am getting about 32 mpg on a 1990 GL 1500. I am just wondering if that is normal. I keep seeing posts from riders getting anywhere :mrgreen: from 38 to 45 mpg. Just wondering how to improve the gas mileage. I am going to change plugs to see if that helps. Any other suggestion would be helpfull. I am new to the Goldwings so I don't know a whole lot. Thanks guys.



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bjatwood
Posts: 363
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Location: Blair, Nebraska
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500 SE
1973 CB750 K3
1970 CT70-HKO

Re: Gas mileage

Postby bjatwood » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:09 pm

I just got 41.7MPG on 87 octane with ethanol on my 98.....I shift about 2K and run a mix of highway and city. I run about 70MPH on my highway speeds too.

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Mag
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Re: Gas mileage

Postby Mag » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:47 pm

We have another conversation that was about 6 months ago and we went through the same discussion. I believe it was HALBUDD that told me that the 1500 is a big ol' brick flying down the freeway so the wind resistance is more than some of the other GWs. My last ride (back and forth to work) was mostly at 70 mph up and down the freeway 150 miles.....35mpg.

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Maddogg
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Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500
1994 Suzuki 800 Intruder

Re: Gas mileage

Postby Maddogg » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:01 pm

Ok, it could be an issue of wind resistance and how I drive. I am split between highway/city, and I have an extra large windshield. The larger windshield is going to cause more drag. I guess 32 is not so bad. It might pick up a little once I change the plugs. That will be a winter project. Thanks guys.

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robb
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Location: Lexington, North Carolina
Motorcycle: 1989 Honda GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Gas mileage

Postby robb » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:03 am

Big issue is tire pressure, I run 42 front and 40 rear. Saturday trip was 400 miles, I-85 has 65 speed, I-40 has 70 speed. Seen 80 mph a few times and still averaged 43.6 mpg, that's with motorcycle tire on rear. Have found that Tulsa tall shield in highest position gets best mpg, it's laid back. A 1 degree error in timing from a slack belt can rob fuel mileage. A buddy's 88 is set up like mine with exception of exhaust, mine has a Daytona exhaust and I consistently get 3 mpg more. When we started riding he ran 33psi front and rear and got low to mid 30's. Belts, plugs and more air in tires and he gets about 8 more mpg.

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bjatwood
Posts: 363
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Location: Blair, Nebraska
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500 SE
1973 CB750 K3
1970 CT70-HKO

Re: Gas mileage

Postby bjatwood » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:44 am

Ditto on the tire pressures. I am running 40 front and 44 back with my E3's. And, a tall windshield also.

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Dannyboy1966
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:06 pm
Location: kansas city,kansas
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: Gas mileage

Postby Dannyboy1966 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:45 pm

Belts, tire pressure, plugs, <Air Filter>. I bought my aspencade from a private owner, and I swear the air filter hadn't been changed since it was brand new, felt like it weighed 20 pounds. Also run a half a can of Seafoam through a full tank of gas. mine now gets 34 to 37 mpg in town, and 44 to 47 on the highway.

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cal3san
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Re: Gas mileage

Postby cal3san » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:02 am

I'm happy with getting 30-32 MPG on my 1500 whether it be 2up or pulling my KK camper. But, my 1500 is triked.
YNCM-USN Retired (1964-1990)
RVN Veteran (MCB-53 1968)
PGR

madmac742
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:55 pm
Location: Lamesa, Texas
Motorcycle: 1998 Goldwing SE

Re: Gas mileage

Postby madmac742 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:01 pm

I have noticed everything above 65mph the fuel mileage drops accordingly. Everyone except for two riders get 35 at 70mph.

Rob98801
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:36 pm
Location: Wenatchee,WA
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE

Re: Gas mileage

Postby Rob98801 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:57 pm

This last Sunday, 440 miles dragging a Hannigan sidecar I got 33 miles per gallon :D . This against a headwind for a good part of the way, all but a total of 30 miles were highway. This on my 96 1500SE with 75000 miles.

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Mag
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Re: Gas mileage

Postby Mag » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:11 pm

I better go check my tire pressures....40-44, okie doke ;)

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bohdan
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Re: Gas mileage

Postby bohdan » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:13 am

Don't tell anybody, but I go a little faster than the speed limit. I travel a lot for my job and use the bike when I can. Last week I was doing maybe 85 avg and got 30. If I go 45mph, i.e. Key West, I was getting 45 pulling a trailer and a passenger.

OU812
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Location: Chicago Burbs Illinois
Motorcycle: 1989GL1500
90' KDX 200
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Re: Gas mileage

Postby OU812 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:27 pm

Thursday took a ride around SE Wisconsin chasing my buddy on his FJR1300. 220 miles 34mpg.
Friday did 130 miles of slab 80-85mph and 28 MPG.
Tire pressure will be raised to see if there is a difference.
I was surprised how well my 89' handles!
The older I get, the faster I was.

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Mag
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Motorcycle: 1982 Yamaha Venture (Crashed/Sold)
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Re: Gas mileage

Postby Mag » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:40 pm

No competition with an FJ of course, but ya, the wing does move when it wants to. Mine does up here, I have a great road up the mountain, and real wide sweeping turns along the valley....Nice Nice Nice.

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bstig60
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Re: Gas mileage

Postby bstig60 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:09 pm

I did a 385 mile trip last Sunday and averaged 41. About half was freeway at 70+, the rest high mountain roads and twisties with varying speeds up to 65 or so with some hard acceleration.
Bill

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Maddogg
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Location: Fresno, ca.
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500
1994 Suzuki 800 Intruder

Re: Gas mileage

Postby Maddogg » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:00 pm

Everyone keeps saying 40 front and anywhere from 41 to 45 lbs on the back. I ran 41 in each and it felt very stiff. What I mean is, I felt every bump and rock and it felt so hard. Went back to 33 front and 36 rear and big difference. I also run about 10 psi on my shocks. Tried higher psi but again very hard. Maybe higher Psi on shocks and lower tire pressure will make it softer. I'm no longer worried about MPG as I am getting about what everyone else is getting. I also just put in my second treatment of Seafoam and noticed that the mileage has jumped 4 MPG. Will have to run it longer to see it it really keeps that difference.

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bstig60
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Re: Gas mileage

Postby bstig60 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:02 pm

I run what tire pressure the tire manufacturer recommends. I think you need to do that to get good tire wear. I do concern myself about mileage as sometimes it is a long way between gas stations in the western United States where I do most of my riding. I find my bike rides pretty smooth regardless of the air I run in the tires or the shocks. 10 lbs or so in the shocks if you are riding single on good freeways is OK, but you need a bit more air in the shocks if you are loaded or riding in the twisties........
Bill

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oilboy1162
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Re: Gas mileage

Postby oilboy1162 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:08 am

45 mpg up to 60 mph. falls fast at 70mph, below 40mpg. doesnt matter if i'm single or two up
:lol: I know people say we spend too much money on our rides, but I can't hear them when I'm 1000 miles away! :roll:

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yamaha96
Posts: 76
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Location: clifton forge,virginia
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500se aspencade, 1996 1300 yamaha royalstar

Re: Gas mileage

Postby yamaha96 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:06 pm

myself and my friend Larry, just got back from a 1300 mile trip from VA. to Niagara Falls, Canada , i have a 1989 1500 cc, he has a 1800 cc , i think 2009 ? we both got from 40-42 miles per gal. we used regular gas, no certain brand, road alot of back roads , i had to get gas more often,he has a larger tank, just wanted to let you know,Mike.

drebudrebu
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1997 GL1500A

Re: Gas mileage

Postby drebudrebu » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:01 am

I consistently get 36-38. I ride 1/2 interstate, 1/2 two lane with a speed limit of 55. Run a little hard, like to get up to speed. Run 70-75 on interstate. Only time got better than 40 mpg was on a rally ride that we didn't go over 45 the whole day.

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bstig60
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Re: Gas mileage

Postby bstig60 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:13 am

I did a 325 mile ride last Sunday afternoon and averaged 42 MPG. Some Mountain Roads, twisties, secondary roads at 60 plus MPH and about 100 miles of freeway riding at 75 or so MPH.
Bill

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Bob Myers
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:15 pm
Location: Richmond Ky
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Gas mileage

Postby Bob Myers » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:50 pm

Rob98801 wrote:This last Sunday, 440 miles dragging a Hannigan sidecar I got 33 miles per gallon :D . This against a headwind for a good part of the way, all but a total of 30 miles were highway. This on my 96 1500SE with 75000 miles.

If mine gets this good once I actually get to ride some distance I'll be tickled for sure. My first tank through it got 31, running 45-65 on twisty Ky back roads.
1995 GW Interstate w/Champion Escort sidecar, Dart trailer.
1993 GW Interstate-my commuter
1986 Yamaha Venture

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bstig60
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Re: Gas mileage

Postby bstig60 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:44 am

I normally get 40+ on trips if I keep it under 70 MPH. Mileage will be less on the twisties due to shifting and acceleration out of the turns.
Bill

Rob98801
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:36 pm
Location: Wenatchee,WA
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE

Re: Gas mileage

Postby Rob98801 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:24 am

bstig60 wrote:I normally get 40+ on trips if I keep it under 70 MPH. Mileage will be less on the twisties due to shifting and acceleration out of the turns.


On my last ride almost 400 miles were done with Cruise control set at 65. This thru the straight and mostly flat wheat country of eastern Washington. As said , if the road offers up Turns and twisties, I am sure I would have little hope of hitting anything over 30 mpg. ;)

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Wingsconsin
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Re: Gas mileage

Postby Wingsconsin » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:27 am

Over the years I have had occasion to read MANY threads and posting on several message baord forums debating RPMs on the GL1500 and effects on fuel economy. Most of them end with something like this -- The 3000 RPMs mark is the sweet spot for fuel economy..OR Don't go over 3000 RPMs for best fuel mileage.

While I can agree that the GL1500 will get better fuel economy when staying under 3000 RPMs I can not subscribe to their being a cause-effect relationship. I think the 3000 RPM barrier is coincidentally the place wherein we get the best fuel use numbers.

I believe that the 3000 RPMs is the point that the bike can no longer efficiently overcome aerodynamic drag coefficients and the required HP needed to go more than the speed at 3000 RPMS (near 67-68 MPH) is the place where the bike consumes more fuel. If you double your speed, you quadruple the aerodynamic drag coefficient. Physics class. Part of my theory is that the 3000 RPM barrier is simply a coincidence..it is at that point that the efficiency curves downwaard sharply..and yet many hold ad profess that it is the RPMs that is causing the drop of economy while it is really a function of drag vs HP that peaks at 67-68 MPH (or 3000 RPM in OD on a GL1500)


Example - Running entire tanks of fuel when aggressivly riding curvy roads I can use 3rd & 4th gear almost exclusively with RPMs near 4000 for much of the tankful, and yet still break the 40 MPG mark easily (usually more). At 4000 RPMs on the freeway in OD I am going much faster and using considerably more fuel.

In 3rd gear at 4000 RPMs I am not going faster and creating aerodynamic drag such as in OD would.

Using different tires of various sizes in an attempt to reduce RPMs can change the RPMs only slightly as the limit is what will fit inside the wheel well. Some have used car tires that RAISE the RPMs 300 +/- and report BETTER FUEL ECONOMY. Perhaps due to lower rolling resistance on a radial rear tire? And other have used a LARGER cartire rear and lowered the RPMs by that same 300 +/- RPMs and reported similar findings of increased or unchanged MPG. Again noting the radial car tire as a difference maker.

However - Install Windwings, larger windscreens (not Tulsa which has an aerodynmic benifit due to shape & slope) and other aerodynmic drag items and the MPGs will suffer even if staying below 3000 RPMs.

It is DRAG that determines MPGs and if you want to use less fuel you need to create a more efficient hole in the air to ride through

Finally - the road conditions and levelness will aslo factor into your MPG numbers. Someone riding in the flat great plains will deliver better MPG than another riding in hill country with up & down areas. LONG STRAIGHT FLAT stretches of road are easier on the engine and drive train and will deliver better MPG providing one does not over DRAG with HP (The 3000 RPM myth)


Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


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