Gas mileage


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Rocketman1709
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Motorcycle: 2000 gl1500se

Gas mileage

Post by Rocketman1709 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:07 am



Greetings :)
I have a 2000 gl1500se, I'm only getting 160 highway miles per tank. I read guys getting 40 to 47 miles per gal. Any ideas why my milage is so bad???



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Uncle Fester
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Uncle Fester » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:22 am

Clogged air filter or fuel filter would be my starting point. How we'll or bad does she run ? How we'll was she maintained by the previous owner ? By you ? When is the last time the carbs where cleaned, either by removing and cleaning them or by running Sea Foam or 44K or some other product like that ? All this info will help us help you.

I can tell you that with my 1996 GL1500 , I go about 30-35 mpg in town and around 35-40 highway. I do try to keep her around the 3000-3500 rpm mark in most cases.
Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Our stress about it happens when the two aren't the same. Be true to yourself and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Gas mileage

Post by HawkeyeGL1200 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:45 am

Some people always manage to get better fuel economy than others. Others tell the truth.

I never seem to be able to get the same mileage as the people who say they get the best MPG no matter how hard I try. So, I try to keep my motorcycle running well, riding well and pleasing to me. I only keep "score" so I know when to stop and put gas in it.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Rocketman1709
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Rocketman1709 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:53 am

I bought her a year ago with 31,000 miles. The previous owner had records of all the past maintanance that had been done by the dealer. The owner did the oil changes and logged that as well, about every 4,000 miles it was changed. When I took delivery of the bike I took it to honda and had the carbs gone thru and synced, all fluids changed and new tires. The bike runs sweet, maybe a little rich I think. ( smell ) . The bike was garaged all it's life, the last 3yrs it wasn't rode much, just kept on a battery tender and started often but not rode.
I'm not sure on the air filter or gas filter, maybe assuming it was done by the dealer
I have ran sea foam in a couple of tanks of fuel also.

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MikeB
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by MikeB » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:07 am

160 miles to a tank. How much fuel are you considering a tank? Fuel gauge on the red line? Low Fuel light? How much fuel are you putting in the tank when you fill it? The fuel capacity is 6.3 gallons. An average of 34 mpg is about right. Your handle here, "Rocketman" may have something to do with your mileage. If you consistently cruise at over 3000 rpm, your gas mileage will be in the 34 to 37 mpg range. If you keep it under 3000 rpm, you will definitely see a mileage increase. I've run the full spectrum from 28 mpg to 44 mpg. In my experience, high mpg's are usually achieved at 60 mph and less. Low mpg's are due to heavy throttle application, running at over 3000 rpm and/or heavy headwinds.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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WingAdmin
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:12 am

MikeB wrote:160 miles to a tank. How much fuel are you considering a tank? Fuel gauge on the red line? Low Fuel light? How much fuel are you putting in the tank when you fill it? The fuel capacity is 6.3 gallons. An average of 34 mpg is about right. Your handle here, "Rocketman" may have something to do with your mileage. If you consistently cruise at over 3000 rpm, your gas mileage will be in the 34 to 37 mpg range. If you keep it under 3000 rpm, you will definitely see a mileage increase. I've run the full spectrum from 28 mpg to 44 mpg. In my experience, high mpg's are usually achieved at 60 mph and less. Low mpg's are due to heavy throttle application, running at over 3000 rpm and/or heavy headwinds.
Agreed. The 1500 is a big bike and has a large frontal area. Wind resistance plays a serious factor in the mileage you get. Riding back from Canada recently, two-up, pulling a trailer on highways with a 70 mph speed limit, I was getting around 30 mpg. On my own, towing nothing, at 50-55 mph, I can get 45 mpg.

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Rocketman1709
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Rocketman1709 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:49 pm

Thanks for all the input. Lots of good things to think about, I'll be going up thru the sequoias and up around Tahoe back across to the coast and back down to Huntington Beach in a couple of weeks so I'll pay close attention to all the good tips!.
One more question when the fuel light comes on how much fuel is left?
Thanks !

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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Gas mileage

Post by HawkeyeGL1200 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:06 pm

One thought that came to mind as I was reading some of the other responses: In order to accurately determine how many miles per gallon (average) you are getting from your MC, I'd recommend keeping track of how many gallons of fuel you put in the tank over an extended period of time, while recording mileage.. say over the course of a week or two of riding over various conditions and distances of runs. It will give you a far better idea of how many MPGs you're averaging than filling up and doing the miles you ran on that individual tank.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Mh434
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Mh434 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:27 pm

I'm with Hawkeye. What I do is keep my receipts, and write my mileage on each one. Once in a while, I compile all the mileage and fuel used, and calculate a true fuel mileage. There are just too many variables in calculating from only one or two tanks of gas - was the bike level, was the tank filled to exactly the same point in the filler neck, etc.? Over a larger sample, the mileage becomes much more representative. Mine varies significantly from one tank to the next, but over time it's truly accurate.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:20 pm

Rocketman1709 wrote:Thanks for all the input. Lots of good things to think about, I'll be going up thru the sequoias and up around Tahoe back across to the coast and back down to Huntington Beach in a couple of weeks so I'll pay close attention to all the good tips!.
One more question when the fuel light comes on how much fuel is left?
Thanks !
According to the owner's manual it's about 1 gallon, but I find it varies depending on temperature (it uses a thermistor to determine low fuel level).

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Happytrails
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Happytrails » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:19 am

Is capacity for 1500 really 6.3 gal full tank? I just started using android app to check gas mileage and I think I put in 6.1

Just using a calculator I've been averaging 39mpg commuting to work. My mileage drops off some when I get out on the highways and going over 60mph. Seems like if I keep it between 2000-2500 rpm I get the best gas mileage. Haven't seen low gas light come on yet.
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

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MikeB
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by MikeB » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:10 am

A page from the owners manual for you confirming the fuel capacity of the GL1500..


MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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Uncle Fester
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Uncle Fester » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:18 pm

I have NEVER let my tank get low enough to even add 5 gallons. So for me, I have not seen the LOW FUEL light yet either, other than at start up when ALL the lights come on. . . .
Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Our stress about it happens when the two aren't the same. Be true to yourself and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

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Wingsconsin
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Wingsconsin » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:24 pm

I monitor my fuel economy every fill up.
I have a chart that tells me at a glance what my results are.
MY Wing is different than many others as it really DOES get excellent fuel economy - consistently better than others I ride with..

Aerodynamic drag is the enemy.
My Bike has NO wind wings or other non-essential farkles -
I have a Tulsa windscreen that is aerodynamically designed for better MPG.

I have seen 50 MPG 2 times while riding across Nebraska and Iowa (and often close to that in the mountains of Colorado but that is due to the altitude)

MY Typical results are Speed dependent because I believe the drag becomes a factor at speed

At 55 to 62 MPH for an entire tank I will commonly get 43-45 MPG
At 65 to 69 MPH for an entire tank I will see usually 38 to 41 MPG
AT 70 to 77 MPH for an entire tank I will come in typically at around 36-37 MPG

Those are tank to tank highway cruises

Commuting mileage is steady at 37 MPG - My trip is 13 miles 1 way every day (26 miles round trip)
Averaging 45 MPH in stop & go traffic with lights and stop signs.

When MY Low Fuel light goes on I need 5.3 gallons - with the 1 gallon reserve .

Knowing these typical mileages one can extend the seat time into the Reserve - Those 50 MPG runs were 2 back to back tankfuls of 250+ miles between stops.

I weigh in near 300# and ride solo with some gear but not bulging at the seams usually.
Even towing my UniGo trailer the number change very little.

HOWEVER I have also seen as low as 30 MPG - Headwind and Interstate riding at 75 mph.

Mileage varies - but knowing YOUR machines typical fuel economy can clue you into the overall state of tune.

By your own submission ("the last 3yrs it wasn't rode much, just kept on a battery tender and started often but not rode.") this may point to a problem of carburation...These bikes like to run a lot

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


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Mag
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Mag » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:58 pm

Wingsconsin said.....
MY Typical results are Speed dependent because I believe the drag becomes a factor at speed

At 55 to 62 MPH for an entire tank I will commonly get 43-45 MPG
At 65 to 69 MPH for an entire tank I will see usually 38 to 41 MPG
AT 70 to 77 MPH for an entire tank I will come in typically at around 36-37 MPG
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This makes me happy, my commute (67 miles) is almost a constant 70-75 mph for 40 miles, then 60-65 miles mph rest of way, and I am hitting 37-38. Glad to see I am hitting it. Now just get used to 175 miles before fill up ;)

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Wingsconsin
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Wingsconsin » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:44 pm

The fill up at 37 MPG is more around 195 miles ...

37 x 5.3 gal = 196.1 miles to low fuel lighf (1 gallon remaining)

The GL1500 fuel gauge is grievously inaccurate ..especially near the bottom ....Do not be afraid of the red line ....

Experience will teach you to go those extra 20 miles before finding a filling station. ;)

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


Motorcycle Adventure Storys writen by me
http://neverlost-justexploring.blogspot.com/

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Happytrails
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Happytrails » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:59 am

MikeB wrote:A page from the owners manual for you confirming the fuel capacity of the GL1500..
capacities.jpg
Thanks that helps.
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
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dingdong
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by dingdong » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:34 am

Just out of curiosity, yesterday I checked the amount of fuel it took to fill the tank from the lowest point of the filler neck to the absolute top of the neck. It took .25 gal from bottom to top. Calculating 250 miles and 6 gal vs 6.25 gal the difference is 1.66. 41.66mpg vs 40 mpg. Now you know the rest of the story. ;) You would think I had better things to do. :lol:
Tom

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Re: Gas mileage

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:59 pm

Wingsconsin wrote:MY Typical results are Speed dependent because I believe the drag becomes a factor at speed

At 55 to 62 MPH for an entire tank I will commonly get 43-45 MPG
At 65 to 69 MPH for an entire tank I will see usually 38 to 41 MPG
AT 70 to 77 MPH for an entire tank I will come in typically at around 36-37 MPG
Your results are very similar to what I see, however I DO have wind wings etc., and if I have them hanging out (i.e. hot weather) it drops my mileage by 1 or 2 mpg.

It should be noted that drag increases with the square of velocity. Which means drag increases exponentially as you go faster - double your speed, you get four times the drag, not double.

Velocity vs Drag
Velocity vs Drag


chiefmoe
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by chiefmoe » Wed May 31, 2017 1:56 am

I have a 98 Aspercade with a Volager kit with 145500 miles. Just put a Elite 4 tire before this last trip and it must be just a tad higher. At 65 mph was only turning 2750 or so. Was 2 up pulling a trailer in the hills of Kentucky. We did 1180 miles and I average just about 27 mpg. I think a lot of trouble with this fuel milage is the type of gas in that part of country you are in. I live in the hills of Tennessee so even by myself I do good to get up around 30 mpg. I did install a K & N filter, Tulsa windshield.

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Erdeniz Umman
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Wed May 31, 2017 3:02 pm

One of the benefits of keeping track of mpg is, it will indicate a possible problem on the bike. I am currently dealing with the sticking rear brake pads.
Before finding out the problem, I have noticed that my average mpg dropped from 41 to 38, and I have started to hear some odd noise coming from rear tire area.

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offcenter
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by offcenter » Wed May 31, 2017 4:12 pm

chiefmoe wrote:I have a 98 Aspercade with a Volager kit with 145500 miles. Just put a Elite 4 tire before this last trip and it must be just a tad higher. At 65 mph was only turning 2750 or so. Was 2 up pulling a trailer in the hills of Kentucky. We did 1180 miles and I average just about 27 mpg. I think a lot of trouble with this fuel milage is the type of gas in that part of country you are in. I live in the hills of Tennessee so even by myself I do good to get up around 30 mpg. I did install a K & N filter, Tulsa windshield.
Man, that seems awfully low.
Mine is a '99 SE so it is basically the same as yours.
I get right around 42 most of the time. Just checked it
again this past weekend when I filled up and it was
right about at 42 as usual.
If'n it was me, I'd check your bike over to see if something
is wrong. I ride the hills of northwestern New Jersey which
aren't that much different from where you are.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"

Lomcevak
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Lomcevak » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:30 pm

I enjoy tracking all my expenses and vehicle expenses. I had made an elaborate and detailed spreadsheet to calculate it all, but have now found an app for my iPhone called "Road Trip" by Darren Stone that does almost precisely what my spreadsheet did. But it does it much more easily, and with even more detail, including geo-tagging. It can EVEN track jerry-can usage if you fill a jerry can, and then pour it into your vehicle at a later time!

I purchased the bike 13 fills ago, and it has been humorous to see the numbers it's come up with:

MPG (US) L/100km
1 34.34 6.85
2 33.14 7.10
3 31.48 7.47
4 32.92 7.15
5 31.76 7.41
6 29.90 7.87
7 33.38 7.05
8 34.12 6.89
9 31.76 7.41
10 32.05 7.34
11 32.60 7.21
12 28.72 8.19
13 26.74 8.80

You can see the first fill is the best mileage received so far. Maybe I filled it more than the others, giving a better result? But even more so, is that I had never ridden such a heavy bike before, and I was riding EXTREMELY gingerly. I was also usually doing right around 50 mph (80 Km/H). Only one other time did I even come close to that number.

Fills #12 and 13 are so funny, because this was after a front tire change at the beginning of fill #11 which has caused a 5%, to nearly 7%, change in my speedometer readings. I had also just added wind wings (lowers AND uppers) prior to fill #12. Not only that, but for fill 12 I was going up a mountain pass for a LONG LONG time at about 75mph (120km/h). #13 was doing 87 - 93 mph (140 - 150 km/h) up AND down a mountain pass. Up until that point I was getting an average of 32.5 MPG (7.25 l/100km); but with the fast driving it plummeted to 31.6mpg (7.44 L/100).

I did all the fluids after the first 3 - 4 fills, then did the timing belts, spark plugs, air filters, and fuel filter around the 5th - 7th fills.

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Erdeniz Umman
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:41 am

Lomcevak wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:30 pm
I enjoy tracking all my expenses and vehicle expenses. I had made an elaborate and detailed spreadsheet to calculate it all, but have now found an app for my iPhone called "Road Trip" by Darren Stone that does almost precisely what my spreadsheet did. But it does it much more easily, and with even more detail, including geo-tagging. It can EVEN track jerry-can usage if you fill a jerry can, and then pour it into your vehicle at a later time!

I purchased the bike 13 fills ago, and it has been humorous to see the numbers it's come up with:

MPG (US) L/100km
1 34.34 6.85
2 33.14 7.10
3 31.48 7.47
4 32.92 7.15
5 31.76 7.41
6 29.90 7.87
7 33.38 7.05
8 34.12 6.89
9 31.76 7.41
10 32.05 7.34
11 32.60 7.21
12 28.72 8.19
13 26.74 8.80

You can see the first fill is the best mileage received so far. Maybe I filled it more than the others, giving a better result? But even more so, is that I had never ridden such a heavy bike before, and I was riding EXTREMELY gingerly. I was also usually doing right around 50 mph (80 Km/H). Only one other time did I even come close to that number.

Fills #12 and 13 are so funny, because this was after a front tire change at the beginning of fill #11 which has caused a 5%, to nearly 7%, change in my speedometer readings. I had also just added wind wings (lowers AND uppers) prior to fill #12. Not only that, but for fill 12 I was going up a mountain pass for a LONG LONG time at about 75mph (120km/h). #13 was doing 87 - 93 mph (140 - 150 km/h) up AND down a mountain pass. Up until that point I was getting an average of 32.5 MPG (7.25 l/100km); but with the fast driving it plummeted to 31.6mpg (7.44 L/100).

I did all the fluids after the first 3 - 4 fills, then did the timing belts, spark plugs, air filters, and fuel filter around the 5th - 7th fills.
Generally speaking, if you do not exceed 3000 rpm, normally you should get a mileage of 35-40. I have a mileage record of my bike which is more than 15 months and I get a mileage in 38-42 range.

Lomcevak
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Re: Gas mileage

Post by Lomcevak » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:50 am

Erdeniz Umman wrote:
Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:41 am

Generally speaking, if you do not exceed 3000 rpm, normally you should get a mileage of 35-40. I have a mileage record of my bike which is more than 15 months and I get a mileage in 38-42 range.
This brings up an interesting point. What IS the most appropriate RPM range for long term riding? I am not asking about fuel efficiency, I'm asking about what is best for engine longevity, avoiding 'bogging down' the engine, ensuring the engine is in the correct temperature range, that it is not collecting deposits, etc.

It is just as bad to have excessively low RPM, as it is to have very high RPMs. I doubt there will be a consensus on this question, though.



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