Fuel mileage question


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T_birdman
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Fuel mileage question

Postby T_birdman » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:16 pm



I've taken all the info from the sheer number of very intelligent members here to bring my new to me 1500 to excellent condition, and for that I thank you all :D ! My current question is to find out what tips or tricks I might get from you all as to getting the best possible gas mileage out of my wing, even though I tend to drive a bit on the fast side. My driving habits are based on having to get to work in a bit of a hurry more times than I care to because of the flexible schedule and long hours I work. I try to get more sleep, and try to get up at a time that gives me more time, but I average 75-85 mph on the way into work, the ride home is considerably slower due to high traffic and less urgency. But what I'm hoping to learn are maintenance type tricks to improve MPG. Currently I average about 120-125 miles per tank with my lead wrist! Any ideas??



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Michael Faircloth
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby Michael Faircloth » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:45 pm

T bird,
Once you get over 3K RPMs your mileage will drop DRAMATICLY.... there is nothing you can do to "fix" that except drive slower. IF you want 40 MPG, you will need to leave earlier for work and stay in the 60-65 mph range. I get 40-42 MPG all the time... even with the wife on the back... but I am not in a hurry. Plain and simple... you can't have it both ways.
Mike in Naples

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Happytrails
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby Happytrails » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:54 pm

Like Michael mentioned you'll have to slow down some to get better mpg. The sweet spot on back roads for me is 45-55mph and I get about 39mpg's on windy hilly roads. I go about 65mpg on the highways and get a little less. Just a rough guess but I think I would normally get around 190 to 200 miles to a tank. Nowadays I dont think too much about it. I just gas up when it starts to get low. :D
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flogger
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby flogger » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:55 pm

T_birdman wrote:I average 75-85 mph on the way into work, the ride home is considerably slower due to high traffic and less urgency. Currently I average about 120-125 miles per tank with my lead wrist!


Wow, I get 40 MPG and go 200 miles on a tank. I fill up somewhere around 5 gallons each time... But I drive the speed limit or maybe 5 over... I am safety conscious in town around traffic but do get a little sporty out in the country alone... If I ever go less distance and take more gas it is because of a more sporting ride on that tank of gas... which is fun sometimes...
1996 GL1500SE GoldWing
1983 GL650i SilverWing
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harvey01
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby harvey01 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:02 pm

If everything is properly tuned and adjusted, the key to great gas mileage is how you drive. go real easy on acceleration and as noted above keep the speed low so the tach never goes over 3,000 rpm. I don't know why that is the magic number but if you get above it, gas mileage will plummet.

You could try a lighter weight oil, but stay within manufacturer suggestions, synthetic oil might help. Some say that using a K&N air filter improves gas mileage---never had any luck with that. There are various spark plug makers who claim their plugs increase fuel mileage! I have had no luck with that approach either.

The only thing I have found that really improves gas mileage is careful control of the right wrist.
harvey
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T_birdman
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby T_birdman » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:34 pm

Michael Faircloth wrote:T bird,
Once you get over 3K RPMs your mileage will drop DRAMATICLY.... there is nothing you can do to "fix" that except drive slower. IF you want 40 MPG, you will need to leave earlier for work and stay in the 60-65 mph range. I get 40-42 MPG all the time... even with the wife on the back... but I am not in a hurry. Plain and simple... you can't have it both ways.
Mike in Naples



Thanks Mike, I'd love to get 40+, and I do leave as early as possible, it's just hard to stay slower here in CA with all the other speed demons on the road as well as my tendencies to twist the wrist! If I was driving my 68' El Camino to work I'd have to leave a full hour sooner to make up for conditions and get on average 11mpg! Just can't win, lol!

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T_birdman
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby T_birdman » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:41 pm

Happytrails wrote:Like Michael mentioned you'll have to slow down some to get better mpg. The sweet spot on back roads for me is 45-55mph and I get about 39mpg's on windy hilly roads. I go about 65mpg on the highways and get a little less. Just a rough guess but I think I would normally get around 190 to 200 miles to a tank. Nowadays I dont think too much about it. I just gas up when it starts to get low. :D


I wish I only had to travel back roads, but it's freeway driving for my average 24 mile commute through Southern California, and if work starts after 7AM, I have a few million others to get through, if it's before 6AM it's easier but the waking is harder, damned if I do or don't!!

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T_birdman
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby T_birdman » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:45 pm

flogger wrote:
T_birdman wrote:I average 75-85 mph on the way into work, the ride home is considerably slower due to high traffic and less urgency. Currently I average about 120-125 miles per tank with my lead wrist!


Wow, I get 40 MPG and go 200 miles on a tank. I fill up somewhere around 5 gallons each time... But I drive the speed limit or maybe 5 over... I am safety conscious in town around traffic but do get a little sporty out in the country alone... If I ever go less distance and take more gas it is because of a more sporting ride on that tank of gas... which is fun sometimes...


Thanks Flogger, Indiana is a bit easier to navigate than SoCal is, but the bottom line is still I have to cut back on speed I suppose ;) .

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T_birdman
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby T_birdman » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:06 pm

harvey01 wrote:If everything is properly tuned and adjusted, the key to great gas mileage is how you drive. go real easy on acceleration and as noted above keep the speed low so the tach never goes over 3,000 rpm. I don't know why that is the magic number but if you get above it, gas mileage will plummet.

You could try a lighter weight oil, but stay within manufacturer suggestions, synthetic oil might help. Some say that using a K&N air filter improves gas mileage---never had any luck with that. There are various spark plug makers who claim their plugs increase fuel mileage! I have had no luck with that approach either.

The only thing I have found that really improves gas mileage is careful control of the right wrist.


That's what I'm looking for, a few hints or tips that regardless of my driving habits might squeeze out a few extra MPG. I have done a lot of PM on the bike including fluids and filters, taking into careful consideration what oil choices folks suggest, I did swap to a K&N air filter, much more cost effective I'm convinced! Timing belts because I had no indication when or if they were ever changed in the 16 years or 61K miles, coolant, and plugs. I'm staying in the normal range of recommendations before trying other suggestions to get a better baseline of the bikes overall performance. I will try next month to replace the plugs with the "Cut-down electrode" modification to see what that does for me, and also after a few month run of them, try swapping out to the Iridium plugs.
Thanks Harvey!

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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby Uncle Fester » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:19 pm

I have started keeping a fuel log, but I just keep miles traveled each tank and gallons used. After about 1000-1500 miles, I add up all the gallons used and all the miles traveled, and I average right at 34mpg . I tend to be heavy wristed in town getting up to speed limit, and tend to travel between 5 & 10 OVER the posted. . . . hope that helps some.
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ct1500
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby ct1500 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:56 pm

The average properly maintained and tuned 1500 ridden correctly will get 38-42 MPG.
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

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flogger
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby flogger » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:41 pm

Uncle Fester wrote:I have started keeping a fuel log.


Good idea, have done that for every car and motorcycle I've ever owned... I record anything that I do to them along with the date and mileage...
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby Uncle Fester » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:15 pm

have not got to that point yet, but probably should
:D
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Charlie1Horse
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby Charlie1Horse » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:23 pm

You guys make me feel so good about fuel mileage. I bought my 92 Interstate about 18 months ago and have really done nothing to it except replace the spark plugs with OEM NGKs and ride it. I get together with a few other guys on Wednesday mornings and ride anywhere from 120 to 180 miles round trip for lunch. Mostly the leader sets a pace of about 80/85 mph on interstate highway and 65/70 on back roads. When I return and fill up I check mileage and usually get 42/45 mpg. The lowest I have seen was last week when I spent a lot of time in stop and go traffic. Then I got 39 mpg. This GL 1500 Interstate has 84,000 miles and I am the second owner. The only thing I do is carry a can of Seafoam with me and add about 2 oz per fillup if it is down near empty. If it is half or higher when I fillup I don't add any. Not quite as good as my 86 Aspencade but I have this sh** eatin' grin on my face right about now. Just keep it properly serviced and ride it smoothly. Ease up just a little on the right wrist. It does no good to catch up with traffic and then have to slow down again.
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby FM-USA » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:37 pm

*IF* you can't slow down then get a second bike.
A single cylinder 250 to 350 CC range should get you about 45-55 MPG at the speed you're running.
Think of it this way, you're pounding the miles on the smaller bike and making the Wing last longer.

There are a few of us the gets over 50 MPG on our Wings.
But you won't achieve that on ethKRAPanol, REGULAR gas is best.
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Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
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And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby Happytrails » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:17 am

Uncle Fester wrote:I have started keeping a fuel log, but I just keep miles traveled each tank and gallons used. After about 1000-1500 miles, I add up all the gallons used and all the miles traveled, and I average right at 34mpg . I tend to be heavy wristed in town getting up to speed limit, and tend to travel between 5 & 10 OVER the posted. . . . hope that helps some.


There are some nice free smart phone apps that can help too. I tried a couple and it gave me a lot of info on what my gas mileage was. Tried it on my truck and found that the drivers information center in my pickup was very optimistic about my fuel economy! :D

p.s. maybe consider adding a little Seafoam to your gas once in awhile. Ethanol gas is the worst!
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby dingdong » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:22 am

You say that you get 120 to 125 miles per tank... How much fuel does it take to fill up the tank at that mileage? 125 at 5 gallons is 25mpg. If that is near what you are getting you have other problems besides your riding habits. We don't have enough info.
Tom

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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby flogger » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:42 am

Happytrails wrote:There are some nice free smart phone apps that can help too.

True, but the KISS principle works here nicely. I am a high tech IT kinda guy but in this area, I buy a small Mead 2.5 by 3.5 paper spiral notebook that fits in the palm of my hand. I can get info easily without an Internet connection; Data entry and retrieval are visually right in front of me; no WIFI or cell needed; no sharing of private info (nothing is free); no smartphone needed; no IPhone needed; and you could go on and on here... I keep one of these little note books in my glove box or trunk (or with the tool kit) in every vehicle and motorcycle I own. If you are so inclined, do both... At the pump, log it, or when you change a tire or do any other maintenance, log it... include the item done, the date and the time along with any other info you wish... Then later from a comfortable couch put it in a computer, laptop or smartphone or whatever.... I just watch all the free apps with a bit of skepticism because nothing is free and they are collecting a lot of info on you...
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby raven41951 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:29 pm

My two cents.

I also have done the routine maintenance discussed here, timing belts, air filters, shifter brace and on. Not because it needed it, because I needed to know the condition of the bike. All of these maintenance items had negligible affect on fuel mileage.

Fuel Mileage: I check my fuel mileage at every tank. I usually go 175-200 miles and add 4.5 to 5 gallons. I have gotten mileage in the low 30s and mileage in the mid 50s. No apps, no notebooks. I check the mileage at every tank because I know how I have ridden during that tank and I reset the trip meter at every fillup. No partial fills, right to the neck leaving enough room for expansion.

Biggest effect on fuel mileage: right wrist plain and simple. As said, over 3 grand the mileage drops like a rock. My best mileage is at 55-60 mph on state roads, not interstates (35mpg+/-).

Moral: early to bed and early to rise makes the Goldwing get better mileage. I was a process engineer and based in Leominster, MA and spent a week or two every month or two at our plant in East LA. I was only 5 miles away and at the plant before 5 AM every morning. The plant director lived in Long Beach and he beat me in every day. He also beat me out (1 PM) and never got stuck in traffic. Think about it.

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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby Fiberthree » Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:36 pm

raven41951 wrote:My two cents.

I also have done the routine maintenance discussed here, timing belts, air filters, shifter brace and on. Not because it needed it, because I needed to know the condition of the bike. All of these maintenance items had negligible affect on fuel mileage.

Fuel Mileage: I check my fuel mileage at every tank. I usually go 175-200 miles and add 4.5 to 5 gallons. I have gotten mileage in the low 30s and mileage in the mid 50s. No apps, no notebooks. I check the mileage at every tank because I know how I have ridden during that tank and I reset the trip meter at every fillup. No partial fills, right to the neck leaving enough room for expansion.

Biggest effect on fuel mileage: right wrist plain and simple. As said, over 3 grand the mileage drops like a rock. My best mileage is at 55-60 mph on state roads, not interstates (35mpg+/-)...


This also mirrors my Wing. But the max I've gotten is 45.5. I have kept a spreadsheet on the bike since the day I bought it to monitor the fuel mileage and maintenance intervals. I also created a section that shows the MPG based on the brand of oil I use. Before I rolled out of the showroom the guy that prepped the bike told me to up-shift early for the best mileage. Sadly,I too have to drive ~ 24 miles to work with cagers that tailgate you in the HOV lane and then cut you off trying to get around you. You have to run 75+ at times to keep from getting run over!
Ed

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Big Bob
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby Big Bob » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:28 am

My turn to jump in........my '96 aspencade with 138,400 miles also reacts the same as what everyone else has stated. I can go average of 175-200 miles on a tank of gas before I need to fill. Best ever mileage was just over 45mpg, average is around 36-37mpg and normal for afternoon cruising is about 40mpg. That mileage (40mpg) is achieved when keeping speeds around 65mph or less on the highway, or just below 3,000 rpm's. Mileage drastically drops when rpm's are over 3,000 and highway speeds over 65mph. Other factors are wind, passenger, gear, accesive acceleration (lead wrist), humidity, heat, all have contributed to bad mileage. So keep up on the maintenance and ride on, yes your mileage will always be slightly different with these factors, just enjoy the ride! :D

Bob
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:17 pm

My GL1500 will do 45 mpg pretty much all day long at 65 mph. As my speed increases beyond 65 mph, the mileage falls off like Niagara Falls. 80 mph will barely get me 30 mpg.

That said, when I'm on my bike, I'm on it because I love riding. Fuel efficiency is not foremost in my mind. I ride at what I consider a safe speed for the road I am on, and when I need gas, I stop and fill up. I don't often even bother figuring out my mileage.

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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby Big Bob » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:00 am

Same as you wingadmin, we usually will check and compare mileage for fun, comparison, conversation! Gas and go.......you need gas to go!! :D

Bob
Bob Payette
Rosemount, MN
'96 GL1500A Aspencade, Red The Best Color!
143,000 miles and still going strong!
A bad day off is better than your best day at work!

steveybee
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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby steveybee » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:50 am

I bought my 1991 Gl1500 from Grimsby in Lincolnshire UK & Rode the Bike c/w Trails approx 170 miles home Near Blackpool in Lancashire at an average speed of 60 mph with a Rear Tyre Pressure of 42 psi & Front 40 psi. I averaged approx 65 mpg riding moderately with the minimum amount of throttle needed to hold my speed any downhill sections I slowly roll back the throttle just to maintain my speed.
Like most things in life you have to accept the losses with the gains if you choose to go from point A to Point B
If you choose to get there quickly you give up economy & cash it in for more speed to get there, after all it's nobody's choosing only your own.
So decide how to want your ride to go & don't expect a ride of thrift & speed combined unless someone else is paying for it.
Tyre pressures play a very important part in the overall efficiency of any motor vehicle.
Remember the trade off rule & cashing in economy for speed.
Do you want economy or speed your choice alone.

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Re: Fuel mileage question

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:12 am

steveybee wrote:I bought my 1991 Gl1500 from Grimsby in Lincolnshire UK & Rode the Bike c/w Trails approx 170 miles home Near Blackpool in Lancashire at an average speed of 60 mph with a Rear Tyre Pressure of 42 psi & Front 40 psi. I averaged approx 65 mpg riding moderately with the minimum amount of throttle needed to hold my speed any downhill sections I slowly roll back the throttle just to maintain my speed.
Like most things in life you have to accept the losses with the gains if you choose to go from point A to Point B
If you choose to get there quickly you give up economy & cash it in for more speed to get there, after all it's nobody's choosing only your own.
So decide how to want your ride to go & don't expect a ride of thrift & speed combined unless someone else is paying for it.
Tyre pressures play a very important part in the overall efficiency of any motor vehicle.
Remember the trade off rule & cashing in economy for speed.
Do you want economy or speed your choice alone.


Acceleration is the enemy of fuel economy. Accelerating uses more far more fuel than any other phase - your bike that gets 40 mpg can easily do less than 4 mpg during hard acceleration.

That said, over here where filling the tank of my GL1500 costs me under $10 (around £7), I don't really care all that much. At current petrol prices in the UK, filling my GL1500 would cost me the equivalent of around $19 (around £13), so I might start caring about my fuel economy a little bit more.

Lastly, the effect of fuel economy multiplies with distance (as does time/speed). When I rode to Orlando, it took me roughly 20 hours to ride 1100 miles. With stops for fuel and food, and an hour spent in traffic jams, it was probably 17 hours of actual riding time. That has me averaging out at 65 mph, which is pretty much correct.

If I had set my cruise control for 70 mph instead of 65 mph, it drops almost an hour and a half off of my travel time, to 15.7 hours. If I had dropped down to 60 mph, it added over an hour, to 18.3 hours.

Similarly, let's say I got 45 mpg at 65 mph. That's 24.4 gallons of fuel consumed over 1100 miles, so roughly $40 in fuel costs (assuming $1.80/gallon). If my bike drops to 40 mpg at 70 mph, that's 27.5 gallons of fuel consumed over 1100 miles, so up to $49.50 in fuel costs. Mileage drops precipitously with speed, so 75 mph could be more like 32 mpg. At 75 mph that's 34.4 gallons, and fuel costs jump up to $62.

Again, those numbers are considerably different because of the distance involved. Something to think about the next time you plan a long trip. A cross-continent trip, say from Washington DC to Los Angeles and back, is 5300 miles. The difference in fuel costs (again at $1.80/gallon) using the above mpg estimates range from $212 at 65 mph to $298 at 75 mph.




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