1988 gl1500 fuel volume

Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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1988 gl1500 fuel volume

Post by Fuzzyswing » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:51 am

My 1988 gl1500 only holds 4.5 gal. Of fuel. My service manual claims 6 plus and I can only get 150 miles out of a tank. Any ideas?

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Re: 1988 gl1500 fuel volume

Post by dingdong » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:26 am

How did you determine the tank only holds 4.5 gallons? If you are relying on the fuel gauge chances are it is inaccurate.

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Re: 1988 gl1500 fuel volume

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:15 am

If I understand correctly, your mpg is 150/4.5=33.33 which is accepted as low by most goldwing owners.

You should have 35-40 mpg, even more when you keep the engine between 2500-3000 rpm range.

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Re: 1988 gl1500 fuel volume

Post by AZgl1800 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:30 am

MPG is hugely dependent on the surface area of the windscreens and the tachometer.

I have owned two 1500s, a 94 and a 98, and both of them had the Tulsa Tall windscreen, and both of them gave me 33 mpg day in and day out. The '94 was a daily driver to work/back where I had to stay with the hot rod crowd, that would give me about 30 mpg.....

IF, and I mean IF, the tach on that '94 was kept below 3,000 and riding mostly in twisties where 40 mph is a bunch, the bike can make as much as 39 mpg......

I rode the '98SE from Tampa, FL to Corpus Cristi, TX and then up thru San Antonio, TX to Phoenix, AZ in a two week period. Depending on headwinds and speed, the mpg readings were all over the place.

I use a cellphone app called "Fuelio" and faithfully enter every fillup. One tank produced 40.5 mpg with a tailwind at 70 mph.... Down in Louisiana on the interstates headed west into a lot of March spring winds from the SW, and I was pushing 80-85 mph the MPG dropped into the high 20s... yes, less than 30 mpg...

I have a Spreadsheet that documents every tank of gas on that '98SE for nearly 5,000 miles, and spreadsheets don't lie.... the overall MPG for 5,000 miles was 33.2 mpg average.....

if anyone wants a copy of the spreadsheet, give me a PM
Last edited by AZgl1800 on Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1988 gl1500 fuel volume

Post by Corkster52 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:08 pm

I've owned 2 1500s too, and each of them had an F4 Custom windshield. On highway miles I get between 38 and 42 mpg. In town I get 30-35ish.

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Re: 1988 gl1500 fuel volume

Post by AZgl1800 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:19 pm

Different bike, but it shows the difference in MPG versus the windshields.

Yesterday a friend with a 2010 who has a windscreen that is almost 8 inches tall, rode with a group of us taking in the fall colors in the mountains.

His 1800 returned about 45 mpg at each stop, my 2002 bike only achieved 37 mpg, my bike has the Optic Armor +4 inch windscreen, meaning it is 4 inches taller than a stock windscreen.

He was the leader of our pack, I was in the middle, and we all filled up at the same places.

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Re: 1988 gl1500 fuel volume

Post by Alan_Hepburn » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:56 pm

I typically get between 28 and 30 mpg, but then I'm hauling around a sidecar...
Alan Hepburn - San Jose, Ca
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Re: 1988 gl1500 fuel volume

Post by topgun » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:02 pm

Until you either run out of gas, or at least test the low fuel warning light you haven't determined how much it holds or how far you can go. Take a gallon can along.
Mine could go until gauge was below the E @ 180+ before light.
Gauge accuracy & 1500 = oxymoron.

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Re: 1988 gl1500 fuel volume

Post by Sidcar » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:35 pm

I've been checking mine tankful to tankful for about the past year and, even lugging a sidecar, I'm averaging 39-40 mpg (Imperial gallons). Best 44 worst 37. Fuel gauge is just a piece of on board entertainment. I go by mileage and fill up after 150 miles for peace of mind and 180 if needs be.


I have to say I bought the outfit more for enjoyment than economy but it turns out to be more economic than my Toyota Yaris.

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Re: 1988 gl1500 fuel volume

Post by Mh434 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:04 pm

I, too, rely on mileage rather than the fuel gauge. I know that, no matter how I ride it, or how hard I push it, or how heavily loaded it is, I can absolutely count on going at least 180 miles on a tankful without the light ever coming on.

The most fuel I've ever added was 4.75 US gallons (18 liters), so I know that even at 180 miles (300 kilometers) I still have a substantial cushion available - around 5 liters or so still to go.

Over the last 3 years, my GL1500's mileage has been very, very consistent, at a tad over 36 miles per US gallon.

Does it show that I LOVE my GL1500?! :D

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