MPG and Gauge Accuracy - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-27-2016, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Question MPG and Gauge Accuracy

I just got a 2016 650LT, so I have been doing my best to keep my rpm's below 4K, as advised in the Owner's Manual.

The indicated speed at 4K rpm is about 52mph, and my GPS indicated a true 48mph. Is this 8-10% error about right?

Has anyone else checked the indicated speed accuracy against a GPS?

I also just filled up after about 180 miles and the bike got approximately 53 mpg. I presume that the odometer is also about as accurate as the speedometer (8-10 optimistic), so that would be a true 48 mpg adjusted for the optimistic gauges.

The bike's meter indicated that I was getting 51.3 mpg, I was surprised to get actual results that were better than the bike's meter. I thought that I over filled the tank (above the metal guide in the gas tank) so the 53mpg surprised me.


Anyone do any long term testing on the gauge accuracy?

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-27-2016, 09:20 PM
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I've not checked my Versys yet, but I think +/- 10% is pretty normal for motorcycles.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-27-2016, 10:24 PM
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I have a 2015 650LT. During break-in my speedo read about 52 mph at 4k rpm same as yours. I did check my speedo against my GPS. GPS read 48 and speedometer read 50, not much different than your bike. I also average mpg in the low 50's.

Hope you enjoy the new bike, I love mine!


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by dave92029 View Post
...Anyone do any long term testing on the gauge accuracy?
Yes, but NOT conclusively. At "50 kms remaining" (RANGE on the trip computor), the "remaining" disappears, so I carried a gallon and TRIED to run my '15 650 dry. Finally, after ANOTHER 80 kms, it was STILL running, so I filled it, and it STILL WASN'T DRY! Can't remember how much I put in.

(I posted up about that w/ more reliable #s, last year.)

MOTORCYCLIST tested them, and wrote that the RANGE is optimistic. My experience is the OPPOSITE - I find the RANGE to be pessimistic.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave92029 View Post
...Anyone do any long term testing on the gauge accuracy?
Yes, but NOT conclusively. At "50 kms remaining" (RANGE on the trip computor), the "remaining" disappears, so I carried a gallon and TRIED to run my '15 650 dry. Finally, after ANOTHER 80 kms, it was STILL running, so I filled it, and it STILL WASN'T DRY! Can't remember how much I put in.

(I posted up about that w/ more reliable #s, last year.)

MOTORCYCLIST tested them, and wrote that the RANGE is optimistic. My experience is the OPPOSITE - I find the RANGE to be pessimistic. You can go MUCH further.

Ed
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-29-2016, 02:13 PM
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On my 2014 I filled the tank and then went for a long ride, over 210 miles on that tank before I filled up and the fuel light still was not blinking.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-29-2016, 04:47 PM
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My speedo runs about 3mph faster than radar shows. We've got lots of those "Your Speed" radar signs around this area. Consistently my '15 V650 speedo is reading 3 mph faster than those signs show. That's up to say 45 or 50 mph. At highway speeds idk if the spread gets larger.

As far as fuel economy, I have no idea. It reads in the low 50's mpg average for highway, around 47 to 49 mpg average combined town/highway. But I've never experimented with calculating indicated miles per measured gallons of fuel. The filler neck makes it a bit difficult to get super accurate in the fuel, so there is going to be some error induced if one tries to use actual fuel burn to calculate mpg.

The fuel gauge itself seems about accurate, in that I think it tracks fuel level reasonably well. But I don't tend to run down to less than 1/3rd tank, so I don't know how much I trust the blinking last segment or the remaining fuel range display.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-29-2016, 06:07 PM
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On my 2015 650,when the last bar on the gauge starts flashing, I have about a gallon left in the tank.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-29-2016, 09:06 PM
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My 2014 was about the the same as the rest. You need to match at higher speeds. Higher speeds show more error for even more precise accuracy. If the speedo is off, than the odometer is off by the very same amount. Long term makes no difference. As your rear tire wears, your speedo will read even faster/off.

If you change gears or tire sizes, the speedo will read faster or slower depending on what you do or what your set up is. If you don't want to change gears or tire sizes and want it to read correctly, there are products like the Speed-O-Healer to put the speedo tunable to be right on the mark.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2016, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Streak View Post
On my 2015 650,when the last bar on the gauge starts flashing, I have about a gallon left in the tank.
According to the "Book" - you have 5.6L remaining, 1.47galUS, or 1.23galImp - a very useful amount IF you let things get 'hairy'....

Ed
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2016, 12:45 PM
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...If the speedo is off, than the odometer is off by the very same amount....
NOT correct. The speedo and odo are separate functions, so, while the speedo part may be off 6.5% (measured on MY Gen 1 vs GPS), the odo part is VERY close to being accurate, as REQUIRED BY LAW!

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2016, 01:25 PM
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NOT correct. The speedo and odo are separate functions, so, while the speedo part may be off 6.5% (measured on MY Gen 1 vs GPS), the odo part is VERY close to being accurate, as REQUIRED BY LAW!
For my Suzuki DL1000, the speedo was off about 7% while the odometer was dead on. I bought a replacement speedometer gauge face which made both the speedometer and the odometer accurate. The speedo healer will make one accurate, but the other will be off by 7%.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-30-2016, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
NOT correct. The speedo and odo are separate functions, so, while the speedo part may be off 6.5% (measured on MY Gen 1 vs GPS), the odo part is VERY close to being accurate, as REQUIRED BY LAW!
I'm not saying your right or wrong, but your info is not fact.

Sure, both are different functions. But, both are read by the same sensor and it works off of simple math. The speed of pulses generate the speed reading. The number of pulses creates the distance. As for thinking your odometer is or near correct, is way off for you to say alone. There is only one way to calibrate distance to the odometer and that is with a measuring wheel synchronized to the odometer to find out how much error you really have. Since the smallest reading on the bike is 1/10 of a mile equaling 528 feet, there is the possiblity of up to 1,056 feet of error! Even if you think you have it within 1/10 of a mile, 528 feet of room for error is far from good accuracy! 8% error of a mile is 422 feet!

Matching your odometer to mile markers is not very accurate, too many variables.

As for law, I don't know it cause it doesn't apply to me. But, the odometer being more important to being accurate than the speedo makes zero sense!

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 02:58 PM
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...As for law, I don't know it cause it doesn't apply to me. But, the odometer being more important to being accurate than the speedo makes zero sense!
The odometer accuracy IS important, as the ACTUAL mileage of a vehicle being correct, is legislated.

Speedo...? Most cars are SPOT-ON, while bikes... - as long as you are actually UNDER the speed shown on your speedo (the POSTED limit), you are NOT speeding....

Ed
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 04:56 PM
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Odometer needs to be somewhat accurate for fraud purposes. Speedometer needs to be correct for actual safety. Speeding is not the only concern, riding under limit can be just as dangerous, that is why there is a speed limit to maintain, one speed for all. Since motorcycles are mostly classified as recreational vehicles anyway, they do not abide the same minimums and tolerances that common automobiles do, neither one needs to be dead on. These laws only apply to the manufacture and must meet minimum tolerances to be Federaly approved to be sold and street legal. Once approved, it is up to the owner to maintain that they are in good working condition. Since most motorcyclists tend to speed anyway whether they admit it or not, it is kind of a cheater tool from the manufacture to help reduce those that do speed.

Most bikes read fast. I have only had one bike that is dead on stock.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 05:16 PM
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I occasionally check my MPG but base it solely on data/miles from my GARMIN GPS.

Based on satellites instead of my bike gauges, then I feel like my miles traveled, etc. is fact.

Just me. But I run a 16T sprocket, so my speed is accurate but not my miles traveled per the gauge (So I never pay attention to it).
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 07:12 PM
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Using a GPS for speed accuracy can be quite correct depending on the errors during use and length of time and distance of reading. Using 3 satellites still calls for several feet in error of accuracy at any point of time, they are never 100% accurate. But if you maintain speed for a long enuff time, it will make an average that can be used as a true reading.

Using a GPS for an odometer is very inacurate! It can calculate a general idea, but is far from accurate, they always read short! A gps doesn't account for width of turns you take, lane changes, bumps, swerving etc. only straight digital lines from one point to another.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 10:40 PM
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I've not checked mine, but in the past, motorcycle speedometers have been notoriously optimistic and the manufacturers do that on purpose for rider safety or so I read over a decade ago. However, the odometers are usually spot on and the ones I have checked in the past have been on the money. Again, I've not checked my V's odometer against mile markers, which are extremely accurate, so I can't say for sure.

Ooops.....just read Rebel13's Post#15 which is essentially the same as mine - sorry!

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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 04:03 AM
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Did a long weekend ride with two friends recently. One on a Z1000SX and a Suzuki 1250 Bandit with fairing.
We started the weekend at the same gas station and all 3 bikes had different odo readings at the end of the trip. All bikes were on 17" wheels with similar profile tyres. The 2 Kawasaki were 20 odd miles difference and the Bandit was 30 plus miles different. We all rode exactly the same route as we were riding in a line. Go figure the differences
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