My gas mileage experience... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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My gas mileage experience...

Love my Versys! I ride like I'm Kenny Roberts! Best handling bike I've ever owned, most fun too. Oh yeah gas mileage...
Live out here in beautiful Colorado and love to ride in the mountains in the summer. I live in Denver and the front range of Colorado (From Ft. Collins down to Colorado Springs) have laws requiring ethanol in the gas sold here. Up in the mountains though they still have real gas. I check my mileage every time I gas up. Have a calculator with note pad in my tankbag. Last weekend I had a great overnight ride with friends up to Steamboat Springs. One of my favorite destinations. Filled up with gas (cheapee regular) there Sunday morning and just re-filled yesterday. Got 61 MPG from that tank! My usual mileage on ethanol gas sold in Denver is anywhere from 45 to 50 MPG, that is city riding factored in too. Not too bad but I think it proves to me that ethanol gas IS worse for gas mileage.
Another thing I like about the Versys is I just use the cheapest regular gas and I've never had a knock or ping. Un-like my 2002 1150GS BMW that would knock like crazy using the most expensive gas on the planet. BMW service said it was my imagination or weird riding style. 2 years later the factory dual-plugged that motor. No more knocking or surging. Too bad for us that spent $16,000 two years earlier.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 05:36 PM
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Ethanol has less power per volume unit than gasoline. That is a fact. A flex fuel vehicle will get 25% to 30% lower gas mileage running on e85 than with gasoline. I drive a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a flex fuel V8 and can see the difference in my car's trip computer. Which is why I do not buy e85. The cost per mile driven is higher than with regular gasoline. However, oxigenated gas (10% ethanol) should only have a neglible effect on gas mileage. Your engine runs a lot cleaner and you might get a little boost in HP (not much though).
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-28-2009, 12:03 AM
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There is a gas station in Canon City 8 miles from where I livethat sells "pure gasoline". When I gas up there I get 60+mpg. When I gas up with 10% ethanol the best I get is in the 55-58 range. I think it is true that you will get 8-10% less MPG with ethanol, at least that is my experience with motorcycles, trucks and autos.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-28-2009, 04:48 PM
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When I first started using e85 in my Jeep and wanted to find out if it was worth it something interesting happened. Since I was paying a lot of attention to my gas mileage, overtime, I started seeing significant improvements in it . I saw improvement in the gas mileage when I was using gas and also when I was using ethanol. After gas went down from the historic highs and I stop paying attention to the mileage efficiency went down dramaticaly. I guess the Hawthorne effect got in he way of my test.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-29-2009, 11:03 PM
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I was incredibly conservative with my last tank and I calculate 50.6 MPG. I am now convinced that the Versys gets better fuel efficiency at 5000 rpm than at 4000 rpm. I am working (slowly) on trying to find to most efficient way to ride the bike. So far I find that efficiency is not antithetical to fun!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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Actually I think it does get better mileage with the rev's higher than 4K. I pretty much keep around 5500 RPM when touring on the highway and that great motor just seems very happy there!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 09:44 AM
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When you substitute engine braking for the majority of your braking time, the gas milage improves significantly. With the throttle rolled closed for engine braking, no fuel goes to the cylinders. But for engine braking to work well, you must ride in a lower gear (Wheee!!! ). Works best when riding on twisty roads.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Mursili View Post
I was incredibly conservative with my last tank and I calculate 50.6 MPG. I am now convinced that the Versys gets better fuel efficiency at 5000 rpm than at 4000 rpm. I am working (slowly) on trying to find to most efficient way to ride the bike. So far I find that efficiency is not antithetical to fun!
Last February I rode 1700+ miles from Florence, AZ to Cayucos, CA, return, with a couple of "twisty" sidetrips. Freeway speed was about 85 mph STAYING WITH TRAFFIC (!). At the end, my GPS said I'd AVERAGED 68 mph, and I got 56 mpG!

Ed
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Last February I rode 1700+ miles from Florence, AZ to Cayucos, CA, return, with a couple of "twisty" sidetrips. Freeway speed was about 85 mph STAYING WITH TRAFFIC (!). At the end, my GPS said I'd AVERAGED 68 mph, and I got 56 mpG!

Ed
I have never been able to really take my bike "for a ride" (I think it has to do with the number of kids at home - one of whom is 14 months old at this time) so I only use it commuting. I guess it could be worse, but my commute is about 10 miles each way in the twisties with some significant altitude changes. I wish I could get to 56 MPG, but lately I have been lucky getting to 50 MPG (although I have never been below 48 MPG). Perhaps I am getting more aggressive in my riding, but if you saw me puttering around with my safety vest on, you would probably think otherwise.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 09:19 AM
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...I live in Denver... Last weekend I had a great overnight ride with friends up to Steamboat Springs. ... Filled up with gas (cheapee regular) there Sunday morning and just re-filled yesterday. Got 61 MPG from that tank!... :
The Steamboat Springs area is at elevation 7000 to 10,000 feet. Denver is at about 5,000 feet. Maybe your gas mileage was assisted by the fact that you were riding down hill several thousand feet to get home. Gravity works!

In "physics speak", you converted potential energy (higher elevation) to kinetic energy (rolling downhill = less throttle opening needed for given speed). Less throttle opening = better mpg.

You also burned more gas getting out to Steamboat Springs because you were going uphill, on average, for several thousand feet. You were building potential energy for your use later on your return trip.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 06:14 PM
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Love my Versys! I ride like I'm Kenny Roberts! Best handling bike I've ever owned, most fun too. Oh yeah gas mileage...
Live out here in beautiful Colorado and love to ride in the mountains in the summer. I live in Denver and the front range of Colorado (From Ft. Collins down to Colorado Springs) have laws requiring ethanol in the gas sold here. Up in the mountains though they still have real gas. I check my mileage every time I gas up. Have a calculator with note pad in my tankbag. Last weekend I had a great overnight ride with friends up to Steamboat Springs. One of my favorite destinations. Filled up with gas (cheapee regular) there Sunday morning and just re-filled yesterday. Got 61 MPG from that tank! My usual mileage on ethanol gas sold in Denver is anywhere from 45 to 50 MPG, that is city riding factored in too. Not too bad but I think it proves to me that ethanol gas IS worse for gas mileage.
Another thing I like about the Versys is I just use the cheapest regular gas and I've never had a knock or ping. Un-like my 2002 1150GS BMW that would knock like crazy using the most expensive gas on the planet. BMW service said it was my imagination or weird riding style. 2 years later the factory dual-plugged that motor. No more knocking or surging. Too bad for us that spent $16,000 two years earlier.
For many years, I went to Steamboat every September because I was involved as an official with the vintage roadraces that were held on the streets of the ski village. Had lots of fun. I used to stop and see my brother in Ft. Collins, then take route 14 up through the Poudre River canyon and across the high country and hit US 40 at the top of Rabbit Ear pass, then down to Steamboat. Lovely country. Too bad it got too crowded to continue the races.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 01:57 PM
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The versys is badly affected by wind condition as well for mpg, it can really rape your consumption specially if you have hard luggage. Throw in a tailwind and you will fly along and the mpg will soar !

http://www.fuelly.com/driver/thewildblue/versys

This my average at the moment, I tend to cruise alot but Im happy to rev beyond 9k on each trip and will crack a ton on most journeys just to ensure no carbon build up.

The bike appeared to give better mpg with the MTC exhaust on and still conditions. Luggage kills it completely. Im running a 16t front now and havent noticed an improvement in MPG only that I get to places slightly quicker...I dont slow down just ride at the same indicated speed as before....haha
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 03:31 PM
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I would agree with the wind comment. My touring screen robs me of a few MPG. Sucks. But at night its too cold without it. Based on your log I think its too early to say if your 16T is helping. I will be riding a 155 mile loop to see how my gearing changes consumption. ~30 miles city, 50 miles 55-65mph freeway and 75 miles 70+ freeway. I will ride it 3 times. 15/46 stock, 16/46 & 16/43. Will do my stock run tonight and then hope to do the other 2 in the next week. Trying to do them at the same time of day so traffic and temps are the same. Course if its windy... all bets are off.

Steve

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 09:35 AM
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Remember, the odo will indicate less than the actual mileage with the 16T installed. You'll have to apply a correction factor to get the actual mileage.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 09:39 AM
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Yup, OD will be well and good off by the time I'm running the 16/43. I have a GPS and will use that to make sure that I have the math right.

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 12:01 PM
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Yep all my calcs now are odo x 1.06 for what I enter on that site.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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The Steamboat Springs area is at elevation 7000 to 10,000 feet. Denver is at about 5,000 feet. Maybe your gas mileage was assisted by the fact that you were riding down hill several thousand feet to get home. Gravity works!

In "physics speak", you converted potential energy (higher elevation) to kinetic energy (rolling downhill = less throttle opening needed for given speed). Less throttle opening = better mpg.

You also burned more gas getting out to Steamboat Springs because you were going uphill, on average, for several thousand feet. You were building potential energy for your use later on your return trip.
The ride to Steamboat from Denver is uphill some of the way and downhill some of the way too. First you go uphill to the top of Berthod Pass (11,513 ft) then downhill 3 to 4000 feet to Winter Park then fairly level until you go uphill to Muddy Pass and Rabbit Ears Pass, then back downhill to Steamboat. On the way home we went the back way south from Steamboat and then over Gore Pass (9527 ft), back to Hwy 9 then down to I-70 up to the Eisenhower Tunnel (11,000 ft). So we had plenty of uphill each way. I still think the gas we buy up there burns better than the tree-hugger Oxy gas sold on the front range.
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