MPG vs. head wind + mountains - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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MPG vs. head wind + mountains

Last night, I rode back to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh with 20-25MPH head wind through the mountains at 70MPH and passing semis at 80MPH. Some mountain inclines were about 4-6 miles long.

I yielded 32MPG. One bar on the gas gauge was gone at 22 miles. Three bars were gone at 78.

Riding the opposite direction on my trip and averaging the same speeds with no head wind, I yielded 57MPG on the first fill-up and 48 on the second fill-up after reaching the mountains inclines.

Is the MPG really that sensitive to these variables? That is such a dramatically decrease.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 09:59 PM
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I have also observed similar degrees of mpg variability. It surprising the the bike is that sensitive to the conditions but makes perfect sense from the standpoint of physics. I'm still trying to break 50 mpg on a single fill-up (48 was my best). I'm impressed with your whopping 57 mpg! That's impressive.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 04:56 AM
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Compare the fuel consumption at 50 mph vs 90 mph (70 + 20, 70 - 20). Motorcycles are about as aerodynamic as a brick. That is pretty normal. I routinely get more than 50 mpg at 70 mph (true) and often 55 mpg on long trips where I go through several tanks in a day.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 07:08 AM
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I'm not surprised by the difference at all. I agree with Walter and binder, bikes aren't at all sleek going through the air, you add in more air and fast speeds and the fuel consumption just goes up and up.
I average around 50+MPG on my bike but my daily commuter is two lane where I seldom get over 60MPH, when I travel interstate at 70+MPH it drops off to about 45MPG. Plus, I think the Versys is geared too low to run an honest 70+MPH all day long.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by TaiDinh View Post
Last night, I rode back to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh with 20-25MPH head wind through the mountains at 70MPH and passing semis at 80MPH. Some mountain inclines were about 4-6 miles long.

I yielded 32MPG. One bar on the gas gauge was gone at 22 miles. Three bars were gone at 78.

Riding the opposite direction on my trip and averaging the same speeds with no head wind, I yielded 57MPG on the first fill-up and 48 on the second fill-up after reaching the mountains inclines.

Is the MPG really that sensitive to these variables? That is such a dramatically decrease.
Don't know about the mileage, but I had mine out in some serious winds yesterday and was pleased by how well the bike behaved for being so light. I really gotta hug the tank with my knees and apply almost no effort to the bars, because this thing wants to change direction with the shift of an eyeball, let alone an actual input to the bars. At one point coming over a lake, a gust hit me pretty hard when I was riding normally and my input to the bars from getting blown around sent the bike a shaking a bit. But by the end of the ride, I had the process down pat.

Last edited by saddlebag; 04-21-2015 at 08:40 AM.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by waltermitty View Post
Compare the fuel consumption at 50 mph vs 90 mph (70 + 20, 70 - 20). Motorcycles are about as aerodynamic as a brick. That is pretty normal. I routinely get more than 50 mpg at 70 mph (true) and often 55 mpg on long trips where I go through several tanks in a day.

Are you running stock gearing? That is great mileage.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 09:32 AM
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Yep, the elevation changes on that trip had a lot to do with it. It's a looong down hill ride East to West and yep a long up hill run going back. Gravity giveth and gravity taketh away...
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 11:00 AM
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Are you running stock gearing? That is great mileage.


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No, 16/43 but I don't think gearing affects mileage much. The 55 mpg is on day I would cruise 500 miles at 70 mph.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 01:04 PM
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Headwinds can easily reduce mileage by 10-20 MPG. I've seen low 30's to low 50's for mileage on my Versys depending on wind and speed.

The same is true of any motorcycle I've had. My BMW K1600 averages about 42 mpg but a couple of years ago when riding into a strong headwind out west, it dropped to around 28 mpg. My Electra Glide averages around 40 mpg and dropped to a low of 27 mpg riding into a strong headwind out west.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2015, 12:22 AM
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No, 16/43 but I don't think gearing affects mileage much. The 55 mpg is on day I would cruise 500 miles at 70 mph.

Wow - that's some high gearing! According to info on forum the 43 is higher than a 16 so you're way up there. Do you notice a drop in pulling or quickness? I can definitely feel a difference with just a 16 and you're over double that.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2015, 03:22 AM
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Sorry, that should be 16/46, got the Versys and KLR data sets mixed up.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2015, 07:16 AM
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Sorry, that should be 16/46, got the Versys and KLR data sets mixed up.

That does sound more reasonable. But you still get better mpg than me with same setup. Very good.


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2015, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for confirming the effect on the conditions that I have posted. I would have never thought that kind of a decrease is possible riding 100% highway.
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