Winter MPG Drop... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Winter MPG Drop...

Well the gas companies have switched their formulas. I've noticed a 4-5mpg drop already.

Reminder to those year round rider folks:

Check tire pressures. Cold temps drop cold tire pressures.

Switch oils to 5w-40. Also, if riding in the elements constantly think about changing oil more frequently. (Walmart sells Rotella T6 5w-40 for 20 bucks a gallon, can't beat that)

If roads are being salted wash bike 2x a week to prevent rust and corrosion.

Lube chain after every encounter with wet weather.

Any other tips are welcome. Post them up!

Hooligan

Last edited by Freerydejunky; 12-03-2013 at 01:07 PM.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 03:06 PM
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Watch the pavement, the asphalt may be dry but the occasional concrete patch will hide frost
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freerydejunky View Post
Well the gas companies have switched their formulas. I've noticed a 4-5mpg drop already.

Reminder to those year round rider folks:

Check tire pressures. Cold temps drop cold tire pressures.

Switch oils to 5w-40. Also, if riding in the elements constantly think about changing oil more frequently. (Walmart sells Rotella T6 5w-40 for 20 bucks a gallon, can't beat that)

If roads are being salted wash bike 2x a week to prevent rust and corrosion.

Lube chain after every encounter with wet weather.

Any other tips are welcome. Post them up!
My mileage drops about 5 MPG when it gets cold as well. I think in my case it's because of the winter fuel mix but also the fact that my commute is only about 15 miles and when it's cold the bike never gets off high idle the whole trip.
Other winter riding issues, hmmmm.
Here's one that gets overlooked alot, be careful riding around other road uses that are experiencing limited ability to see due to frost, ice or snow on windows and mirrors.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ray h View Post
My mileage drops about 5 MPG when it gets cold as well. I think in my case it's because of the winter fuel mix but also the fact that my commute is only about 15 miles and when it's cold the bike never gets off high idle the whole trip.
Other winter riding issues, hmmmm.
Here's one that gets overlooked alot, be careful riding around other road uses that are experiencing limited ability to see due to frost, ice or snow on windows and mirrors.
I think it has a lot to due with the fuel mixture. My bike gets to running temp pretty quickly, but I still see the drop in mpg.

Get a volt meter, watch your battery level as heated grips and gear suck a lot of juice.

When not riding the bike for a few days make sure to hook it up to the tender. Cold kills batteries real quick

Hooligan
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ray h View Post
My mileage drops about 5 MPG when it gets cold as well. I think in my case it's because of the winter fuel mix but also the fact that my commute is only about 15 miles and when it's cold the bike never gets off high idle the whole trip.
Other winter riding issues, hmmmm.
Here's one that gets overlooked alot, be careful riding around other road uses that are experiencing limited ability to see due to frost, ice or snow on windows and mirrors.
You should check into a Therm-O-Bob...


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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting, this is the first time I have ever heard of it.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Freerydejunky View Post
Interesting, this is the first time I have ever heard of it.
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ht=therm-o+bob

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Freerydejunky View Post
Interesting, this is the first time I have ever heard of it.
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ht=therm-o+bob

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 06:43 PM
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You should check into a Therm-O-Bob...
My last bike was a KLR, I'm familiar with it. If you're buying I'll take it, but for about $130 (Thermo-bob and t-stat), I don't think it'll ever pay for itself, little return on investment.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 10:52 PM
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I think in my case it's because of the winter fuel mix but also the fact that my commute is only about 15 miles and when it's cold the bike never gets off high idle the whole trip.
How cold are you talking? It should still be off high idle within a few minutes in the mid-30's F ambient. You could try covering part of your radiator. You have no radiator guard?

I actually switched to a custom fitted Stant SuperStat with bypass hole drilled 9% smaller than on stock thermostat. It's off high idle after idling for 45 seconds in about 60 F ambient.

Last edited by invader; 12-03-2013 at 11:23 PM.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:11 AM
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Mine goes off high idle in 60'f after about 30 secs, but that's nothing to do with Winter riding.
The best way to quickly warm up the bike on cold winter mornings is to start it up a few minutes sooner & let it idle, in your garage if you can stand the fumes, if not, use your neighbours' garage!!!
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 06:19 AM
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How cold are you talking? It should still be off high idle within a few minutes in the mid-30's F ambient. You could try covering part of your radiator. You have no radiator guard?
If it's colder than mid 40s F, my bike stays at high idle the whole trip to work. I know this because I've got a couple stop signs and stop lights, when I stop at those, it's still idling at 1000 RPMs or higher. If I get caught at the lights long enough it'll settle down to normal idle though.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 06:50 AM
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I don't experience the winter mileage drop but I don't live where the weather is that extreme (South Texas). Kawasaki uses the same 160 F thermostat in all its water cooled bikes. The Versys really needs a temp gauge.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the heads up on the therm-o-bob.

Any other winter tips?

Hooligan
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Freerydejunky View Post
Thanks for the heads up on the therm-o-bob.

Any other winter tips?

Watch out for black ice.

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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ray h View Post
My mileage drops about 5 MPG when it gets cold as well. I think in my case it's because of the winter fuel mix but also the fact that my commute is only about 15 miles and when it's cold the bike never gets off high idle the whole trip.
Other winter riding issues, hmmmm.
Here's one that gets overlooked alot, be careful riding around other road uses that are experiencing limited ability to see due to frost, ice or snow on windows and mirrors.
X 2 (or more) on the Thermo-Bob!

Tip? Be REALLY careful when you enter corners where you will ride INTO a shaded part. Look for frost.

Ed
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Eddie........................you are missing your very own mantra on Winter riding!



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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 09:22 AM
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+1 on the Therm-0-Bob. I'm off high idle in under 30 seconds.

I also have reduced MPG in the winter months but I suspect it has more to do with the 1-3 minutes I let my bike idle while it and hand warmers heat up.


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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freerydejunky View Post
Well the gas companies have switched their formulas. I've noticed a 4-5mpg drop already.

Reminder to those year round rider folks:

Check tire pressures. Cold temps drop cold tire pressures.

Switch oils to 5w-40. Also, if riding in the elements constantly think about changing oil more frequently. (Walmart sells Rotella T6 5w-40 for 20 bucks a gallon, can't beat that)

If roads are being salted wash bike 2x a week to prevent rust and corrosion.

Lube chain after every encounter with wet weather.

Any other tips are welcome. Post them up!
I noticed this too, then realized it was because in the colder temperatures I was going for shorter rides in the city at slower speeds and avoiding long runs on the highway that produced the best mileage.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 12:25 PM
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Eddie........................you are missing your very own mantra on Winter riding!...
Down here in AZ you can get frost overnight in the Phoenix area (expecting frost for the NEXT week or so...), so later in the day while riding you should EXPECT it, and ride accordingly IF you don't want to low-side on a tight corner...!

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