High fuel consumption and reduced engine performance - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Versys-X 300 General Discussion Please post any 2017+ Kawasaki Versys-X 300 related topics that DO NOT fit into any of the other topics here.

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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High fuel consumption and reduced engine performance

Hi fellow Versys drivers,

I curently own a 2017 Versys-X 300 with 31.000 km on the ODO meter.

I suspect that the bike delivers less power than it should. I read that a lot of people can "comfortably" maintain highway speeds of 130 km/h. However, I have the feeling that I'm pushing the sh*t out of the little parallel-twin when I maintain a cruise speed of 110 km/h. Recently I battled a strong headwind at which the Versys was not able to maintain 80 km/h in 6th gear.

When cruising 110 km/h the fuel consumption rate is around 5.2 liters per 100 km (or 45 MPG). When driven slightly faster, the Versys quickly gets very thirsty, 130 km/h means a fuel consumption rate around 6.6 liters per 100 km (or 35 MPG).

I've read that bad spark plugs with weak sparks can cause reduced engine performance and a higher consumption rate because the ECU corrects the bad combustion by injecting a richer mixture.

But in order to get tho the ignition coils/spark plugs, half the motorcycle must be taken apart according to the manual. That is why I wonder if there could be other, more easy to check, causes for the underperformance and the relatively high consumption rate.

Does anyone here have a idea where to look at?

Many thanks!

Dennis.

Kawasaki Versys-X 300 ABS (2017) - 28.000 km

Last edited by Dennis97; 03-16-2020 at 06:53 AM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 07:44 AM
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Is the air filter clean, good airflow?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis97 View Post
...I suspect that the bike delivers less power than it should. I read that a lot of people can "comfortably" maintain highway speeds of 130 km/h. However, I have the feeling that I'm pushing the sh*t out of the little parallel-twin when I maintain a cruise speed of 110 km/h. Recently I battled a strong headwind at which the Versys was not able to maintain 80 km/h in 6th gear....
Have you tried down-shifting when this occurs? MOST machines will NOT get their top-speed in the highest gear, and you WILL burn more at WFO - "Wide Frigging Open" throttle.

Give it a try.

Ed
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 08:50 PM
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Hi Denis, must be very "windy" over there on the continent

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2020, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
Is the air filter clean, good airflow?
I checked the filter housing. It was nice and clean. The filter itself is slightly oily. So I think the Versys can breathe very well!

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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Have you tried down-shifting when this occurs? MOST machines will NOT get their top-speed in the highest gear, and you WILL burn more at WFO - "Wide Frigging Open" throttle. Give it a try.
Thanks for the tip! The Versys however, is a very low geared bike. 110 km/h means more than 8000 rpm. Isn't it bad for the engine to run just under 10.000 rpm for a longer time?

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Hi Denis, must be very "windy" over there on the continent 😁
Yes it is indeed.. It can get quite windy from time to time here in Flevoland.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2020, 06:05 AM
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"110 km/h means more than 8000 rpm. Isn't it bad for the engine to run just under 10.000 rpm for a longer time?"

That engine is designed to rev. Although it will sound and feel busy, I doubt it will hurt the engine. Lugging an engine is worse.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2020, 08:28 PM
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I've had no problem doing 110 -130 kph on my X and I'm aerodynamically challenged. Another thing that could hold you back is your exhaust. I hope you aren't running leaded fuel in your bike. Check your exhaust system for any crimps in the system from hitting rocks if it's ever been off road. After that see if any codes have been set.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2020, 09:53 PM
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Do you have anything blocking the air filter inlet under the front of seat? I had the uncut straps of my seat cushion block the small air box inlet and bike would barely run last year.....cut the excess strap ends off and the bike was back to running perfect.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2020, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis97 View Post
Hi fellow Versys drivers,

I curently own a 2017 Versys-X 300 with 31.000 km on the ODO meter.

I suspect that the bike delivers less power than it should. I read that a lot of people can "comfortably" maintain highway speeds of 130 km/h. However, I have the feeling that I'm pushing the sh*t out of the little parallel-twin when I maintain a cruise speed of 110 km/h. Recently I battled a strong headwind at which the Versys was not able to maintain 80 km/h in 6th gear.

When cruising 110 km/h the fuel consumption rate is around 5.2 liters per 100 km (or 45 MPG). When driven slightly faster, the Versys quickly gets very thirsty, 130 km/h means a fuel consumption rate around 6.6 liters per 100 km (or 35 MPG).

I've read that bad spark plugs with weak sparks can cause reduced engine performance and a higher consumption rate because the ECU corrects the bad combustion by injecting a richer mixture.

But in order to get tho the ignition coils/spark plugs, half the motorcycle must be taken apart according to the manual. That is why I wonder if there could be other, more easy to check, causes for the underperformance and the relatively high consumption rate.

Does anyone here have a idea where to look at?

Many thanks!

Dennis.
Looking is that 31,000 KM ? If anything like the V650, you are due for vacuum sync and valve shim, surprisingly they now call for that at 12,000 KM



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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2020, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
"110 km/h means more than 8000 rpm. Isn't it bad for the engine to run just under 10.000 rpm for a longer time?" That engine is designed to rev. Although it will sound and feel busy, I doubt it will hurt the engine. Lugging an engine is worse.
While driving 130 km/h (10.000 rpm in 6th gear) on the highway yesterday the on-board computer showed a fuel consumption rate of 9.1 liter per 100 km (or around 26 MPG). There was hardly any wind.. Still, I was close to WFO..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale View Post
I've had no problem doing 110 -130 kph on my X and I'm aerodynamically challenged. Another thing that could hold you back is your exhaust. I hope you aren't running leaded fuel in your bike. Check your exhaust system for any crimps in the system from hitting rocks if it's ever been off road. After that see if any codes have been set.
Although it is an allroad, the Versys is only driven on asphalt. I just did a visual inspection but saw nothing strange. In terms of fuel, unleaded 95 E10 is my usual choice. I once took the unleaded 98 E0 fuel but I didn't noticed any difference except in my wallet

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Originally Posted by whisperquiet View Post
Do you have anything blocking the air filter inlet under the front of seat? I had the uncut straps of my seat cushion block the small air box inlet and bike would barely run last year.....cut the excess strap ends off and the bike was back to running perfect.
Thanks for the tip! I also checked this right away, but the intake is completely free.

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Originally Posted by onewizard View Post
Looking is that 31,000 KM ? If anything like the V650, you are due for vacuum sync and valve shim, surprisingly they now call for that at 12,000 KM
That is correct! I don't think the valves have ever been adjusted. I bought the bike second hand last juli (2019) with 7,500 km on the ODO meter. At 12,000 km they have been checked by the dealer but at that time the clearances were all well within the manufacturer specified range. At 24,000, the dealer listened to the engine after which he concluded that the engine and valves sounded very healthy. And because it was quite a expensive repair bill last time, I decided to leave the engine closed. As far as I know a vacuum sync has never been performed on the bike..

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2020, 09:46 AM
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Vacuum Sync

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis97 View Post
While driving 130 km/h (10.000 rpm in 6th gear) on the highway yesterday the on-board computer showed a fuel consumption rate of 9.1 liter per 100 km (or around 26 MPG). There was hardly any wind.. Still, I was close to WFO..



Although it is an allroad, the Versys is only driven on asphalt. I just did a visual inspection but saw nothing strange. In terms of fuel, unleaded 95 E10 is my usual choice. I once took the unleaded 98 E0 fuel but I didn't noticed any difference except in my wallet



Thanks for the tip! I also checked this right away, but the intake is completely free.



That is correct! I don't think the valves have ever been adjusted. I bought the bike second hand last juli (2019) with 7,500 km on the ODO meter. At 12,000 km they have been checked by the dealer but at that time the clearances were all well within the manufacturer specified range. At 24,000, the dealer listened to the engine after which he concluded that the engine and valves sounded very healthy. And because it was quite a expensive repair bill last time, I decided to leave the engine closed. As far as I know a vacuum sync has never been performed on the bike..
First have a look at this video https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...77-post16.html from this thread https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...gs-mk-3-a.html

As to the cost, I for one would be willing to help you even though I don't own a X300, look at the tools for doing the V650. Yes it is quite expensive to pay for it. Think about it, 85% of the work is getting everything off and back on, the remaining 10 % is checking and a additional 5% adjusting, and yes, many of us have sanded the shims, many think this is a bad idea. You need to understand several things, one I was involved with heat treating, since many processes use high frequency, instead of melting metal using a inverter, you are rapidly heating it then quenching all in one process , those shims are hardened to a certain depth, unless you do something stupid like take a grinder to them, you will never get below the hardened layer. What is even more important is this is a spacer, not a wear component, the buckets are what is in contact with the camshaft lobes, and they are hardened.

So it was found that buying all the tools was about 1/3 the cost of paying someone, add a professional vacuum gauge and we are at 1/2 the cost. Just remember that is the first time. Down the road it is your time and free. FYI I, it was suggested by that video that if the vacuum sync is off, something changed, probably the valve clearance. So I brought my vacuum lines out and capped them off, I can check my vacuum sync in 5 minutes and be riding in 10 minutes. I did my valve shim on the 2015 with under 12,000 KM and before I did it, I checked my vacuum sync, it was way off. When I finished my valve shim, several tight valves, all clearances are at maximum now, my sync was perfect after. That expensive $300 special screwdriver I bought, well I never needed it!!

My point is, Kawasaki uses the same technology on almost evry motorcycle , we have the service manual available so if you get stuck I or someone else can help. I only ask that you take photos. I have done a valve shim on my former 07 and on my 2015. Some important steps missing in the service manual I am well versed with. Wire ties are extremely important. But first lets see if you are interested. If so I will send a PM and tell you what is next. Please send me a PM if you are interested. We need a guinea pig in the X300
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2020, 09:28 PM
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@onewizard .. is there a limp mode fuel map in the x300?
some bikes can go into llmp mode when say there is a faulty clutch switch.
limp mode is a default fuel map and bypas the 02 sensor closed loop A/F fuel maps.

Limp mode map might NOT be good for high RPM use as it is can go really rich or really lean - either is not good for a bike.

some people abuse this on other bikes to get a better low rpm fueling by putting a push switch on the clutch switch to force limp mode - this is how I know about it.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2020, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis97 View Post
...Isn't it bad for the engine to run just under 10.000 rpm for a longer time?...
Apparently NOT on the Ninja 250/ 300/ 400 engines which is what you have in the 'little' Versys.

Ed
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-19-2020, 07:09 PM
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Clutch Switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigitt View Post
@onewizard .. is there a limp mode fuel map in the x300?
some bikes can go into llmp mode when say there is a faulty clutch switch.
limp mode is a default fuel map and bypas the 02 sensor closed loop A/F fuel maps.

Limp mode map might NOT be good for high RPM use as it is can go really rich or really lean - either is not good for a bike.

some people abuse this on other bikes to get a better low rpm fueling by putting a push switch on the clutch switch to force limp mode - this is how I know about it.
@Gigitt there has been much discussion about this switch, one would assume these guys would experience the same , I came up with a possible solution in regards to the error code, the thread died, starting at post 201.
https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...t-light-6.html
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Today, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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As to the cost, I for one would be willing to help you even though I don't own a X300
First of all thank you very much for your extensive response and offering your help! I have thought a lot about what I am going to do.

The Versys-X is my very first motorcycle. Before I've always driven a SYM scooter with a tiny 50cc 4 stroke engine. I drove A LOT with this scooter. Visited more than 10 different country's and managed to put more than 65,000 km on the ODO meter in less than 2 years. I knew this scooter inside and out and did every maintenance thing myself. The thing had never seen a dealer. I even did the valve adjustments myself.

The Versys is still fairly new to me. Iv'e done small things like a oil change, brake disk and pads replacement and chain replacements. Adjusting the valves is quite a drastic job. At this moment I'm not sure that I can handle the job. Especially removing the camshafts scares me because I have no experience with engine timing at all. A small mistake here can have a disastrous outcome. Ultimately I want to do all repairs myself. But at the moment adjusting the valves is still a step too high.

So what did I do.. I contacted the dealer and after a few back and forth messages we have agreed that I will visit the shop with Versys this Friday. For 150 euros they will adjust the valves, replace the spark plugs and perform a vacuum syncho. While they are doing this I can watch, ask questions and help with the repairs. This allows me to safely learn how to do it myself next time. Which I WILL do eventually! I think this is the best solution for now.

I wonder what these adjusments will do with the engine power output and fuel consumption rate. I'll give you some feedback here!

Thanks again! And stay safe during these crazy times..

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old Today, 06:23 AM
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That's an excellent solution, Dennis. It should give you the confidence to tackle the job yourself the next time it's required.
Good luck and good riding, enjoy the V.

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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old Today, 06:54 AM
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Excellent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis97 View Post
First of all thank you very much for your extensive response and offering your help! I have thought a lot about what I am going to do.

The Versys-X is my very first motorcycle. Before I've always driven a SYM scooter with a tiny 50cc 4 stroke engine. I drove A LOT with this scooter. Visited more than 10 different country's and managed to put more than 65,000 km on the ODO meter in less than 2 years. I knew this scooter inside and out and did every maintenance thing myself. The thing had never seen a dealer. I even did the valve adjustments myself.

The Versys is still fairly new to me. Iv'e done small things like a oil change, brake disk and pads replacement and chain replacements. Adjusting the valves is quite a drastic job. At this moment I'm not sure that I can handle the job. Especially removing the camshafts scares me because I have no experience with engine timing at all. A small mistake here can have a disastrous outcome. Ultimately I want to do all repairs myself. But at the moment adjusting the valves is still a step too high.

So what did I do.. I contacted the dealer and after a few back and forth messages we have agreed that I will visit the shop with Versys this Friday. For 150 euros they will adjust the valves, replace the spark plugs and perform a vacuum syncho. While they are doing this I can watch, ask questions and help with the repairs. This allows me to safely learn how to do it myself next time. Which I WILL do eventually! I think this is the best solution for now.

I wonder what these adjusments will do with the engine power output and fuel consumption rate. I'll give you some feedback here!

Thanks again! And stay safe during these crazy times..
Watch carefully, a solution you will not find in the service manual, using wire ties on the camshaft sprockets. That chain is held in the correct tooth of each sprocket.

Since you are doing this observation. If possible, take some photos.

here is a list of things to pay close attention to and mainly with the start once the valve cover is removed.

#1 observe the exposed position for 1 over T and 1/T , 2 over T and 2/T these are timing marks near the crankshaft, take a photo at first point of measurement, both the crankshaft position and the camshaft position. I am telling you this because all Service manuals from 2007 through 2015 have a mistake , the text is wrong the photos correct. One section shows it wrong, another shows the correct images. I and others have photos explaining this.

#2 pay attention to the removal of the cam chain tensioner if adjustments are required.

#3 if the measurements are just in spec write down the measurements of each valve. personally , all of us have adjusted our valves to maximum clearance. The largest cost is the taking apart and putting together.

#4 if they adjusted, note the final position of the crankshaft while they are doing these adjustments, this is extremely important. That position should be with the camshaft sprocket timing marks exposed.

#5 last if adjustment was done, pay attention to the resetting of the cam chain tensioner and watch closely, if they know what they are doing, a slight 5 to 6 degree rotation of the crankshaft will move slack of the cam chain towards the tensioner, making it extremely easy to install.

Pay close attention and this is out of order , only if they are adjusting, how they go about removing the buckets and shims, also note where they stick rags.

Any photos you can take will help you and others, I have probably missed some things.

Nice to see someone proactive . Tools etc, many of us can steer you so you buy the right stuff the first time.
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