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2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ride my Versys 650 year around, and I've always been pretty diligent with maintaining it. Cleaning the front of the drive, making sure the chain is oiled and lined up, tightening the chain, replacing it when needed, oil changes, keeping the tires filled up, etc. But my gas mileage has been getting worse, and worse. When I first got my 2016 Versys 650 a couple years ago, the mileage was pretty reasonable. I was getting around 42mpg average? I was also still learning the bike a bit and was still a pretty new rider.

I have gone back through and checked that the clutch cable is adjusted to the proper setting, and adjusted the lever positions to be more suited to me. Just lubed the clutch not long ago as well. It has close to 12000 miles on it (had 2800 when I bought it).

The mileage has dropped to 32mpg. It gets ridden mainly in city, but even going across state the gas was eaten up really fast. I always, except when in six gear, keep it under 5k RPMs and above 4k RPMs since it seems happiest in that range, and the economy icon is on normally in that range. I hard accelerate when getting on the freeway but overall tend to keep it within reason on city roads. Only other thing that may contribute to the cruddy fuel economy might be that because I have to scoot my bum off the seat to get a foot down, I will sometimes balance on it and creep if the light looks like it's going to be turning green momentarily. But I don't think that'd do a lot? I've gotten pretty good about balancing the clutch, throttle, and rear brake when doing that.

Any idea what could be causing it?

I should note that I've added a bit to the bike since I got it. Crash cage, center stand, risers, heated grips, aftermarket levers, luggage racks, top case rack.. Probably other stuff I'm not immediately thinking about. I do tend to use the top case, and the waterproof saddlebags on it pretty regularly. Here's a picture:

Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Fuel tank


Thanks for the help!
 

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While everybody can touch 50mpg, getting 32 is certainly odd.

Easy tests:


-try shell ethanol free premium (91) for a full tank and see. I find their additives had helped me a few times. Aside from better additives, and against most beliefs, I do get better mileage with super. I blame ethanol in the lower grades. It's not good for the wallet, but it gets me 10-15% more distance with a tank.

-Don't be afraid to get it to 7k rpms sometimes to get it to exercise a bit, maybe dislodge some carbon buildup...

-you didn't say anything about tire pressure. make sure you have about 39psi rear and 36psi front (assuming your tires can take that). You may not like how hard it feels but at least you'll factor our that drain of mileage.

-You are a variable, perhaps more confident and more aggressive, but that would amount to maybe -5 mpg, not -20.


Less easy checks:

-For a 2016, not knowing the maintenance log, I would change the spark plugs and have valves clearance checked, certainly if it was done more than 24k ago.

-I wouldn't blame the injectors or the oxygen sensor just yet, but the oxygen sensor can be tested, iirc.

-If all fails, then maybe it is the gunk. I'd resort to seafoam or equivalent fuel treatment assuming it is safe for motorcycle, trying to clean injectors. Or ultimately replacing injectors.


I'm no mechanic, but I suspect I'm not too far from a fair plan. I'll let the others comment.
 

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I ride my Versys 650 year around, and I've always been pretty diligent with maintaining it. Cleaning the front of the drive, making sure the chain is oiled and lined up, tightening the chain, replacing it when needed, oil changes, keeping the tires filled up, etc. But my gas mileage has been getting worse, and worse. When I first got my 2016 Versys 650 a couple years ago, the mileage was pretty reasonable. I was getting around 42mpg average? I was also still learning the bike a bit and was still a pretty new rider.

I have gone back through and checked that the clutch cable is adjusted to the proper setting, and adjusted the lever positions to be more suited to me. Just lubed the clutch not long ago as well. It has close to 12000 miles on it (had 2800 when I bought it).

The mileage has dropped to 32mpg. It gets ridden mainly in city, but even going across state the gas was eaten up really fast. I always, except when in six gear, keep it under 5k RPMs and above 4k RPMs since it seems happiest in that range, and the economy icon is on normally in that range. I hard accelerate when getting on the freeway but overall tend to keep it within reason on city roads. Only other thing that may contribute to the cruddy fuel economy might be that because I have to scoot my bum off the seat to get a foot down, I will sometimes balance on it and creep if the light looks like it's going to be turning green momentarily. But I don't think that'd do a lot? I've gotten pretty good about balancing the clutch, throttle, and rear brake when doing that.

Any idea what could be causing it?

I should note that I've added a bit to the bike since I got it. Crash cage, center stand, risers, heated grips, aftermarket levers, luggage racks, top case rack.. Probably other stuff I'm not immediately thinking about. I do tend to use the top case, and the waterproof saddlebags on it pretty regularly. Here's a picture:

View attachment 187899

Thanks for the help!
I'm a new rider and I bought a 2020 Versys 650 (new) last month. I just got my first 600 miles and I have the exact same MPG!! I came here today to see if anyone had the same problem and a solution. My bike is new, but 2020 model so I worry that maybe it was sitting in a warehouse for 2 years? Hope we find a solution.
 

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I wish I could help, but all of my riding is country lanes except when I toured on my 2011 Versys. I don’t recall ever getting below 50 mpg.

what I do recommend though is burning a tank of fuel on a 55 mph back road and see where the mileage is at the end of that ride.

stop and go does provide the worst mileage with high speed closely behind.
 

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I'm a new rider and I bought a 2020 Versys 650 (new) last month. I just got my first 600 miles and I have the exact same MPG!! I came here today to see if anyone had the same problem and a solution. My bike is new, but 2020 model so I worry that maybe it was sitting in a warehouse for 2 years? Hope we find a solution.
If you are doing break in drills constantly fluctuating the RPMs and engine braking, etc. you should expect lower fuel economy, but not in the 30s.
 

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As @dddd said.
I will expand on his valve shim check. @Steve in Sunny Fl. Has a video in one of my valve shim threads. Consider one cylinder with tight valves, giving each cylinder equal fuel but one cylinder is outputting more horsepower . Steve suggests that poor gas mileage and throttle body sync, relate directly with the valve clearance check. I did my second Versys at what is 6000 miles and found tight valves, when done, the vacuum sync was bang on, no adjustment needed. I got the flash from Steve, if I stay below 100 KM/HR. I can get 500 km or 300 miles on a tank. Above 100 KM/HR. I get between 350 and 400 KM with about 3 to 5 liters left at fill up. I have the Givi 56 top case and trekker side cases. Total know weight is 100 pounds, that does not include the mounting hardware, the mortar round cases with 4 liters of fuel or my tank bag.
I run 39 front and 42 rear on pilot road 5s , I have a tire pressure monitor and @quexpress stated that a normal hot pressure is around 10% or less higher from cold. If it goes above 10% , your pressure is too low. I deal with a reputable bike shop, this last tire change got the beeds installed, apparently about 15% more mileage out of the tires . I was told that most people run too low a pressure. What I was told is confirmed by my monitor.
 

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32 is definitely too low if you're riding at the highway speed limit. I get in the upper 40's all loaded up for camping. Pretty much the same mpg messing around town. That's with a larger windscreen, rectangular side luggage, rear trunk, crash bars, etc. Kind of a worst case aerodynamics situation. Sometimes I hit 50mpg average but not often.

If your chain is too tight it causes drag. Also if the rear axle nut is too tight it will cause a lot of drag. Have you put the bike up on track stands and spun the wheels to see if either wheel is dragging a lot? A sticky brake could be dragging, which you might diagnose by riding for ten minutes and then touching each brake disk to see if one is warmer than the others.

At 12k miles and 6 yrs old your bike is due for the brake system to be rebuilt. The calipers do get very dirty. The rubber seals around the pistons need to be replaced, which is a surprisingly easy job. If the pistons don't move easily back in when the brake is released it will cause drag. The pins that the caliper slides on need a little grease (Silaramic grease) so that the caliper itself moves easily.

Another possibility is a bad wheel bearing.

I suppose a bad chain could cause some mpg loss but that seems a bit unlikely.

I think the valve clearance is a decent possibility, but it is a bit of a job to get in there yourself, so I wouldn't rush to do that first.

Intake and exhaust restrictions are the only other things I can think of. It is a bit of a hassle but you can remove the gas tank and check the air filter and air box. Your filter should be replaced if you haven't done that yet. Idk how to check the exhaust for internal restrictions.
 

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I'm a new rider and I bought a 2020 Versys 650 (new) last month. I just got my first 600 miles and I have the exact same MPG!! I came here today to see if anyone had the same problem and a solution. My bike is new, but 2020 model so I worry that maybe it was sitting in a warehouse for 2 years? Hope we find a solution.
It's definitely not the normal or standard fuel mileage people get with these bikes. I commute to work 25 miles each way with a mix of highway and small towns, and I average 55 mpg. And I am in no way easy on the throttle. I ride a 2016 with about 22,000 miles on it.
 

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I got about 53mpgUS on the last fill of my AZ V650, and got 68mpgImperial (56.3mpgUS) last fill on my '15 V650 in BC.

MY thoughts are that your valves are causing the problem. Have they EVER been 'checked' during the time you've owned it?

Quite a few of us "long-timers" checked our valves EARLIER than Kawi recommends, and found 'tight' valves, so MOST of us set all our valves to the OPEN end of the specs (ie - spec is .22 to .31, so I set them to .31).

I 'did' my valves the first time on my '15 at 26,243 km [16,307 miles] and had THREE of four exhaust valves just BARELY above the TIGHT limit of .22mm, at .225.

"DID" them again at 49,478 km [30,733 miles], finding them w/in limits, but "OPENED" up three 'slightly'.

Went in again at 80,779 kms [50,194 miles] and found them ALL at the same clearance as I had left them at after the 49,478 km check. Incidentally - I changed the plugs EACH time I checked/set the valves.

Good luck!
 

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On my 2018 V650 my last 3 ride was 62 mpg (US gallon), and the total consumption of 26,000 km (16 000mi) is 54 mpg.

I avoid the highway as much as possible and use local roads as I start to be sleepy on the highway as you just drive straight while local roads are much more interesting to drive, only on local roads I have to watch out for police, speed limits and speed cameras.
 

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09 v650, 00'r1150gs, 83' r80rt
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Bad gas/incorrect gas IE: cheap gas, watered down, not high enough octane, etc. etc. When I found myself in a small town in nowheresville USA, they didnt even have a gas pump. I got some coleman campfuel at the general store and used it. got terrible mileage, but it burned to get me to the next real town (with gas).

Also, I've used the regular unleaded in my 09 v650 and got about 30mpg per that tank. (it was the first tank of gas when I got the bike)

airfilter being clogged or old could be a thing (mainly notice lack of power and decreased mileage), valves not adjusted correctly (could be not shimmed correctly, could decrease compression on valves etc might decrease mileage etc), ECU mapping, power commanders "power-chips" cam change it too.

Id change the oil/filter & air filter. get a fresh tank of high grade/super premium and see if that does anything. Pending if you haven't already done anything yet like everyone else has said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the responses! I'll try replacing the air filter, filling it with Shell Premium Gas and rebuild the brakes first. Brakes needed a fluid flush anyway so this is a good push to do the whole thing. I'd been hearing a rubbing on my front tire when I walk the bike as well. Then I'll get into the deeper stuff if it's still a problem.

Also since it was mentioned - can a failing wheel baring cause it to feel wobbly at times? My front tire sometimes gets an odd feel to it but I asked a local shop and they said it was probably the road. I don't feel it all the time which I'd assume would be the case if the wheel baring was going bad?

I usually run 38 psi rear, and 36psi front with Road 5s. Surprised you guys recommend higher psi but I'll give it a try as well.

Thank you again for all the suggestions! I'll post updates as I go.
 

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Thanks for all the responses! I'll try replacing the air filter, filling it with Shell Premium Gas and rebuild the brakes first. Brakes needed a fluid flush anyway so this is a good push to do the whole thing. I'd been hearing a rubbing on my front tire when I walk the bike as well. Then I'll get into the deeper stuff if it's still a problem.

Also since it was mentioned - can a failing wheel baring cause it to feel wobbly at times? My front tire sometimes gets an odd feel to it but I asked a local shop and they said it was probably the road. I don't feel it all the time which I'd assume would be the case if the wheel baring was going bad?

I usually run 38 psi rear, and 36psi front with Road 5s. Surprised you guys recommend higher psi but I'll give it a try as well.

Thank you again for all the suggestions! I'll post updates as I go.

Wheel bearings can be scary when they go out, they either explode or they take forever and just squeal and such. but yes wobbly wheels all kinds of lowered mileage and more.
I had a main bearing on my rear final drive on my bmw go out, and there was a wobble and oil drip (seal from shaft drive housing) ....!
these things are all possible.
Wobbles, odd rubbing sounds, dragging of wheel where it should be as slick as glass......
Easiest way to check the bearing, or dragging on wheel is somehow prop up front end a bit. move front wheel back and forth, see how much the wheel moves without friction etc.
If the wheel spins fairly freely, it may not be the bearing it could be the brakes. Check the pads by spinning the wheel and press on the brake handle. If either gives you trouble....IF they are bad. they will be fairly obvious.
Brakes are easy. Ish..

Bearings, depending on how the service manual tells us to replace them. CAN be easy, but could require lots of steps the average man may not have done before.

In my case, several of the bearings in my bmw, had to be replaced since I was servicing the main. Those suckers werent simple. I had to put one of the crown gears in the freezer to get it cold enough to press the heated in an oven bearing to slid over. There was literally THAT (tighter than a hairs width) much fitment that a bearing or roll press couldn't be used. Almost didnt get the bearing seated fast enough, but it worked.

Lots of U-tubes, and such. good luck!

There is no harm in having a "professional" mechanic do the work. If you can find a good one.
 

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I ride my Versys 650 year around, and I've always been pretty diligent with maintaining it. Cleaning the front of the drive, making sure the chain is oiled and lined up, tightening the chain, replacing it when needed, oil changes, keeping the tires filled up, etc. But my gas mileage has been getting worse, and worse. When I first got my 2016 Versys 650 a couple years ago, the mileage was pretty reasonable. I was getting around 42mpg average? I was also still learning the bike a bit and was still a pretty new rider.

I have gone back through and checked that the clutch cable is adjusted to the proper setting, and adjusted the lever positions to be more suited to me. Just lubed the clutch not long ago as well. It has close to 12000 miles on it (had 2800 when I bought it).

The mileage has dropped to 32mpg. It gets ridden mainly in city, but even going across state the gas was eaten up really fast. I always, except when in six gear, keep it under 5k RPMs and above 4k RPMs since it seems happiest in that range, and the economy icon is on normally in that range. I hard accelerate when getting on the freeway but overall tend to keep it within reason on city roads. Only other thing that may contribute to the cruddy fuel economy might be that because I have to scoot my bum off the seat to get a foot down, I will sometimes balance on it and creep if the light looks like it's going to be turning green momentarily. But I don't think that'd do a lot? I've gotten pretty good about balancing the clutch, throttle, and rear brake when doing that.

Any idea what could be causing it?

I should note that I've added a bit to the bike since I got it. Crash cage, center stand, risers, heated grips, aftermarket levers, luggage racks, top case rack.. Probably other stuff I'm not immediately thinking about. I do tend to use the top case, and the waterproof saddlebags on it pretty regularly. Here's a picture:

View attachment 187899

Thanks for the help!
Just wanted to add, beautiful bike.
 

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2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 abs
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I ride my Versys 650 year around, and I've always been pretty diligent with maintaining it. Cleaning the front of the drive, making sure the chain is oiled and lined up, tightening the chain, replacing it when needed, oil changes, keeping the tires filled up, etc. But my gas mileage has been getting worse, and worse. When I first got my 2016 Versys 650 a couple years ago, the mileage was pretty reasonable. I was getting around 42mpg average? I was also still learning the bike a bit and was still a pretty new rider.

I have gone back through and checked that the clutch cable is adjusted to the proper setting, and adjusted the lever positions to be more suited to me. Just lubed the clutch not long ago as well. It has close to 12000 miles on it (had 2800 when I bought it).

The mileage has dropped to 32mpg. It gets ridden mainly in city, but even going across state the gas was eaten up really fast. I always, except when in six gear, keep it under 5k RPMs and above 4k RPMs since it seems happiest in that range, and the economy icon is on normally in that range. I hard accelerate when getting on the freeway but overall tend to keep it within reason on city roads. Only other thing that may contribute to the cruddy fuel economy might be that because I have to scoot my bum off the seat to get a foot down, I will sometimes balance on it and creep if the light looks like it's going to be turning green momentarily. But I don't think that'd do a lot? I've gotten pretty good about balancing the clutch, throttle, and rear brake when doing that.

Any idea what could be causing it?

I should note that I've added a bit to the bike since I got it. Crash cage, center stand, risers, heated grips, aftermarket levers, luggage racks, top case rack.. Probably other stuff I'm not immediately thinking about. I do tend to use the top case, and the waterproof saddlebags on it pretty regularly. Here's a picture:

View attachment 187899

Thanks for the help!
My 2016 Versys 650 is set up about the same as yours. Mine was bought used a year ago next month. There was 1400 miles on the odometer. The dash displayed an average of 38 mpg. Since then I've put on over 7000 miles and the displayed mpg is now 52. I've done nothing special other than ride it every
Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Building
chance I get. Tire inflation, air filter, valve clearance are all important. Not being real sophisticated, how about chain tension or rear sprocket size? Perhaps it just needs a bit more green.
 

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Are your mileage numbers from the dash display or manually calculated after a fill up?
The speedometer is not known to be all that accurate and I would not expect the MPG display to be great either. I haven't checked mine enough to verify much. Also if you have changed the sprocket ratios it may throw off the computer more.
From your description yours sounds like real MPG issues. Let us know what you find.

ARKNT
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Are your mileage numbers from the dash display or manually calculated after a fill up?
The speedometer is not known to be all that accurate and I would not expect the MPG display to be great either. I haven't checked mine enough to verify much. Also if you have changed the sprocket ratios it may throw off the computer more.
From your description yours sounds like real MPG issues. Let us know what you find.

ARKNT
Yeah I was going off the estimated MPG in the display which I periodically check to try and keep track of things. Besides the accessories visible in the picture I posted, I've not done anything that should alter the performance of my Versys.
 

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Yeah I was going off the estimated MPG in the display which I periodically check to try and keep track of things. Besides the accessories visible in the picture I posted, I've not done anything that should alter the performance of my Versys.
My 650 is new, Euro 5 spec 2022 model. I've had constantly seen since new 4.0L/100km (that converts to 58.8 US mpg) . Riding it hard, it uses 4.1 (both values from the display).
When using actual fuel use vs mileage, that 4.0 is closer to 4.5 L/100km.

LF, has your supplier of fuel had a increase in the blended ethanol ratio ?
With more of the sugar junk stuff, the engine uses more fuel per mile as ethanol is less energy dense that pure unleaded.

Rob.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My 650 is new, Euro 5 spec 2022 model. I've had constantly seen since new 4.0L/100km (that converts to 58.8 US mpg) . Riding it hard, it uses 4.1 (both values from the display).
When using actual fuel use vs mileage, that 4.0 is closer to 4.5 L/100km.

LF, has your supplier of fuel had a increase in the blended ethanol ratio ?
With more of the sugar junk stuff, the engine uses more fuel per mile as ethanol is less energy dense that pure unleaded.

Rob.
I tend to bounce between different gas stations especially given the spike in cost of gas over the past month or two. But as far as I know, the places I go are at the base 10% ethanol mix. I'd try ethanol free if I could find a gas station that sold it. Closest one I know of is south of here about 20 minutes on the interstate.
 
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