fuelly: what MPG do you get on your bike? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-19-2012, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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fuelly: what MPG do you get on your bike?

I was looking around for info on other bikes that I'm looking at and I decided to look up my current bike and noticed that there is hardly any information for the VN900B.

http://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/kaw...0900%20classic

Only:
3 submissions for the Classic
14 for Custom
9 for Classic LT


That's kind of sad, you guys should submit info so there is more info on the classic.

-Jeff
Southwest Florida

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 02:00 AM
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Won't be riding again for a few days due to weather rolling through, but I'll start doing that! My averages are usually mid 50's.

The thing about motorcycle fuel economy though, it's SO independent. Motorcycle are affected by so many variables at some amplified levels compared to cars. For example, in a 4-door sedan, your gas mileage is gonna be the same whether you weight 95 pounds, or way 295 pounds. I've talked to guys who own 900's who barely break 40mpg, I myself get closer to 60, I once talked to a guy who had a tank average 74mpg!! It really depends on you, your riding style, and what you've got on your bike.

What I've learned about the fuel economy on the 900:

Speed is a big factor. The way the 900 is geared, it seems to be geared for 60mph in 5th gear is it's 'sweet spot', so speeds over that are revving ABOVE the 'sweet spot', not to the point of over-revving or anything like that, but it does start to run a little quicker than a lazy thump. The most efficient the bike runs is probably in the 40~55mph range (which is the way most cars are actually- there have been a lot of lab test of fuel use and the vast majority of vehicles had the best fuel mileage running around 40mph, wind resistance is a big deal) It starts to get ALOT worse about 65mph. For example, I rode a 4 hour trip down to southwest, MO a while back, 2 up, averaging about 50~52mpg running 65mph the whole way. On the way back, it got ALOT colder than predicted, and I was getting COLD. I ran it at about 75 on the way home, sometimes closer to 80, when I got gas halfway I was only averaging 39mpg. Makes a BIG difference! So if you are wanting to save gas, take the 55mph state highways, or run 65 on the interstate where it's safe to do so (Sometimes it's not in those big city areas, you'll get run over...)

I lose a couple miles per gallon when I have the windshield and lowers on, it's a lot more wind resistance. But, even in the summer I ride with them. I don't like the pressure on my chest and it makes my riding jacket ride up, I don't mind the extra gallon of gas per week or whatever. Two up cuts into it too but my passenger doesn't weight much at all, I think it has more to do with the fact that she sits up above me a little, again, adding to the drag. Talk to sportbike guys, those Ninja 250's are known to get 100mpg when the riders go easy on them and tuck in, wind resistance is everything!

acceleration makes a big difference too. Seems like once that engine hits 4k RPM's or so it starts to suck that gas hard. Shifting early and accelerating slowly (where practical and safe) seem to bump it up closer to 60. I usually get right at 62 commuting 1 up on a 55mph road that's a little hilly, but not bad. I shift early, accelerate probably just as fast as I do in my car but not any faster (unless there are cars behind me), and don't go above 55. Last summer I ran it without the windshield (I didn't have the lowers yet and the buffeting was killing me) and had a couple tanks averaging 65.

Finally, the biggest thing I learned about motorcycle fuel economy on my new bike: It doesn't matter! haha!

Okay, sort of kidding, but I have to admit, when I first bought the bike my thoughts were "Oh great, good gas mileage, I can save some money on my commute". While that's true, once I throw my leg over it, fuel economy is the last thing on my mind. I ride easy and sensibly because that's safer and that's what I prefer anyway, BUT, I gotta tell ya, once I fire her up, I could care less if she was getting 12mpg. Originally I was steered away from a bigger bike because of fuel mileage, but I'm starting to think that doesn't matter to me anymore. (Although I still don't think I'll go with a bigger bike, m '9 has yet to feel small to me! It's nimble and handles everything I throw at it, of course, I'm content to glide along at 65 so, I'm easier to please than most)

-John

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

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Last edited by Romans5.8; 01-20-2012 at 02:05 AM.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
acceleration makes a big difference too. Seems like once that engine hits 4k RPM's or so it starts to suck that gas hard. Shifting early and accelerating slowly (where practical and safe) seem to bump it up closer to 60. I usually get right at 62 commuting 1 up on a 55mph road that's a little hilly, but not bad. I shift early, accelerate probably just as fast as I do in my car but not any faster (unless there are cars behind me), and don't go above 55. Last summer I ran it without the windshield (I didn't have the lowers yet and the buffeting was killing me) and had a couple tanks averaging 65.

Finally, the biggest thing I learned about motorcycle fuel economy on my new bike: It doesn't matter! haha!

-John
I agree with most everything John says, but particularly this part. I have the scootworks rear pulley and a 200 rear tire and *still* get same effect when the tach hits and passes 4k. It really starts sucking the gas at 4k.

The only thing I can't verify is the mpg at 65mph. I'm incapable of restraining myself to that speed.

ride safe

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 08:33 AM
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I signed up for fuelly. I think its an interesting concept. I am going to use it for my truck and the bike. Once this stretch of weather passes I will get out on the bike and start logging some miles.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 10:04 AM
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It's really hard to say what kind of gas mileage a bike gets because too many different things affect fuel economy. Most of them have been mentioned here. I'd like to add that your tire pressures can either improve or decrease you gas mileage. One of the biggest mistakes a lot folks make is lugging the engine. Going too slow in too high a gear makes the engine work too hard and causes it to burn more fuel. I know a lot of cruiser riders like to short shift so as to get the best auditory experience from the pipes, but it kills the mpg's.

I also ride a GL1800 Gold Wing, and in the mountains I actually get great gas mileage. There is a 38 mile piece of Hwy 21, north of Boise that goes up to 6100 feet in two different places, and a lot lower than that in many others. It is a tight, twisty road. i normally run that 38 miles in 2d and 3d gears, and I routinely get41--44 mpg! I get less if I do it in higher gears. Keep the engine in its power curve and it'll be happy. I haven't had a chance to do a lot of riding on my 900 Classic, but, with a windshield, lowers and engine guard chaps, I get at least 50--52 mpg on the highway. We tend to keep to the 2-lanes, anyway. In town I get about 45 mpg. When the weather warms up, I suspect the fuel economy will improve. But as it was earlier posted, it's not all about economy, anyway.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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of course all that plays a factor.... but with enough data others can see the range that the bikes get. That's the whole point behind the feully site. get enough data so that people can make an informed decision or at least know what a product is capable of.

-Jeff
Southwest Florida

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad46 View Post
It's really hard to say what kind of gas mileage a bike gets because too many different things affect fuel economy. Most of them have been mentioned here. I'd like to add that your tire pressures can either improve or decrease you gas mileage. One of the biggest mistakes a lot folks make is lugging the engine. Going too slow in too high a gear makes the engine work too hard and causes it to burn more fuel. I know a lot of cruiser riders like to short shift so as to get the best auditory experience from the pipes, but it kills the mpg's.

I also ride a GL1800 Gold Wing, and in the mountains I actually get great gas mileage. There is a 38 mile piece of Hwy 21, north of Boise that goes up to 6100 feet in two different places, and a lot lower than that in many others. It is a tight, twisty road. i normally run that 38 miles in 2d and 3d gears, and I routinely get41--44 mpg! I get less if I do it in higher gears. Keep the engine in its power curve and it'll be happy. I haven't had a chance to do a lot of riding on my 900 Classic, but, with a windshield, lowers and engine guard chaps, I get at least 50--52 mpg on the highway. We tend to keep to the 2-lanes, anyway. In town I get about 45 mpg. When the weather warms up, I suspect the fuel economy will improve. But as it was earlier posted, it's not all about economy, anyway.

I think you are right there. I tend to not RUN in 5th gear until 50~55 mph, and shift every 10mph, starting at 20mph, so it looks like this

1 -0-20
2 -20-30
3 -30-40
4 -40-50
5 -50+

Doing it like this seems to give it enough power that I don't lug it but run low enough it's efficient. I have stock pipes so honestly you don't hear much anyway. I don't know if that's the best pattern to shift at either but it works for me and keeps me in the 60's

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)

Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 06:41 PM
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I've only had my 900 for little over a month best so far was 54 worse was 45

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 09:43 PM
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I've had mine for 7 months now, and averaging 52-54mpg. Only engine mods have been a complete debaffle & K&N filter (stock airbox). I tend to shift much like above 1 gear every 10mph. Plenty of power and torque.

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 09:45 PM
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I consistently get between 47 - 52 mpg. I often jump on the freeway and those numbers don't seem to change no matter how I ride.

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