Is anything on my dash accurate - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Is anything on my dash accurate

I know that all speedometers are off, so I've learned to use my gps. I understand that the fuel gauge is inaccurate and I set the trip odometer. I can live with the range estimate jumping around by 50+ miles in a matter of seconds. But they can't even correctly calculate the avg mpg? Every time I fill up it tells me my average mpg is ~41 mpg, but when I do the math based on the trip odometer it is really ~33-34. That's quite a difference. This is running 91 octane with Ivan's ECU mod and K&N air filter in stock box.

Bike is still a new to me 2012 Voyager that only had 1800 miles. I've since doubled that and have read some posts saying that mileage will improve a little as the bike gets worn in but I keep seeing people saying that they can get close to 200 miles on a tank.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 10:02 AM
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This brings up an interesting question for me: How does the software work for the bike in determining MPG? My bike is too old for any of that modern stuff. I have to LOOK at the starting and ending odometer readings for distance and the gas pump to see how much I pumped in. Then its pen/paper/calculator time.

I've never really thought about this but how can the bike possibly tell you at all (forget about accuracy, how can it do this at all?)? When you gas up, do you have a routine of buttons to push or data to enter? I don't think I've ever heard anyone talk about something like that before.

Even my pen/paper/calculator method depends on my odometer readings which are off by 5% or so. Your bike MPG readings are off by a lot as compared to what you figure it to be. Does the ECU flash mod mess with that stuff or does this normal inaccuracy come from the manufacturer?

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 10:03 AM
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If I am consistantly running 65 mph or less on the freeway on a full tank and it is flat, I get about 45 mpg both on the dash and doing a calculation at next gas stop. But on road trips out on the flats in MT and WY, that 65 quickly turns into 85 or 90 mph and gas mileage drops way down in the mid to low 30's. 2016 Ivanized but otherwise bone stock Voyager...15K miles.

I'm just kind of used to how far I can go when the FUEL light starts flashing based on how fast I am going. About 1 1/2 gallons left at that point.

Enjoy! And have some Heywards or Gates or Smokestack BBQ for me sometime. We lived for 9 years Gladstone, Grandview and Olathe. Office on College Blvd. OP KS.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roguewar View Post
I know that all speedometers are off, so I've learned to use my gps. I understand that the fuel gauge is inaccurate and I set the trip odometer. I can live with the range estimate jumping around by 50+ miles in a matter of seconds. But they can't even correctly calculate the avg mpg? Every time I fill up it tells me my average mpg is ~41 mpg, but when I do the math based on the trip odometer it is really ~33-34. That's quite a difference. This is running 91 octane with Ivan's ECU mod and K&N air filter in stock box.

Bike is still a new to me 2012 Voyager that only had 1800 miles. I've since doubled that and have read some posts saying that mileage will improve a little as the bike gets worn in but I keep seeing people saying that they can get close to 200 miles on a tank.
The displayed MPG is based on the estimated rate of fuel consumption from moment to moment. The rate of fuel consumption rate is estimated by the ECU based on current conditions, but it is just that, an estimate. If you have any accessories that draw significant power, you will use a bit more gas and ECU will underestimate the amount of gas you are using. If you are a large person, such as myself, it will underestimate the amount of fuel needed for the given engine rpms and gear. Riding in hills vs flats will affect the estimate. Lots of reasons why it is inaccurate. I have yet to see a motorcycle or auto mpg estimate that was anywhere near accurate and most give a significantly higher value than what you are really getting.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 10:20 AM
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Bikes no different than cars displaying the same "calculated mpg".
I'm guessing they are not right on but close. At least my car seems about right.
If you wanted to be sure do the math at fill ups.


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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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I have never actually checked my car's avg mpg since it is less than an issue when I can get 440 miles on a tank. And I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, it's just my sarcastic nature when I look at all of the gauges and readouts that I now have compared to my 900 and got to thinking about how the radio is the only readout that seems to be accurate, lol. Looking forward to putting a lot more miles on the Voyager.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 12:05 PM
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Why does the rate of drawn power by electrical accessories affect MPG?

Chris Cochran
Retired USAF '74 to '95 AMMO
Engine guard with highway pegs
Luggage rack
GPS on RAM handlebar mount
MCCTs replaced ACCTs
Iridium plugs: DPR7EIX-9
Custom made seat (verrry comfortable)
LED turn signals with rear signals relocated
LED license plate holder
Hard mounted Viking saddlebags
Hard mounted fork tool bag (free from Viking)
LED running lights on custom light bar
National Cycles Low Boy Heavy Duty windshield
Home made lowers
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 07:02 PM
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When i got my voyager a little over a year ago i felt the same way and i think its a shame that i have to resort to using my trip gauge to get an accurate miles left in the tank estimate. I did that in the 1970's with my first bike. The estimated miles to empty does jump 30 to 50 constantly and is totally useless. Theirs no excuse for that. I get in the low 40's on mileage so when i put 50 miles on the bike the gas gauge should not show half full, totally useless. 2 gas gauges and both useless. I guess you can see this is something that really aggravates me.
BUT this is why i like my voyager, i looked at a used Indian Roadmaster for $20'000.00 Then a used Harley around $25'000.00 then bought a 1 year old Voyager with 2000 miles on it for $12'200.00. So I'll deal with the little things and know i have a better more dependable motor between my legs when i'm 5 states away from home.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 07:34 PM
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Cool I think

Quote:
Originally Posted by VN750Guy** View Post
Why does the rate of drawn power by electrical accessories affect MPG?
That there is an increased resistance from the alternator. I mean the extra juice has to come from somewhere since " there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" ( Robert Heinlein )

That which does not kill me tends to really piss me off.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 07:41 PM
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Cool just curious

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roguewar View Post
I know that all speedometers are off, so I've learned to use my gps. I understand that the fuel gauge is inaccurate and I set the trip odometer. I can live with the range estimate jumping around by 50+ miles in a matter of seconds. But they can't even correctly calculate the avg mpg? Every time I fill up it tells me my average mpg is ~41 mpg, but when I do the math based on the trip odometer it is really ~33-34. That's quite a difference. This is running 91 octane with Ivan's ECU mod and K&N air filter in stock box.

Bike is still a new to me 2012 Voyager that only had 1800 miles. I've since doubled that and have read some posts saying that mileage will improve a little as the bike gets worn in but I keep seeing people saying that they can get close to 200 miles on a tank.
Since the speedo is off and the distance traveled is an estimate and I find it hard to fill the tank EXACTLY the same each time and even though the gas station pumps read the thousandths of a gallon are they truly accurate? What makes you think that the pen and paper method is accurate ? As long as I have cash or card I am gonna gas up and ride and if for some unexpected reason I do run out of gas then the money I pay AAA won't be wasted...

That which does not kill me tends to really piss me off.
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