Gas Mileage - Again - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 04-11-2013, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Silver City, NM
Posts: 217
Gas Mileage - Again

I guess I'm close to obsessing on this but after a lot of reading I don't see any threads quite like what I need.

When I got my '11 KLR last October the 1st few tankfuls gave me right at 50 mpg in all kinds of riding - mostly mixed street and highway.

I then installed the JD Jetting kit and followed their directions for the 6,000 ft elevation I live at. The bike has noticeably more power and seems a little smoother but now I get huge mileage swings.

I 1st emailed JD about it and they confirmed I'd done it right. A couple of weeks later I called them and talked to a different guy and he agreed with the 1st.

I'm running the 160 main with red needle in 2nd from top groove and the slide drilled.

The reason I'm beating my head against the wall is that when I rode to Benson, AZ a few weeks ago I went 55 - 60 for the 1st 50 miles (speed limit) and then 75 - 80 on I-10 for the final 100 miles to Benson. It gave me 40 mpg. That ride goes more or less steadily downhill from 6,000 ft to about 2,500 ft.

On the way home I held speed to ~65 mph and it gave me 44 mpg.

What's really got me going is that I've made 2 local loop trips lately - the 1st was 55 - 60 mph for about 20 miles, then 20 - 45 for about 35 miles and 20 - 40 mph on the homeward leg. On that trip it gave me 59 mpg.

Last week I made a loop the other way - went out Hwy 152 to the Mimbres turn-off but instead of going left, I turned right toward City of Rocks. That one I ran about 40 miles at ~45 - 55 till I hit Hwy 180, then booted it up to the 65 speed limit for about 10 miles and 55 for the final 10 miles home. That ride gave me 57 mpg on a total run of 81 miles. Average speed was quite a bit higher than on the 1st run. Seems like 60 mph is the change-over point where it starts drinking lots more fuel.

I fully realize and understand that more speed (power) is going to drink more gas........but nearly 30% more with only about a 10 mph speed difference ?? Almost 20 mpg difference ?? Just doesn't seem right to me.

What do you guys think ?? JD has been fair and patient with me but I hate to keep badgering them.

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post #2 of 31 Old 04-11-2013, 05:16 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Eastern Alberta
Posts: 216
Motorcycles especially KLR style bikes do not have very good aero efficiency. Short length, big frontal area, bumpy sides, rider sticking up in the wind, no boat tail streamling etc

Power (fuel) to overcome aero loads goes up exponentially as speed increases.

i.e. a KLR doesn't use 50% of it's power to get to 50mph then 50% more to get to 100mph in a linear fashion.

My mileage changes a lot between cruise at 50mph and cruise at 80mph.

I have JD's jet kit too so if it ever stops snowing here so I can take some tank and a half rides I'll note the mpg and let you know.
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post #3 of 31 Old 04-11-2013, 05:44 AM
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Location: North Texas
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Too many variables to consider besides speed.

Bike set up. Side bags/cases, top case, loaded/unloaded, windshield stock/aftermarket, tire type/pressure.

Environment. Temp/humidity, uphill/downhill/grade, road surface/smooth/rough/gravel/dirt/rocky, wind direction/speed.

Fuel. Octane rating/ethanol/non-ethanol/percent of ethanol/water contamination/accuracy of pump.

Were you consistent filling up at a certain mileage/running to reserve/mileage by stock odo or gps? Filling up and checking in short bursts will give a lot of variation.

What is your overall mpg by adding it all up over a longer period?

Gray-haired riders don’t get that way from pure luck.

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post #4 of 31 Old 04-11-2013, 09:30 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Pefferlaw,Ontario
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From what I can figure, you are getting some great mileages from your bike...imho. I can't say anything except do a tank full and then state what the overall distance is rather than these short rides as others have suggested also. I have only ever go 50 plus miles per gal when I first got my 04 before tinkering with I'm always below the 50 mark......I get anywhere from 40-50 over a tank full depending upon if I ride it at the speed limit and consciously think about trying to get 50 without camping equipment etc....or fully loaded on an adventure. The just normally riding around without thinking about it.....but I'm far beyond a stock bike.......seriuosly it's not worth worrying that much are getting great mileages IMHO.

I have heard of some getting some how the 60 number, but I just don't see how...they must be trailering

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post #5 of 31 Old 04-11-2013, 09:41 AM
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I agree with flash. Here's a chart of my mpg over the last 11,000 miles.


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post #6 of 31 Old 04-11-2013, 01:46 PM
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Location: Indiana/ Michigan line at the Lake
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I'm nearly 50 mpg every tank.
Stock modified (no jet kit) carb.
Did the .22, 150 main, stock low,
and the screw is out almost 2 turns.

Whether beating or babying it, on road
gets 50 mpg per tank. That is combining a
few 90 mph runs along with lazy 45mph country cruising.

It gets a little thirsty offroading which is totally
expected never getting above 2nd gear for any
length of time.

Just an average rider's results on a very common setup.

Have fun no matter how and where ya ride,

This is my son, with whom I am well pleased." ----God
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post #7 of 31 Old 04-24-2013, 10:32 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Going to put my first tank of fuel back in my bike since I have owned it. Wondering what fuel mileage I got also. Hope over 40 but we will see. That KLR has to haul around alot of weight with me behind the bars... lol...
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post #8 of 31 Old 04-24-2013, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Silver City, NM
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Originally Posted by CheapBassTurd View Post
I'm nearly 50 mpg every tank.
Stock modified (no jet kit) carb.
Did the .22, 150 main, stock low,
and the screw is out almost 2 turns.

I hate to say this, but I may just backtrack, eat that fancy kit and try the .22 cent mod. I do have a 150 jet in the shop. I was getting a consistent 50 mpg before putting it in and now mileage varies all over the place - tho' I do hafta say the performance is better.

A few days ago I went part way around the City of Rocks loop to check out some stuff and on the way home I noticed the trip odo turning 200 miles - 20 miles from home.

If I've been getting 40 mpg with this tank full, just normal varied riding around town and local highways, then I'd be about out of gas. If I've been getting 50, then no sweat. A while ago I made a dip stick out of ¼" dowel, so stopped in Bayard to dip the tank. 6" of gas showing on the stick, so I was relieved - esp when I realized I'd left my wallet at home..................Lar.
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post #9 of 31 Old 04-25-2013, 12:33 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Lac La Biche Alberta Canada
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Hi Lar!
Keep in mind that JD does not use the same numbering system on their jets that Kawasaki uses. Is the spare 150 you have a JD or Kawi jet?
Just a heads up!

It's not a Tractor....It's a LOCOMOTIVE!! Chugga Chugga
Woooo WOOOOO!!!!!
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post #10 of 31 Old 04-25-2013, 08:23 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Pefferlaw,Ontario
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If it's a KLX kit just swap out that 150 and go down to a 145 and move the clip on the needle to the 3rd position, turn the pilot jet to 2 1/8 turns out and see what you get. IF it's a DJ kit, sorry I don't know anything about their numbers. BUT, the KLX kits are completely adjustable and 99% of use know about those settings better than DJ kits. Sorry.
The other thing would be to lower the needle if it is adjustable which I think it is on clip and see what happens? Did the kit come with multiple jets numbers? If so, drop the main down one size before moving the needle clip.

If you do take the kit out, sell it on Fleabay, someone will snap it up. Then go get the KLX kit......which should unless you have engine mods like me get you the 50MPG back again. I run in the mid 40's even with the larger FCR flatslide carb.

Hope this helps.......

Sorry just reread the first post....sell it off....start again.....

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