Improving MPG - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 04-11-2012, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Improving MPG

I would like to talk about improving mpg on my 2011 KLR650. I know alot of us get a few miles difference in MPG depending on comute riding and wieght, but what else can be done? For example does higher octane increase MPG on our machines? Are valve tolerances that big a deal on a new bike I am at 1200 miles. I am gentle on the throtle and shift arround 3300-3500 rpms and try to cruise at 2800 or so are there better techniques? Let me hear from you Gentleman, I anxiously await any input as I am chasing the fabled 66 MPG
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post #2 of 37 Old 04-11-2012, 01:00 PM
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I, too, have a 2011 KLR650 with around 1000 miles. I was hoping to get around 55 mpg when I got it but have only been seeing around 46 - 47 at best. Not as good as I had hoped but I'll take what I can get. 45 mpg is still 3 times what my car gets.

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post #3 of 37 Old 04-11-2012, 01:01 PM
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First off, you are still pretty well in the break-in period.

If all you want is mileage, you might try running street tires, it should help.

Mileage will also increase as the temperatures come up. Not sure if you guys are still running winter fuel or not, but I always see about a 10% difference in mileage between winter blends and rest of the time fuel blends. I've seen 55-60 on a few tanks, usually on long trips at fairly low speeds. I get better mileage driving through DC with traffic than I do on my normal 65+MPH highway commute.

Normally with summer blend and running a full DOT knobbie, exhaust, and jetting, I'm seeing between 45-50. Revs are usually around 4500.

Interestingly enough, I almost always get better than Kawi's rating on my 09 Concours 14 by a couple MPG, but I'm usually quite a few MPG shy on the KLR.
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post #4 of 37 Old 04-11-2012, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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I have heard about the fuel thing alot lately, guess I will just keep records, the MPG has gone from 1st tank 45 MPG to 47.5 on the 6th tank now on 7th! So I guess I am very new to breaking in the bike.
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post #5 of 37 Old 04-11-2012, 01:29 PM
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Once a bike is in motion, it takes about 15 horsepower to keep it rolling. That's a very rough figure. Most of the power required is to overcome aerodynamic drag first, and rolling resistance second.

Probably the best way to get better mileage is to, as thetable suggests, switch to a smooth tire and then address aerodynamic issues. Saddle bags, top boxes, nerf bar bags, and being a physically large person all contribute greatly to drag.

There's not much we can do about our physical size, but running without the bags and boxes whenever possible will help.

I would suspect that those reporting mileage in the 50s and up aren't north of 6' tall and much over 200 pounds, run the bike pretty naked, and are easy on the throttle.

I'm a Clydesdale, run saddle bags, nerf bar bags, a top bag, and road it like I stole it. My mileage is averaging 43mpg. The best I've ever gotten was 52mpg, which was downhill with a tailwind.

For an easy way to track your mileage, check out www.fuelly.com

Tom

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 04-11-2012 at 01:31 PM.
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post #6 of 37 Old 04-11-2012, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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So what I have so far concerning MPG is that the available fuel changes, better gas in the summer. Tempature and altitude are a factor(I live in cold Washington state). Tires that are 50/50 may add drag. Oh and break in period.

What about oil type, fuel grade 87 vs 92 and do these bikes have chips in them ( I know they dont) but has anyone experimented with the carb for MPG?
CHASSING THE FABLED 66 MPG for the 2011 KLR 650!
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post #7 of 37 Old 04-11-2012, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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I am in the same boat but a little easier on the throttle, I am 6'5" 245 full dress on the bike (ammo cans) and nerf bars. The cans wiegh in at 20lbs a piece. I can get 45 all day, off road maybe down to 43. I accept this and for what I am hearing I agree, about the drag issue. But how can or is it possible to compensate for a few extra mpg? I do ride with the ammo panniers off most times, I am just a little obsessed with that 66 MPG. :P
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post #8 of 37 Old 04-11-2012, 01:45 PM
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You might find this interesting.

T

Tom [email protected]

“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.
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post #9 of 37 Old 04-11-2012, 01:47 PM
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i average 50 mpg every time i fill up whether its highway or in town. im cool with that.

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post #10 of 37 Old 04-11-2012, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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How many of you guys go with 87 octane fuel vs 92?
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