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Author Topic: Fuel Efficiency  (Read 707 times)

young gun

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Fuel Efficiency
« on: June 10, 2013, 04:49:32 AM »
Hi all,

As some know I have a 2006 Bullet 500 Deluxe Iron Barrel. I've just put on an Ace Air cannister and much to my enjoyment its added a new life to the bike. Its revvy, its fun, its pokey BUT...my fuel efficiency is terrible. Now to be clear, it was terrible before the Ace Air cannister filter so I am not going to blame that. How bad, I get about 170km (105 miles) to a tank (11L). At 1st I just kept on thinking the bike was giving me uphill as it was really struggling to start today. Its 5 degrees out so I expected it but it was really giving me issues. In desperation I switched over to reserve, and it started up, no issues no fuss. I feel terrible because I was blaming the bike, turned out it was just me being an idiot.

Is this the standard kind of fuel consumption I should be expecting? Tbh I expected better, I was hoping to get about 400km to a tank, 170kms is way short of that?

ace.cafe

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2013, 07:03:37 AM »
If the bike is well tuned, it should give about 75 miles to the US gallon on "highway riding" which for a stock bike would be on a clear open road at about 85- 90 km/h.
That's about 31-32 kilometers per liter.

However, most Bullets are not optimally tuned, and often will yield about 80% of that figure. This is probably the most common fuel usage figure, around 60 miles per US gallon, or about 25-26 kilometers per liter.

So, for an average Bullet, you could expect probably around 200-250 miles to a tank full(11 liters) of fuel. On a perfectly tuned Fireball 535 like Chumma rides, he gets 262 miles on a 11 liter tankful before reserve, and he's riding on the highway at 70-75 mph and gets that amount of fuel economy.

So, to get a proper baseline, do a fuel economy run consisting of filling up to the top, then riding on an open road for at least an hour, and then fill up and see how much fuel it used. Then you can make changes and test periodically to see how the changes have affected the fuel economy.

One of the most directly beneficial ways to improve fuel economy is to increase the compression ratio, and tune to suit. Of course, that would come after you have removed the intake and exhaust flow restrictions, which you have already been working on. While it is commonly assumed that performance modification yields lower fuel economy, that is not always the case.



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High On Octane

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2013, 09:38:46 AM »
Ace is right on point, as usual.    ;)  Fuel economy is fully and directly related to the tuning of the bike, the carb in particular.  A grossly rich condition will kill your fuel economy, while a lean condition will give great fuel economy.  But you HAVE to figure out the correct settings for your bike.  Running rich won't likely damage your engine, but will cause spark plugs to fail prematurely and as stated kill your fuel economy.  Running too lean will make you think your bike is running super, but you will more than likely burn a hole in your piston top, requiring an engine overhaul.

Do your baseline run like Ace said and see where you're at.  Then I would start looking at your carb settings and figure out what you need to do to get your carb leaned out.  But be careful not to run too lean.  Also, keep a close eye on your spark plug as you're making changes to see if you're rich, lean or right where you need to be.  Basically, you should be checking/cleaning your spark plug after every change you make.  This is to make sure you are not running a dangerous condition that can cause engine failure.  Do a forum search for "plug chops".  It will tell you what steps to take and how to diagnose and how to correct your problems.

Scottie


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1958 RE/Indian Trailblazer 711cc

young gun

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2013, 01:46:19 AM »
Hmmm, I'm hitting about 40% of that number do my bike is excessively heavy on fuel?! What could be the cause of that? I'm just running it too rich maybe?

ace.cafe

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2013, 05:37:52 AM »
Hmmm, I'm hitting about 40% of that number do my bike is excessively heavy on fuel?! What could be the cause of that? I'm just running it too rich maybe?

Jetting might be the cause of some of it, but running 40% lower fuel economy is probably due to other things too.
City driving kills fuel economy.
Hills, accelerations, and any riding which needs large throttle openings can use more fuel than usual.
If you can do a plug chop at around the riding speed and gear that you spend the most time at, this will give a good indication about it. Most riding is typically done on the needle jet, so I might venture a guess that any rich condition might be there. But, as I said, it's unlikely that you are jetted 40% rich, so there is probably some other factor involved.
Home of the ACE Fireball 535 Bullet,  and the Joe Mondello Signature cylinder head for the Bullet.

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young gun

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 08:14:37 AM »
90% of my riding is peak hour traffic with lots of up and down hills. I ride 16kms a day and that takes me around 40 minutes. I know the guy that serviced the bike adjusted the carb to run a little richer (which I agree with, the bike was way to lean before) but even so, it was heavy on fuel before it went in. I'll carry on riding it and see what happens. This will only be my 3rd full up since I got the bike :D

ace.cafe

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 09:09:03 AM »
90% of my riding is peak hour traffic with lots of up and down hills. I ride 16kms a day and that takes me around 40 minutes. I know the guy that serviced the bike adjusted the carb to run a little richer (which I agree with, the bike was way to lean before) but even so, it was heavy on fuel before it went in. I'll carry on riding it and see what happens. This will only be my 3rd full up since I got the bike :D
That kind of riding conditions will definitely account for poor fuel economy.
Home of the ACE Fireball 535 Bullet,  and the Joe Mondello Signature cylinder head for the Bullet.

Please visit my new website:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/AcePerformanceBullets/

young gun

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2013, 06:57:25 AM »
It sure is zippy though :)

young gun

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2013, 02:40:16 PM »
Okie dokie, so after a few months the bike has settled in and it's giving me an average of 5.9l/100km. Converted for those across the ocean and it's 1.55gal/62.13mi. By my estimation it's pretty good and where I should be sitting, that's also in 100% peak traffic. It never goes on the highway.

So happiness :)
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 03:01:17 PM by young gun »

cyrusb

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2013, 03:54:29 PM »
I see you found the huge reserve. Kind of unnecessary in the first world. I pulled the valve out and trimmed the tube to about half it's original height. That leaves about 3 quarts in reserve. Much better main to reserve ratio. I think mine used to go on reserve at like 120 miles.

mrunderhill1975a

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2013, 10:14:47 PM »
I can tell you my experience with fuel economy.  I was getting about 1.5 gal/60 miles earlier this year.  I then took off the exhaust and cleaned it first with about 1 gallon of "Simple Green" household cleaner, I left the simple green in the exhaust and silencer for about 23 hours.  After rinsing this out along with a lot of black goop, the economy improved about 30%.  Later on in the summer, I purchased plastic face shield, rubber gloves, rubber smock and one gallon of "Zep" industrial NaOH caustic solution from the hardware store.  I put the gallon of this caustic in the exhaust and silencer, left it for about an hour and poured out more black goop.
Please note that I added caustic to water and not the other way, as that would cause  boiling and splashing of the caustic.
Currently, I am getting about 1gallon/60 miles.

young gun

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2013, 11:37:03 PM »
Thanks for the tip mrunderhill! I'm looking to buy a new pipe in the foreseeable future once life stops throwing curve balls :D

D the D

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2013, 07:29:57 PM »
Adding the Ace Canister didn't change my mileage at all and I put on a TM-32 Flatslide at the same time.  Once dialed in, which was quick because of everyone posting their jet numbers, mileage was just as good as before.
'07 Iron Barrel Military (Deceased 14 September, 2013)
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young gun

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Re: Fuel Efficiency
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2013, 02:24:31 PM »
Haven't cleaned out the exhaust yet but the economy is slowly getting better, will look at getting new exhaust in the new year.