Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have owned my GL1500 SE for about three months. During this time I have completely tuned up the bike and fixed some minor problems. I have also taken two trips of over one thousand miles each and have had one nagging problem, that being poor gas milage. I am currently getting approx. 36 mph when I drive the bike at freeway speeds of 70 to 75 mph. The mileage drops to 32 mph when I drive at 85 mph on some of the desert crossing and down to 28 mpg at 95 to 105 mph on some of the empty stretches of US 50. At the 28 mph I am restricted to a range of 150 miles before the red light comes on. Even at the 36 mpg I can only go 190 miles before the light appears. This is causing me concern since I cover this distance in a little over two hours and on many of the roads out west gas stations can be a rare commodity.

Some background: prior to owning the Goldwing I owned a ST1300 ABS. This bike routinely got over 45 mph when driven at 85 + mph. I purchased the Goldwing since due to knee problems I can no longer ride in the sport riding position. I have many years of driving experience and high speeds do not bother me so please do not preach about driving too fast. The Goldwing is rock solid at 95 + mph and what is even more surprising after a slight lag at about 85 mpg this thing really wants to get up and go. In many areas in the west the Highway Patrol will not bother you for this speed and in the past I have been past by them doing over 90 mph.

Back to the issue: I have researched the issue on other pages and my mileage seems about normal for a Goldwing except for one gentleman who claims to get over 40 mpg but does not explain how. This means making some modification to get better mileage. On the ST1100 I was able to improve gas mileage by around 7% by going to radial tires. I can not find information on radial tires for the 1500. Has anyone made the switch? and if so to what tire? Has anyone modified the exhaust to get an increase in power without additional noise? Any increase in power should relate to better gas mileage. I do not want to strip the bike since I like the look and need the luggage space. Any help would be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,795 Posts
-65mph is the top speed you should be going, above which your milage will drop dramatically. This is due to to the 1500 having the Aerodynamics of a flying barn.
-At 65 mph, you can expect 35-40mpg depending largly upon your riding style, wind conditions, and altitude.
-You can get up to 50mpg (FIFTY) at high elevations
-A heavy throttle hand (eg Hard accelerations) is the worst, in terms of reducing your mpg... Be gentle, and you'll get a reliable 35-40mpg for highway riding.
-When your Low Fuel Light first comes on, you have 1/2-gallon of gas remaining... which is typically enough for another 20 miles.
-I typically go 210 miles per tank (while still having the 1/2 gal reserve remaining), for my highway commuting.


There's really not much you can do in terms of hardware changes, to increase mpg:
-Use proper (41psi front/rear) tire pressure
-Verify brakes not dragging when not in use
-My mpg went from 35 to 40 after switching from the stock radial rear tire, to the radial... dunno why, perhaps less rolling resistance; it's not worth the effort though, as this radial is as rare as hen's teeth to find.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,795 Posts
I...Has anyone modified the exhaust to get an increase in power without additional noise? Any increase in power should relate to better gas mileage. I do not want to strip the bike since I like the look and need the luggage space. Any help would be appreciated.
> Don't bother... the weight change won't make much difference to mpg... Even when I pull a loaded trailer 2-up, my milage only drops about 5mpg (eg from 40 to 35, at 65 mph).

> There's no Exhaust Mod that will improve your mpg ...typically the Opposite would be the case, as when one changes the exhaust it typically goes hand-in-hand with re-jetting the carbs to make them use even more fuel.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,828 Posts
My 1500 averages about 40 or 41 on the highway with the cruise set at 60. I take a trip of 80 miles (100% highway) and check it precisely just for fun mostly. I did discover something. The cruise hurts your fuel mileage. I noticed that the cruise is just a little more aggressive on the throttle (yes the cables are adjusted) than I would be. I decided to just not use the cruise. I held just as steady as can be and when necessary roll slowly in to the throttle by hand. I gained about 4 MPG. I think the results are accurate as I filled up right to the brim at a certain pump. Made the trip then filled to the brim at the exact same pump parked the same way. I know it is not practical to drive like that but like I said it was just for curiosity sake. I'm sure Honda has to sort of compromise when they engineer the cruise. If it is too Conservative they might get complaints that it won't hold speed on inclines. Too aggressive would be aggravating to use. I'd be interested to hear if anyone is as crazy as me and tried anything like that?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
445 Posts
My GL 1500 gets 25-29 in town and 35-41 on the hwy. Speed does hurt your mpg as does going over 3k RPMS. These bikes are not built to get 50+mpg's. I fill up every 200 miles. Allows me to stretch my legs and get some feeling in my butt.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,091 Posts
On my '99 I average 42mpg but I rarely go over 60mph. I did get as high as 50mpg ONCE. Allow me to preach about driving too fast...........
Oh and I tried the cruise control a couple of times but don't like it. I can feel the bike lurching and slowing - not a good way to get high mileage. I'd rather be in control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for your replies.

The Goldwing is advertized as a cruiser. This means it is meant to cover distances. While getting 40 mpg at 60 mph is nice it is simply not practical if you want to go somewhere. Less than 70 mph on any CA. Freeway will get you killed by cars and trucks trying to pass. You can not use the carpool lanes at less than 75 mph without causing a traffic jam. Less than 75 mph on the Interstate 15 or US 395 means that you will get run over. If I remember correctly the Motorcycle School approved by the Highway Patrol recommends that you should drive approx. 3-5 miles faster than the prevailing traffic so you are the one doing the passing not the one being passed. Crash at 60 mph and crash at 85 mph will give you the same results. So the question remains how do we get better mileage at cruising speeds?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
I always ride my bike about 5 mph over the posted speed limit unless it gets too twisty or if road conditions are bad. I call that the real speed limit. Up here in the Northwest the super slab (interstate) has speed limits of 60 to 75 mph. Now I avoid the super slab because it so boring. I like to ride the highways were the roads are twisty. I like to control my speed with the throttle only, if possible, so I run with high RPM on the downhill twisties. Some will tell you to keep your RPM under 3000. I like to live so I ignore this advice. I ride with the RPM up where I feel safe based on road conditions. I live by the adage "When in doubt keep the RPM up." I ride 2 up with my wife so I would say 350 lbs with the saddle bags and trunk packed. I would say I’m a rather aggressive rider with load.

I record my mileage at every fill up. The last time I averaged it out I’m getting 38 mpg on regular gas. Based on my riding stile I would be happy with anything over 35 mpg.

Now if you search this forum you will find posts from me where that wasn’t always the case. I was as low as 25 mpg when I first bought the bike used. What did I do? First I checked all the vacuum valves. I found that the ones attached to the sub air filter that go to the carb were leaking so I replaced them. I rebuilt the carbs. In the process of doing that I found that the choke mech on one of the sides was not working properly so the choke on that side was on all the time at least a little bit. The spark plugs showed that I was running rich on that side. I balanced the carbs. Finally, when I bought the bike it came with a large windshield that had a forward facing curve at the top lip. I cut that windshield down removing that upper lip. Now I look over the top of the windshield when I ride which I prefer.

I hope that helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
I also came from a ST 1300. I also liked the 45 mpg at high speeds. The ST has a smaller motor, less area to cut through the wind, and less weight. The ST also has fuel injection vs. a carb for the wing. From what others have said in this post, 35-40 mpg is about all you are going to get out of a 1500 wing at the speeds we need to drive here in So Cal. I just checked my mileage from a bunch of trips on the 210 this week. 37 mpg and my light would come on at 190 miles. It is just the way it is at the speeds we have to travel to keep up with traffic. I figure it is a wash between the mileage of the ST vs. the Wing. The ST takes premium at 20-30 cents a gallon more than the price of regular gas for the wing. So the cost is about the same to fill the bike. You just no not have the range of the extra 1.5 gallons that we had with the ST.
After 9 months with the wing, I am used to filling up every 200 miles. You just have to plan out your stops a little sooner that you did on the ST.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
Thank you for your replies.

The Goldwing is advertized as a cruiser. This means it is meant to cover distances. While getting 40 mpg at 60 mph is nice it is simply not practical if you want to go somewhere. Less than 70 mph on any CA. So the question remains how do we get better mileage at cruising speeds?
The 'Wing is advertised and sold as a Tourer and nothing on the road does it better. It sounds like your mileage is within normal limits for the bike you have. At 65-70 running the cruise control much of the time I average around 40 mpg. Moving up the speedo to circa 70-75 I can expect a 5 mpg drop. I'd love to see the 40s up towards 80 mph...but that just doesn't happen. Pushing a not-so-aerodynamic 1000+ pounds (with rider) through the air exacts its toll at the gas pump.

I'm not sure what bike will get the economy you need at the speeds you want to travel...but you will have to leave the comfort of a Goldwing behind to find it.

Best of luck with your quest...let us know how it works out.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
486 Posts
Mpg

A couple things.

Gas gauges are really bad. Also, the "feed me Seymour" light may mean a different amount in every bike or may not work at all so keeping a good history will allow you to better estimate when you need to stop. Based on your post, I would recommend a spare gallon can.

GL1500 speedometers are off which means odometer is off. This only matters when comparing to other bikes. Comparing to yourself over time won't make a difference. However, I found that the rear BattleAx mounted up front (correct size of course) was just enough bigger to correct most of the error.

When I change from the oversize Markland touring windshield to the Tulsa, my average MPG jumps by 5%.

When I changed to the Austone rear tire, my MPG jumped another 8%.

I am running K&N air filter, NAPA fuel filter, Mobil 1 10W-40 oil (not energy conserving), Bosch plugs, Mobil 1 rear differential lube. Front tire is 50psig and rear is 40psig.

I am checking every fill up. Back & forth to work with some highway, some twisties and some in-town stop & go traffic I get 42-44 all the time. I did a 300 mile trip today thru the mountains, backroads small towns, up and down speed and got a real 50mpg. This is typical for me on these runs. I don't do it often but a steady slab run at 70-75 mph will get me 38.

As mentioned by others, get to fifth as soon as you can. Run 87 octane. Seafoam or Techron once a month or so.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28,832 Posts
You know if you really want the extra milage they sell a extra 4 gallon gas tank that goes in your saddlebag it even has a fuel pump that when you turn the switch on puts the gas into your bikes gas tank.
I have found that my 1996 Wing gets 42 mpg when the cruise is set to 3000 rpm which is 67 miles per hour set by radar detector not the speedometer. One of my friends is a State Policeman. Now the cruise wasn't that nice when I bought it but replacing all the hoses associated with the cruise control and Tie-Wrapping all the connections makes one hell of a difference. Let me repeat that in most cases Honda just sticks the hoses on so tie wrap them it reduces vaccuum leaks. I have heard people who swear by those pony tanks but its up to you do you need all the space in the saddle bags or do you need the miles...
 

·
killer driller
Joined
·
781 Posts
I can get 41mpg if I keep the rpm's at 3000, unfortunately I like to ride fast so I rarely see this kind of mileage out of my 1500,but my 1200 is a different beast, my wife and I took it to Daytona and I averaged 75 to 85 mph and I averaged 43 mpg on the trip, on one tank I saw 50 mpg. Not quite the ride of the 1500 but still a better bike than most.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
593 Posts
36 mpg at an indicated 68 mph for most of the 17 mile trip to work. That is a strong average over many miles. Trailering puts me down to 33 mpg. I go about 290 lbs so like 2 up for some. Took a real nice ride through the Blueridge Parkway, the speed limit is always 45 mph or less. I averaged just under 45 mpg with a trailer lightly loaded.

I might try the radials but I know they won't make the difference between 36 mpg and 40+ at indicated 68mph. I read on one of the forums a while ago that someone found improvement after they changed the sub filter which should be done anyway. After reading this forum for the 1.5 years I've had the 99 1500 I am a strong advocate of Seafoam for an additive every 3-4 tanks or so. I have also used Techron. Tire pressure low to mid 40's front and back.

I have about 1 gallon left when the fuel light comes on and it is fairly accurate and consistent, the light, not the fuel gauge.

I use only NGK plugs. I have spent more for others on prior bikes and never found any difference in mileage.

I have paid attention to this topic from before I bought the 1500. My 1200sei normally only got 40 mpg at 68 indicated mph. Many of the seniors members on here don't state they average over 40mpg at 65 but there are some.

I like the idea of securing the connections of the vacuum tubes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,795 Posts
...The Goldwing is advertized as a cruiser. This means it is meant to cover distances...
> It does that just fine... The typical 200 miles per tank range is adequate for travel anywhere in the states.

...While getting 40 mpg at 60 mph is nice it is simply not practical if you want to go somewhere. Less than 70 mph on any CA. Freeway will get you killed by cars and trucks trying to pass. You can not use the carpool lanes at less than 75 mph without causing a traffic jam. Less than 75 mph on the Interstate 15 or US 395 means that you will get run over...
> I disagree... I commute at 65-70 every day on CA freeways in the car pool lane. This is something that I could Not do prior to being on a wing... eg On my sport bikes, anything less than 90mph resulted in tailgating... Other drivers seem to look at the wing, and presume that it won't go much faster, so why tailgate it.
> ref: I am reformed speeder, having commuted on sport bikes for 20 some years previously... The wing is very different in this regard, about how your fellow drivers will treat you... try the speed limit sometime, a yellow jacket too, and an occasional "wiggle on the handle bars" to tell that tailgating car that you're on the verge of crashing (at 65mph), and watch how much space they will give you, hah
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,091 Posts
The Goldwing is advertized as a cruiser. This means it is meant to cover distances. While getting 40 mpg at 60 mph is nice it is simply not practical if you want to go somewhere.
In the past 4 years, been to Florida twice and Alaska once. Visit wife's mom in Lompoc, Ca regularly & lots of other in-between trips mostly to western states. Is that going somewhere?

I, like Luckyone, prefer to avoid the freeway and enjoy back highways at a speed where I can enjoy it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
A couple things.



I am running K&N air filter, NAPA fuel filter, Mobil 1 10W-40 oil (not energy conserving), Bosch plugs, Mobil 1 rear differential lube. Front tire is 50psig and rear is 40psig.


What is the number of the Bosch plugs you are using, please ?



.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
You know if you really want the extra milage they sell a extra 4 gallon gas tank that goes in your saddlebag it even has a fuel pump that when you turn the switch on puts the gas into your bikes gas tank.
I have found that my 1996 Wing gets 42 mpg when the cruise is set to 3000 rpm which is 67 miles per hour set by radar detector not the speedometer. One of my friends is a State Policeman. Now the cruise wasn't that nice when I bought it but replacing all the hoses associated with the cruise control and Tie-Wrapping all the connections makes one hell of a difference. Let me repeat that in most cases Honda just sticks the hoses on so tie wrap them it reduces vaccuum leaks. I have heard people who swear by those pony tanks but its up to you do you need all the space in the saddle bags or do you need the miles...


bbuckser the 4 gallon gas tank might be your solution to give you more range.



PP, I have not seen these tanks before, do you have a link for them ?


.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,212 Posts
I try to run my highway speed around 67 mph and that begets me...
Regular gas, 45-47 mpg 1-up 41-44 mpg 2-up and 38'ish mpg w-trailer *LD (load depend'nt).
Ethanol garbage, 38-42 mpg 1-up 34-40 mpg 2-up and 28-36 mpg w-trailer *LD.

When I hear that WAAAAAA from the secondary kickin, I back off the throttle.
Go fast = fuel consumption. No way around it.
Like others say, make a smaller hole in the wind. Shorter windshield.


Too bad that "High Speed Wax" was taken off the market back in the 1960's, it sold well with the "Fish Carburetor". :angel2:

:action:
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top