MPG still lower than I expected - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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MPG still lower than I expected

I was under the assumption that I would be getting about 50 MPG on my 1993 Honda VT600C VLX. I have been averaging about 42 MPG. I have changed the spark plugs, fuel filter, oil and oil filter, and have new tires. My last tank I got 43 MPG. A little better, but I want more! I noticed the air filter is NASTY!!! I have one on order so that will be replaced within the week. Is there anything else I can do that will get me closer to 50 MPG?

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I weigh 175 and drive mainly light highway and city streets.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 08:48 PM
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the air filter should help, a lot has to do with how heavy your wrist is though....

Do you have aftermarket pipes on?

2001 Honda Shadow VT1100C

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 09:48 PM
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Its all in how you ride and if you have a lot of stop and goes.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 09:57 PM
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Yes, a new air filter will help... it certainly can't hurt!

How much riding experience do you have riding cruisers? MPG will always get better as you gain experience with the bike... learning better throttle/clutch control, shifting gears at proper times (both up and down). Another thing is learning what RPMs your bike prefers... some will get worse MPG if you keep RPMs low, such as shifting too soon. For example, my VT700 gets the best MPG if I keep her in the 3000-4000 RPM range.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamSean View Post
I was under the assumption that I would be getting about 50 MPG on my 1993 Honda VT600C VLX. I have been averaging about 42 MPG. I have changed the spark plugs, fuel filter, oil and oil filter, and have new tires. My last tank I got 43 MPG. A little better, but I want more! I noticed the air filter is NASTY!!! I have one on order so that will be replaced within the week. Is there anything else I can do that will get me closer to 50 MPG?

Extra info:

I weigh 175 and drive mainly light highway and city streets.
You can clean your filter by blowing it out and using brake parts cleaner on it.

Is the bike stock?

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 09:48 AM
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a lot has to do with how heavy your wrist is though....
ABSOLUTELY! That's the biggest variable -- far greater impact than any adjustment that can be made.

Just for grins, take a weekend ride and treat the throttle like it was made of eggshell. See how many miles you can rack up before you hit reserve. It isn't fun riding but it is an eye-opening experience.

And have you checked tire pressure yet?

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 11:25 AM
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Strip it down to the bare minimum - remove the windshield, bags, chromies, anything you have added. Take a windy day and ride for 50 miles WITH the wind. Fill up and ride against the wind. Fill up again. Now try it again with the bike loaded up. The results will amaze you.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 01:36 PM
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Stay off city streets.. Only expect MPGs at the higher ends of spectum when you ride a constant speed in the 50-60MPH range. Anytime you change ENGINE speed UP or down you reduce the mpgs. Speeds below 50 and above 60 will kill the MPGs.

If the air filter was real dirty I would expect that some dirt got into the carbs.

93 VT1100C Sleeper, VH Exhaust, Saddleman Seat, Baby Apes, Metzlers, 2mm sleeved and bored (1150cc),10.5:1 comp, Modified Heads, Valves, Cams, Adjustable Timing, Bored Carbs.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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I am a new rider, but understand the throttle control and relation to clutch and RPMs. I am rather gentle with it. As far as I know, it has the stock pipes on it. I am still a little heavy on the throttle from a dead stop, but I wouldn't expect it to be that big a difference. My tire pressure is good, no saddle bags or any gear of any type. I would like some saddle bags some day, but I really want at least 50 MPG.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by AdamSean View Post
I am a new rider, but understand the throttle control and relation to clutch and RPMs. I am rather gentle with it. As far as I know, it has the stock pipes on it. I am still a little heavy on the throttle from a dead stop, but I wouldn't expect it to be that big a difference. My tire pressure is good, no saddle bags or any gear of any type. I would like some saddle bags some day, but I really want at least 50 MPG.
As a "new" rider you will get less than optimal MPG's. I'd give it 6 months to a year before I worried about MPGs. For one you might be being TOO gentle with it. Too limp a wrist can be as bad as too heavy, when it comes to MPGs.
Now, that does not mean than a full servicing of the ignition and fuels systems won't "fix" your issue, if one exists. no way to know, at this point. Get yourself a manual.. Some are available on the General tab for free download.. For the most part any manual for any shadow will guide you through a tune-up, as the steps in the servicing process are basically the same only the specifications vary. Then test and service the electricals, ignition and charging. Then do service of the fuel system including cleaning and adjustment of the carbs.

93 VT1100C Sleeper, VH Exhaust, Saddleman Seat, Baby Apes, Metzlers, 2mm sleeved and bored (1150cc),10.5:1 comp, Modified Heads, Valves, Cams, Adjustable Timing, Bored Carbs.
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