Low & Slow's Ninja 250 project

Discussion in 'Street and Performance Bikes' started by low&slow, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    I had been busy since getting back from the Mid-Ohio Vetter Challenge and hadn't ridden the streamlliner much since the competition. This week I worked on a couple of refinements: a new bellypan and I raised the windscreen so that the passing air wouldn't hit my shoulders. I finally hit reserve today after more than 400 miles on this tankfill. I completed my errands and refueled: 437.3 miles/3.79 gal. of fuel for a result of 115mpg.

    The weather has been hot here and the engine temperature got past halfway after a 50mile ride. I may need to open up the air inlet in the nose for long uphill runs in hot weather . The next competition is Las Vegas next month but it probably won't be super hot then. Alan Smith and I are planning to do a some testing with our streamliners later this month and we hope to produce some good results.
     
  2. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    115 MPG is a pretty decent number !
     
  3. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    Alan Smith and I went for a ride on our usual fuel econonmy testing route . Alan rode his non-streamlined Ninja 250 that he has raised the gearing to 15/33 and used a small aero-trunk that he made. Alan has had the valve timing changed for more low-end torque. I rode my streamliner on which I had added a new bellypan and raised the back of the windscreen. My gearing is also 15/33. The weather was perfect; warm to hot with gentle winds. We rode to Tesla RD, to Corral Hollow Rd to Tracy then crossed over to Hwy 33 to Patterson. We stopped there for some lunch and had some great burritos. We reversed our route back to the gas station and refilled. Alan went the 106.7 miles on .893 gallon for 119.48 mpg. I went the 106.7 miles on .728 gallon for 146.6 mpg. This was a new personal best for me. It was also a best for Alan on this bike. A very good day all in all.
    We will be riding in the Las Vegas Vetter Challenge on 10/17 so this is very promising for a good run there.
     
  4. alvaro84

    alvaro84 Homura-chan's selfishness

    Congratulations for your crazy good numbers :Banane09:
     
  5. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Indeed , crazy good numbers , Vic !
     
  6. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Whaaaaaaaaaat!!! ??

    107mpg and 147 mpg??

    Why such poor mpg!?
    Leaky carbs??

    Just kidding-stunned me to near silence

    During the 1979-1980 oil price spike I had a Puch Moped-2 stroke 31mph WOT
    It would deliver close to 100 mpg from a .8 gallon tank.
    it was noisy and very very slow-


    What was your average speed for those runs?
    Almost 150 mpg-wow
    Waaaaay back when-early 1980's some moto rag would do economy runs-I think a 125 Honda would win-getting barely 100 mpg-it would do MAYBE 60 mph WOT

    Almost 150 mpg-amazing.
     
  7. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    Thanks!
    Phoebeisis, Average speed was around 45-50 mph. We did it on 2 lane backroads and limited our speed to 55-6mph for most of the ride. This includes some hills and a fair amount of starts and stops. I think on a continous run at around 45-50 mph I could break 150 mpg fairly easily.
    The biggest improvements are from my finally getting my carburetors cleaned out and working well and the change to the Vetter nose.
     
  8. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    45-50 mph almost 150 mpg!
    Pretty sure those tiny 125 hondas were averaging only 30 mph to get 100 mpg
    My poor little Puch was averaging maybe 20 mph getting 100 mpg
     
  9. alvaro84

    alvaro84 Homura-chan's selfishness

    At least those bikes can do 100 mpg at low constant speeds. With a larger (=too strong) one going slow won't help. I'm curious (but I won't probably try) though how would a 650 like mine do with streamlining.
     
  10. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Big singles-
    if they can be geared tall-meaning have enough flywheel effect
    can be inherently very efficient
    My Yamaha SR500's would get an honest 62 mpg in normal mixed city commuting.
    They were carbureted not FI like your BMW
    You have all sorts of pollution controls on your bike-maybe a cat con?
    Perhaps you have the same problem cars have-poor initial FE because the cat con requires a rich mixture to get it up to temp??
    I'M NOT REALLY UP ON MODERN MOTORCYCLES
    but big singles can be very efficient-

    The somewhat primitive Buell Blast can get 70 mpg pretty easily-suspect it has very little pollution control on it.
     
  11. alvaro84

    alvaro84 Homura-chan's selfishness

    On a few tanks I could do 90+ mpg with Teresa (not this year, but high 80's are normal in the summer) - what I'm talking about would be beyond :) I've never had any triple digit tanks, and I can't imagine any constant speed that could make possible what I already do.
     
  12. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    90mpg
    Yep pretty good.
    Much better than the old carbureted big singles like the SR500 Blast either of the Honda 500 singles-or the V-twins for that matter
     
  13. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I only got about 50 MPG riding my Honda Ascot single , and I was babying it. But someone HAD "fiddled" with the carb before I owned it.
     
  14. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Edwin
    Was the starter still working on your Ascot when you sold it?
    They were infamous for failed starter systems
    The actual starter didn't fail-it was something else
    I had one for about 6 months-used maybe 1994 or so
    sold it after I had to push start it to get it home(actually push started pretty easily)
    SR500 kickstarter bad enough-but it always worked
    I draw the line at push starting an electric start bike!!
     
  15. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    The starter worked. I did have one tiny mishap with that bike. I was on a country road at about 55 mph when I came to the outskirts of a small town. I rolled off the throttle and it STUCK at that position. I found the killswitch in a big hurry !
     
  16. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Wow-yeah that will get your attention!!
     
  17. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    Since the Las Vegas Vetter Challenge was cancelled due to Craig Vetter’s issues with recovering from his recent hip surgery , Alan and I decided to ride out on our streamliners and visit him at home in Carmel. We also decided to have an unofficial Challenge of our own by comparing our fuel economy for the 240 mile+ round trip. We met at the Cycle Gear parking lot in Pleasanton and headed for Carmel in the brutal commute traffic between Pleasanton and San Jose. We moved through the traffic with some frequent lane sharing and then rode for a while on the 680 HOV lane. The weather was a bit cool at the start but warmed up to the 70s by the time we reached Carmel. Once we broke through the traffic congestion it was a nice ride to the beautiful Monterey coastline.
    It was great to see Craig doing so well after his major surgery. He had been in constant pain previously and now the surgery had relieved it for the first time in many years. He has to avoid putting too much load on his newly repaired hip for the first 6 weeks after his surgery so he has to spend most of his time in bed or sitting. However we did get a hall pass to take him to lunch. Terry Hershner of cross-country electric motorcycle record-breaking fame and Craig’s son Zak joined us. We talked about lots of things: the rapid progress with electric motorcycles, some new aerodynamic refinements proposed by our new friend Tom Finch and Terry’s upcoming attempt to recapture his electric motorcycle coast to coast record. We enjoyed a great lunch and then reported back to Craig’s shop to do some work on Terry’s new long tail.
    Initially the plan was to just apply some vinyl wrap to the treated paper skin of the tail extension but we ended up removing the skin, adding some frame members and re-skinning the tail. Alan and I had to head back home before the job was completed.
    Traffic was bad in spots but we made steady progress back home. I stopped at the gas station to refuel and found that I had used 2.32 gallons to go the 246.9 miles for 106.42 mpg. I still have to see what Alan got. It was a great day all in all.
     
  18. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    That is fantastic! Do you know what your average speed was? Were you riding Vetter style or more relaxed?
     
  19. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    Thank you! Definitely not a relaxed pace, with speeds 75 mph to 80 mph at times. Average speed was around 65 mph. Alan did even better than me with 115 mpg for the run.
     
  20. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

    Happy New Year, I finally needed to refuel today, this tankfill I went 361.9 miles and used 3.73 gallons for 96.8 mpg. Not bad for lots of short rides, cold weather and winter blend gasoline. In 2013 I rode 2786.5 miles and used 24.8 gallons of fuel for 112.4 mpg.
    I'll have see how many miles I rode my other Ninjette this past year. Trailering my moto to Ohio this summer for the competition there definitely kept my mileage down for this year.
     

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