my article on motorcycle hypermiling gets published

Discussion in 'Street and Performance Bikes' started by low&slow, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. low&slow

    low&slow Well-Known Member

  2. Rackster

    Rackster Well-Known Member

    Congrats on getting published. It's always fun when you get something you are passionate about stated and printed for others to read.

    A good point for all the hypermilers to consider is where maximizing should yield to optimization. Maximizing a system usually leads to losses in other parts of the system...and safety of others/self is a bad spot to become suboptimized.

    Have fun achieving optimization of FE!!
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Low&Slow:

    Go ahead and publish it here.

  4. Congrats! I'll read it tomorrow.
  5. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Good work, Vic !
  6. alvaro84

    alvaro84 Homura-chan's selfishness

    Congratulations on the article :)

    I have only one remark: being gentle on the throttle and DWL simply doesn't work with Teresa. It might be good with a Ninjette (especially with modified gearing), but seems contra-productive with a short-shifted 650 single. I've always gotten worse tanks when I tried to ride in this manner, and I think it's because the larger engine operates at a very inefficient state with a small throttle opening.

    When I try to DWL:
    - I quickly run out of the usable rpm range on the way up (and have to shift back or give more gas to hold the remaining speed)
    - And I just don't get the lost speed back on the decline without giving more gas. Especially if I had to shift down, I'll never get close to the speed I started the incline with (it feels like engine friction eating up the benefit).

    All in all, the P&G-y manner worked me better all the time. Maybe bevause the 650cc engine is over-powered for this technique. Might be well placed at Two fifty magazine, though :) DWL seems to work well with my car, though (so says the FCD) - which has much less power for the weight, and 250s at lower revs are similar.
  7. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Waay back in 1979-1984 there was MPG interests in motorcycles.
    Folks bought them because even the worst motorcycle got over 32 mpg actual conbined mpg-
    but zero cars got better than actual 30 mpg combined actual mpg-most got maybe 20 combined
    Great to see the mpg interest is back!
  8. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    Great aritcle!

    I am able to achieve 50+ from my Buell, but the Devil in my right hand sometimes lowers that delta significantly!

    I do agree that taking off as soon as you can gives me better ridability results. I am lucky that I have to go through my neighborhood in order to get to the main streets.
  9. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Guess there isn't much chance that Buell is a Blast??
    It wouldn't be the sort of MC that inspires right hand aggression!!
    Do you know anything about the Blast-general reliability of Buells ??
    ease of getting repair parts?
    I'm a single fan-Fssnoc member for years(four stroke single national owners club)
    and when one of the mot mags tested it years ago it got spectacular mpg on their loop(maybe 65 mpg)-by the standards of the day in 2000 or so-most bikes got 40 mpg on their testing back then(but most were crotch rockets or 650 lb cruisers)
    So if you have any Blast/Buell general info-I would appreciate it?
  10. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member


    No, I own an Ulysses. I love torque and this bike has plenty of it. I picked it up because my other bike, Kaw Vulcan 1600 Classic, just didn't do it for me. From what I have gathered, you would be better off with any of the 250 offerings (Ninja, CBR). Unfortunately, this can be very subjective. I do know that they get great mpgs and seem to have a decent track record. Parts availiabilty should not be a problem, but my bike's engine is based off of a 1200 HD Sportster.

    If you look up bad weather bikers on google you will be provided probably the best Buell site out there and should be able to get all of the info you would need prior to any possible purchase. Good luck! (Unfortunately, they were never a very popular bike)
  11. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info.
    Yeah-the vast majority of Buells were modified sportster motored-zillions of them out there-despite "real harley" owners looking down on sportsters.
    The Blast-far fewer parts in common I guess.
    bad weather bikers is the place to go-thanks!!
    I like the Blast because I'm old-and I like an upright riding position-
    and they are pretty cheap-maybe $2400 asking on a 2006 with 5000 miles
    The 250's I like-but I would have to heavily modify riding position-and even the foot controls and positions(do-able did it on my SV650) but expensive and time work intensive
    Thanks-I am thinking about the 250 Ninja-cheap to buy-and probably modify-able riding position

  12. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member


    Have you looked at dual sports? I had a KLX250S as my return to biker fame and the ergos worked really well for me. I could 60 to 70 mpgs fairly regularly unless trail riding. The only reason that I traded it was I got to a point where I almost outweighed the bike due to power-lifting. A lot of great supermotos out there, too.
  13. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Huh?? Waay back n 1979 I was typically getting around actual 38 mpg overall in a car, which wasn't unusual. By 1984, around 44 mpg.

    My uncle commuted to work for many years on a small 2-stroke Harley from the early 50s. Its top speed was about 45 mph, as best I can recall. (No, I don't remember the model name or number.) I wonder what mpg he got. After retiring, he switched to a then-modern small (165cc?) Honda motorcycle.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  14. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Harley was connected with Aeromacchi
    not sure exactly what dates-but they were 2 strokes-maybe Italian made?
    In the 50's-probably was a home grown 2 stroke-we-USA- had them-Simplex mopeds were 2 strokes I think.
    I have to disagree with 38mpg "which wasn't unusual"-
    The EPA numbers I remember -not sure when they started putting the numbers on the sticker-maybe about 1979??-don't agree with "which wasn't unusual" for 38mpg or 44mpg.
    And the early EPA numbers were waaay optimistic for "normal drivers"
    On the other hand our 1985 MT Corolla could and did get 40 mpg in PURE trip hy-but got more like 26mpg in city driving-1980 ChevetteMT- more like 30 mpg hy- 25 mpg city actual

    BUT-In 1979 the majority of vehicles sold were still AT full sized V-8s-with carbs-
    they got laughable mpg-under 20 hy and under 15 city
    Maybe 5% were small 4 cyl MTs that could beat 30 mpg hy-the Corollas and Civics could approach 40mpg hy-
    Crude pure guess- 1/100,000 drivers got 38mpg with a 1979 car-pretty unusual
    Possible sure-but rarely done because folks didn't drive that way back then-and most didn't have the city mpg potential with those crummy carbs and crummy ATs-tricky to jet to get good city mpg-easier to jet to get good hy mpg
    and those ATs were REALLY HORRIBLE!!! Worthless-POS!!!

    Prozac-I love the idea of dual sports- but 5'5"-just kills that idea.
    The supermotos do appeal to me-especially the high performance 400's450's which would kinda defeat the purpose mpg wise!!

    38 and 44mpg-those little VW diesels would have been the easiest way to get 44 mpg in 1984-but the smaller Japanese MTs 4's might have done it with lots of coaxing-like I said 1/100,000 drivers would have averaged that kind of mpg in 1979 or 1984
    Egg under pedal was the technique back then-55mph speed limit helped
    but carbs and ATs-just killed city mpg
  15. 2RR2NV

    2RR2NV Ultimate Newbie

    the new Kawi 300 seems pretty upright riding position. light as heck and probably plenty of get up n go. looks sweet too. but money is tight, then i'd find a used 250 ninja. there are quite the plethora of those running around cheap.

    yeah, blasts were not very popular. mostly saw those in MSF classes.
  16. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Yeah- $$$ is definitely a big factor-$2500 or less is it.
    250 Ninja-find plenty for under $2500-low miles too
    Blast asking is usually in the $2200-$2600 range-miles usually very very low-5000 miles for most-probably could get one for $2000 with under 10000 miles
    They are a tough sell-making them a good buy maybe
    But the Ninja is more desireable-and probably has more MPG potential since it is easy cheap to change sprockets regear- but the Blast is belt pulleys-pita to regear usually
    Yeah Ninja probably the way to go-just redo the riding position("frontsets" etc)

    Redy-didn't mean to seem snotty with the uncommon comment-just meant very very few people ever averaged 38 or 44 mpg with 79-84 vintage cars- it could be done-but no hypermilers back then-no one took it out of gear to glide in the city for example-or ran much higher than suggested tire pressures
    and those ATs-absolute poison for FE- and they were maybe 80% of vehicles back then-just poison!
  17. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member


    Ya, your height makes it challenging. I truly lucked into my Uly. I had the KLX and wanted something better for my highway commute to work and weekend fun. The other person wanted a dual sport, we traded and I think we both got a great deal considering we both had a plethora of extra parts. In the end considering the value of my trade I paid $3500 for the bike and smile every time I start it.

    The Ninja 250 is highly sought after due to many "newbies" buying the bike and then being convinced they need bigger. I have the Uly because the wife and I ride on the weekends and considering that I previously weighed in at over 300 lbs, it was difficult to find a bike that met our weight requirements without stepping up to a bigger bike. As far as regearing, that is the advantage of a chain vs belt, but I don't have to carry chain oil. The previous owner gave me the XB12 primary after switching to a 9. I will probably switch it back to get the rpms down on the highway and up the mpgs. Considering the torque issues I have with the twin power-plant, it might curb the devilish right hand.
  18. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member


    You're right!!
    I truly HATE oiling-and oily -chains!!
    Yeah always getting that black gunk on pants/clothes.
    Lot to be said for a belt or a shaft.
  19. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    To point out that it wasn't exactly accurate that "zero cars got better than actual 30 mpg combined actual mpg" back then, I only said I got the 38 and 44 numbers. I didn't say the average AT V8 could, or even that most people with cars capable of those numbers actually achieved those numbers. "Smaller Japanese MTs 4's" capable of those numbers with reasonably efficient driving were common in the 70s, especially in the late 70s and early 80s.

    Incidentally, the 38 mpg I mentioned getting around 1979 was in my '72 Subaru---after the 55 mph limit arrived. Circa 1981-84 diesel Rabbits (which did better than the earlier ones) could beat 44 mpg by a lot. I knew someone who had one.

    About my uncle's old small Harley --- I was under the impression it was U.S.-made, but am not sure that's correct. I rode it a little, maybe 15 miles total. He also had a bigger one, but got rid of it too long ago for me to remember much about.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  20. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    As I recall , H-D also sold Aermacchi-built 4-stroke singles here in the late 60's/early 70's.
    It was 350cc and laid down pretty much horizontally. And they also had what seemed to be dual-purpose 2-stroke singles of 125 and 250 cc displacement.

    Charlie , I'm 5'6" with a 30 inch inseam. I sat on a CRF230L and it felt small. But I have a strong dislike (fear?) of being down so close to the road (Blast) because of not being able to see much in traffic. I do like to have my legs extended when stopped and on some of my bikes (Bonneville) I had to tiptoe. But a <300 lb dual-purpose bike with a 30-32" seat height should be doable. For me , anyhow.

Share This Page