Painted the tins, now the fuel economy stinks - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Painted the tins, now the fuel economy stinks

I need some help from the gurus, because I am just lost with this. I decided to paint the tins (fenders, side covers, tank). I took all the tins off, painted, re-attached, and started it to go for a ride. It ran a bit rough for about 10 seconds, like when the battery is not giving out enough voltage, but then smoothed out. (New battery BTW, so knew that was not an issue). It was getting dark, so I could not see very well, but as I started to walk away to get my gear, I noticed slight clouds of smoke appearing the the beam of the headlight. The bike was running ok, and the clouds dissipated, so I thought no more about it. Ever since then, it seems to be down on power a little, but most perceptible is the fuel economy is way down.

I ride the interstates a fair amount commuting to work, and I generally was getting 200-210 miles on a tank, not using reserve. I am now lucky to get 125. I have made sure it is not gauge error as it still takes the same amount of fuel to fill it. The carbs have been cleaned and synched, and plugs are 3 months old and gapped correctly. (Roughly 1000 miles on them).
When I painted the tins, specifically the tank, I only disconnected the front and rear fuel lines and front carb vent line from the petcock valve. I did take all the hardware off the tank (filler cover and petcock) and drained all the gas. The filler neck was stuffed tightly with newspaper so no debris or residue would get into the tank, and it was off the bike and drained for 2 days, so there was little to no rust formation. Air filters are new. It is currently at the shop, where it has been for two weeks, and they have not touched it, presumably because they don't know either and are working on things they can get in and out of the shop and make some money. But I really miss my Vulcan and want to get her fixed. So please, post any ideas or things I may have missed so I can ride the open roads again.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 01:41 PM
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Welcome to the Vulcan madness Fiveo.

Your pre-paint fuel range of 200-210 miles per tank seems incredible to me. The tank capacity is ~3.5 US gallons. 200 miles/3.5 gal = 57+ mpg. What is your normal cruising speed? Interstate speed I would expect to be 75 mph+?? 40 mpg would seem close to normal to me.

The commonly reported fuel economy from members on this board ranges from 40-50 mpg.
50 mpg more expected when riding easy on the secondary roads.

As I recall, my bike will only go about 125 miles before I start looking for fuel.

Gordon

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Purchased May 16, 2008
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 02:22 PM
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If you ever figure out what changed and can return your bike to that 50+ mpg range please let all of us know what you did because it will surely be something we all would want to do. I am sure we all wish you much success in this search. 200 miles on one tank of fuel will have people and corporations knocking on your door if you can achieve it. You would be able to name your price for that information.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 07:13 PM
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Any chance your petcock is stuck open and has leaked a bunch of fuel into your crankcase? Easy check on your sight glass to see if your level is too high. Also, I agree about 125 miles and I'm looking for fuel....
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 07:40 PM
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200+ miles per tank!?! don't think so on a stock tank. I'm lucky to get 110..........
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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I know it sounds incredulous. This was on a road trip to Florida, highway running, and speeds of around 60-65. I was amazed myself. I dunno. I am going to go by the shop and pick it up tomorrow, and see if I can figure it out. It is not so much the economy that I am concerned with, it is the possibility something is amiss given the smoke that appeared. I did not paint anything that would have needed to burn off, and everything was away from the motorcycle when painted.
I will go through it and double check everything, and if this is the "new normal", I am fine with it. This was the first road trip since I had bought it last August, so I was trying to pay attention to economy with nothing but highway. If everybody else is getting 125-150 between fill-ups, then I won't sweat it.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 09:56 PM
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ok i'm like everyone else the best i can get to a tank is about 125 with out useing the reserves so when you was getting 200 pluse miles to tank you was lucky and if you figure out how to get it back let us all know we would all ike that benefit
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
Welcome to the Vulcan madness Fiveo.

Your pre-paint fuel range of 200-210 miles per tank seems incredible to me. The tank capacity is ~3.5 US gallons. 200 miles/3.5 gal = 57+ mpg. What is your normal cruising speed? Interstate speed I would expect to be 75 mph+?? 40 mpg would seem close to normal to me.

The commonly reported fuel economy from members on this board ranges from 40-50 mpg.
50 mpg more expected when riding easy on the secondary roads.

As I recall, my bike will only go about 125 miles before I start looking for fuel.
X2 I average 44-48 mpg

JM2001

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 10:28 PM
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I know what the problem is...

It's all the extra weight from the new paint. Also, it's probably not "aerodynamic paint" and it produces more air friction.


lol sorry, I have no idea what it could be... it seems to me that you shouldn't have gotten 200 miles per tank in the first place lol, maybe the error was actually there and not with the new mileage.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-02-2011, 10:42 PM
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Drafting semi's at 70 mph on the Interstate I've gotten 52 mpg. Without the drafting, more like 35 mpg.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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