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 Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question

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john grinsel
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steveonfarm
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PostSubject: Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question   Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question I_icon_minitimeSun May 27, 2012 6:52 pm

Hi everyone!

It's been a while now since I last posted here, although I do regularly read what my fellow Silverwingers have been up to and what the burning issues of the day are Smile

This site has really been invaluable to me over the past year which is how long I've owned my own wonderful machine!

Just recently I had an issue with what I thought was a slipping belt, but quickly found out that it was actually a glazed clutch thanks to this site. The cure that several of you here recommended solved the "turkey noise" problem in just 5 seconds. Brilliant!

My own 2007 model SW 400 has also acquired many little extras recommended on this site such as : Givi Airflow screen, Utopia Backrest, and leg wind deflectors .........

So, why have I decided to address the community again?

Well, it was my dream last summer to pass my full bike license test in order to buy a scooter big and strong enough to allow me to tour Europe. My trip which starts from my home of Vienna, will initially take me through Germany, Belgium, and France on route to England where I will be staying for a while, before catching a ferry down to North Spain and then riding through South France, Italy and Croatia. Finally, I will be Heading back to Austria through Slovenia. The whole trip will cover 5000km in 6 weeks and I will be setting off in just over 2 weeks time!

I have just had the bike fully serviced and a new set of tires put on and I have no doubts at all that my bike is perfectly capable of taking on this challenge ...............

BUT I do have one issue that has been troubling me ever since I first started riding the SW which is the fuel economy of my bike. Baring in mind that my SW is the 400cc model which I assume should give a slightly better mpg than the 600, I have been getting the following results:- From a completely full tank my last flashing bar comes on after 190km at worst and 230km at best! Topping up again normally takes 12 liters which strikes me as pretty poor performance. Is this normal for a SW400??

At this rate my trip will cost me over €350 in fuel alone at current prices.

If this does sound amiss to you, could anyone tell me how much a dirty air filter could be the culprit, as this has never been changed as far as I know ............... Also, although the bike runs beautifully, it was used very little for the 4 years before I bought it, and I was wondering if some fuel cleaning product might be beneficial?

Thank you in anticipation of and advice from the experts!

SteVe

PS If any of you guys in Europe fancy a coffee and a chat while I'm on my tour I would be delighted to drop by and meet you Smile
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JeffR_
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PostSubject: Re: Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question   Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question I_icon_minitimeSun May 27, 2012 9:16 pm

Steve,

You should really check the air filter to see how dirty it is. If it is 4 years old, that is pretty old. If possible, you may want to try the K&N air filter since it is good for the life of your Swing and all you need to do is clean it. I have a "Pictorial" in the "pictorial section. I would also put new plugs in too to see if that helps. I'm sure they could at least use a good cleaning. You may even think of getting some Dr Pulley sliders too. If the air filter is dirty, it will really cut down on performance and miles/kilometers per gallon/liter.

I would do this before you go just to make sure everything is working good. It doesn't seem you are getting very good mileage though. If my calculations are correct you are getting about 42 mpg, using an average of 210 km per 12 liters. If I ride normal on the interstate I get very high 40's to low 50's, so I would think you could get a bit better, unless your tach is showing over 6,000 rpm's. This is just my opinion though.
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eddy
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PostSubject: Re: Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question   Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question I_icon_minitimeMon May 28, 2012 5:42 am

The weight of the 400 and 600 is about the same.
Also the wind resistance profile.
So , the energy,need for moving the same distance, must be equal.
I think when both bikes are driven exact the same style, there is no big difference in gas consumption.

Mine (600) takes 5.6 liter / 100 km.
Means 42 MPG.
I seldom do more than 4000 rpm.

Eddy
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question   Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question I_icon_minitimeMon May 28, 2012 5:55 am

I rode in Europe for 20 years----consumption can be high there because you can ride wide open throttle----6 liters per 100 km probably normal, maybe 8 liters steady wide open. Fuel often as walking sucks. I tank when the fuel gauge reads one half----small tank a disadvantage of scooter.
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Waspie
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PostSubject: Re: Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question   Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question I_icon_minitimeMon May 28, 2012 5:56 am

eddy wrote:

I seldom do more than 4000 rpm.

Eddy


affraid How!!!!!

My right hand can't do 4k revs!!!!!

I get around 46 (Av) and I blast nearly everywhere!
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question   Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question I_icon_minitimeMon May 28, 2012 6:42 am

john grinsel wrote:
I rode in Europe for 20 years----consumption can be high there because you can ride wide open throttle----6 liters per 100 km probably normal, maybe 8 liters steady wide open. Fuel often as walking sucks. I tank when the fuel gauge reads one half----small tank a disadvantage of scooter.

I think you've got the old rose tinted goggles there John, there's speed limit's to adhere to in Europe and plenty of Police and speed cameras to make sure you play the game. The French police are particulary sneaky at this, it's easy pickings stopping and fining bikers when groups of riders are speeding back to the Channel ferry ports. Even in quiet Norway they'll take plastic if you don't pay cash, or impound your bike until you do pay.

Germanys autobahns have no general speed limit, but have an advisory speed limit of 130kph, or 81mph. Even if you were doing 100mph+ in the outside lane with the throttle pinned against the stop, before long there'd be some high powered car looming in your mirrors, flashing it's lights at you telling you to get the hell out of the way..."Arschloch"! Mad

I'm going to Thuringia in what was the former East Germany next month where the old two lane pre-WW2 autobahns are still in use, and there's no real point to being a throttle jockey there either.


Last edited by Meldrew on Mon May 28, 2012 9:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question   Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question I_icon_minitimeMon May 28, 2012 8:14 am

disagree on speed in Europe......left the last time 2009. Scooter terms 130 kph fast---Swiss/France 130 right? Hard throttle needed on scooter. My experience=easy to get caught in Austria, as 70 kph appears out of now where. Construction Zones on the Autobahn, Germany Even former DDR, Herman the German on back roads will run up your rear in his Benz/BMW/Audi if you don't go fast enough. I surely rode a lot in Europe, my highest year 56,000 miles plus and was getting paid for most of the miles. Been from North Cap to souther Italy---Know about slow speeds in Norway....and they drive even slower, like Wisconsin. So my comparision=you need hard throttle hand in Europe or get run over, and your fuel mileage will not be so good. My record on tickets=about 1 per 500,000km, you develop sense of smell as to where the will take your picture, etc. Good thing about scooters, they don't go that fast.

By choice, on my vacation, I took my Vespa 150, over MZ or BMW RT-----for such things as the Elephant Rally or my favorite, the Stella Alpina---Vespa good in snow and for the Stella worked good in mud/snow/dirt going slow.
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tarmacburner2
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PostSubject: Re: Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question   Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question I_icon_minitimeMon May 28, 2012 11:20 am

Steve,
Looking at a couple of reviews it appears than 20 km / litre is not bad at all.
I'm doing about 16 km / litre on my 600.
I think you have to consider the weight of the 400, quite a heavy beast compared to say a Burgman 400. The other factor is the price of petrol in Europe (boy would the Yanks complain if they were paying what we have to pay!).
Enjoy the trip, I'll be in northern Spain between 13 - 25 June - the Picos de Europa - make sure you have some time playing on those roads.

Cheers,

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eddy
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PostSubject: Re: Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question   Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question I_icon_minitimeTue May 29, 2012 1:57 am

Waspie wrote:
eddy wrote:

I seldom do more than 4000 rpm.

Eddy


affraid How!!!!!

My right hand can't do 4k revs!!!!!

I get around 46 (Av) and I blast nearly everywhere!

My SW is a 2001 type.
I suppose the later models are more efficient about gas consumption ?


Eddy
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question   Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question I_icon_minitimeTue May 29, 2012 6:07 am

Let me know roughly when you're passing Bruges - we're 4 minutes from the E40 J9 - Oostkamp.
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steveonfarm
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PostSubject: Re: Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question   Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question I_icon_minitimeTue May 29, 2012 6:53 am

Thank you to everyone for your advice and comments concerning the fuel economy of my SW in the run up to my E.U. tour!

It would seem that if I am getting around 20km per liter I should be happy, so that's good enough for me Smile

Mike : A big thank you for your post! You are definitely on my route to the Calais ferry, so if I can make it to you from Suttgart in one day, it would be lovely to pop over and say hi. This would be on Monday June 18th (ferry booked for the 19th at midday).

SteVe
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PostSubject: Re: Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question   Big E.U. Tour Preparations: Fuel Economy Question I_icon_minitimeTue May 29, 2012 7:42 am

Splendid!

Keep in touch (remind me, please!)

From here to the passport control at the ferry terminal is 70 minutes although I always allow longer, of course.
There are road-works at the Belgian/French border and some nearer Bruges, both with speed restrictions, but the traffic seems to be flowing okay.
I think the finishing-date for both is July.

Make sure you get a pack of Breathalysers for your return if it's in July - you must have them then in France ; they are available on the ferries - £5.99 for a twin-pack (you do need a pair in case you use one).

HiViz will be mandatory then, too.

Apologies if you know this already.
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