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Old 10-10-2012, 04:46 AM   #1
lhendrik OP
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Gas Mileage Excellent on Euro Gas

My 09 GSA, which routinely gets 41-42 mpg average on my loaded highway riding here in the USA, got 48-50 mpg on my recent trip across Europe and into Eastern Europe, Turkey, etc.

Seems the gas is just better. I used the 95 grade, they had 98 as most stations, Fuel is available everywhere, even in remote areas of eastern Europe but it is nice to know that with the huge GSA tank I can ride 400+ miles (or a lot more kilometers) without stopping.

One other contributing factor might be the kilometers vs miles per hour thing. With speed limits posted in KM/HR I tended to travel a bit slower - it was just the idea of going 80 or 100 made it seem fast, when in reality I was traveling 50 or 60 mph. That might have added to the mpg, as the GSA fully loaded is a bit of a barn door aerodynamically.

Nice to minimize those foreign language gas stops and credit card exposures or cash handling experiences if you want to. Then again, the stops were a chance to have a cold drink, etcOf course, those gallons (liters) are expensive. It seems the absence of corn/ethanol in my gas is a good thing. Bike ran great on this fuel for 3500 miles.
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lhendrik screwed with this post 10-10-2012 at 04:52 AM
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:48 AM   #2
bloodline
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Yep. Ethanol sucks.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:45 AM   #3
JStancampiano
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I pick up 2-3 mpg on ethanol free gas.

Joe
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:46 AM   #4
roger 04 rt
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Always good to hear an actual report. Sounds like you had a great trip.

Here are some thoughts about your results:

European Octane ratings are based on RON. US ratings are based on RON and MON so a European rating of 98 is like a US rating of 93. E10 fuel versus gasoline in your 09 might account for 1-2 mpg. Dropping your speed on a GSA from 75 to 55 saves almost 20% per mile or about 8 mpg. All our bikes are barn doors with a Cd of about 0.7 give or take--not much different than a sheet of plywood. Compounding matters we run high performance engines at small throttle openings where they use twice as much (or more) fuel per horsepower.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:55 AM   #5
bracky72
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We're you riding at a higher elevation? Air density has a huge effect on efficiency. Riding at 8,000' or above I get greater then 50 mpg. I can never get that near sea level.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:26 AM   #6
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Did you take into account that the gallon over there is 4.5 liters vs 3.8 here in the States?
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:31 AM   #7
lhendrik OP
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Originally Posted by bracky72 View Post
We're you riding at a higher elevation? Air density has a huge effect on efficiency. Riding at 8,000' or above I get greater then 50 mpg. I can never get that near sea level.

Mostly sea level or near. Except or he mountain passes in Switzerland, Furka and Italy, Stelvio.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:32 AM   #8
lhendrik OP
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Originally Posted by k1w1t1m View Post
Did you take into account that the gallon over there is 4.5 liters vs 3.8 here in the States?
Not a factor for these observations. I am measuring mileage using the bike computer.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:34 AM   #9
lhendrik OP
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Originally Posted by roger 04 rt View Post
Always good to hear an actual report. Sounds like you had a great trip.

Here are some thoughts about your results:

European Octane ratings are based on RON. US ratings are based on RON and MON so a European rating of 98 is like a US rating of 93. E10 fuel versus gasoline in your 09 might account for 1-2 mpg. Dropping your speed on a GSA from 75 to 55 saves almost 20% per mile or about 8 mpg. All our bikes are barn doors with a Cd of about 0.7 give or take--not much different than a sheet of plywood. Compounding matters we run high performance engines at small throttle openings where they use twice as much (or more) fuel per horsepower.
All very good points. I am quite happy with 50 mpg while touring fully loaded at speeds that actually let me see things, as opposed to blasting along fast on autobahn.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bracky72 View Post
We're you riding at a higher elevation? Air density has a huge effect on efficiency. Riding at 8,000' or above I get greater then 50 mpg. I can never get that near sea level.
This seems counter intuitive? There's more O2 (higher density per cubic measurement) at sea level. If anything I would expect poorer fuel mileage at altitude in an internal combustion engine?

Anyone?
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:12 AM   #11
lhendrik OP
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This seems counter intuitive? There's more O2 (higher density per cubic measurement) at sea level. If anything I would expect poorer fuel mileage at altitude in an internal combustion engine?

Anyone?
Less o2 at altitude means less fuel needed to get optimum fuel air mix. Better mileage at altitude. Less power though.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:16 AM   #12
roger 04 rt
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Originally Posted by lhendrik View Post
Less o2 at altitude means less fuel needed to get optimum fuel air mix. Better mileage at altitude. Less power though.
All true, but the better mileage comes from the lower losses to air drag from the less dense air. Pilots of piston engine aircraft exploit this by flying at the highest altitude that will produce 75% power (about 7500').
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:25 AM   #13
bracky72
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Originally Posted by freyke View Post
This seems counter intuitive? There's more O2 (higher density per cubic measurement) at sea level. If anything I would expect poorer fuel mileage at altitude in an internal combustion engine?

Anyone?

I was really talking about wind resistance as you move through the air. The higher you are the less dense the air thus the less resistance you have to forward momentum.

This summer I had a nice 6,500 mile ride around the US. I rode fast (90+ mph) for many many miles. At lower elevations my mpg would suffer dropping below 40. I was getting as low as 36 mpg on a few tanks. Once I got out West and into the higher elevations my mpg increased to above 50 even though I was still riding like a bat out of hell. I could only attribute this to less wind resistance.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:36 AM   #14
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I too just returned from a trip in Europe on my US GS1150. My mileage wasn't much better than the Bike got in the US, except for California where my MPG is always worse. I got maybe 1-2 MPG more in Europe but what I did notice was that the engine "felt" happier running the gas over there, especially at high speed. There were a few stretches on the Autobahn in Germany at 100+ mph where it still felt fine whereas in the US the engine doesn't "feel" happy at anything over 80. And top speed in the US was about 107, while in Europe it was 118.
True, gas is available almost everywhere, except in France on Sundays where there are few gas stations open with an attendant, and the automatic ones will always respond with "Carte refusée" with any of my credit cards. At over $8/gal, fuel was by far the most expensive part of the trip.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:16 PM   #15
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I did a 7400 mile trip from southern Cal to Honduras and back on an 01 1150GS and my mileage in Mexico was fantastic! The fuel throughout Mexico is very good, no ethanol, and I was getting mid to high 40's running above 85 mph. Here I would get mid-30's at that speed. The fuel in Guatemala and Honduras was not as good and I experienced pinging. That cleared as soon as I was able to fill with Pemex premium. With gas prices what they are in Cali and the fact that I live 8 miles from Mexicali and have Sentri, I will be filling in Mexico all winter.
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