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Thread: MPG's and BMW?

  1. #31
    Norm Norms 427's Avatar
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    Cars are adopting things like phased valve timing and direct injection, both of which can increase torque and HP while increasing MPG. They have also gone to more transmission gears + higher final gearing and some very lean mixtures at cruise. As an example, I have an '07 Corvette Z06 with 505 HP that gets 28 mpg on the highway. A 1967 Corvette 427 c.i. would be lucky to get half that or about 14 mpg on the same highway trip. Autos have made a lot of progress in 40 years.

    Motorcycle efficiency hasn't improved as much since the 1960s like cars have. I think motorcycles eventually will adopt technologies that will increase the MPGs without sacrificing performance.
    Last edited by Norms 427; 02-28-2012 at 01:21 AM.
    Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com

  2. #32
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    My BMWs both get in the 40s to 50s, good enough for me. In the past, I had a 23 mile rural commute to work and I rode my bike as much as possible, even on very many lousy weather days. Sure it saved me gas, but it simply felt good to ride.

    Now, if the US bike market were good enough to support high mileage/lower power motorcycles, we'd have a wide variety of bikes getting 60 mpg and much higher even. Heck, a F800 BMW easily gets over 60mpg and it has great performance. If it were tuned for fuel economy I bet it would exceed 70 mpg.

    But,....fuel efficient motorcycles don't sell in this country of cheap gas and wide expanses. Don't blame BMW for simply building what the majority of the market wants, recreational power!
    A GS or the new tourer don't exactly scream aerodynamic or compact.......do they? Relative to power, we're well beyond what is needed for the job.
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  3. #33
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    All hood, BUT!

    My original statements stand! Why can't the biikes do better than soooooo many cars now. Answered in many ways here, I know. Got it. Still looks bad in general, too many cars, even suvs do better than too many bikes??? Throw HP and everything else out, still looks bad a bike takes MORE gas than all these new fangled cages. I won't get over it easy...I really LIKE my 1200GSA, won't sell it for a few more years, but I can wish for a BIG BIKE gas sipper....Maybe downsizing will be my only option F650-800 class beemers! Randy

  4. #34
    Norm Norms 427's Avatar
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    My RT could use a 7th gear to lower highway RPMs by several hundred. That'd help a little.

    Randy, I agree with what you're saying. It'll happen, someday, but it hasn't happened yet because the m/cycle industry isn't being pushed by customers or by the EPA for better mileage ... yet.
    Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com

  5. #35
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    54 mpg avg (commuting, joy riding, etc) on my F8GS. have seen over 70, (across several tanks, measured by consumption/replacement, not OBC) by doing the speed limit (75mph) on the I-state. And that was fighting the ever-present winds of Wyoming.
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  6. #36
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
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    Here's the answer

    Quote Originally Posted by Norms 427 View Post
    My RT could use a 7th gear to lower highway RPMs by several hundred. That'd help a little.

    Randy, I agree with what you're saying. It'll happen, someday, but it hasn't happened yet because the m/cycle industry isn't being pushed by customers or by the EPA for better mileage ... yet.
    I get about 40 to 50 depending on speed...if I had to getting better mpg...I would just get a scooter. Getting over 70 on big cc bike won't happen in my life time.
    1978 R100rs MOA#22600 125cc Kymco
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  7. #37
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    It is too bad I cannot get 93 RON gas. On 91 RON my bike shorts fuel economy 5-10 mpg over that alone.
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  8. #38
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ-J View Post
    It is too bad I cannot get 93 RON gas. On 91 RON my bike shorts fuel economy 5-10 mpg over that alone.
    These days the path to higher octane is more ethanol. THAT will hurt your mileage for sure. And, methinks you've wildly overestimated the mileage hit.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norms 427 View Post
    Cars are adopting things like phased valve timing and direct injection, both of which can increase torque and HP while increasing MPG. They have also gone to more transmission gears + higher final gearing and some very lean mixtures at cruise. As an example, I have an '07 Corvette Z06 with 505 HP that gets 28 mpg on the highway. A 1967 Corvette 427 c.i. would be lucky to get half that or about 14 mpg on the same highway trip. Autos have made a lot of progress in 40 years.

    Motorcycle efficiency hasn't improved as much since the 1960s like cars have. I think motorcycles eventually will adopt technologies that will increase the MPGs without sacrificing performance.
    But motorcycles have also been increasing size during the time along with power. Look even just at BMW. The "big" motor 40 years ago was 750cc. Now we have 1600cc. Nowadays the smallest we have is 650cc.

    In cars, typically the reverse has happened. More cars today are smaller size engines than before. It stands to reason that fuel economy is improved as a result.

    Total Motorcycle reports the 1972 R75/5 as 49.5 average MPG with a 50HP engine. I get about 46MPG from my R1200R, which is a much larger engine with 109HP. Considering it has double the power & an extra 30 pounds of weight, the "modern" R1200R is pretty good in economy considering. Looking at a power-equivalent bike, perhaps a G650GS, fuel economy on that is much better than the 49.5 from the 72 /5. I've seen many reports of 60-70MPG.

    I think we have much better fuel economy in modern bikes, but our appetite for power makes it feel like we haven't seen much progress as most manufacturers are targeting the power market vs the economy market. Look at scooters & you'll see the reverse.

  10. #40
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    These days the path to higher octane is more ethanol. THAT will hurt your mileage for sure. And, methinks you've wildly overestimated the mileage hit.
    Not estimated. I saw it all through Texas, and a few other states going from AZ to Tn in 2009. Using 93, I get much better fuel economy. My range is 250-300 miles not the 200 that I get on 91.
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  11. #41
    Just me rad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weasel View Post
    "Come on, motorcycling is just a fun hobby" - that's baloney for some of us. My Beemers have always served the purpose of basic transportation and urban commuting. When the weekend comes, it gets parked, as I've had enough of riding all week. They've never been a toy to me - they've been a useful tool. I get 48 average in winter, and 50 in the summer.
    Useful tool? Not by my math. if you commute on a motorcycle to save money, it is a no win situation. MPG is just one aspect of bike commuting. On a typical full size motorcycle, If you add in just the tire expense, along with the gas, the modern econo car wins hands down. Add in tune ups and repairs over 100k miles and the car has left the full size motorcycle in the dust. There was a time the motorcycle won in regards to having a lower initial purchase cost; however, often times now the econo car cost less to purchase than the bike.

    OK, it does cost me much less to commute on a couple of my bikes, than my cars.

  12. #42
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    I never stated that I commute on the bike to save money...certainly, that's not the reason. Like, today: It's going to storm. I have a better vision of the road on the bike than however fast my wipers can wipe in a car. It floods quite a bit around here, and I can ford deeper with my bike. It's fast, highly maneuverable, etc., etc.

    The initial poster was talking about gas mileage. I was responding to how another poster assumed that people used motorcycles as, perhaps, a toy, or hobby. While that may be true for most, that's not why the rest of the world uses motorcycles.

    But, all for all: yes, it's not cheap to own and maintain a modern BMW, especially as compared to my old airhead. However, for bang for the buck, and the fact that I can commute all year 'round here in Virginia, then it is a very useful tool and, over time, it works out. My last beemer, a CLC clocked 86,000 miles, of which about 80,000 miles was commuting, before it got totalled in a rear-end collision. While the RT or CLC probably is not considered a commuter, they have served well in this capacity.

  13. #43
    Norm Norms 427's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nielsm View Post
    But motorcycles have also been increasing size during the time along with power. Look even just at BMW. The "big" motor 40 years ago was 750cc. Now we have 1600cc. Nowadays the smallest we have is 650cc.

    In cars, typically the reverse has happened. More cars today are smaller size engines than before. It stands to reason that fuel economy is improved as a result.

    Total Motorcycle reports the 1972 R75/5 as 49.5 average MPG with a 50HP engine. I get about 46MPG from my R1200R, which is a much larger engine with 109HP. Considering it has double the power & an extra 30 pounds of weight, the "modern" R1200R is pretty good in economy considering. Looking at a power-equivalent bike, perhaps a G650GS, fuel economy on that is much better than the 49.5 from the 72 /5. I've seen many reports of 60-70MPG.

    I think we have much better fuel economy in modern bikes, but our appetite for power makes it feel like we haven't seen much progress as most manufacturers are targeting the power market vs the economy market. Look at scooters & you'll see the reverse.
    Good thoughts, I see what you're saying, but I don't think HP necessarily has to affect MPG very much IMHO. I agree that car engines have gotten smaller, in general, and they make more HP than the larger engines of yesterday.

    Cars have gotten heavier and more powerful since the 1960s but today they get far better MPG ... big increase.

    M/cycles have gotten a little heavier and a lot more powerful since the 1960s and they have improved their MPGs due mainly to EFI, but they have not gained the high % of increase in MPG as cars have.

    I know these are generalizations, but I think the're valid.

    As I mentioned above, I think it's because they haven't adopted some of the strategies that cars have in their zealous quest for MPG. My RT turns about 4000 RPM @ 76 MPH while my car turns less than 2000 RPM at the same speed, barely above idle (while a similar sports car of 1967 would turn about 3200 RPM). My modern car computer aggressively goes lean of peak EGT at light throttle settings ... not sure about the RT but I doubt it gets as aggressive as the car because BMW and other manufacturers aren't mandated to improve their MPGs like cars are.

    ... but they will improve. Time, and maybe some pressure from us and the governments.
    Last edited by Norms 427; 02-29-2012 at 04:00 PM.
    Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com

  14. #44
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    My motorcycles have been very useful tools in my transportation mix. Where they have ranked has varied over the years given a variety of factors.

    In one work setting MC riders were offered free parking in a secured ramp. The savings in parking more than off set the annual maintenance expense for the bike I owned at the time. My office was relocated to a different location with a very different set of transportation variables. Even factoring in the subjective fun factor the motorcycle went from very high on the list to almost rock bottom, .

    When our daughters still lived with us we were able to live in a very nice home with an attached garage rather than a large garage with an attached home in small part because we had an motorcycles in our transportation option mix. Different time, different needs resulting in different transportation mix and ranking for a motorcycle.

    I would consider a econo cage replacement for my current cage. Given the Roadster's role in the my transportation system it would never come to mind. A sports or GT car would have to take its place. The math isn't there (even with a liberal fun variable calculated in) to justify that. My major transportation purchases in March will be a new pair of shoes and monthly bus/rail pass; also part of my multi-modal transportation mix.
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  15. #45
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weasel View Post
    I was responding to how another poster assumed that people used motorcycles as, perhaps, a toy, or hobby.
    That was probably me and I don't consider it an assumption but rather fact. At least here in the USA. For the most part, I think those that protest otherwise are mostly just in denial.

    Others have nicely detailed how there's no economic advantage (the basis of this thread, in fact) and there's for sure a safety disadvantage. "I can see the road better in rain" -- give me a break.

    Given no economic advantage and a significant safety disadvantage, what's left but just the fun of it? No need to be defensive, as I'm in favor of fun. Personally don't see fun in commuting, however--I've done it and got over it.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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