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Old 04-28-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
tkb OP
Mr. Britten's bike
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Northern California N40 14.804 W121 09.068
Oddometer: 171
How far will a 89 Transalp XL600V go on a tank?

Like to know if I can get across southern Nevada from Tonopah to Caliente--almost 200 miles without any available fuel stop enroute. I'm doing a ferry ride of a purchased TA to Texas.

My figures so far from researching the web:

50 MPG (optimistic?)

Fuel tank total 4.8 US Gallons (includes .77 gal reserve)

Thus, no wind, 201.5 miles to reserve (4.03gal X 50)

Reserve pad of 38.5 (.77 gal X 50)

Or full tank to flame out on an 89 Transalp is 240 miles.

Anyone confirm, dispute this.

Thanks, The Alien Highway in southern Nevada is a lonely place to peer into an empty tank.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:20 PM   #2
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Wausau
Oddometer: 1,743
Buried in this thread is all things TA :

Trying to guess the MPG of a used bike will be near impossible, the major factors being:

1. State of tune, including compression, valve setting, carb jetting and sync (some jet kits are known to trash the mileage with little or no performance gains) air cleaner etc plus general maintenance performed over the years.

2. Load (luggage, total carried weight) side bags kill mileage, tires, driving conditions (wind) and size of wind screen.

3. Speed no big surprise here huge difference 65 to 85 MPH

That said, others have reported any where from 30 to 60 MPG. I think 45 to 55 would be the norm, I generally get an easy 200 before reserve.

One tip: MAX fill the tank to top best done with bike in the vertical position and allow tank to vent air through the small hole in the fill neck.

If you do not have a chance to evaluate the bikes overall performance and state of tune related to MPG I would not risk it.
(If possible) Measure fuel use the first 50 miles of the trip before the long stretch????

Given all the unknowns, I would find a way to carry a 1/2 gallon of extra fuel. (Real concerned or paranoid after the initial test ride, carry a gallon).

One other tip: HIGH SPEED and warm or hot temps, loaded bike......check the oil every stop.....especially on an unknown bike (new to you). Even the best used TA could or will normally use some oil at high speed.
1982 CX500 Turbo ,2006 ST1300, 2012 NC700X
1971 CT90,1981 C70, 1986 TRX 250,
1993 TRX300 4X4, 2001 TRX500 4x4, 1987 XR250L
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:34 PM   #3
tkb OP
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Northern California N40 14.804 W121 09.068
Oddometer: 171
Good Advice!

Showkey, thanks much for some very good advice, and the link to more info.

You're absolutely correct about it being an unknown-to-me bike, and I've encountered headwinds in Nevada can murder MPG. So, I plan to take your advice and shift north and cross Nevada on US 50.

Fortunately have a fellow rider going along on a big BMW so have some backup. Also, will carry some oil and check level regularly as you suggest, and tuck in the bag a couple MSR bottles of fuel just in case. I spent too many years in military jets sweating fuel while trying to get on the ground.

Transalp is going to Texas as a birthday present for a C-130 pilot, my daughter. Yup, world has changed.

Again, thanks.

tkb screwed with this post 04-28-2012 at 08:41 PM
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:28 AM   #4
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Location: Wausau
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Your BMW wing man change most of the risks to an inconvenience.
1982 CX500 Turbo ,2006 ST1300, 2012 NC700X
1971 CT90,1981 C70, 1986 TRX 250,
1993 TRX300 4X4, 2001 TRX500 4x4, 1987 XR250L
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:04 PM   #5
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Joined: Nov 2004
Location: West Carolina
Oddometer: 507
My 2 cents.........

I just returned from a 2 wk road trip, loaded a lot, panniers, duffle ,and small cooler. I was running trail gearing for the TAT, 15/45 , I averaged 45 on the way west, the wind was not helping either. In the higher elevations 6000+ the throttle was sluggish and mileage dropped below 40, I am jetted for under 5000ft.
Another thing is that sometimes you wont get full reserve (gunk in the petcock tube) so you will only have about 4 useable gallons. I would carry at least a gallon of spare gas. I had 2 one liter bottles and was wishing for more.
On the way east..........below 5000ft running a steady cruise at 5000rpm which is 64mph on my bike, mileage was in the mid to upper fourties.
Keep an eye on your oil the man said they will use some oil, the harder you run it the more it will use.
Hope this helps
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:26 PM   #6
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Las Vegas
Oddometer: 52
There is gas in Rachel Nevada and at Ash Springs (On 93)

My 89 Transalp has been ridden hard for over 50 thousand miles..Bone stock, well maintained and serviced so it still tip top. To get 50 MPG out of the bike you need to keep speeds under 65MPH. I did the same ride on my Transalp a few years ago. Rachel Nevada has a gas station and it's about 100 miles from Tonopah so you won't have to take extra gas. My last trip to Northern Nevada I went from Tonopah North to Austin via trails. I bought two 2 liter soda bottles on sale for 99 cents each. Dumped the soda, rinsed them out and filled them with gas. I stuck the bottles in my back pack and off I went. After a hundred miles the bottles got heavy so I dumped them in the tank. Made it 217 miles no problem.

When I run the bike hard on I 15 at 80 + MPH I hit reserve at 150 miles...Just food for thought.

You will love the ride, the Extraterrestrial Highway is a must do!!!!!

Let us know how it went.
The best motorcycle is the one that is being ridden right now........
62 Honda Trail 90....tiny thumper..................2003 XR650R Plated
1986 Yamaha TT225s little thumper..............2009 BMW GSA
1989 Honda Transalp...big v-twin
2001 Honda VFR....bigger v-4](Sold)
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:43 PM   #7
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Joined: Jul 2009
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I used to get 50 mpg at 60-65 indicated mph on a '90 TransAlp, one up (165 lbs) with side cases. On the highway I generally ran +4-5 psi more in the tires. I planned on 175 miles of safe range (never hitting reserve). I thought it had 5 gallons capacity, but really it was closer to 4 gallons. Even though I sat on it when filling it up, maybe I didn't really fill it up.

I know the aviation playing with fuel numbers game so here's one for you: since you are generally going eastbound you'll (supposed to?) frequently get a tailwind. Slow to 60mph and with a tailwind (watch the shrubs on the side of the road) you can go well past 60 mpg.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:42 AM   #8
the Pheasant
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Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Old London Town
Oddometer: 375
Not very far...

Althought the claimed tank capacity is 18l, only about 16 of them are actually easy to get to. And as Transrider5587 says, you have to keep speeds down to get good economy. The three-valve head and convoluted exhaust route aren't efficient at high revs. I used to get about 130 miles to reserve from my XL600V and once got this down to 103 miles riding fast with pillion. Slow down and you might get 160 before you need to turn the tap. And if you do run out on reserve, there's about 1l left in the right-hand side which can be reached by laying the bike on its left.
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