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Old 04-28-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
tkb OP
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Location: Northern California N40 14.804 W121 09.068
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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
showkey
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Buried in this thread is all things TA :

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...39170&page=880

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.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:34 PM   #3
tkb OP
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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.

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Old 04-29-2012, 07:28 AM   #4
showkey
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Your BMW wing man change most of the risks to an inconvenience.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:04 PM   #5
Clockwatcher
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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 level........like 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
Transrider5587
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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.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:43 PM   #7
chazbird
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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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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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Old 09-08-2014, 06:10 AM   #9
Timalaska
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Pissed 1989 honda transalp- 61 mpg....!!!alaska

hi all...just got done with the initial clean up & set up of my new (to me that is) honda 1989 xl600v transalp..
i just posted a 61 mpg avg on a mixed route of hills, mountain & flat driving, keeping the speeds down to 55 mph max and running shell 90+ octane gas ( hi-test= cooler & longer burn, also too this is the stuff with the additives)
having had (and loved 1 96 bmw r1100 rsl "oil head" and gotten 60+ mpg driving at 55-60)...
i can say from observation the following re: An american import "ta" xl600v
1. This bike has 37,000 miles & no calif emissions, also too it is fitted with a -2- brothers exhaust for that year honda.
2. Tires are a pirelli "scorpion" tubeless...yep previous owner (with tubes) on aluminum rims. Inflated to book spec of 29 psi cold
3. Just got done changing the oil....which in a honda (wet sump) is also the transmission & wet clutch lubricant. I use nothing but good old castrol 20-50 "motorcycle" oil which has the zinc additive that these older bikes need.
4.i also put on a new k&r oil filter, nice as it has the milled on 15mm bolt head for easy install.
5. Replaced the air cleaner with a new "honda" stock factory air filter, cost=$30.00 from my local "hartley honda" dealer in palmer alaska.
6. Bought -4- new ngk 8's ( standard plug for all around --aka cooler/european riding, ngk 9's for hi speed, extended riding...long distance....could only install -2-!!!!......lol...yep...
as the front & rear are gonna be done by my dealer.....i know when im over my head.....!!!

7. Note...as the honda by the shop manual only carries about 2.5-2.75 qts of oil with oil & filter change, and it is using this for everything, engine, transmission, clutch...i would change this out as soon as it shows signs of wear, i.e. Dark color....smell...etc....
also too in the past......bmw aircooled boxer & subaru w/cooled boxer( vw's air cooled boxers as well) i have used the old "stp" blue bottle as an adiitional oil supplement and its always worked wonders...again i only use castrol products...especially on a honda xl500(old bike) or the newer water cooled xl600v motors as oil capacity is so little...

i am hesitant to use the stp in a "wet clutch" bike as it may cause clutch issues.....any feed back??????

on another note...with the honda 89-90 ta's...

i also took the time- two ++ weeks to go thru..
manually hand clean ( no power washing) and inspect the areas for wear....
chain sprockets....ect,
tires.....wheels..
shocks, forks......
and to put eveything back to spec. As to factory values...

my observationwith the "ta" so far ( having seen & talked to folks from europe who've ridden round the world on them is this....

great little bike...

keep in mind the "book" spec for total load on the back ( factory stock) is only about 400 lbs
(look at the combined rider & pillion #'s)..
so clearly this bike was never intended to haul major weight...
at 5'11" and about 189#'s, im 50% of the load cap for this bike...

note on gearing....i check & counted the teeth on the rear & the front sprokets...
box stock 15 front, standard on the rear....

i could go up to a 16 on the front ( all advice says this will drop rpms in 5th by apprx. 400-500 rpm).....question...will a 17 fit???

also too i noticed my '89 ta has "aluminum rims.....which is nice....lower rotating weight...

other than a givi windshield & a set of givi "engine guard" bars ++ the two brothers exhaust everything else is stock....

now here's what i see....

a. This bike loves to run at 3,000-4000 rpm...
thats how i got it to do 61 mpg....keep in mind i havenet replace the front & rear sp. Plugs yet!!!...lol.....

b. When i take it up to 65 mph...and appx 5,000 it handles it ok...but i can tell its starting to buzz.....

c. At 75 which it does very easy.....its now buzzing......which tells me bike/engine combo is working mucho harder....

d. All thru this... The bike has good power...will easily acclerate, just roll on the throttle.....

but....and i say but...its "aero" profile is happiest at 55- 60.....

also too playing with the front/rear fork tube/ shock settings....

i lowerd the front forks by 9mm for starts ( the prev owner had them set at the top of the fork tubes)..which made a noticable difference in handling for the better
next i will flush them out & put in new fork oil & check the springs......any suggestions on how to get these to be more supple/better travel..???..right now they are all wrong as the are set up too hard.....aka pogo'ing....
too harsh.....

so any suggestions on suspension????

any suggestions for tires....( back to a standard "tubed tire, as im thinking the "tubeless tires it cam ewith are too stiff)
id like to go to a michelin, heidenau or other
"name brand" ( sorry no asian tires for me)..
and also id like to replace the tubes......

any thoughts as this bike will be used daily for mostly road- rain with maybe 10-20% max gravel/fireroad use....
its pretty clear to me the "ta" is not an enduro bike....even on a good day....

also too any thoughts on how to further drop weight????

any good aftermarket "gas tanks" 5-6 gal capacity..??

what about a corbin seat???....or other manufactures.....keeping in mind im 5'11...34" leg
and alread on longer road stretches im kicking down the rear pegs to stretch my legs & change my seating position....

my next big change will be to go to a k&n air filter......

and a better wind screen...currently has a "givi"...18" screen on it....and its clearly too short for anykind of higher speed airflow

and im gonna look into a new "adjustable" rear shock system for someone my size...

gearing would like to go to 16+(17???) on the front...
also new did 525 sealed chain....
i had to soak the old one which cam with the bike for -2- days with " break free" lubricant & honda white lithium spray chain lube for "o" ring chains....to get it to go back to being supple........lol

im thinking....
a. Better aerodynamics- +++ mpg
b. Is there a better "iridium" plug for these bikes..??
d. Better foot pegs.....front & back....the stock honda's are painful at best.....wider & better grip..???
e. Brake levers/brakes.....
how to imporve the front disc..???
and the rear drums.....???? Any suggestions???
f.seat...??? Corbin....i'd almost prefer i higher seating position...as the current (stock) is almost too low
g. Lighting....how to improve ( on the cheap..lol) h4 headlight/taillights....

f. What did i miss.....????

anysuggestions please let me know...
thanks as always
timalaska.........timalaska@aol.com
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:21 AM   #10
Timalaska
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My "new" '89 honda xl600v "ta" is getting 61 mpg......questions & answers..??

HI ALL...JUST GOT DONE WITH THE INITIAL CLEAN UP & SET UP OF MY NEW (TO ME THAT IS) HONDA 1989 XL600V TRANSALP..
I JUST POSTED A 61 MPG AVG ON A MIXED ROUTE OF HILLS, MOUNTAIN & FLAT DRIVING, KEEPING THE SPEEDS DOWN TO 55 MPH MAX AND RUNNING SHELL 90+ OCTANE GAS ( HI-TEST= COOLER & LONGER BURN, ALSO TOO THIS IS THE STUFF WITH THE ADDITIVES)
HAVING HAD (AND LOVED 1 96 BMW R1100 RSL "OIL HEAD" AND GOTTEN 60+ MPG DRIVING AT 55-60)...
I CAN SAY FROM OBSERVATION THE FOLLOWING RE: AN AMERICAN IMPORT "TA" XL600V
1. THIS BIKE HAS 37,000 MILES & NO CALIF EMISSIONS, ALSO TOO IT IS FITTED WITH A -2- BROTHERS EXHAUST FOR THAT YEAR HONDA.
2. TIRES ARE A PIRELLI "SCORPION" TUBELESS...YEP PREVIOUS OWNER (WITH TUBES) ON ALUMINUM RIMS. INFLATED TO BOOK SPEC OF 29 PSI COLD
3. JUST GOT DONE CHANGING THE OIL....WHICH IN A HONDA (WET SUMP) IS ALSO THE TRANSMISSION & WET CLUTCH LUBRICANT. I USE NOTHING BUT GOOD OLD CASTROL 20-50 "MOTORCYCLE" OIL WHICH HAS THE ZINC ADDITIVE THAT THESE OLDER BIKES NEED.
4.I ALSO PUT ON A NEW K&R OIL FILTER, NICE AS IT HAS THE MILLED ON 15MM BOLT HEAD FOR EASY INSTALL.
5. REPLACED THE AIR CLEANER WITH A NEW "HONDA" STOCK FACTORY AIR FILTER, COST=$30.00 FROM MY LOCAL "HARTLEY HONDA" DEALER IN PALMER ALASKA.
6. BOUGHT -4- NEW NGK 8'S ( STANDARD PLUG FOR ALL AROUND --AKA COOLER/EUROPEAN RIDING, NGK 9'S FOR HI SPEED, EXTENDED RIDING...LONG DISTANCE....COULD ONLY INSTALL -2-!!!!......LOL...YEP...
AS THE FRONT & REAR ARE GONNA BE DONE BY MY DEALER.....I KNOW WHEN IM OVER MY HEAD.....!!!

7. NOTE...AS THE HONDA BY THE SHOP MANUAL ONLY CARRIES ABOUT 2.5-2.75 QTS OF OIL WITH OIL & FILTER CHANGE, AND IT IS USING THIS FOR EVERYTHING, ENGINE, TRANSMISSION, CLUTCH...I WOULD CHANGE THIS OUT AS SOON AS IT SHOWS SIGNS OF WEAR, I.E. DARK COLOR....SMELL...ETC....
ALSO TOO IN THE PAST......BMW AIRCOOLED BOXER & SUBARU W/COOLED BOXER( VW'S AIR COOLED BOXERS AS WELL) I HAVE USED THE OLD "STP" BLUE BOTTLE AS AN ADIITIONAL OIL SUPPLEMENT AND ITS ALWAYS WORKED WONDERS...AGAIN I ONLY USE CASTROL PRODUCTS...ESPECIALLY ON A HONDA XL500(OLD BIKE) OR THE NEWER WATER COOLED XL600V MOTORS AS OIL CAPACITY IS SO LITTLE...

I AM HESITANT TO USE THE STP IN A "WET CLUTCH" BIKE AS IT MAY CAUSE CLUTCH ISSUES.....ANY FEED BACK??????

ON ANOTHER NOTE...WITH THE HONDA 89-90 TA'S...

I ALSO TOOK THE TIME- TWO ++ WEEKS TO GO THRU..
MANUALLY HAND CLEAN ( NO POWER WASHING) AND INSPECT THE AREAS FOR WEAR....
CHAIN SPROCKETS....ECT,
TIRES.....WHEELS..
SHOCKS, FORKS......
AND TO PUT EVEYTHING BACK TO SPEC. AS TO FACTORY VALUES...

MY OBSERVATIONWITH THE "TA" SO FAR ( HAVING SEEN & TALKED TO FOLKS FROM EUROPE WHO'VE RIDDEN ROUND THE WORLD ON THEM IS THIS....

GREAT LITTLE BIKE...

KEEP IN MIND THE "BOOK" SPEC FOR TOTAL LOAD ON THE BACK ( FACTORY STOCK) IS ONLY ABOUT 400 LBS
(LOOK AT THE COMBINED RIDER & PILLION #'S)..
SO CLEARLY THIS BIKE WAS NEVER INTENDED TO HAUL MAJOR WEIGHT...
AT 5'11" AND ABOUT 189#'S, IM 50% OF THE LOAD CAP FOR THIS BIKE...

NOTE ON GEARING....I CHECK & COUNTED THE TEETH ON THE REAR & THE FRONT SPROKETS...
BOX STOCK 15 FRONT, STANDARD ON THE REAR....

I COULD GO UP TO A 16 ON THE FRONT ( ALL ADVICE SAYS THIS WILL DROP RPMS IN 5TH BY APPRX. 400-500 RPM).....QUESTION...WILL A 17 FIT???

ALSO TOO I NOTICED MY '89 TA HAS "ALUMINUM RIMS.....WHICH IS NICE....LOWER ROTATING WEIGHT...

OTHER THAN A GIVI WINDSHIELD & A SET OF GIVI "ENGINE GUARD" BARS ++ THE TWO BROTHERS EXHAUST EVERYTHING ELSE IS STOCK....

NOW HERE'S WHAT I SEE....

A. THIS BIKE LOVES TO RUN AT 3,000-4000 RPM...
THATS HOW I GOT IT TO DO 61 MPG....KEEP IN MIND I HAVENET REPLACE THE FRONT & REAR SP. PLUGS YET!!!...LOL.....

B. WHEN I TAKE IT UP TO 65 MPH...AND APPX 5,000 IT HANDLES IT OK...BUT I CAN TELL ITS STARTING TO BUZZ.....

C. AT 75 WHICH IT DOES VERY EASY.....ITS NOW BUZZING......WHICH TELLS ME BIKE/ENGINE COMBO IS WORKING MUCHO HARDER....

D. ALL THRU THIS... THE BIKE HAS GOOD POWER...WILL EASILY ACCLERATE, JUST ROLL ON THE THROTTLE.....

BUT....AND I SAY BUT...ITS "AERO" PROFILE IS HAPPIEST AT 55- 60.....

ALSO TOO PLAYING WITH THE FRONT/REAR FORK TUBE/ SHOCK SETTINGS....

I LOWERD THE FRONT FORKS BY 9MM FOR STARTS ( THE PREV OWNER HAD THEM SET AT THE TOP OF THE FORK TUBES)..WHICH MADE A NOTICABLE DIFFERENCE IN HANDLING FOR THE BETTER
NEXT I WILL FLUSH THEM OUT & PUT IN NEW FORK OIL & CHECK THE SPRINGS......ANY SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO GET THESE TO BE MORE SUPPLE/BETTER TRAVEL..???..RIGHT NOW THEY ARE ALL WRONG AS THE ARE SET UP TOO HARD.....AKA POGO'ING....
TOO HARSH.....

SO ANY SUGGESTIONS ON SUSPENSION????

ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR TIRES....( BACK TO A STANDARD "TUBED TIRE, AS IM THINKING THE "TUBELESS TIRES IT CAM EWITH ARE TOO STIFF)
ID LIKE TO GO TO A MICHELIN, HEIDENAU OR OTHER
"NAME BRAND" ( SORRY NO ASIAN TIRES FOR ME)..
AND ALSO ID LIKE TO REPLACE THE TUBES......

ANY THOUGHTS AS THIS BIKE WILL BE USED DAILY FOR MOSTLY ROAD- RAIN WITH MAYBE 10-20% MAX GRAVEL/FIREROAD USE....
ITS PRETTY CLEAR TO ME THE "TA" IS NOT AN ENDURO BIKE....EVEN ON A GOOD DAY....

ALSO TOO ANY THOUGHTS ON HOW TO FURTHER DROP WEIGHT????

ANY GOOD AFTERMARKET "GAS TANKS" 5-6 GAL CAPACITY..??

WHAT ABOUT A CORBIN SEAT???....OR OTHER MANUFACTURES.....KEEPING IN MIND IM 5'11...34" LEG
AND ALREAD ON LONGER ROAD STRETCHES IM KICKING DOWN THE REAR PEGS TO STRETCH MY LEGS & CHANGE MY SEATING POSITION....

MY NEXT BIG CHANGE WILL BE TO GO TO A K&N AIR FILTER......

AND A BETTER WIND SCREEN...CURRENTLY HAS A "GIVI"...18" SCREEN ON IT....AND ITS CLEARLY TOO SHORT FOR ANYKIND OF HIGHER SPEED AIRFLOW

AND IM GONNA LOOK INTO A NEW "ADJUSTABLE" REAR SHOCK SYSTEM FOR SOMEONE MY SIZE...

GEARING WOULD LIKE TO GO TO 16+(17???) ON THE FRONT...
ALSO NEW DID 525 SEALED CHAIN....
I HAD TO SOAK THE OLD ONE WHICH CAM WITH THE BIKE FOR -2- DAYS WITH " BREAK FREE" LUBRICANT & HONDA WHITE LITHIUM SPRAY CHAIN LUBE FOR "O" RING CHAINS....TO GET IT TO GO BACK TO BEING SUPPLE........LOL

IM THINKING....
A. BETTER AERODYNAMICS- +++ MPG
B. IS THERE A BETTER "IRIDIUM" PLUG FOR THESE BIKES..??
D. BETTER FOOT PEGS.....FRONT & BACK....THE STOCK HONDA'S ARE PAINFUL AT BEST.....WIDER & BETTER GRIP..???
E. BRAKE LEVERS/BRAKES.....
HOW TO IMPORVE THE FRONT DISC..???
AND THE REAR DRUMS.....???? ANY SUGGESTIONS???
F.SEAT...??? CORBIN....I'D ALMOST PREFER I HIGHER SEATING POSITION...AS THE CURRENT (STOCK) IS ALMOST TOO LOW
G. LIGHTING....HOW TO IMPROVE ( ON THE CHEAP..LOL) H4 HEADLIGHT/TAILLIGHTS....

F. WHAT DID I MISS.....????

ANYSUGGESTIONS PLEASE LET ME KNOW...
THANKS AS ALWAYS
TIMALASKA.........TIMALASKA@AOL.COM
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:28 AM   #11
Raabe
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Joined: May 2013
Location: Austria
Oddometer: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timalaska View Post

F. WHAT DID I MISS.....????
The Caps-Lock key

edit:
even quoting your post is hard. you just need the font and size BB-codes once on the start and once at the end ending it, you do not need them every time you start a new line.

It really makes it hard to read the way it is.

On Topic (sort of):
on my 1996 Transalp (there is the "sort of" as it is no 89 Alp. maybe this is still helpful) i have the following modifications that are relevant to the gas consumption (everything in metric units):

engine modifications:
K&N air filter
ABP Racing headers
Laser ProDuro exhaust street legal version

some modifications that get the weight up:
Aluminum engine guard
Crash bars
Luggage Racks
Handlebar risers

some modifications that change the aerodynamics a tiny bit:
Seatheight increased by 2 cm --> exposes me more to the wind

Tires:
Michelin Anakee 3
2.4 bar front
2.6 bar back

The Driver:
185cm tall
85kg heavy
Textile motorcycle gear
Fullface Shoei GT-Air

The Range before reserve, just motorcycle and driver, without any luggage or other extras:
in city (average speeds from 25 to 50 km/h) 200-235 km (strongly depending on how stop-and-go-ish the traffic is)
on motorway (average speeds from 120 to 130 km/h) 210-220 km
on highway (average speeds from 50 to 100 km/h) 220-245 km
personal best (with the exact same alp but stock - before any modifications were made - i can not remember the tires or their pressure) 267 km
personal best (with the alp as it is now) 258 km

Reserve was never tested by me.

Usually I refill the tank around every 200 km (and then something around 9 - 11 liter re-enter the tank). I just do not refill it after 200 km if i want to test the range on various settings and situations.

Raabe screwed with this post 09-09-2014 at 05:49 AM
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