1. Adventure Rider Print Magazine!
    We're doing a print magazine this November - 128 pages of high quality adventure riding stories, photography and interviews!

    Click here to purchase a copy for $9. Limited copies still available.
    Dismiss Notice

Honda CRF500L Owners

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Scutty, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Samtech79

    Samtech79 Two wheeled lunatic

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    NorCal
    I'll just post this here instead of my or anyone else's build thread as it's something that would interest other potential builders.
    It's the mileage, I've been fucking with it and fucking with it and fucking with it as I'm OCD and I just don't know when to stop. Also, I'm planning on doing the Dempster and the difference between taking one gas can and two makes a difference on a 10k mile round trip. Less crap=mo betta.
    Soooo with full dual exhaust and a O2 sensor dummy plug I would get right at 58mpg on average keeping the speeds down to 55mph.
    Now at this point I should just say that I'm to the point of calibrating the speedo in the thousandths of a percent and it's dead nuts on. So much so that I can measure error as my tires wear.
    Honda did build some error into it as the odometer now over reports at 1.04%. I could calibrate it either way so that one is tits on or the other but I prefer the speedo to be correct as our hyperactive cops love to hand out tickets in my town.
    I've been doing all my mileage checks off GPS mileage on two separate units and I was getting an honest 58 mpg... which I was not cool with.
    I've since built an H pipe in with the factory O2 sensor mounted in the H pipe and low and behold it jumped up to 66mpg.
    Which, if you cuc-o'late the error in from Honda is 68mpg...
    Instead of the bottom of average range I'm now right smack dab in the middle.
    No loss in performance at all, no weirdness or bad behavior what so ever... yet
    I'm really keen on seeing what happens when I'm in Oregon in July as they have non ethanol gas available instead of the 10% gasohol CA garbage that's available where I live.
    #21
    ywr969, Te Hopo, sitz and 2 others like this.
  2. Samtech79

    Samtech79 Two wheeled lunatic

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    NorCal
    Oh and I should mention at this is with 18psi and knobbies... July will be on road tires.
    Bet it gets just that little bit better too.
    #22
    Redneck-Hippie likes this.
  3. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,434
    Location:
    calgary
    i still dont know how you are getting only 66mpg. when you first told me 50-ish mpg i was like wtf no way.

    im averaging 78mpg (3L/100km) on mine, apart from all the emissions removal which didn't really didnt effect fuel economy at all as far as i can tell, my engine is bone stock.

    our bikes are about 90-110lb's lighter then the cbr500/cb500x so higher MPG is to be expected. infact, when i ride with my friend on his stock cb500x he gets pretty much exactly 65-69mpg, while i push 80mpg+ consistently. doesnt matter if we go city, off road, highway, off pavement, i consistently always get 10-15mpg better then he does. and its not rider dependent cuz we swap bikes all the time.

    we also go off GPS data for our fuel economy calculations.
    #23
    Redneck-Hippie likes this.
  4. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,434
    Location:
    calgary
    for you samtech i can only speculate since i cant ride back to back with you:



    -im running full synthetic 5w-30 oil, as recommended by manual. the manual actually gives two oil weights, 10W-30, and 5w-30, i run the 5w cuz it helps get the bike up to temp faster, and our temp here is usually lower anyways, escpecially in the morning when its only 5-10c outside.


    -we live up here in canada where the temp hovers around 15-25C in the summer, and 10-20c spring/fall. colder temp theoretically will give you more power at the crank


    -however my last point makes no difference cuz we live up at 3500ft here in calgary, and we travel to the mountains which we go as high as 9,000ft. so any fuel economy gained from air temp is nullified by elevation gain. and elevation makes way more of a difference in engine performance then temp does.


    - im running 87 octane fuel, most fuel here has 5-10% ethanol content. as far as i can tell, when i get 87 with 0% compared to 10% make no difference at all in both power ( top speed) and fuel economy. however this is on my de-tuned 500 twin. on my R1 i did notice a difference in power, engine smoothness and fuel economy. but the R1 was a 200hp highly tuned engine, so of course it made a difference.


    - i know that hot roads produce alot more friction in the tires which might explain why your fuel economy is not as good. im getting 20-30,000km out of a rear tire on my crf500L. however most people i talk to that are in lower northamerica report tire mileage numbers half that of mine. our roads in the dead of summer get no hotter then about 40C. however roads down south i know can get hot enough to boil water!!


    -my air box is stock crf250L, so perhaps my air box is better suited for the 500 twin then your custom built one???


    -tires. i use the shinko 244's on my bike, 20-26psi. they are a perfect match for the crf500L/crf250L being IMO the perfect 50/50 tire. when i go off-road i swap on my 2nd set of rims that have T63 OR kenda TM-II. with the knobbies i do notice a drop in fuel economy. but even still, im getting 70mpg+


    -lastly, riding style. i dont know how you ride but i ride very aggressively. but not like on and off the throttle aggressively. by aggressively i mean i ride fast and i carry my weight through corners. i try to maintain as much momentum through a corner as possible, to the point of rooster tailing almost. this would make a big difference in feul economy since constantly accelerating out of a corner would use up significantly more fuel.


    that's all i got. i guess if you add up all the points above that might explain your MPG mystery.
    #24
  5. Samtech79

    Samtech79 Two wheeled lunatic

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    NorCal
    Guess we'll see who's the outlier when Scutty gets some more miles (UK gallons) under his belt.
    My airbox is the stock CRF box, just the intake is different.
    As for tires... I actual know how mine behave.


    I'm at sea level here where I'm testing with only 30' change over the whole route.
    I've been using the same route, same GPS's, same 87 octane and even the same pump for all of this.
    Next trick might be an air horn inside the airbox. I have some old metal VW volocity stacks that I can cut and weld to match up with my intake inside the airbox and it's short enough to have plenty of clearance from the filter.
    #25
  6. OHjim

    OHjim Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,032
    Location:
    KC
    I have found elevation to make a significant difference on my Tiger 955i and my V-Strom when I rode each in CO vs KS. For instance, on my V-Strom 650 I usually got 45mpg commuting (mostly highway), and up to 49 if just highway. When I spent a week in CO on a trip, I typically got around 55 to 60 mpg with 65mpg being my high (all of that tank relaxed two-lane riding - i.e. only up to about 60 mph on straights). For reference, I am getting about 55 mpg avg commuting on my CB500. It goes down to about 45 in the winter which I believe is due to running richer for longer before fully warming up. Unless running the heated gear loads up the engine more?
    #26
  7. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,434
    Location:
    calgary
    the stator on a cb500 is ~300w max @3,000rpm . 745w=1hp so 300w is less then half a HP. and your heated gear does not run at 300w, most run 100-150w.

    in other words the electrical load is near negligible.

    you going to the bathroom before a ride makes more of a difference then the electrical load.
    #27
    jsinclair likes this.
  8. totensiebush

    totensiebush re-tarded

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    336
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    I see a few things regarding mileage:
    1) tire type/pressure (knobbies, lower pressure both hurt mileage)
    2) elevation (if you have an O2 sensor you can often get better mileage at higher elevations, due to less pumping loss and less wind resistance)
    3) exhaust/tuning (not sure how big of a difference there is)


    I'm a little curious as to how much travel I could reasonably use (before the frame etc hits the ground) with 17s, most likely 120/70-17 front and 160/60-17 rear. I don't leave pavement a whole lot, and ride supermotos when I can, but they aren't exactly ideal for long trips.
    #28
  9. ben2go

    ben2go Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    7,522
    Location:
    Gone
    The CB500X has a 500 watt output.
    #29
    michaelkozera likes this.
  10. Samtech79

    Samtech79 Two wheeled lunatic

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    NorCal
    #30
    sitz and KayDubbya like this.
  11. Samtech79

    Samtech79 Two wheeled lunatic

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    NorCal
    Still taking measurements... if I keep it between 70-77mpg (112-124kph) with a significant cross wind (25mph) a there and back measured out to 53mpg.
    Still at 18psi with knobbies.
    I'm pretty happy with that. It's cooking pretty good with a stiff wind. Pretty much worst case scenario for mileage and it's still exceptable.
    #31
  12. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    3,166
    Location:
    Alaska
    I'm pretty much sold on ditching my Vstrom for one of these, just gotta find the donor bike!!
    #32
  13. ben2go

    ben2go Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    7,522
    Location:
    Gone
    I've been finding the donors around me. Unfortunately, I am inseam challenged. I still get good, or possibly bad, ideas from jdrocks. :lol2
    #33
  14. Samtech79

    Samtech79 Two wheeled lunatic

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    NorCal
    Dude, I'm 5'6" with 29" inseam and I'm built like a gorilla... the CRFL is a good shorty bike with pretty small ergos.
    #34
  15. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,434
    Location:
    calgary

    O wow, samtech, i totally forgot to mention one very important thing. im sorry i totally skipped over this before.

    one very important aspect of fuel economy is gearing, what is ur gearing?



    my crf500L is geared very tall. at 100km/hr (62mph) im only turning 4,700rpm. i believe the stock cbr500 at 100kph is doing about 5,500rpm.

    my gearing is so tall because i figured since my bike weighs 100lb less then a cbr500 and the cbr500 already has short gearing that i would make mine taller and gain fuel economy, reduce engine revs, and reduce engine stress over all.


    i know other people with cbr/cb500 have given themselves taller gearing and also experienced significant fuel economy gains. my wife rides a ninja 300 and we made that gearing taller too and she has seen 15-20% less fuel consumption overall, and engine revs less= more comfort for her too since the ninja 300 revs like 8,000+rpm at highway speeds.
    #35
  16. Scutty

    Scutty Talent-limited bike builder and rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    739
    Location:
    Sunny Surrey, UK
    What gearing are you running Michael?
    #36
  17. ben2go

    ben2go Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    7,522
    Location:
    Gone

    I'm about the same dimensions. I can barely ride my cb500x. I tried on a crf250l, I couldn't get a toe down. My cb-x suspension is modified but not lowered.
    #37
  18. michaelkozera

    michaelkozera Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,434
    Location:
    calgary
    15t front.

    my on-road wheel uses a 38T rear, while my off-road wheel uses 40T rear sprocket. even with this super tall gearing bike easily wheelies and still has more then enough pull in any gear, any wind speed, and any hill.


    what about you?
    #38
  19. Samtech79

    Samtech79 Two wheeled lunatic

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    NorCal
    15-42 with a 130/80-18 for me.

    As for ergos.... Ben, are you trying to get both feet down? If so, you're doing it wrong. JK... try just one foot and slide your ass over to one side or the other.
    #39
  20. ben2go

    ben2go Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    7,522
    Location:
    Gone
    That don't work for me either. So far to the ground, I slide off. I almost do it on my CB if there's a low spot under the bike where I stop.
    #40