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Fuel consumption: is this right?!?


Warthog
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Filled up and did a consumption check.

 

I had done 152km for 15 litres. This equates to about 95 miles for 15 litres/3.3 imperial gallons (4.5 litres).

 

That comes out at a whopping 28.5 mpg. That is, frankly, crap!!

 

I was expecting about 35, maybe 40 and already I was not too pleased given my old R1150GS did about 48 mpg and my Honda XR does about 65mpg, and I like efficient bikes. But I could live with it for the benefits of an outfit. But 28??!!

  • This is almost all Urban, with some off-roading (only about 5 miles).
  • I think I am mostly light on the throttle, but now I am not so sure: perhpas I am not, but once in a while I do open her up. The bike has done about 900 miles (almost new).
  • It runs a 40 pilot jet, and a 125 main, with the needles raised by two washers, and cloth filter that looks like a K&N style filter.
  • Carbs are balanced and the valve correct as of about 200 miles ago.

So is this normal?

 

Should I be getting more for this sort of riding?

 

Would I get more on the open road?

 

What's goin' on??!??

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What's going on is you bought the wrong bike if you are looking for good mpg/kpl.

 

These bikes are 40h.p./750cc or less, pushing a non-aerodynamic heavy metal sidecar. Good lord man...they weigh close to 800lbs without anything in/on it.

 

When you strap a sidecar on to any bike, you essentially rob 25% to 30% of your ponies...so figure a 750cc Ural with a sidecar will perform like a 800lb. 525cc bike. Fuel mileage? What fuel mileage? We ride 'em for fun and work...not mpg.

 

A new tight engine/bike will give you a lower mpg until it has loosened up a bit. By 5K km's it will be getting its best mgp. I get 270 km's (167.4 U.S. miles) per 5 gals of gas. That works out to roughly 33.5 mpg @ 50 mph; which is about as good as it gets with one of these rigs on flat ground.

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What's going on is you bought the wrong bike if you are looking for good mpg/kpl.

 

These bikes are 40h.p./750cc or less, pushing a non-aerodynamic heavy metal sidecar. Good lord man...they weigh close to 800lbs without anything in/on it.

 

I was aware of this trait well before buying the bike. and it was the only real chink in the armour as far as bike choice was concerned. Whilst I was prepared for lower economy than what I was used to I am a little disappointed that it was that low! 33-35 or more MPG I could live with, but 28 is way too low for me. Especillay as this is unladen, with the chair screen removed!

 

Decent MPG is really important for me, especially in this day and age of carbon footprints, not to mention fuel prices.

 

Problem is that once we hit the road, fully loaded, with dog(s) and my girlfriend on board it'll be burning petrol just being parked up!

 

Good to know that the consumption should improve though.

 

All the same, I think my plan to carry an extra 10.5 gallons for big trips will come in handy!

 

 

By the way, if you are, as your signature suggests, Bill Glaser; author of the Ural manual website and purveyor a fine mechanical advice, I would like to say thanks for the great pointers on valve adjustments.! Made my first check of this old design far easier. Sir, I salute you!!

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I knew the Patrol would probably get 28 mpg around town and the island when I bought it.. The alternative is a 4wd pick up. I guess everything is relative. Someday they will EFI the thing and it will be better on the mileage. We have a wait until that happens. Probably won't be able to afford one then, or figure out how to fix it. :feelssogood:

It still is like flying a 900 pound brick. If I commuted to work, I would be on some kind of Honda I suppose. :feelssogood:

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Somethings wrong there.

 

I've got my 650 to do 6.5 litres/100km and my mates dodgy one does better than 9 litres/100km.

 

Check your toe-in and wheel bearing adjustment. If they are out you will also have bad tyre wear.

 

Good to know that the bike should be capable of better, bad to know that mine is potentially not running 100%.

 

I will investigate the toe-in and bearings, but I will also run a couple more tank fulls to see if the readings are consistent. Not done that so far as I was not doing a full tank at fill ups.

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My Deco gets about the same as my Miata. the AC isn't as good and there's no top for rain, but I ain't complainin!

 

The Ural is the only vehicle I own other than my Honda XR, and it does no where near the same as the 400!

 

I'm definitely complainin!!!

 

Hopefully the MPG will improve with time as the bike is not run in properly yet, and SB's suggestion about bearings and toe-in is worth a look at too.

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I'm having so much fun on my GearUp that I don't care about the mileage. I just stop and fill up when the trip meter hits 150 km. Usually takes about 2 or 2.3 gallons of hi test. Which right now in Minnesota costs most of a ten spot. I could probably get better mileage if I wasn't goosing it so much.

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I have to agree with these guys.

Yours is on the low end of normal. But a new bike and maybe excess toe in or tight wheel bearings will give this mileage. Especially around town and off road. Lots of cold starts? Leaving the enrichners on until it warms up? Those enrichners will really kill mileage. The irony is they make it run so rich it can barely warm up! that'll wash past the rings and get into the oil too. I turn mine off soon as it starts and just keep a light hand on the throttle the first couple minutes to help it idle.

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I have to agree with these guys.

Yours is on the low end of normal. But a new bike and maybe excess toe in or tight wheel bearings will give this mileage. Especially around town and off road. Lots of cold starts? Leaving the enrichners on until it warms up? Those enrichners will really kill mileage. The irony is they make it run so rich it can barely warm up! that'll wash past the rings and get into the oil too. I turn mine off soon as it starts and just keep a light hand on the throttle the first couple minutes to help it idle.

 

OK, folks. Thanks for the input so far: any more ideas, just post them too!

 

In response to some of the posters on the possible causes, I will try and check the toe in (will be posting for advice on that too!!) and I will also keep tabs to see if it improves as the miles creep up past the first 1000 miles and beyond. I will get the jack out and check the wheels for any play or any tightness in the rotation. As for the enricheners or choke as I call it, it only stays on for the first mile, if that after a one or two minutes warming up. That said, my journeys are never that far (10-20 kms) at the moment, so proprotionally maybe its a lot of choke time...?

 

As for those of you that wonder why I'm so bothered by this:

Firstly, for all I know the MPG could be indicative of a badly tuned engine. Secondly, MPG is always one of the factors in my vehicle choice. Its not just a case of the costs (although as a parttime teacher for now, I am not as cushioned as I was in my last career). I simply don't like engines that burn a lot of fuel. I don't like the fact that such engines are very pollutant to the environment I live in, so I try to buy bikes that do not burn so much, but I still enjoy to ride, hence my Supermoto XR.

 

So, if I can work to improve what is my Ural's biggest fault (in my opinion) I will try to find a solution, hence my initial post.

 

As I said above, keep the ideas coming!!

 

Cheers.

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Another couple of things you might check, is the condition of your spark plugs, and the accuracy of the speedometer. If your plugs are flat black are sooty, the bike may be running too rich, affecting your fuel mileage. Also check your speedo against another vehicle that has a more accurate speedometer. Have them follow you and have them flag you at various speed to check yours out, you may be getting better mileage than you think. Also make sure your K&N filter does not have too much oil on it. Tire pressure can also affect your mileage. Lots of just common sense checks and adjustments may help. JC

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I just noticed your location. Have you got a soviet era 650? If so then you can do a LOT of work to get the fuel consumption up.

 

First, the wheels will not be round or concentric. If you adjust the spokes to make the wheel round and balance them then less energy is used to shake the bike and yourself to pieces and more is used to drive you down the road.

 

Next. Have you the original carburetors? If so then see the thread on the long stroke German motor where I've detailed improvements I made to mine. Also If you look in the attached file there are rebuilding tips aswell.

 

You can do the bearing adjustment on the bike as you asked about. If you take the wheels off the bike then put the axles through the bearings before adjusting them.

 

The compression is only 7/1 on the soviet era bikes. This does not use the 95 octane fuel that is the lowest commonly available fuel in western Europe right now. If you can raise this to somewhere between 8 and 9/1 the engine will run more efficiently. Either export pistons if you can find them or machining some metal from the cylinderheads will do the job. If you machine the cylinderheads you will need to put spacers under the rocker pillars of the same thickness as the metal removed. This is to maintain correct rocker to valve geometry.

 

On 650 engines 0f the early 90's the exhaust valves run in cast iron valve guides. These wear very quickily and may need replacing. You may also be able to get the guides re-line with a nickel bronze sleeve, which for me was cheaper and easier. The late soviet era bikes also had poorly cut valve seats. Getting this done properly can make a big difference to compression.

 

If your bike doesn't have electronic ignition or has the earliest Russian type with the square black box under the seat then going to a later Russian or any other electronic ignition can make the engine smoother. If you are still using the early Soviet coil that looks like something a dog left in the street then replacing this will help power, starting and economy. I use one meant for a Japanese four but Harley Davidson coils work well too.

 

Riding without a windscreen on the sidecar makes a noticeable improvement to fuel economy too.

 

Finally the last thing I did to improve fuel economy was to fit Chinese carburetors that are intended as after market items for Chang Jiangs. With a little bit of fine adjustment the gave more power and better economy at the same time. K68 carbs should probably not be used if you are looking for economy as they have an extremely crude atomisation circuit.

K63_65_REBIULD_AND_INFO.pdf

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I just noticed your location. Have you got a soviet era 650? If so then you can do a LOT of work to get the fuel consumption up.

 

 

Thanks for the great advice. However, mine is a late 2007 Ural Sportman with 1458km on the clock!! It's pretty new.

 

I will see if any of those points need work, though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Woo Hoo!!

 

I have just come back from a day out on the Ural: my first proper irde out since I got it!! I explored some of the Estonian countryside and one of its seaside towns!

 

However, the point of this post, in this thread is that, on the way back, doing about 75 km/h, on gently undulating roads, I got 43 MPG!!

 

Obviously that would go down with a passenger and luggage, and if the terrain is more demanding, but I am still pleased see that it can do it at times!!

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