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Does the "Bird" need an intervention?

Old 02-17-2006, 03:20 PM
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Does the "Bird" need an intervention?

I know that a big complaint about the SHawk is poor range.
I thought it was mostly related to the small fuel capacity.

I have been averaging 74 miles between yellow low fuel light indications. I see some folks posting 45 miles to the gallon. I think that puts me at under 20mpg

Do I need to bring it to GAA meetings and start the bike on a twelve step program?
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:47 PM
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Do you weigh as much as I do? 235. That might contribute to my poor gas mileage...

That, and the tick I have in my right wrist that makes me twist the throttle.

The sound my SuperHawk makes gets my blood running. I only get about 85-90 before the light comes on. How many gallons are you putting in each time?
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Old 02-17-2006, 06:43 PM
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Re: Does the "Bird" need an intervention?

$10.00 / $2.80 =3.57 gallons = 20.72mpg roughly.

Most of my riding is up and down hill plus traffic.
Ah, the island life.

Still the mileage seems pretty crappy.
I usually run between 4500 and 6000rpm when I can get some space. Riding habits do not include wheelies, burnouts or exhibitions of speed. I quit eating Twinkies a few years ago though I do have daily cravings for extra large Mochas. I don't ride two up as the wife might not approve. My wrist usually goes numb after 30 min so no twitchiness there. I just roll the throttle back with my wrist and hold it (thank God for rear brakes).

Maybe it is normal under the circumstances but my other big bikes had better mileage (KZ1000, FZR1000, XT550, Gold Wing).
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Old 02-17-2006, 06:59 PM
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I never get more than 100 miles on my speedo before the RLOD comes on. And that's 100 uncorrected miles (15/43 sprockets).
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:25 PM
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^ Same here almost to the mile with 15/43, with the ocasional Wheelie, (damn devil on my shoulder). I'm also at sea level so that shouldn't be the problem, how long since you've tuned it up? Did you check the air-filter?
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:26 PM
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Re: Does the "Bird" need an intervention?

Yeah your "Bird" needs an intervention but is she willing and are you willing???? BirdofParadise is forcing his "Bird" to drink too much gas by running around at 4500 to 6000 rpm AND putting extra wear on the engine too, so its not her fault. Yeah, in traffice you should be able to power out of trouble if you need to but in my opinion you don't need to be running around at that high of an rpm. You guys who are getting less than 130 miles per tank need to take a look at your air filter, carb sync and probably your riding habits. This is a big torquey V-twin. It doesn't need to be run at high rpm like a supersport 600. Also, its got the biggest carbs ever put on a motorcycle and it WILL drink gas if you force it to.
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:31 PM
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The most I've ever squeezed out of her is 120 but I'm at or below sea level most of the time. Even with the stock gearing and really babying it I've never come close to 130, even when it only had 2500 miles on it.
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Old 02-17-2006, 07:58 PM
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Re: Does the "Bird" need an intervention?

Maybe I'm getting better mileage because I'm at 3000 ft. here in Tucson. My bike is stock and I weight 180 lbs. I'm running Mobil1 synthetic oil too. Or it could be that my odometer is off. I'll check it the next chance I get with a GPS. I get better gas mileage in my car than the EPA called out too.
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Old 02-17-2006, 08:01 PM
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Yep, high altitude can do it. One of the guys on here moved from Colorado to Florida and he noticed a huge drop in mileage.
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Old 02-17-2006, 09:59 PM
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Re: Does the "Bird" need an intervention?

For years I have been scolded for running too low an rpm, now I'm too high.

What is a decent rpm to be running at?
Second gear only shows 5500rpm at 55mph.
Third seems a bit sluggish at 55mph and I think 3200rpm.
I'm going from sea level to 1200ft and back in about 10 to 15 minutes as I cross over the hill. Then it is into town traffic.
It did not enter my mind I was running the engine too hard.
I guess I will need to adjust my riding habits a bit.

As for tuning...I still need to make some minor tweaks. I'm running a Factory Pro TI kit with #50 pilots (screws are 2 turns out), stock mains, and needles set 4 from the top. Air cleaner is a new K&N.
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Old 02-18-2006, 08:42 AM
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Re: Does the "Bird" need an intervention?

At 3000 miles altitude, you should switch as per Honda Service Manual to the smaller jet configuration as you obviously are running very rich. You should have gobs of power at 3.5k rpms.

I bought the smaller jets at the Honda dealership for $9 a piece and had them install them for 1 hour labor fees. I found the throttle response to be "snappy". I went from 41 mpg to 45 mpg, but then again, I'm at an altitude of 5280 feet and often run twisties at around 8000 feet. At 3000 feet, rejetting would probably be a good idea.

I've noticed a lot of people are getting *** for gas milage. There's a lot of factors to consider for that though.

I generally shift around 3k to 5k rpms. Many with poor gas milage are often in the 9k range.

I'm also using 91 octane. I found I get 2mpg better gas milage than 87 octane, despite the manual. This really doesn't make sense but oh-well. Maybe the gas station I'm at has crappy 87?

It's important, also, to make sure your chain is on right with the proper amount of slack and greased properly, as it'll rob you of power otherwise.

Having the carbs synched-up dead-on is vital. I find this 90-degree V-Twin is very tach non-bouncy compared to 60 and 45 degree ones. If the idle is bouncy, your carbs might be out-of-sync. Have the dealership or someone with a vacuum guage do it for you instead of the traditional "all the way in and back out 3/4 turn bullshit" because that never works EVER.

How's your tire pressure? Are you at spec on those? Again, mpg will suffer.

Consider having your carbs cleaned professionally at the dealership. This is about 1/2 hour labor and well worth it.

A half bottle of Gumout Carb Cleaner never hurts too.

Have you checked your air filter? Might be clogged up!!!

Good luck and try some of those things and let us know if it works out for you. With the weather being so cold nation-wide, getting into a Honda motorcycle dealership for instant service will be a breeze as they're probably doing nothing right now!

Mike
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Old 02-18-2006, 04:40 PM
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Re: Does the "Bird" need an intervention?

I get pretty consistent 43 mpg average on my '02. Mostly open roads and not stop and go traffic. Not as good as my Nighthawk 750 had (57mpg avg) but a lot more fun!

Rick B
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Old 02-18-2006, 07:57 PM
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You know all that wonderful torque you get? That comes from flowing a lot of air through the engine. An engine makes power with cylinder pressure (obviously). A high rpm engine makes power with RPM, but not much torque in the midrange (power = torque x rpm). A big twin makes power by gulping large volumes of air at moderate RPM. That's why we like them so much. That air needs the right fuel mixture. Loosen up your wallet and ride the B!%$h like she's meant to be ridden!!
:P
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Old 02-19-2006, 05:11 PM
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One thing that I didn't catch anyone mention - how is the bike ridden? I used to ride 100mph on the back roads to work everyday. It's only a 6 mile drive with two stops, but even so I wasn't doing too well on mileage. One time my light came on at 70 miles. I slowed down to 70mph and the next tank it didn't come on until almost 100 miles.

Also, the sending units are notoriously inaccurate. Although you did say that you are using 3.57 gallons, I've found that my light comes on before it should. I usually take a mental note of the miles on the trip odometer when the light comes on. I then add 25 miles and try to get gas around then. Luckily I haven't run out yet. I've went over 135 miles one time last season with no problems.

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Old 02-21-2006, 09:39 AM
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Re: Does the "Bird" need an intervention?

Albiet I'm on the freeway most of my trips, but I tend to get about 40 MPG @ 4200' above sea level running 80-90 I drive about 20 miles to work each way and fill up every 3 days. I did just install a K&N, so we'll see if that adversely affects my milage this year.
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:26 PM
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Re: Does the "Bird" need an intervention?

Thanks for all the great replies.
I'm going to start by redoing the carbs and see where things stand. Hopefully Iíll see better performance in 2500 - 3500 area, and will be able to use 3rd gear more often. My new springs will be here in a couple of days. Since it has been raining like mad, I'll have time to work on the bike.

On the upside my kids counted over 200 waterfalls next to the Pali Hwy. on Sunday.

Sort of sucks driving up river though.
At least it isn't icy. You snow birds drive safe.

Aloha
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Old 02-21-2006, 05:29 PM
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Re: Does the "Bird" need an intervention?

So the Bird is going to have an intervention Uh oh.....Hope she goes along with it? You need to know what to do in case she runs out of the garage and out onto the street.
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Old 02-24-2006, 07:28 AM
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Sounds like a really bad date...
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Old 02-24-2006, 02:41 PM
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BITCH!
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Old 03-28-2006, 07:29 PM
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Re: Does the "Bird" need an intervention?

as far as fuel mileage goes...lets see here...understand that your average mustang of firebird ususally have throttle bodies that are sized at roughly 50mm to feed a 305-350 cubic inch v-8 motor. now we must look at what feeds our beasts....twin 52mm carbs! lets face it, our bikes are thirsty for dead dinos. i average 75-100 miles per tank, lowest being 49 and highest being 127. who says size dont matter.
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