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Bandit Fuel Economy

This is a discussion on Bandit Fuel Economy within the General Bandit Chat forums, part of the Suzuki Bandit Forum category; List your Bandit MPG here. Model Year………… Stock or Modified Engine………… Miles Per Gallon ………… U.S. Gallon or Imperial ………… Type of riding (mostly city ...

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  1. #1
    Rising Star WMU_BRONCO's Avatar
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    Bandit Fuel Economy

    List your Bandit MPG here.

    Model Year…………
    Stock or Modified Engine…………
    Miles Per Gallon …………
    U.S. Gallon or Imperial …………
    Type of riding (mostly city or mostly highway)……….
    Currently Owned Bikes: 2005 Yamaha FZ1 (Liquid Silver), 2000 Kawasaki ZR-7 (Candy Lighting Blue)

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  3. #2
    Newbie Massilia's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    List your Bandit MPG here.

    Model Year 2007
    Stock or Modified Engine: no
    Miles Per Gallon: 42 mpg
    U.S. Gallon or Imperial …US……
    Type of riding (mostly city or mostly highway)…Commute daily on highway…

  4. #3
    Newbie CAguy's Avatar
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    2008 Year
    Stock Engine
    39-41Miles Per U.S. Gallon
    Type of riding:
    36 mpg on CA gas at sea level riding needlessly to red line; jack rabbit starts, to "145" mph indicated, carving the canyons, riding like an idiot.
    38 mpg when riding aggressively through the local foothills.
    40 mpg when riding at (much) higher altitudes, fast, long sweepers, weekday when few cops are out.
    42 mpg when I'm out for a day ride, but I'm watching for cops.
    45 mpg (??!??) Seems after I put 3,000 miles on the bike, my mileage has increased when the conditions are good. First bike I've EVER had that has seen increased fuel economy after running the engine in.

  5. #4
    A1A
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    Up-And Comer A1A's Avatar
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    2007 Bandit 1250S

    Scorpion Slip-on end can, no air intake or fuel mods.

    Riding sanely 70% city and 30% highway averaging 42 to 44 mpg.

    Regular 87 octane fuel in USA gallons.

    Richard
    07 Red Bandit 1250S
    05 Blue DL650
    04 Yellow SV650N
    00 Copper/Black VS1400 Intruder
    58 HD Sportster H

  6. #5
    Rising Star Suzooker's Avatar
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    2002 1200S-

    Adult rider

    37 city
    41 hwy

    Yosh pipe
    US gal.

  7. #6
    Up-And Comer bandit21's Avatar
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    2007 1250s (bought new in 12/08)

    Holeshot comp2 touring slip on and stage 1 tuning kit
    1800 miles on bike

    35 mpg riding like a hooligan with ill advised accelerations well into triple digits

    40 mpg riding like a commuter

  8. #7
    Up-And Comer Smoky's Avatar
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    I'm very pleased with my Bandit's MPG

    I am very pleased with my fuel economy. I think it’s very good for a bike with this kind of performance.

    My odometer reads about 2.5% high. This was determined by going over a straight stretch of road shown on a Thomas Guide map as being exactly eight miles. This stretch of road has no dips and no curves to distort the distance. My odometer clocked 8.2 miles in this distance.

    At the risk of not being believed (but I have lots of witnesses), here are my figures:

    I bought the bike new. I last filled up with 14439 miles on the odometer.

    Gallons are U.S. gallons (128 ounces).

    Overall average as of 14439 miles has been 47.173 mpg (per odometer); 46.023 mpg (actual).

    I generally get between 46 and 48 mpg (per odometer). I almost always go over 200 miles between fill-ups unless the next gas is too far away, in which case I fill up early.

    Have gotten better than 50 mpg several times.

    Worst tank was 41.349 mpg (per odometer); 40.340 mpg (actual).

    Bike had 1500 miles on it. Involved showing a friend on a Kawasaki H2 2-stroke triple that he didn’t have the fastest thing on the road. This was over a winding road for about 10 miles. It also included about 40 miles of very stiff head wind in the Mojave Desert.

    Best tank was 58.168 mpg (per odometer); 56.749 mpg (actual).

    This was riding at a leisurely pace between 50 to 55 mph this past summer when gas was around $5.00 per gallon and there was no traffic to pressure me to ride faster. Involved some city, but mostly mountains with some considerable wind in places going from 850 feet above sea level where I live to 5,133 feet and then back home. I filled up after only 162 miles because I was leaving on a trip with the wife.

    Took a 300 mile trip with the wife and had the top box and side cases (full of stuff) on the bike. Ran the carpool lane almost never under 70 mph (per GPS; speedometer was indicating 76-77 mph) and as fast as 80 to 85 mph (per GPS) with long stretches of 80 mph (actual). It also involved climbing to about 6,500 feet above sea level. Gassed up after 207 miles and averaged 48.545 mpg (per odometer); 47.361 mpg (actual) after having come back down the mountain where we had spent the night. Arrived home after another 90 miles or so, but did not fill up until I had gone a total distance of 168 miles and averaged 44.645 mpg (per odometer); 43.556 mpg (actual). I filled up early because I was leaving on another trip.

    The extra weight of the wife and the luggage does not seem to have made a difference. Apparently increased wind resistance of the factory luggage isn't a significant factor at the speeds I was riding. The fact that my fuel economy was slightly worse after filling up on the way home than on the way out must have been due to my riding more "assertively" on that tank of fuel.

    I don’t usually do a lot of hard acceleration or braking, but I keep up with traffic and ride my Bandit faster than I drive my car. I’ll waste a little fuel to “educate” an occasional ignoramus in a cage who thinks he or she even has a chance of offering competition.

    I don’t take short trips. When I ride the bike I usually go at least 20 miles, and often more than 100. I have other smaller bikes that I run my errands on around town. This helps the Bandit’s overall fuel economy.

    I have the factory luggage package. I almost always have the top box attached, but almost never use the side cases.

    Windscreen is the one that came with the bike.

    Oddly, I’ve gotten some of my best mileage out of ARCO and Shell gasoline.

    I’ve done nothing to the bike except oil and filter changes, lubing the chain, and two new tires. I’ve had zero problems. I’ll be taking it in for the 14,500 mile valve inspection in a couple of days and I’ll get new spark plugs and air filter at that time.

    No problems with the bike. It uses no oil at all. I broke it in the way I have always done, gently at first and gradually putting increased load on the motor as the miles accumulate. Occasionally (every 50 miles or so) opening the throttle most of the way for several seconds then resuming normal running. No prolonged steady speed. Generally observing the rpm limits advised by the manufacturer. I did everything pretty much the way the book says to do it.
    Last edited by Smoky; 02-19-09 at 08:34 AM. Reason: Rewording and clarification
    1962 HD Topper scooter; 1965 Suzuki K11 80cc 2-stroke single; 1965 Suzuki S32-2 150cc 2-stroke twin; 1966 HD Sportster XLCH; 1969 HD Sprint; 1969 HD Rapido; 1970 Suzuki T350; 1982 Suzuki GS450; 2007 Suzuki Bandit 1250

  9. #8
    Supreme Being Pete's Avatar
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    Smokey, thats most impressive. I think that you hit the nail on the head with the fact that you don't use the bike for short runs.

    Probably here in the uk our roads are more congested and around my area there are a lot of additional measures aimed at slowing traffic coupled with more junctions/roundabouts springing up as more housing estates are built, that result in decelaration & accelaration.

    Whats more impresive with your figures are that they are miles per US gallons, what would youachieve on an imperial gallon? (Bit to early here for me to do maths ).

    My mpg is consistantly around the low to mid 40's.

    Pete

  10. #9
    Up-And Comer Smoky's Avatar
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    It took me a while to figure it out

    Pete,

    I know the aggravation of having to do a commute at a specific time over a specific route regardless of traffic congestion. Fortunately, I’m retired, and have the luxury of riding when I want and where I want.

    I’ve learned a few things about the Bandit. It’s the heaviest bike with the largest motor of any bike I’ve owned. Its fuel consumption characteristics are similar to an automobile in some respects. After all, the motor is rather similar in design to many small four-cylinder cars.

    In the mountains, or on roads with curves, I don’t usually throttle it on coming out of a curve (although it is a lot of fun) just to hit the brakes going into the next curve. I just select a suitable gear and maintain a rather steady throttle setting and I seem to move along as fast as the rest of my riding buddies except under full-race conditions.

    Running a steady speed at even 70 - 80 mph delivers good fuel economy. This surprised me, because other bikes I’ve had get thirsty at higher speeds. Repeatedly getting up to speed from a stop in traffic and then having to slow down eats up fuel as I expected. It’s unavoidable at times, but I’ve found it can be mitigated to some extent.

    I’ve found that a light application of the throttle delivers better fuel economy than taller gearing when operating in the lower half of the engine’s rpm range.

    I used to ride in as high a gear as possible, thinking a higher gear delivers more miles per gallon. This turns out not to necessarily be the case. On level ground or downhill when I can run a taller gear and still keep a minimal throttle opening, I do get better fuel economy. But when I have to apply significantly more throttle to pull a higher gear, my fuel economy drops.

    I’ve had three eye-opening experiences over the years that have stuck in my mind.

    In 1969 I went from Los Angeles to New York on a Harley Davidson Sportster. I had exchanged the stock 20-tooth front sprocket for a 23-tooth thinking it would improve my fuel economy. That’s 15% higher gearing, which should give me an additional 15% in mpg. Right? Well, it didn’t work out to be the case.

    In Arkansas I ran into a stretch of country road with a 45 mph speed limit. I decided to run third gear (the bike was a 4-speed) to avoid lugging the motor. I ran third gear for about 50 miles. I was surprised when I didn’t go on reserve until after having traveled at least as far as I usually did. The third gear running hadn’t decreased my mpg. The lighter throttle application required by the lower gear evidently evened things out.

    Around 1980 in a 6-cylinder Chevrolet with a 3-speed manual transmission I was taking the family up a 10,000 foot mountain. I had installed a driving computer that told me my mpg in real time. At about 30 mph around 8,000 feet above sea level the car could pull the grade in top gear. I shifted down into second gear to see what would happen. To my surprise my mpg increased by about 2 mpg.

    The third instance was this past summer. On a Suzuki GS 450 I took a remote road that ended up having a section of 20 miles of rough washboard dirt. I ran second and third gear for that 20 miles to avoid vibrating out my headlight, etc. When I filled up at the next town some 50 miles away, I had achieved 74 mpg! This is a bike that usually gets around 60 mpg.

    This confirmed in my mind that running the lower gears is offset by the light throttle (except in the most extreme of situations).

    So when going up any but the most gradual of grades on the Bandit I shift down a gear or even two, depending on my speed, which increases the rpm, but allows less throttle. Sixth gear is actually an overdrive and works best on level ground and downhill. Witness Dale Walker’s Bandit speed run. He never gets into top gear. He tops out at about 9,000 rpm in 5th gear. Shifting into 6th at top speed would just slow him down and use more fuel.

    In city traffic I seem to get better fuel economy using lighter throttle and letting the motor run up to a little higher rpm as I get up to speed instead of shifting up to the next gear early and “torqueing it on.”

    Under steady running I generally keep the motor around 2,500 to 4,000 rpm.

    These are the things that work for me. If they help someone else, that’s what this forum is all about.
    1962 HD Topper scooter; 1965 Suzuki K11 80cc 2-stroke single; 1965 Suzuki S32-2 150cc 2-stroke twin; 1966 HD Sportster XLCH; 1969 HD Sprint; 1969 HD Rapido; 1970 Suzuki T350; 1982 Suzuki GS450; 2007 Suzuki Bandit 1250

  11. #10
    Supreme Being Pete's Avatar
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    Interesting observations Smokey, I have experienced similar with my Skoda Superb 1.9 TDI. I always tried to get to the highest gear to improve fuel consumption but soon came to see that running at low revs in fifth was less economic than running slightly higher revs in fourth. I suppose its finding the rev area where the engine is at its most efficient, at speeds where the aerodynamic drag is not too great.
    Pete

  12. #11
    Newbie CAguy's Avatar
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    Back in the old days......
    a guy could install a vacuum gage in his car to determine fuel consumption at a given throttle setting. Is there anything we can install on the bike to help us 'learn' throttle input for best fuel efficiency?

  13. #12
    Newbie 99Bandit's Avatar
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    When I hit hit trottle on my 1200 the fuel gauge will dip. No joke!

  14. #13
    gad
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    I have a 2009 1250 bandit, it has 550 miles on it and i'm getting better than 42 mpg

  15. #14
    Up-And Comer bandit21's Avatar
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    You might check the odometer accuracy

    The Bandit speedometer is usually inaccurate. On my 2007 1250s, I'm actually doing 54 mph when the speedo indicates 60. Depending on speed the indicator shows about 7 to 10 percent more speed than actual. Obviously, if the speedo is off so is the odometer.

    I've checked mine with GPS, street side radar, and timed mile technique. All methods indicate an optimistic speedometer. Route 1 in the FL keys is lined with mile markers, which makes fuel consumption calculations easy. The best mpg I've gotten driving like a little old lady is 42mpg. Any time I let the torque monster loose, the mpg drops below 40.

    Enjoy your new beast, it's a bike most people don't want until someone they know gets one. Then they see what a powerful, butt haulin, all around good un it is.

    If you want to cure the surging and throttle sensitivity in the low gears while driving around town, check out Holeshot's Stage 1 tune kit. It really smooths things out and incidentally gives you more HP and more Torque.

    Ride On.

  16. #15
    Up-And Comer KiwiBandit's Avatar
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    Don't care

    I don't care what my mpg is ... it's too much fun to open the throttle ... and I don't care ...

    If I do the maths, Riding the 650 to work can cost me between $11 and $17 (New Zealand) each day in fuel ... depending on how hard I ride it. That's between seven litres and 11 litres ... a 110k run - or between 15.7ks to the litre and 10ks per litres. (I have done the 55ks one-way, down a tight and twisty New Zealand mountain road, in 28 minutes flat ... and hit speeds over 200 klicks on the 650 .. that will burn up the fuel)

    In miles I suppose that would be around 45 mpg cruising and 30 mpg riding hard.

    The 1250S appears to be about the same ... it costs about the same in fuel for the same run ... but I have owned that only weeks ... and I have not opened the throttle as hard yet ...
    Last edited by KiwiBandit; 04-21-09 at 04:19 PM.
    Owner of a 2005 GSF650 Bandit, and a 2009 GSF1250S Bandit

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