When I got the GS, the salesman at the dealership did a thorough walk through to orient me to the new bike. It was a fabulous service for sure. I liked their attention to detail. And, I'm the type of person that likes when someone shows me rather than tells me how to do something. Anyway, one of the points was about the size of the gas tank and how many miles I should get per tank. I'd also talked to my sister-in-law and her husband as they have/had an older F650GS and a Dakar. They were both getting about 200 miles per tank, which is also what the dealer said. That works out to about 70mpg (I think). So, off I went riding my shiny new bike with those figures in mind. But, for some reason, I could only go about 180 miles before the gas light came on. Weird I thought. I wonder what that's about. I made mental notes and kept checking my MPG when I filled up. I even now use an iPhone app that will do all the calculations for me. I just input the data at the pump and voila!
Not long ago I was reading the Chain Gang forum and there was a discussion about how much power is needed to run heated grips and extra lights. One person mentioned that in order to recharge the battery, you should be running a higher than normal rpms. He suggested running at 3,500 to 4,000 rpms to get a good recharge. Hmmm. That's about what I'd been running normally. Could that be the source of my low gas mileage? :-)
So, I did a test, and was a bit lighter on the throttle and paid closer attention to the rpms and sure enough, 200+ miles per tank!
The GS is the first bike I've had with a tach. It's also my first brand new bike. Prior to this, I'd been riding a Honda 450CMX Rebel. That bike did not have a tach and also did not have a whole lot of power. To get the most out of it, you really had to rev it. I'd go WOT off the line just to get it up to speed, which it did very well and was happier that way. So, that's what I'd been used to. Also, the Rebel is loud and vibrates a lot. So, I sort of thought, if I couldn't hear the engine revving on the GS, then I was ok. But, the GS needs more than just that. I'm sure there are lots of folks who think the 650GS is loud and also vibrate a lot. Well, they have never ridden the fabulous Honda Rebel. :-) I'm still getting used to how quiet the GS is.
I guess I really am a bit of an aggressive motorcyclist. And that was reflected in my MPG. I think I can get used to the 200 mile range and the 70mpg though.
Wall Drugstore and Badlands National Park
1 hour ago