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post #1 of 30 Old Oct 8th, 2006, 7:15 pm Thread Starter
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Gotta ask one more time

I just rode to Phoenix and back. Going through the desert I had some issues with my gas guage and after a stop at Iron Horse in Tucson they said my Sending Unit was bad. Having that handled with my dealer.

My real problem is the gas milage. My dealer has put it on the computer twice and everything said it was fine. While in Tucson they hooked it up and found everything fine, however; I was only getting an average of 32 mpg running one up and had about 70# of load. I was getting 35 mph in Texas until the speed limit increase in West Texas of 80 mph, then it dropped to 29 mpg. When I rode through New Mexico and Arizon I was getting 32 to 33 mpg.

I asked before and someone told me to unhook the battery and later turn the throttle (sorry I don't remember who it was) but the dealership knew about this and did it when I had it in for my 6K. Didn't help. Iron Horse found that my vent hose was up against the saddle bag so they cut about 1/4" off it and that didn't help. They looked for a crimp in the hose but couldn't find one and air passed through it fine.

The end of the muffler is blacker than my 05 used to get, but she doesn't smoke or run sluggish and I really don't smell gas when she is running.

Okay guys...don't let me down. What's the matter with my girl?

Jerry
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post #2 of 30 Old Oct 8th, 2006, 7:39 pm
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Have you removed the emissions cannister or the vent hose from it could be plugged. Run in rain lately?



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post #3 of 30 Old Oct 8th, 2006, 7:43 pm Thread Starter
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Didn't remove it. That was the hose I mentioned that the dealership cut a piece off of. Air moves easily through it so it isn't clogged. Haven't ran through any rain???

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post #4 of 30 Old Oct 8th, 2006, 8:07 pm
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Could be a pinched line from the tank out. there are two at the front of the tank that come down on the right side and follow the base of the upper body panel just behind the tip over wing. If the tank was removed for air filter or fuel filter replacement, there is a good chance that one of the hoses could be pinched. I've seen this several times.



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post #5 of 30 Old Oct 8th, 2006, 10:58 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewuff
I just rode to Phoenix and back. Going through the desert I had some issues with my gas guage and after a stop at Iron Horse in Tucson they said my Sending Unit was bad. Having that handled with my dealer.

My real problem is the gas milage. My dealer has put it on the computer twice and everything said it was fine. While in Tucson they hooked it up and found everything fine, however; I was only getting an average of 32 mpg running one up and had about 70# of load. I was getting 35 mph in Texas until the speed limit increase in West Texas of 80 mph, then it dropped to 29 mpg. When I rode through New Mexico and Arizon I was getting 32 to 33 mpg.

I asked before and someone told me to unhook the battery and later turn the throttle (sorry I don't remember who it was) but the dealership knew about this and did it when I had it in for my 6K. Didn't help. Iron Horse found that my vent hose was up against the saddle bag so they cut about 1/4" off it and that didn't help. They looked for a crimp in the hose but couldn't find one and air passed through it fine.

The end of the muffler is blacker than my 05 used to get, but she doesn't smoke or run sluggish and I really don't smell gas when she is running.

Okay guys...don't let me down. What's the matter with my girl?
As a first thought, the canister cannot affect gas mileage -- there's simply no physical mechanism for it. (downstream of the canister (engine side) a vacuum leak in the hoses could lean things out, possibly affecting mileage as the Motronic tries to compensate, but that's not a tank venting or canister clogging issue, and in any event it would be noticeable at idle -- unstable/hunting endgine speed -- which was not reported here)

Misc. questions:

Do you run with the windshield full up?

Do you use the cruise control at cruise speed?

Did your dealer put the machine on the GT-1 and run a diagnostic on all the sensors?

Are the spark plugs carbon-fouled?

Does the engine idle smoothly?

One possibility is that the Motronic is not seeing a coolant temp signal that tells it that the engine has warmed up (defective sensor, unplugged sensor, broken or shorted wire, etc.). The result would be a constantly over-rich mixture (consistent with the excess cabon on the exhaust), and low gas mileage.

Shootin' in the dark here -- need more data -- gots anything to add??

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #6 of 30 Old Oct 9th, 2006, 2:13 am
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My bike, new got 48-50 mpg. After the first 6K it dropped off to 43-45 mpg. After the first 12K dropped off to 38-40 mpg. At high speed, ie, over 80 mph, it drops to low thirties. Think it is a matter of high tech bike, and low tech mechanics.

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post #7 of 30 Old Oct 9th, 2006, 8:02 am
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I'm confused as to why a vent line for the fuel tank would cause bad gas milage ?

IMO and experience with other vehicles (Assuming that the ECU is properly mapped), the problem probably has more to do with a bad sensor in the intake or exhaust. Does the LT have a MAF or MAP sensor ? Or a faulty air temp sensor could even richen up the mix a bit.

A bad O2 sensor if it reads lean will cause the ECU to over compensate by running richer as well.

A clogging CAT can also cause poor fuel milage depending on design if it's creating too much backpressure.

Just some guesses as to possible cause.
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post #8 of 30 Old Oct 9th, 2006, 8:47 am Thread Starter
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Mark,

I will start with answering your questions:

Misc. questions:

Do you run with the windshield full up?

No, I have it set about two to three inches below my eyes (about 1/3 up)

Do you use the cruise control at cruise speed?

Yes

Did your dealer put the machine on the GT-1 and run a diagnostic on all the sensors?

Yes, it has been done three times.

Are the spark plugs carbon-fouled?

Don't know. Would they have changed them during the 6K? Milage sucked prior to the service by the way.

Does the engine idle smoothly?

Like butter.

One possibility is that the Motronic is not seeing a coolant temp signal that tells it that the engine has warmed up (defective sensor, unplugged sensor, broken or shorted wire, etc.). The result would be a constantly over-rich mixture (consistent with the excess cabon on the exhaust), and low gas mileage.

Would this show up on a diognostic?

Jerry
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post #9 of 30 Old Oct 9th, 2006, 8:48 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petre
I'm confused as to why a vent line for the fuel tank would cause bad gas milage ?
It won't

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petre
Does the LT have a MAF or MAP sensor
Nope -- basically a throttle position indicator, an rpm input and a closed-loop O2 sensor, all calibrated for the particular combination of injectors, cam, displacement, etc. of the engine -- pretty crude, but obviously effective.

(to head off the follow-up posts , yes, I'm aware of the air temp sensor in the air box and the coolant temp sensors at the pump and the cylinder head -- these apparently are not used for fine adjustment of air density/mixture control, but are only gross indications of places the map needs to be adjusted (e.g., coolant warmed up, ambient air over 30C (the infamous "hesitation" setpoint)). Judging from the lack of difference in mixture control resulting from disconnecting the air temp sensor, the system is relying entirely on the O2 sensor feedback loop for mixture control at anything less than WFO throttle.)

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post #10 of 30 Old Oct 9th, 2006, 8:52 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewuff
One possibility is that the Motronic is not seeing a coolant temp signal that tells it that the engine has warmed up (defective sensor, unplugged sensor, broken or shorted wire, etc.). The result would be a constantly over-rich mixture (consistent with the excess cabon on the exhaust), and low gas mileage.

Would this show up on a diognostic?
Yep.

Well, your responses have killed all the easy answers I'll have to ponder a bit more. Any other symptoms you can provide us? You said mileage has been poor for a long time -- has it been bad from day one, or was there some point where it markedly dropped? If a sudden change, any work done on the bike at about that time?

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post #11 of 30 Old Oct 9th, 2006, 10:36 am Thread Starter
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Mark,

The bike has been poor from day one. I got off an 05 that got 53 mph and got on this one that gets 35 mpg (not counting this past trip). Only problem I have had is a plugged gas vent tube, which compressed the gas tank leading to my sending unit problem at around 4500 miles, I had my 600 and 6K service, but no changes after either.

No other real symtoms. Runs and idles fine, no problems with acceleration, no smoke or gas fumes and no leaks. Does smell a little lean and has the dark stuff on the tail pipe (worse than my 05), but other than the milage issue no problems.

Jerry
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post #12 of 30 Old Oct 9th, 2006, 7:39 pm
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Can I assume that you calculate your mileage and don't just go by the computer? If so, have you checked the mesurement system? By that I mean have you calibrated the speedo/odometer?

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post #13 of 30 Old Oct 9th, 2006, 8:09 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWphreak
Can I assume that you calculate your mileage and don't just go by the computer? If so, have you checked the mesurement system? By that I mean have you calibrated the speedo/odometer?

I use both the computer and divide the gallons into the miles driven. I have tested the odometer and it is accurate and my average speed is dead on when cleared (tested by a Texas DPS officer), wish my speedometer was as accurate The trip meter showed 1216.1 and my GPS said 1215.9 for my ride home (didn't check it going, but no reason to think it was any different). I was getting around 185 - 195 miles per tank and running on fumes a couple of times.

On this trip, not only was I handicapped with the low milage, I had traveled about 170 miles and noticed I still had a half a tank of gas. So I tapped on the estimated MPG to see how much my milage had improved to get this far on only half a tank. It said I was only getting 32 mpg. I did a quick division in my head and realized I was I might be in serious trouble. I pulled into the very next gas station and the pump said I put in 6.02 gallons. The next town was thirty miles on down the road...in the desert. After I topped it off the gas gage still said I had a half tank. After about a half hour it raised almost to the top, but would never drop below half, so the remainder of my trip I used the trip meter instead of the gas gage.

Jerry
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post #14 of 30 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 2:15 pm Thread Starter
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Come on guys, don't tell me I've stumped you with this. I have to limp to the dealer soon and would love to be able to tell them to try this or that, or ask them to check something. Any ideas?

Jerry
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post #15 of 30 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 2:31 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewuff
Come on guys, don't tell me I've stumped you with this. I have to limp to the dealer soon and would love to be able to tell them to try this or that, or ask them to check something. Any ideas?
The only other thing that comes immediately to mind is the throttle position sensor.

The LT fuel injection system is heavily dependent on throttle position indication and rpm indication to tell the Moronic how much air is flowing into the motor (and hence, how much fuel to inject). If the TPS is misadjusted (i.e., rotated too far clockwise relative to the throttle rail), it could be effectively telling the Moronic that there is more air coming into the engine than actually is, with the result that the Moronic injects too much fuel.

Now, under steady-state running, the closed-loop O2 sensor should tell the Moronic to compensate (O2 sensor: lean it out a bit, stoopid!), but with most riders there typically is enough non-steady-state operation that, at least in theory, a misadjusted TPS could drop fuel mileage. IIRC, the TPS adjustment can be checked on the GT-1 diagnostic machine (is that right, Moby??)

Having said the above, I still think before you do anything, you should pull all four spark plugs and see what they're saying to ya -- heavy black soot on all? on one? light tan on three? etc. -- the plugs should at least help point in the right direction.

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post #16 of 30 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 5:26 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks Mark,

I know they hooked it up to the computer so if the G-1 told them, than that isn't it. I think someone else mentioned the throttle position and recommended unhooking the battery for two hours, then hooking it back up, turning the ignition to start, and turning the throttle three times to readjust the throttle position. The dealer did this just before my trip and it didn't change anything. So on to the plugs.

Any other ideas out there?

Jerry
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post #17 of 30 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 5:51 pm
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I just finished a 9,000 mile ride and put a lot of energy into my fuel consumption.
It was all over the board and going over the Rockies I actually got better mileage than on the plains.......
Then it started to come into focus.......
I ran some test tanks to verify...........
Although all the fuel I put in was 91 octane,( no gasahol) some brands gave me really poor mileage.
Chevron and Shell great
Citgo and Exxon poor...
The differences where up to 5 mpg

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post #18 of 30 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 6:58 pm Thread Starter
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I went from 53 mph to 29 mpg. I doubt it was the fuel causing the majority of that. I do know that when I put Phillips 66 in one time I dropped down into the low 40's and as soon as I filled up with Shell again it went right back up to 53, but this is BAD!!! Service Manager in Tucson said "That's some kind of record for an LT!"

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post #19 of 30 Old Oct 13th, 2006, 6:40 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STARFIGHTER
I just finished a 9,000 mile ride and put a lot of energy into my fuel consumption.
It was all over the board and going over the Rockies I actually got better mileage than on the plains.......
Then it started to come into focus.......
I ran some test tanks to verify...........
Although all the fuel I put in was 91 octane,( no gasahol) some brands gave me really poor mileage.
Chevron and Shell great
Citgo and Exxon poor...
The differences where up to 5 mpg

+1 on the poor gas mileage from Citgo gas! I saw the best results going from Ct to AZ with either BP or Phillips 66.

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'03 K1200LTC - Gone to the Darko side
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post #20 of 30 Old Oct 13th, 2006, 6:51 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewuff
I just rode to Phoenix and back. Going through the desert I had some issues with my gas guage and after a stop at Iron Horse in Tucson they said my Sending Unit was bad. Having that handled with my dealer.

My real problem is the gas milage. My dealer has put it on the computer twice and everything said it was fine. While in Tucson they hooked it up and found everything fine, however; I was only getting an average of 32 mpg running one up and had about 70# of load. I was getting 35 mph in Texas until the speed limit increase in West Texas of 80 mph, then it dropped to 29 mpg. When I rode through New Mexico and Arizon I was getting 32 to 33 mpg.

I asked before and someone told me to unhook the battery and later turn the throttle (sorry I don't remember who it was) but the dealership knew about this and did it when I had it in for my 6K. Didn't help. Iron Horse found that my vent hose was up against the saddle bag so they cut about 1/4" off it and that didn't help. They looked for a crimp in the hose but couldn't find one and air passed through it fine.

The end of the muffler is blacker than my 05 used to get, but she doesn't smoke or run sluggish and I really don't smell gas when she is running.

Okay guys...don't let me down. What's the matter with my girl?

your talking about 80mph or higher at times?

is this a ture 80mph by GPS? or your speedo

I know we have different year bikes
but my '02 when running 80 and up gertrs really bad mileage under 80 it;s much better, I mean I can tell a big difference from 80 to a steady 82 with occasional passing over 82, running 85 mph well lets just say the gas mileage is [email protected]

Tom

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post #21 of 30 Old Oct 13th, 2006, 8:23 am
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My 02 w/77k miles on it is going to the dealer this morning.

I took it in for the 32-35 MPG problem last time (about 3-4 months ago) and they found the O2 sensor was unplugged for some reason unknown to me.

Put new spark plugs in to boot and the bike actually hit 40 MPG again..for awhile. I've seen as high as 49 MPG out west (Idaho) when the bike had less than 10-12K miles on it. I agree, it gradually goes down, I haven't seen those 40-50 MPG numbers since.

I'm back in the same boat, during and after the last 1500 mile trip out east....35 or less MPG and smelling gas on startup. I may just have them change the oxy sensor for grins if nothing else.

I cut the brown wire long ago. I still have the cannister hooked up and that may be some of the problem w/crappy driveability at times but I don't think its causing the MPG problem.

hope that helps!....geo
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post #22 of 30 Old Oct 13th, 2006, 9:43 am Thread Starter
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Wouldn't an umplugged 02 sensor show up on the computer?

As for the speed. I was running 85 only in West Texas (80 mph speed limit) and getting 29mpg. Most of the time I was at 78 mpg and this was true speed not speedo. Average mph for the entire trip was between 32 & 33. Even at those speeds this was way too low.

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post #23 of 30 Old Oct 13th, 2006, 3:24 pm
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Mountains vs Plains

Quote:
Originally Posted by STARFIGHTER
I just finished a 9,000 mile ride and put a lot of energy into my fuel consumption.
It was all over the board and going over the Rockies I actually got better mileage than on the plains.......
You should.

http://www.ldriders.com/html/gas_mileage.html

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post #24 of 30 Old Oct 15th, 2006, 1:42 pm
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Do you ride with a goup or have kids...

I know, especially after your complaining, what I would be doing....
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post #25 of 30 Old Oct 15th, 2006, 2:04 pm Thread Starter
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I think my road name should answer part one of your question and for part two, my wife and I have an understanding about our children...they ALL have tails.

I guess I missed your point about knowing what you would be doing

Complaining

Jerry
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post #26 of 30 Old Oct 16th, 2006, 10:44 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewuff

My real problem is the gas milage. My dealer has put it on the computer twice and everything said it was fine. While in Tucson they hooked it up and found everything fine, however; I was only getting an average of 32 mpg running one up and had about 70# of load. I was getting 35 mph in Texas until the speed limit increase in West Texas of 80 mph, then it dropped to 29 mpg.

The end of the muffler is blacker than my 05 used to get, but she doesn't smoke or run sluggish and I really don't smell gas when she is running.

Okay guys...don't let me down. What's the matter with my girl?
Jerry, I can't add anything concrete but I CAN give you my MPG details as I have a new loaded 2006 LT just at 5,500 mile mark that I bought Sept. this year.
Did you break it in hard or soft (rings set properly) or don't know? How many miles on her?

1-DEFINATELY CHECK THE PLUGS always do this - not as easy as my Harley, & while in there do a warm & cold COMPRESSION CHECK and note the pressures after THREE tests. The plugs can tell the story, take color photo's.

2-I ride 2-up 90% and get 48 mpg doing an average 65-68 mph, BUT it depends on the WIND. Got 50 mpg running 70 mph w/ the 7-10 mph wind on our back, 40 mpg running 67 mph into the wind.

3-The HUMIDITY makes an INCREDIBLE and in my opinion biggest difference! Only got 28-30 mpg (per the BC) running 60 mph on the way to FL Keys before dawn with 100% RH (condensation & dripping from your helmet, windshield always fogged). The minute the day broke the RH naturally went down and the BC reset and read 47-48 mpg. Cool dry air adds 15-20% mpg efficiency.

4-You need to fillerí up to the top and run 100 miles or so at 50-55 mph, refill to the top and then do the math mpg check using the gallons you needed to filler' up (to the SAME spot) as the divisor.

5-Running over 80 mph my mpg goes into the toilet, but the above variables always impact it - so to speak.

6-My feet extended on the j-pegs drop the mpg 2-3 (resistance) The windshield doesnít have quite as big as an effect and at time improves the mileage when properly feathered.

7-Next week weíre running to NC to see the colors, I will be riding one up only and will let you know of any stark changes to the above.

8-I also found Chevron, BP, and Texaco to be the most efficient fuels and would like to start a thread on this alone.

I am interested as to what the final outcome is, I know it is under warranty but no one cares more for your bike than you do. Nothing above will solve your problem but it WILL narrow the problem for your dealer towards the solution that we all can benefit from.

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post #27 of 30 Old Oct 16th, 2006, 11:23 am
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Talking Decreasing Gas Mileage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost55
My bike, new got 48-50 mpg. After the first 6K it dropped off to 43-45 mpg. After the first 12K dropped off to 38-40 mpg. At high speed, ie, over 80 mph, it drops to low thirties. Think it is a matter of high tech bike, and low tech mechanics.
Ghost, at this rate you will not be able to get to the grocery store without filling up by the time you reach 50,000 miles! Ha! Ha1 Ron

Ron Ray
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2007 GS Adventure

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post #28 of 30 Old Oct 16th, 2006, 1:09 pm Thread Starter
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SmokinJoe,

I broke the bike it by the book, she has just over 8K on her now.

My ride to Phoenix started out in high humidity (Houston) but for the most part was the arid West Texas, N.Mex, & AZ.

The spark plugs will be checked and I will have them check the compression (thanks for the suggestion).

I ran one up and had approx 70# of gear, no wind, fair temps, no wind, with the J-Pegs and had the windshiled trimmed for a smooth ride.

I have done the 55 mph test and it was done in almost perfect conditions and got 37mpg, with no gear and only me. Bad bad bad.

Do they change the plugs at the 6K?

Jerry
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post #29 of 30 Old Oct 16th, 2006, 3:44 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewuff
SmokinJoe,

I broke the bike it by the book, she has just over 8K on her now.

Do they change the plugs at the 6K?
the plugs normally are replaced at 12 K unless there is reasons to do earlier. 6 K is a VERY minor lube, listen, look flashlight inspection service.

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post #30 of 30 Old Oct 16th, 2006, 4:59 pm Thread Starter
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Sounds like the plugs may be a great place to start. Would the computer not show a problem if it was the plugs though?

Jerry
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2008 FLHTCU White Pearl

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