What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 1:40 pm Thread Starter
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What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

I have a 2002 LT with 32K miles. I bought it about 18 months ago with 21K miles. I've read posts and heard other LT owners talk of getting 50+ MPG from their bikes. One post I read on this forum some time ago (don't remember who it was) said that he got over 50 MPG overall average on his trip to and back from Alaska, doing over 5,000 (?) miles on that trip. I may have seen 50 on my bike once or twice for a short distance, doing 50 MPH or less on back country roads. If I keep it at around 60 MPH I can get 40-42 MPG. Once I get up to 70 MPH and greater at constant interstate speeds I hit the mid 30s. At 80 MPH its down to the low 30s. Should I expect any better or are these guys that get 50+ doing something special or exaggerating? The P. O. Of this bike did the "brown wire cut" and also installed a Power FRK device. I have the original box and brochure for the FRK device and all it says is that it "Increases performance of your motorbike" (Motorbike? Must be some Britiish made device). Are any of you familiar with the Power FRK? Would reconnecting the brown wire or removing the FRK make a difference in my MPG?
I'm planning to do an IBR Saddlesore 1000 in October and want to be able to get the best fuel mileage possible. Also, who are the experts on this forum to advise me on how to prepare for and execute a Saddlesore 1000?
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post #2 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 2:04 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

I get 37mpg on city/HW avg. get close to 50mpg only when doing long HW trips with almost no city traffic.


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BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Sachs MadAss FY125-20
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #3 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 2:07 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredtman View Post
I have a 2002 LT with 32K miles. I bought it about 18 months ago with 21K miles. I've read posts and heard other LT owners talk of getting 50+ MPG from their bikes. One post I read on this forum some time ago (don't remember who it was) said that he got over 50 MPG overall average on his trip to and back from Alaska, doing over 5,000 (?) miles on that trip. I may have seen 50 on my bike once or twice for a short distance, doing 50 MPH or less on back country roads. If I keep it at around 60 MPH I can get 40-42 MPG. Once I get up to 70 MPH and greater at constant interstate speeds I hit the mid 30s. At 80 MPH its down to the low 30s. Should I expect any better or are these guys that get 50+ doing something special or exaggerating? The P. O. Of this bike did the "brown wire cut" and also installed a Power FRK device. I have the original box and brochure for the FRK device and all it says is that it "Increases performance of your motorbike" (Motorbike? Must be some Britiish made device). Are any of you familiar with the Power FRK? Would reconnecting the brown wire or removing the FRK make a difference in my MPG?
I'm planning to do an IBR Saddlesore 1000 in October and want to be able to get the best fuel mileage possible. Also, who are the experts on this forum to advise me on how to prepare for and execute a Saddlesore 1000?
I can't speak for the Alaska rider, but my 2007 has averaged 47 MPG over the nearly 55,000 miles I have ridden it since buying it new. Yes, I have the spreadsheet showing every tank full to prove it!

If I ride a steady 55 on level roads, I can get 49-50 all day long. Slow to 45 and I can get 55 MPG.

I don't ride extended durations at high speeds as I hate interstates. However, the few times I have ridden at 70 MPG, I run 42-44. I have never ridden at or above 80 long enough to get a good read on consumption. And I don't recall ever having a tank, not counting the aberrations after service work on the fuel system, that yielded in the 30s. I will check my spreadsheet when I get a chance and see what my lowest ever "normal" tank returned.

I also avoid cities like the plague they are so I don't have much city gas consumption data to offer.

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1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
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post #4 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 2:09 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

Yeah... That 37 must be for my bad habit of wringing my LT past the ton every time I can... :-D


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BMW K1200LT 2007
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000
Sachs MadAss FY125-20
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)


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post #5 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 2:10 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

I average right around 44 mpg.

Just sold my "02 so looking for an LT now!
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post #6 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 3:12 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

The Power FRK hooks into the intake air sensor and adjusts what temp the motronic thinks the air is. It is likely making your mixture richer and causing you to use more fuel. If the rest of the bike is stock, no after market exhaust or cat removed stuff, I would pull it off and do some test runs to see if your mileage goes up. Without knowing how severe the change is the FRK makes to the air temp, there is no way of telling what if any improvement you will see. There are other issues this might also correct but if you have the brown wire already cut, then messing with the AIT sensor is not normally recommended.

My .02 after a quick read on the $300 resistor.

I get normally better than 40-45 MPG steady HWY 1UP depending on riding conditions and the position of the wind screen.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
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post #7 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 3:30 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

I've stated this in previous post but worth repeating. I bought a 2006 lt with 60k miles on it. Had a Ceebaylee tall/wide windshield on it. From the start i was averaging 40/41 local mpg (i.e. in town never faster than 60), and mid to hi 30's highway speed (70 and above). Did my first oil/tranny/gearbox change, and replaced the windshield with a Ceebaylee 22" reverse curve. From the very first tankful after the change and service, my mpg went up to the high 40s (average 47) in town, to 45/46 at highway speeds (verified on my 4000 mile trip to KY and MA. I can get up to 51mpg if i keep it below 60. I don't know if the windshield made that much of a difference, or if the servicing did. I've got 20k since the change, and the mpg has been constant. The windshield is quite a bit lighter, and i've heard others who say it has made a difference on theirs also.
The mpg by the way is verified on pen and paper, and not just the onboard computer (which is very accurate by the way) I'm also heavy. 6'2" 245. and all the miles are solo.


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Palm Coast, FL.

2006 K1200LT (Love it)
2002 R1150RT (Sold)
2007 Harley FLHTCU (sold at 137k Miles)
1999 Harley Night train (blew the eng at 150k miles)
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post #8 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 5:08 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

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Originally Posted by vernvernvern View Post
I average right around 44 mpg.

Just sold my "02 so looking for an LT now!
If you're looking for a nice one, in excellent condition, tastefully farkeled, and used as the '15 CCR maintenance demonstration bike (John Z worked on it), my '07 is for sale.... Has Spieglers, Yacugar shocks, PIAAs, Russell Day Long saddle, V-Stream windshield, Garmin 590LM with tire pressure sensors, Fix-It-Before-It-Breaks top case latch kit, Jiffy Tite QDs, new internal fuel lines in tank, full set of Kathy's Journey luggage (panniers, top case, top case rack), etc.

Getting back to topic, mileage on my '07 has ranged from a low of 37 mpg (above 70 mph) to a high of around 54-55 mpg (putting through Yellowstone at 35 mph). Normally, I get around 42-44 mpg.

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'16 K1600GTLE
'07 K1200LT (sold 9/24/16)
'74 Suzuki GT750L (long, long gone)


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post #9 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 6:57 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

I just competed a 3200 mile trip to Ontario, Minnesota, back to Alberta and averaged just over 52 MPG. This includes both highway and short stints in cities and towns along the way.

A couple of years ago, I was averaging closer to 30-35 MPG. On advice from this forum, I changed my O2 Sensor. It made all the difference in the world. A clue if this is your problem might be the presence of black smoke from your exhaust at shift changes. Get someone to follow you around (preferably on a bike) for a short drive in the city to see if they notice any.

Also, check out a thread here called "Bad O² sensor?". Also, research "TPS Reset". Good Luck.

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1982 Honda Goldwing Interstate - "Gas, oil and Go"
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post #10 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 7:40 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

Mileage is very subjective as it relates to driving style, speed, winds and altitude. Typically for the same given conditions a pre 05 bike will get 3-8 MPG better than a post 05. I have seen consistent 50's in the higher altitudes (CO) and as low as 28 in Texas trying to maintain 75 MPH in a head wind pulling a Bushtec trailer. Over all I can usually claim around 42 on my 05.
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #11 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 8:32 pm Thread Starter
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I think you may be on to something with the windshield. Mine had a CeeBaily also when I first bought it. Now that I think about it, that's probably when I saw my best MPG. About 2 weeks after I had it I had a garage tip-over and broke the CeeBaily. I replaced it with a much larger V-Stream. 24.7" tall and 27" (?) wide. Haven't seen as good MPG since.
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post #12 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 9:10 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
Mileage is very subjective as it relates to driving style, speed, winds and altitude. Typically for the same given conditions a pre 05 bike will get 3-8 MPG better than a post 05. I have seen consistent 50's in the higher altitudes (CO) and as low as 28 in Texas trying to maintain 75 MPH in a head wind pulling a Bushtec trailer. Over all I can usually claim around 42 on my 05.
I am surprised there would be even 3 MPG difference under the same conditions. I don't think the later models were that much heavier or more draggy aerodynamically. I wonder why this would be...

Just for grins, I looked up what BMW lists for mileage and they give (I think this was for the 2009 model):

54 MPG @ 90 kph/56 mph
41 MPG @ 120 kph/75 mph

This is slightly more than what I see, but these are likely a solo rider on an unladen bike and only include steady state consumption, without acceleration, etc., while I am usually two-up and loaded near gross. So, I would say if you are much less than these values, you likely have something wrong with your bike.

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post #13 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 9:16 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredtman View Post
I think you may be on to something with the windshield. Mine had a CeeBaily also when I first bought it. Now that I think about it, that's probably when I saw my best MPG. About 2 weeks after I had it I had a garage tip-over and broke the CeeBaily. I replaced it with a much larger V-Stream. 24.7" tall and 27" (?) wide. Haven't seen as good MPG since.
Aerodynamic drag is very significant at speeds above 40 or so and increases exponentially with speed. So a larger and more draggy windshield would have a big effect at highway speeds. Look at your owner's manual. I am pretty sure mine gives the coefficient of drag with the shield up vs. down and the difference is significant. Same would apply to a shield of different size, shape, etc.

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1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #14 of 37 Old Aug 12th, 2016, 10:53 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

I met Carl Reese, the Guinness world record holder for LA to NYC (38 hours 49 minutes one-way) at my dealer (West Valley Cycle Sales in Winnetka, CA) a couple of months back. He told me he replaced his stock K1600GT windshield with a larger one before his record attempt and his mileage dropped from 38 to 28 mpg. Several magazines have carried his story, including BMW ON, in the July '16 issue (pages 64-67). Before that, I had never really considered the impact a larger windshield would have on fuel economy.

Dave Beck
'16 K1600GTLE
'07 K1200LT (sold 9/24/16)
'74 Suzuki GT750L (long, long gone)


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post #15 of 37 Old Aug 13th, 2016, 1:12 am
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

I live in a very windy place and have been doing mostly city driving of late and get around 40mpg. I track each gas tank but am not looking it up just now. I have tried some things with 87 Octane pure gas, high octane, varied riding styles with regards to starts and RPMs when shifting. I just took the top case off and may see what impact that has over the next few tanks of gas.

To the OP: What are looking for? You just want better mpg or do you want to go speeds high enough to do the Iron Butt easily or something else?

For me, i compared riding harder (a little more fun for me) or like a granny to get better gas mileage to save some money. On my '02, the difference was about 1-2 miles mpg. I decided to just ride it like I have warm donuts on the bike and want to get them home fast enough to enjoy them while they are hot.

My best gas mileage was on the Freeway at constant speed.

Oh, You guys are mentioning mpg with speed. What gear are you in and/or what RPMs are you running for better gas mileage? There is a difference when riding around at 45mph in 1st or 2nd or 3rd gear (or dare I say 4th gear, which I haven't tried).
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post #16 of 37 Old Aug 13th, 2016, 7:10 am
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

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I live in a very windy place and have been doing mostly city driving of late and get around 40mpg. I track each gas tank but am not looking it up just now. I have tried some things with 87 Octane pure gas, high octane, varied riding styles with regards to starts and RPMs when shifting. I just took the top case off and may see what impact that has over the next few tanks of gas.

To the OP: What are looking for? You just want better mpg or do you want to go speeds high enough to do the Iron Butt easily or something else?

For me, i compared riding harder (a little more fun for me) or like a granny to get better gas mileage to save some money. On my '02, the difference was about 1-2 miles mpg. I decided to just ride it like I have warm donuts on the bike and want to get them home fast enough to enjoy them while they are hot.

My best gas mileage was on the Freeway at constant speed.

Oh, You guys are mentioning mpg with speed. What gear are you in and/or what RPMs are you running for better gas mileage? There is a difference when riding around at 45mph in 1st or 2nd or 3rd gear (or dare I say 4th gear, which I haven't tried).
It varies some depending on what mood I am in, but I generally try to stay around 3,000 RPM unless I am in crazy traffic and need to accelerate and decelerate rapidly and often. So, I would say I vary from 2,500 to 3,500 most of the time while cruising at steady speed.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #17 of 37 Old Aug 13th, 2016, 7:30 am
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

I had the aeroflow shield on my 2000LT. I averaged in the mid 30's.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
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post #18 of 37 Old Aug 13th, 2016, 8:35 am Thread Starter
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

To the OP: What are looking for? You just want better mpg or do you want to go speeds high enough to do the Iron Butt easily or something else?

For me, i compared riding harder (a little more fun for me) or like a granny to get better gas mileage to save some money. On my '02, the difference was about 1-2 miles mpg. I decided to just ride it like I have warm donuts on the bike and want to get them home fast enough to enjoy them while they are hot.


I mainly just want better mpg so I make fewer gas stops doing the Iron Butt. I don't plan to ride more than 5-7 mph over the speed limit (I'm allergic to flashing red or blue lights). So, if I could get close to 50 mpg or better at 75+ mph I could safely get at least 250 miles or more on a tank. Which brings up another point. If an LT runs out of gas does that cause any problems in the fuel system or can you just fill it up again and go? I plan to carry an extra gallon of emergency fuel with me, but I'd hate to accidentally run it dry and then cause other problems.

( P. S. - love your donut analogy as I too love warm donuts....can you say hot Krispy Kremes?)
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post #19 of 37 Old Aug 13th, 2016, 8:40 am Thread Starter
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

Mike - I see that you're from Virginia. Is it true that radar detectors are illegal in your beautiful state?
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post #20 of 37 Old Aug 13th, 2016, 8:59 am
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
Mileage is very subjective as it relates to driving style, speed, winds and altitude. Typically for the same given conditions a pre 05 bike will get 3-8 MPG better than a post 05. I have seen consistent 50's in the higher altitudes (CO) and as low as 28 in Texas trying to maintain 75 MPH in a head wind pulling a Bushtec trailer. Over all I can usually claim around 42 on my 05.

Good, John's post saved me from having to type all of that!

When I had my '03 LT those were my average MPG's less the 28 pulling a Bushtec

Brett
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2013 K1600GTL SOLD
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2019 K1600GA Blue

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post #21 of 37 Old Aug 13th, 2016, 9:01 am
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

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Mike - I see that you're from Virginia. Is it true that radar detectors are illegal in your beautiful state?
I'm afraid they are! Ironic thing many years ago I got a performance award in Va and was running a radar detector; the radar detector was never discovered by the trooper!

Brett
2003 K1200LTC SOLD
2013 K1600GTL SOLD
2018 K1600GA SOLD
2019 K1600GA Blue

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2006 CCR-Braselton
2008 CCR-Midway
2009 CCR-Rapid City
2011 CCR-Boise
2012 CCR-Duluth
2014 CCR-Chattanooga
2015 CCR-Coeur d 'Alene


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post #22 of 37 Old Aug 13th, 2016, 10:40 am
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

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Mike - I see that you're from Virginia. Is it true that radar detectors are illegal in your beautiful state?
Grew up there before I moved to GA where they are legal. Drove back and they have detectors for radar detectors and they will confiscate them if they find you have one. Not even sure it has to be turned on if you were pulled over for any reason and they saw one mounted on your bike. Some claim to be undetectable but you never really know.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #23 of 37 Old Aug 13th, 2016, 11:20 am
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredtman View Post
Mike - I see that you're from Virginia. Is it true that radar detectors are illegal in your beautiful state?
It is true, they are illegal here and I believe the District of Colombia (DC). I would think in this day and age, that law would have been repealed by now, but guess not.
When I had my LT, I had a valentine1 mounted in my left saddle bag and had the alerts come over my Autocom system. If it ever alerted, I made sure to shut it off via one of the phoenix switches.
As some others stated, I try to stay under 10 mph over the speed limit, but that was hard on the LT.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #24 of 37 Old Aug 13th, 2016, 6:18 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

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Originally Posted by fredtman View Post
( P. S. - love your donut analogy as I too love warm donuts....can you say hot Krispy Kremes?)
I like them when they are hot but not so much when they are cold or left over. Around here, specialty donuts are showing up with everything from Fruity Pebbles to Maple Bacon on them.

I am guessing you (or someone running the ride) will figure out your gas stops anyways. I was out today. At 80mph shown, I was in 5th gear and running 4k RPMs. This would match a ride I did from Dallas. I got 44.36253... mpg. Again, here, I am almost always riding in a crosswind or into a headwind of usually 20+mph.

I took my top case off the other day. I've been watching the gas and it seems I will get better mileage. Also, the wind has been uncharacteristically lower the last few times I have been out and about. I will track a few tanks of gas with the case off.

I have tracked mpg with 87 Octane, 87 Octane non-ethanol, 91 Octane, Shifting over 5k RPMs with riding at or over 4k RPMs, Shifting at 3.5k with riding at lower RPMs, rides with strong crosswinds noted (35+mph winds). The biggest difference for gas mileage comes from strong winds and then, shifting and riding around at the 5k and 4k. Riding around at over 4k RPMs make the bike a lot more responsive but uses more gas.

All that being said. For me, I would leave the top case at home (I think) to pack as light as possible. Next, I would check the direction of the wind and ride with it...lol Then, I would run up to the speed limit and cruise along in 5th gear with the wind. Stop at gas stations and get my references to prove the ride. Well, that would be my maximum gas mileage system for mpg vs time to get the ride done.

Do some preparation, enjoy the ride and let us know how it goes!
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post #25 of 37 Old Aug 13th, 2016, 7:16 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

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I like them when they are hot but not so much when they are cold or left over. Around here, specialty donuts are showing up with everything from Fruity Pebbles to Maple Bacon on them.

I am guessing you (or someone running the ride) will figure out your gas stops anyways. I was out today. At 80mph shown, I was in 5th gear and running 4k RPMs. This would match a ride I did from Dallas. I got 44.36253... mpg. Again, here, I am almost always riding in a crosswind or into a headwind of usually 20+mph.

I took my top case off the other day. I've been watching the gas and it seems I will get better mileage. Also, the wind has been uncharacteristically lower the last few times I have been out and about. I will track a few tanks of gas with the case off.

I have tracked mpg with 87 Octane, 87 Octane non-ethanol, 91 Octane, Shifting over 5k RPMs with riding at or over 4k RPMs, Shifting at 3.5k with riding at lower RPMs, rides with strong crosswinds noted (35+mph winds). The biggest difference for gas mileage comes from strong winds and then, shifting and riding around at the 5k and 4k. Riding around at over 4k RPMs make the bike a lot more responsive but uses more gas.

All that being said. For me, I would leave the top case at home (I think) to pack as light as possible. Next, I would check the direction of the wind and ride with it...lol Then, I would run up to the speed limit and cruise along in 5th gear with the wind. Stop at gas stations and get my references to prove the ride. Well, that would be my maximum gas mileage system for mpg vs time to get the ride done.

Do some preparation, enjoy the ride and let us know how it goes!
Wow, you have some really accurate pumps and odometer to be able to calculate mpg to five decimal places!


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post #26 of 37 Old Aug 14th, 2016, 12:47 am
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

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Wow, you have some really accurate pumps and odometer to be able to calculate mpg to five decimal places!

LOL - Just too lazy to make the adjustment in the spreadsheet, of course. I'm usually not so particular in stuff. For some reason, I track all tanks of gas for the motorcycle (and previous one) as well as some conditions I test out as well as any maintenance.
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post #27 of 37 Old Aug 14th, 2016, 7:30 am
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

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LOL - Just too lazy to make the adjustment in the spreadsheet, of course. I'm usually not so particular in stuff. For some reason, I track all tanks of gas for the motorcycle (and previous one) as well as some conditions I test out as well as any maintenance.

Likewise, but I do this for all of my vehicles via a logbook in each one. Then I periodically enter into Excel for trending. It is amazing the things you can get early warning on by doing this. I graph my mpg also which makes the trends easier to spot.

I just always chuckle when I see results posted to several decimal places. Brings back memories of my freshmen year at Penn State as an engineering student and getting pounded on about significant digits and properly presenting calculation results...

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post #28 of 37 Old Aug 14th, 2016, 12:02 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

Something I found out about mileage and packing for a long trip, is that when I tied a drybag containing a small tent to the luggage rack, I found it reduced my range by 80 miles. That's enough to put you in a fuel crunch if you're not aware. When I moved the drybag to the pillion seat, my mileage went back to the usual 47 mpg.

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post #29 of 37 Old Aug 14th, 2016, 1:37 pm
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Something I found out about mileage and packing for a long trip, is that when I tied a drybag containing a small tent to the luggage rack, I found it reduced my range by 80 miles. That's enough to put you in a fuel crunch if you're not aware. When I moved the drybag to the pillion seat, my mileage went back to the usual 47 mpg.

Bob
On a similar note, I get slightly better mileage when my wife is with me and I have my Kathy's Journey bag on the trunk rack. The bag lessens the back pressure on my wife and she fills in the gap between me and the trunk. I think this smooths the airflow and reduces drag. I consistently yield 1-2 more mpg riding two up vs solo.
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post #30 of 37 Old Aug 14th, 2016, 3:02 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

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On a similar note, I get slightly better mileage when my wife is with me and I have my Kathy's Journey bag on the trunk rack. The bag lessens the back pressure on my wife and she fills in the gap between me and the trunk. I think this smooths the airflow and reduces drag. I consistently yield 1-2 more mpg riding two up vs solo.
It's not aerodynamics being affected by your wife being with you, it's probably your throttle hand.
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post #31 of 37 Old Aug 14th, 2016, 4:06 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

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It's not aerodynamics being affected by your wife being with you, it's probably your throttle hand.
That is a very plausible explanation, but I have done some careful experiments and I am pretty sure there is some aerodynamic difference. That is my story and I am sticking to it!
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post #32 of 37 Old Aug 14th, 2016, 6:04 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

You might want to consider some of the fine smartphone apps out there.. I use carcare on my iPhone, and all i have to do is enter my miles and fuel, and it computes everything i want including maintenance etc. Makes it so much easier. Tells me the cost per miles and anything else i want it to.


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2006 K1200LT (Love it)
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post #33 of 37 Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 3:01 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

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Mileage is very subjective as it relates to driving style, speed, winds and altitude. Typically for the same given conditions a pre 05 bike will get 3-8 MPG better than a post 05. I have seen consistent 50's in the higher altitudes (CO) and as low as 28 in Texas trying to maintain 75 MPH in a head wind pulling a Bushtec trailer. Over all I can usually claim around 42 on my 05.
John is correct (naturally) about the subjective nature of mileage. I just returned from a trip thru British Columbia riding 2 up with my wife who prefers speeds of around 60pmh. The provincial speed limits of 60 to 80 kph coupled with the local US speed limit of 60mph, reinforced by the marital speed limit of 60 mph kept my throttle hand tamed. DRUM ROLL PLEASE: My new all-time high MPG is now 60 miles per gal. I actually achieved 300 miles at the point where my reserve light came on. I've previously confirmed that my reserve capacity is at 1 gal, so I used 5 gal to make 300 miles. Not too shabby. Normally, with an unconstrained throttle, I get about 47 mpg. But seriously, following a bunch of Canadian drivers in the mountains in an area with few if any passing zones, will cool your jets and net you a bunch more mpg. Or let me put my wife in your pillion seat.

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post #34 of 37 Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 7:34 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

Canadian Here.

I have a 2005. I get about 4.3 liters per 100 kilometers combined highway and city. Can get about 3.9 if i stay below 50 MPH (80 KMS) on country back roads. But take it on the highway and bring revs up goes up to around 5 per 100.

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post #35 of 37 Old Aug 24th, 2016, 7:19 am
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

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Canadian Here.

I have a 2005. I get about 4.3 liters per 100 kilometers combined highway and city. Can get about 3.9 if i stay below 50 MPH (80 KMS) on country back roads. But take it on the highway and bring revs up goes up to around 5 per 100.

Based on a US gallon, your 3.9 liters/100Km is 60 MPG: as stated by previous poster this is VERY GOOD and is mainly seen at or below 50 MPH sedate riding.

Based on a US gallon, your 5 liters/100KM is 47 MPG: to me this appear pretty normal given conditions although you did NOT specify how much you bring the rev up...

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post #36 of 37 Old Aug 31st, 2016, 8:55 am
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

I ride a 99 LT. I am 6'4", 240, wife is 5'10", 150 and about 50 or so lbs of luggage and gear and we were averaging about 46mpg on the highway at 70-75mph on our trip last month (4000 miles through the pacific NW)

Around town, solo, I usually get about 35-37mpg but I tend to be a bit heavy wristed. Solo highway I pull about 47-50mpg on a good day if im not in a hurry.

Most of that is with ethanol (up to 10%) gasoline.

On the above mentioned trip, we did do one tank of top-tier ethanol free premium and was doing about 56mpg that whole tank, mostly high speed 2-lane central Oregon plains roads (50-65mph). I thought the bike computer was wrong so i did the math at the next fill and sure as sh*t it was dead nuts accurate. Tried to find more e-free gas after that but could not repeat the same result mostly due to slower, windy coastal mountain roads after that.

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post #37 of 37 Old Aug 31st, 2016, 10:33 pm
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Re: What is a realistic MPG figure for the K1200LT?

I recently reviewed my mpg logbook and thought my results may be of interest.
My Lt is a 2000 model, with a Rhine-West chip, Denso Iridium spark plugs, original type air cleaner and exhaust system, Metzler tires – 42psi front, 48 psi rear, air box sensor disconnected, 20W50 engine oil, 80W90 transmission and FD oil, V-Stream standard size windscreen, no rear top box, and the rest pretty much stock. I ride solo; I am 6 feet tall, and weigh 200 lbs. My overall 2 year average: 48.6 mpg. The following is a sample of my mpg results taken from my written records (I use the onboard computer as a reference, but trust my hand written recordings at the time of gas fill ups):
Trip 1: My best mpg average: Start odometer 79113 miles, with a full tank of 91 octane gas with 10% gas from Marathon, Florida to Pilot gas station at the intersection of routes 997 & 41in East Miami, Florida, odometer 79222. (I wasn’t sure when the next gas station would be available traveling west on the Tamiami trail route 41W). Filled gas tank up to same mark with 1.8 gallons (US), therefore 109 miles/ 1.8 gallons = 60.5 mpg

Comment: I left Marathon about 6 AM, temp about 70’ F and clear weather, traveling north on routes 1, 905A, and 997 at about 50 mph (mostly steady cruise control on level roads, windshield mostly in the down position, not much traffic, but slow moving, no opportunity to “get on it” especially since I noticed all the police in each township waiting for someone by the roadside. My best mpg to date, but not the most fun.

Trip 2: My lowest mpg average: Start odometer 79418 miles with a full tank of 91 octane gas with 10% gas from Venice, Florida to BP gas station at NE US Highway 19 Crystal River, Florida, odometer 79578.
Filled gas tank up to same mark with 3.79 gallons (US), therefore 160 miles/ 3.79 gallons 42.2 mpg

Comment: I left Venice about 9:30 AM, temp about 82’F and overcast weather with some very minor light intermittent rain, (got up to about 95’F as the day wore on), traveling north on interstate 75 and 275, continuing north on 60, 589, 98 and highway 19 averaging with windshield mostly in the up position, 75 mph with a lot of speed bursts passing truck traffic. My lowest mpg to date, but it was
exhilarating to be on the LT flashing past traffic, stable as can be, still climbing in speed when getting back into the right lane.

Conclusion: (My opinion), maintain the LT to specs, consider the road conditions and weather, consider the overall load, use 91 octane gas (or better) then go slow and steady for your best mpg, or ride it fast and furious and don’t think about the mpg (you’ll probably still get between 42 and 44 mpg if the above conditions are met). On the other hand, my brother is always telling me if you think too much about mpg, then how can you be having fun on your motorcycle?

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