Erratic (significant variance) Gas Mileage - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 16 Old Dec 18th, 2005, 4:49 pm Thread Starter
ytk
 
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Unhappy Erratic (significant variance) Gas Mileage

The fuel economy of my '03 LTE is really erratic and my dealer can give me no reason, or relief. Here is an example (same day, same riding conditions): first fill may yield 48.5 mpg, second fill may yield 37.5. This type of variance was common this past summer. My '99 LTI ran 48 - 52 but the variance was due to riding conditions (head/tail wind, hills/mountains, etc.); this is not the case with the '03.

Any ideas as to what's up?

YTK in WI
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post #2 of 16 Old Dec 18th, 2005, 4:54 pm
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No, but my experience is different from yours. I got about 51 mi/gal on my '99 LT - getting 52 mi/gal on the '02 LT, which should be nearly equivalent to your '03. I'm confused, but like you, I wouldn't be happy with what you're observing.

- Bob

Cowboy Bob Menton
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post #3 of 16 Old Dec 18th, 2005, 5:52 pm
 
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Mpg

Are you basing your MPG on actual gallons pumped at gas station and mileage driven or from the on board computer? Asking because the on board computer from my experience is very undependable. Just sold a 03 LTE and now have a 05. Computer consistency is poor on both model years, unless you reset the system at start of ride. At one point today the GPS stated 64 MPH and the on board computer was reading 42? I reset it on the fly and it got within about 5 miles of the GPS reading. About the same range of accuracy as on my old 03. Both of these LT's have averaged between 41 to 46 MPG.

May we never find the end of the road!

Perry Ridgway

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post #4 of 16 Old Dec 18th, 2005, 6:10 pm
 
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my '03 averages just a little more than 40, but the bulk of my riding is commuting. on the open road it does a little better, but i think they changes the gearing slightly in the 03, hurting the gas efficiency (but boosting acceleration).
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post #5 of 16 Old Dec 18th, 2005, 6:20 pm
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I think I have that different gearing on my '02 as well, Gerhard - it's definitely different than it was on my '99. I ride 'gently', and have seen little mileage difference between the 2 bikes.

- Bob

Cowboy Bob Menton
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post #6 of 16 Old Dec 18th, 2005, 7:47 pm
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Perry, what you're seeing is normal. The computer is displaying an average not actual current mph. If you sit at a stop and watch the posted average it will eventually start to decrease as the stop time is factored in. The same happens if you increase or decrease your highway speeds.
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post #7 of 16 Old Dec 18th, 2005, 8:21 pm
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YTK: I think what you are experiencing is that it is difficult to consistently fill the LT's fuel tank. Its very sensitive to how far the bike is tipped. That will have a great impact on your gas mileage calculations for each tank. If you figure your average over several tankfuls, that would be more accurate.

The mpg displayed on the trip computer is not necessarily accurate, but you can calibrate it yourself. There is a procedure in the owners manual on how you can adjust it. Again, however, I recommend you manually calculate the mileage over several tanks of fuel, before making the adjustment.

There is some confusion in the responses above, between the avg mpG, and avg mpH displays. Your original question was about mpG.

Don Ferrario
2004 K1200LT
2002 ST1100A

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post #8 of 16 Old Dec 19th, 2005, 2:39 am
 
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gasahol will really lower the milage.did my truck almost 30% Some stations really rip you off. I use Chevron consistantly and have no gas milage changes
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post #9 of 16 Old Dec 19th, 2005, 10:51 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarSalesman
YTK:

There is some confusion in the responses above, between the avg mpG, and avg mpH displays. Your original question was about mpG.
There was no confusion on my part on the MPG and MPH, I was just asking how was he determining his MPG. If the MPG is being gathered from the on board computer, I was just stating that the information given by the on board computer is not very accurate. My example of the variance on the MPH was nothing more than just an example, as it has the biggest variance. My computer MPG has consistently stated between 39 to 41 MPG but my calculated, by actual miles driven and gallons pumped, is 4 to 5 MPG higher. Sorry you were confused.

May we never find the end of the road!

Perry Ridgway

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post #10 of 16 Old Dec 19th, 2005, 12:11 pm Thread Starter
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Erratic Gas Mileage

I calculate the fuel mileage using a pocket calculator, my trip computer does need calibration. The bike is always fueled on the center stand and I try to top off to the max (bad for the environment, good for distance).

YTK
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post #11 of 16 Old Dec 19th, 2005, 1:15 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ytk
I calculate the fuel mileage using a pocket calculator, my trip computer does need calibration. The bike is always fueled on the center stand and I try to top off to the max (bad for the environment, good for distance).

YTK
Fueling on the center stand may be your problem. The manual recommends fueling on the side stand. Fueling on the side stand puts the fuel opening higher and may allow any trapped air to escape. If you have unknowingly trapped air, that would easily account for your tank to tank variation.

Curtis
2006 K1200GT
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post #12 of 16 Old Dec 19th, 2005, 1:26 pm
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Hmmm ... topping the gas tank on the center stand might be good for consistency (which, of course, does NOT explain your variance in gas mileage), but if you REALLY want to get as much gas in the tank as you can for 'distance', you should be filling up on the side stand.

And I now defer to Curtis - maybe filling on the center stand is NOT good for tank-to-tank consistency.

- Bob
Quote:
Originally Posted by ytk
I calculate the fuel mileage using a pocket calculator, my trip computer does need calibration. The bike is always fueled on the center stand and I try to top off to the max (bad for the environment, good for distance).YTK

Cowboy Bob Menton
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post #13 of 16 Old Dec 19th, 2005, 1:30 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob_menton
Hmmm ... topping the gas tank on the center stand might be good for consistency (which, of course, does NOT explain your variance in gas mileage), but if you REALLY want to get as much gas in the tank as you can for 'distance', you should be filling up on the side stand.

- Bob
You might be right....now that I think about it I don't think you could trap any air since fuel would be at the opening before it could block off an area of the tank.

As Gilda Radner used to say...."Never Mind".

Curtis
2006 K1200GT
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post #14 of 16 Old Dec 19th, 2005, 7:48 pm
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Smile Fuel mileage

Checking tank to tank can be difficult as it's impossible to top off to exactly the same level. With this said, when my wife and I did a 5,000 mile+ trip to Alaska a year and a half ago on our '02 LT, we averaged 44.29 mpg for the entire trip, loaded heavy. I considered this great mileage. We had a high of just over 50 mpg and low around 35 mpg for what that is worth.
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post #15 of 16 Old Dec 19th, 2005, 8:46 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philjohn
Checking tank to tank can be difficult as it's impossible to top off to exactly the same level...
I agree. I try to reduce that effect by computing an autoregressive moving average (ARMA) for my mileage, averaging out over the three previous tanksful. Even so you can still see the influence of lots of stop-and-go traffic, or easy trip miles, in my data - but the extremes are closer to the mean. Overall (near sea level) I'm getting 52 mi/gal, with extremes of 46 mi/gal and 55 mi/gal.

- Bob

Cowboy Bob Menton
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post #16 of 16 Old Dec 20th, 2005, 3:09 am
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Lightbulb On-Board Computer is WACK!

My on-board computer has been getting worse every time I ride. I spoke to the dealer on this and he said to fill the tank on the side stand only. Fill until the pump stops, then give it one more squeeze. Then calculate the mileage the old fashion way- - using MATH! I am getting around 40-41mpg at higher speeds. The on-board would calculate 34mpg

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