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post #1 of 37 Old Jul 6th, 2008, 1:37 pm Thread Starter
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Gas Mileage Help

I accidentally posted this originally in the wrong forum. Sorry about that.

Last week I purchased a 2003 LT. I did a lot of reading before making the purchase to help determine what my next ride would be. I chose the LT, in part, because of the consistent claims of 45+ MPG.

I burned through a couple of tanks of gas this weekend and according to the computer I am getting around 36MPG. This is consistant with my own calculation. Tire pressure is okay I think. I have 40 in the front and 44 in the rear but do not yet have a manual to tell me exactly what they should be.

I have never ridden a BMW before so I am uncertain how the engine should perform. It seems to be rather sluggish until about 3000 rpm at which time it runs like a scalded dog.

Any ideas on why my mileage is so poor? I do not have a maintenance history so I don't know what has been done. The bike had 20005 miles when I bought it.

BTW, I love the bike so far......except for the mileage.

Thanks for any ideas or help.
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post #2 of 37 Old Jul 6th, 2008, 1:49 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

How long has it been since the LT had a tune-up? You should get 45+ MPG unless you are doing all city traffic.

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post #3 of 37 Old Jul 6th, 2008, 2:09 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

There is a label in the left luggage door listing tire and pressures ,I think it is
36 and 46, tires seem to last longer and cup less with 38/39 front and 48/49 rear .
When my O2 sensor was bad it got 35MPG and you could see black smoke under hard acceleration . Sparkplugs were sooty and black ,replaced O2 sensor with universal 4 wire Bosch from Autozone ,yesterday got 49+MPG 2 up 70 MPH.
After O2 sensor replacement reset MoTronic and throttle position sensor .
1. pull MoTronic fuse for a few minutes
2.turn on key but not start
3.stroke throttle from idle to wide open two times
4. turn off key

Then go for a ride

Bob G
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post #4 of 37 Old Jul 6th, 2008, 2:40 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbob
There is a label in the left luggage door listing tire and pressures ,I think it is
36 and 46, tires seem to last longer and cup less with 38/39 front and 48/49 rear .
When my O2 sensor was bad it got 35MPG and you could see black smoke under hard acceleration . Sparkplugs were sooty and black ,replaced O2 sensor with universal 4 wire Bosch from Autozone ,yesterday got 49+MPG 2 up 70 MPH.
After O2 sensor replacement reset MoTronic and throttle position sensor .
1. pull MoTronic fuse for a few minutes
2.turn on key but not start
3.stroke throttle from idle to wide open two times
4. turn off key

Then go for a ride

Bob G
I would try Bob G's suggestion before spending the money on a O2 sensor. The only thing I would suggest when you pull the fuse, is leave it out for an hour or two, better yet leave it out over night. There is some residual charge left in the Motronic and a few minutes is not enough time for it to clear, in my humble opinion.

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post #5 of 37 Old Jul 6th, 2008, 2:48 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_R
I would try Bob G's suggestion before spending the money on a O2 sensor. The only thing I would suggest when you pull the fuse, is leave it out for an hour or two, better yet leave it out over night. There is some residual charge left in the Motronic and a few minutes is not enough time for it to clear, in my humble opinion.
Plus one !! Pull bottom fuse in the right side fuse block tonight. Reinstall it in the morning . reset TPS and ride ride ride .

Stevie Shreeve
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post #6 of 37 Old Jul 6th, 2008, 3:09 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Well, I'm another that would suggest a tune up and repalcement O2 sensor. I replaced mine at 18K. My gas milage went from 36 avg to 41 avg. Might go higher, but I drive a minimum of 75. The higher the speed the lower the milage.

If you do change the O2 sensor, be sure to follow the advice to reset the Motronic before you test it out. And your board computer as well.

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post #7 of 37 Old Jul 6th, 2008, 6:50 pm
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Smile Re: Gas Mileage Help

Took a nice easy ride on my LT a few weeks ago, no quicker than 70 but not crawling. After 100 miles, trip comp said 64.1mpg!

Simon

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post #8 of 37 Old Jul 6th, 2008, 7:43 pm
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Thumbs up Re: Gas Mileage Help

If you are running in 5th gear below 3000 RPM you'll get poor fuel mileage. This engine isn't one to lug. Keep her woundup at 4000 and above and your mileage will improve.

I wouldn't change an oxygen sensor until you have a dealer check for faults.

Just my .02.

I have an '03 LT and consistantly get 47 by doing the math on each tank of gas. The BC, in my opinion, has to be set to give you accurate results.


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Bought used K1200LT number 3. This one is green/teal with 31,369(now 7/29/2018 54,143) miles and is an '02. The first 2 bikes made it to near 150,000 miles.
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Due to heart health, the Dr says not to ride under 40 degree air temp. Ugh! Now it is harder to get my 18000 miles a year in just in the summer. Guess that stopped my 20 degree rides now.
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post #9 of 37 Old Jul 6th, 2008, 9:13 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

wow. You drive the most expensive motorrad that BMW makes and you worry about gas mileage..??? Just drive it like you stole it..

BLUBYU in the Toronto area

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post #10 of 37 Old Jul 6th, 2008, 10:27 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

My fuel mileage dropped a loton my '04 LT. I brought it to the dealer, they put it on their computer and scanned for faults. One was found in the throttle mapping; they reset it, gas mileage back to normal. I'd take it to the dealer and spring for the 1/2 hour labor it will take to do the computer check.
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post #11 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 1:17 am
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

The bigger the windshield, higher the windshield, and faster you go = lower mpg. The earlier models with taller gearing also get better mpg.

all the best,

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post #12 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 7:44 am
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurKnowles
Well, I'm another that would suggest a tune up and repalcement O2 sensor. I replaced mine at 18K. My gas milage went from 36 avg to 41 avg. Might go higher, but I drive a minimum of 75. The higher the speed the lower the milage.
If you do change the O2 sensor, be sure to follow the advice to reset the Motronic before you test it out. And your board computer as well.
Roger that.
Here in Idaho, I do 80-85 and get 40-42 mpg., on the highway.
Mileage is directly related to the wrist for the most part.

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post #13 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 8:26 am
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

I guess mine being the older 2000 LT is why mine is higher. 46-53mpg is what it got last year. I've yet to check it this year and being the base model I have no computer to reference. I hope to check it this coming weekend on my trip to Gainsville. I think with any of the LT's you should be able to achieve mid 40's.
Let us know what you find out!
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post #14 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 8:37 am
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Went for a 90 mile ride with my wife yesterday. COmbination freeway and country roads. MPG indicated 51.5 when I pulled into the garage.
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post #15 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 8:51 am
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by simon
Took a nice easy ride on my LT a few weeks ago, no quicker than 70 but not crawling. After 100 miles, trip comp said 64.1mpg!

Simon
Are you sure your trip computer is correctly calibrated. 64 seems really high for this bike. I have seen 48 to 52 with speeds up around 70 and 2 up but never 64. And yes the trip computer can be adjusted.

Jeremy
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post #16 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 9:50 am
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

I have 40 in the front and 44 in the rear but do not yet have a manual to tell me exactly what they should be.


Tires should be 42 front 48 rear.
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post #17 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 2:56 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by simon
Took a nice easy ride on my LT a few weeks ago, no quicker than 70 but not crawling. After 100 miles, trip comp said 64.1mpg!

Simon
64mpg? SWEET!! Heck I'd remove the windshield and lay on the tank(almost) for 65mpg!!

One of my co-workers has a f650GS and got 70mpg to Birmingham and back. but that's a small bike!

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post #18 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 3:09 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

As others have said, it is primarily a function of your wrist. I get in the low 30's when doing the twisties at higher revs, and in the mid to high 40's when going down the road.

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post #19 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 6:22 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Not my wrist causing the gas mileage. On the superslab, cruise set at 70. Will tune up and see if it improves.
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post #20 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 8:13 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by vernvernvern
If you are running in 5th gear below 3000 RPM you'll get poor fuel mileage. This engine isn't one to lug. Keep her woundup at 4000 and above and your mileage will improve.

Just my .02.
I've gotten a 9 year average of 51.4. According to this (and other threads), I lug. I rarely, rarely, wind engine towards upper revs, maybe its just my bike?

Chris

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post #21 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 8:19 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Computer MPG is useless unless you calibrate it, there's a thread with a link somewhere in this site on how to do this very easy. In short you first figure your mpg the old fashion way and then use the calibration method. Somebody here know where to find it ?
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post #22 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 8:55 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltlfeat
Computer MPG is useless unless you calibrate it, there's a thread with a link somewhere in this site on how to do this very easy. In short you first figure your mpg the old fashion way and then use the calibration method. Somebody here know where to find it ?
Don't know how this works on the scoots that have the central display for info (2004 and up maybe?), butt this works on the early year models that have the display on the left dash area.

To adjust the MPG readout on the OBC, do the following:

1) Divide the actual MPG value by the displayed MPG value, then multiply by 1000. e.g., 48 MPG divided by 55 MPG = 0.873; multiplied by 1000 is 873. Remember this number.

2) Press the reset and mode buttons on the OBC simultaneously.

3) Use the OBC button on the right hand control switch to scroll through four test screens. On screen 03, press the reset button. This is the consumption display adjustment. A number will appear, and scroll from 750 through 1250. When this number reaches the number closest to the number you remembered from step 1, press the reset button again. That will reset the calculation factor for your display.

The other three test screens will not do anythang.
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post #23 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 10:09 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

You might want to keep track of the setting you ended up with following Dick's proceedure. If you latter need to fine tune the setting, use this number in place of the "1000" in the formula. If I remember correctly, it counts by 10's with 1000 being the default setting resulting in a possible +/-25% correction.

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post #24 of 37 Old Jul 7th, 2008, 11:59 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Dave,
Since the US Mint would like to remove pennies from circulation here is my nickle's worth.

I keep my ME880's at 42 front and 46-48 rear. I always try to keep the RPM's above 3K so as not to lug the engine. The absolute worst milage that I have calculated is 39 mpg, My best is 56+ mpg. My in town average is 42-44 mpg and Highway is 47-50mpg. I have 61K on the bike and purchased it at 32K. All milage is calculated by odometer milage divided by gallons consumed.

Your post does not state what conditions you were driving when you or the computer calculated the milage. You are also very close to the 24K service and valve clearance check. You might consider having the 24K service completed then trying to keep your RPM's above 3K when driving along with the other suggestions to reset your computer. During your 24 K service you can do a lot of the service requirements yourself, Fluid changes, Air Filter etc. Almost anyone with a general understanding of vehicle repair/preventive maintainance can do the job. You might also locate a local drive in service gathering and get assistance on the service you are not comfortable completing.

I also found, that my mpgs get higher the higher the octane fuel I use. In the east your octane is 92-93. Here in the west we have 91 and that is it. Lots of things to think about but look at all the suggestions.

Rob Asay
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post #25 of 37 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 1:37 am
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

When I bought my '03, it consistently got 47-49 mpg, with low fifties in the mountains. That changed after the first 6K service. It has been going downhill ever since. I now average about 38 mpg, and low thirties if I run 85 mph or so. Have even been in the high twenties. Numerous complaints to the dealer have not lead to any change in mileage.

Gary T
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post #26 of 37 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 2:43 am
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

85 miles an hour what!!!! cheeesh If I did that sort of speed here (and got caught) I would be classed as a hoon and our new laws are now in effect.. the cops would 1. impound my bike and 2. I would lose my licence I get great mileage at 100kmph or 60mph as you guys would say tad over 3000rpm in top gear BTW I get 440km out of a tank of fuel 2up

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post #27 of 37 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 7:11 am
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Some days here in Florida if you're doing 85mph you're holding up traffic or maybe just keeping up! I've done trips on the toll roads with the cruise set at 85mph keeping my eye on the mirror to keep from getting run up on.
Although lately with the gas prices at $4/gal I've noticed alot more people in the right lane with the cruise set at 65mph.

But: I think my speedo is off slightly according to my GPS.

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2003 Victory Vegas-12k miles Sold
1982 Suzuki GS550L only 299 miles Sold
1997 Yamaha Vmax-15k miles Sold
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1996 R1100RT-27k miles Sold
1995 K1100LT-85k miles Sold
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post #28 of 37 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 1:04 pm
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Question Re: Gas Mileage Help

I do not understand this

My buddies run the Bridgestone - Radial - max psi is 42 / 48 - they run 38/46

My Avon's are max psi 42 / 42 I run 32 / 38

So do you all run Max PSI in your tires ??



Quote:
Originally Posted by parishollow
I have 40 in the front and 44 in the rear but do not yet have a manual to tell me exactly what they should be.


Tires should be 42 front 48 rear.

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post #29 of 37 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 1:08 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Ya, my spedo is off by 5 MPH - When i was up in the Gold Country I got a waring from one of the local officres for "impeding traffic doing 10mph in a 15mph zone , I asked if he radar me doing 55 mph on the hi-way and suer enogh we confirmed it's 5 mph off.... good thing I did not get a fix it ticket


Quote:
Originally Posted by hip001
Some days here in Florida if you're doing 85mph you're holding up traffic or maybe just keeping up! I've done trips on the toll roads with the cruise set at 85mph keeping my eye on the mirror to keep from getting run up on.
Although lately with the gas prices at $4/gal I've noticed alot more people in the right lane with the cruise set at 65mph.

But: I think my speedo is off slightly according to my GPS.

If you're living like there is no God, you better be right

2009 Ultra Classic
2002 K1200LT Black SOLD
2005 CRF450R
2007 CRF150R (daughters)
Raced for: Team Can-Am , Team Wheel Smith Maico

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post #30 of 37 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 5:28 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Using a good quality synth oil usually helps with gas milage, some guys report a great improvement with synth.

BJ
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post #31 of 37 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 5:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Thanks for the oil tip. Since I purchased the bike used I want to change the fluids so this is the perfect time to go Synthetic.

I want to get this taken care of as I have less than 1/4 tank left and have been about 170 miles. Not very good.
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post #32 of 37 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 5:51 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackAdaptor
I do not understand this

My buddies run the Bridgestone - Radial - max psi is 42 / 48 - they run 38/46

My Avon's are max psi 42 / 42 I run 32 / 38

So do you all run Max PSI in your tires ??
I run my ME 880s 42 front and 48 rear (from wisdom of this board).

Bridestone, engr TJ recommended 2 up run max pressure, solo run max pressure minus 2.

Avon's Don't know.

Just Go
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post #33 of 37 Old Jul 8th, 2008, 9:13 pm
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

I also have a 2003 and I have averaged 53.3 since I bought it last year. I keep my windshield down all the time, unless it's raining hard, I keep my tires (Metzler 880) at 42/48 and I rarely exceed 3000 rpm except when passing on the highway.
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post #34 of 37 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 4:12 am
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

In May I did a 22 day, 6,134 mile trip. DC to Chicago via WV, Ky, Oh, In, IL. Then RT 66 to Santa Monica and the interstates I-40, I-81, etc back to DC. Overall for the entire trip I averaged 45.3 MPG. This included "normal" highway driving, slow speeds thru small towns and a tad bit over the posted limits on the interstates returning home. (I think the highest recorded sped by the GPS was 117 lol) Believe it or not my best MPG was in the same area only going different directions. The worst tank was 37.5 Kingman to Flagstaff and the best was 55.9 Flagstaff to Kingman. FYI total fuel cost was $555.99 for the trip.

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post #35 of 37 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 7:49 am Thread Starter
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Powerman, I would have liked to have been on that trip. Sounds like a good one. Thanks for the info.
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post #36 of 37 Old Jul 11th, 2008, 7:46 am
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Re: Gas Mileage Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
Don't know how this works on the scoots that have the central display for info (2004 and up maybe?), butt this works on the early year models that have the display on the left dash area.

To adjust the MPG readout on the OBC, do the following:

1) Divide the actual MPG value by the displayed MPG value, then multiply by 1000. e.g., 48 MPG divided by 55 MPG = 0.873; multiplied by 1000 is 873. Remember this number.

2) Press the reset and mode buttons on the OBC simultaneously.

3) Use the OBC button on the right hand control switch to scroll through four test screens. On screen 03, press the reset button. This is the consumption display adjustment. A number will appear, and scroll from 750 through 1250. When this number reaches the number closest to the number you remembered from step 1, press the reset button again. That will reset the calculation factor for your display.

The other three test screens will not do anythang.

This looks like a good place to start but....can i assume that my odometer and trip meter on my speedo are "accurate" since my MPH reading is off the typical 10%???

Also...ever since I bought my 04, two years and 26k miles ago, I am always wishing I had a sixth gear or the ratios were different when cruising at highway speed. My neighbor has an 01 and he is pretty sure that in ~04 the gear ratios were changed.....he tachs right on 3k at 70mph on speedo where as I am right on 3,500..... He also routinely gets 50mpg where as I get 40-41 per my comp, ~45 per trip meter..... Just wondering if the ratios are different...they seem to be....

Thanks,
Steve
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post #37 of 37 Old Jul 11th, 2008, 7:56 am Thread Starter
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Location: Dallas, TX, USA
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Smile Re: Gas Mileage Help

My computer is pretty close to what my calculator comes up with so that isn't my problem. I've ordered a repair manual and Clymers manual and will tune up as soon as they arrive. My gas mileage seems to be getting better so we will see what happens.

I have an 03' but if you read different threads you will see that there was a point when the changed the gear ratios. Don't know yet which side of the change I am on but I am hoping to end up getting 45-50 mpg.

Have a great ride,

David
Dallas, TX
2006 K1200GT
BMWMOA 142756
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