FWIW, on my '06 LT the speedo is definitely 5 mph high on almost all speed ranges. I used my GPS to obtain the actual speed.
I do know I would never compare my LT's engine to a car engine. Not one that operates at low RPMs at least. Any 4 cyclinder engin of comparable size (2.2 L or less) will be reving pretty high just to keep the vehicle up to speed. Anything below 3K is definitely just asking for trouble.
Maybe not trouble for the engine, but potential trouble for you. The main reason I keep the engine in the powerband is safety. You never know when you may need to rapidly accelerate to avoid an accident. When I was first learning to drive, this particular issue was stressed heavily.
Using the powerband and engine for braking is also a much safer way to control your speed (for the most part) than your brakes. It's the same thing when stopping. Those that stop by just pulling in the clutch and then shifting to neutral/first when stopped are unprepared for potential road hazards. It's what I would call comfort/lazy driving rather than prepared driving.
I am curious about those that feel the RPMs are too high, the noise to much, or what not, as that is just something I don't understand at all. If anyone would care to explain it, I'd like to understand it better. Maybe it's because I've riden for 30+ years and been on many different motorcycles. Most of them having a redline of 10K or higher. Or maybe I just follow that older philosophy of ride it like you stole it
. I always get a rush when riding a motorcyle, but if it didn't feel like a motorcycle (fast, powerful, responsive, etc.) I'd never have bought an LT in the first place. I'd have bought a Mazda Miata or similar convertable.
And while I admit it would be nice to get better gas milage, it's never going to happen for me out here in CA. For a couple of reasons...
1) Highway speeds are 65 ~ 70 mph. Most people drive 10 ~ 20 mph over the speed limit, but just doing the legal speed limit gives me 40 ~ 45 mpg. I can live with that.
2) A static motorcycle (i.e. one that stays the same speed as the surrounding traffic) is often invisible. When I started to ride they called it defensive driving, but in my early years of motorccyling I found defensive driving to be potentially life threatening. Meaning I had several incidents where I almost died because of jerks in cars not seeing me and running me off the road, almost in to a guard rail, or flat out hitting me (only luck saved me the time I was hit as they turned my forks in to a S shape and I flew 20 feet straight up).
I no longer recommend defensive driving to anyone. I drive aggresively now. Not like a squid!
What I mean is I always go a few mph faster than the surrounding traffic to the right of me. I do not let the traffic on the left go the same speed as me either. I keep myself as a moving target (so to speak) as movement attracts the eyes (we are a predator type species you know). In my last 20 years of driving I have had zero traffic incidents. So, it's worked for me. YMMV.