Filled up the bike today after running errands this past week. 168.6 miles / 1.75 gal.= 96.3 mpg. The more I ride around with the 15/33 gearing, the better I like it. I sealed up some side vents on the front fairing and lubed and checked the chain. I plan to install some plugs , other than that I'm pretty much ready for the Vetter Challenge on May 4. Hopefully I can breaK 100mpg in the event.
Recently I fitted a 130/90-16 tire on the rear wheel of my Ninja 250, it has a much larger rear tire diameter now, raised the tailend of the bike, cured some headshake problem and I expect the gas mileage to go up a few mpg.
__________________ Master your environment and you will survive just fine.
Chances favor the prepared mind.
Cat , I use that same size tire on my Ninja, it should work well for you.
I did some more running around during this warm spell we are having and filled up today; 138.2 miles/1.08 gal.=127.96 mpg!!!
The main things I attribute the improvement to is the taller gearing, the warm weather , that I'm rode slower , and included fewer short trips. It may be a fluke but the next tank will be a good indicator. My last tank was 96 mpg. things are looking good for Carmel.
I rode down to Carmel Thursday afternoon for a get-together at the Vetters' home with all the competitors. It was great to see my friends from previous competitions( Craig, Alan, Fred Hayes, Josh Chen) and to meet our own Redyaris in person. It was fun and all the bikes met the 4 paper grocery bag carrying requirement. Fred had to run with metal panniers on his 2 diesel bikes to meet the current Vetter Challenge rules.
The next morning we topped off our tanks and reported to the starting point for the 2012 Quail Gathering. There were many fabulous bikes: Nortons, Triumphs, MV Agustas, Laverdas, Ducatis, Vincents, Brough Superiors and many other vintage and collectable motorcycles. The ride was beautiful thought the start was misty and the roads were wet and slippery. One rider had a get-off and fortunately was not badly hurt.
After the first stop, my bike didn't start up immediately and Craig passed me while I was still trying to get it started and was technically disqualified for being passed by the designated follower ( Craig). I finally got it started about the middle of the pack and stayed with the fast pace of the group the rest of the ride. I was disappointed as I thought I had at least a small chance at winning or getting a high placement.
The next stop was at the Talbot winery where we got a guided tour. Conditions on that leg were very windy but all the streamliners handled it very well. We proceeded the Laguna Seca racetrack where we rode 2 laps of this famous venue. Then on to the finish and lunch with all 6 Vetter Challengers reporting to the gas station for the official top-off. I didn't record the official results but I know Fred used less a gallon for the ~116 mile ride, Alan used about 1.1 gal, Josh- 1.24 gal, me- 1.25 gal., Craig-~ 1.4 gal and Ron /Redyaris- I can't remember. The ride was fun and the pace was fast; it was the fastest pace I've ridden the Ninja at with speeds up to 85 mph and lots of hard acceleration to keep up and prevent being passed by Craig. I ended up with a 93 mpg run, I wanted to break 100 mpg but I can see how hard it is to achieve this under these difficult conditions. Kudos for to all the Vetter Challengers for another great event.
I rode home and had a pretty good run: 122.4 miles/.9 gallon= 136 mpg.
I'm very pleased with my Carmel Vetter Challenge performance ( 3rd best )and looking forward to the 7/20 Mid-Ohio Vetter Challenge. I'll be riding my bike out from the SF Bay Area with fellow competitor Alan Smith. We plan to meet another Challenger, Ron Johnston in Cheyenne WY for the rest of the way to Ohio. It should be a blast.
I worked on my bike the past couple of days fixing the rear brakes and installing a new front end. It is now " dustbin" styled. I made a frame out of sheet metal bands and Pvc slats that I bolted and riveted together. I covered the frame with coroplast, installed the turnsignals and reused my old coroplast windscreen. It seemed to pass through the air plenty well but was too flexible in strong winds in the area near the front wheel. I added some steel tubing over the front wheel and the front end is stiffer with much less wind deflection. I rode the bike about 30 miles today at speeds up to 75 mph and it seemed to work well with a noticeable decrease in aero drag; I'm able to hold top gear longer and able get to top gear with less acceleration. The only negative so far is that the temperature gauge is reading higher than before but still out of the red zone. More testing to follow.
Hopefully this will allow me to close the performance gap between me and some of the other Vetter Challengers.
After doing some more business travel, I got the chance recently to resume work on my bike. During testing I found that the fairing around the front wheel was too flexible so I added more stiffening elements to framework. I refueled yesterday for my first full tank with the dustbin styled front end and got 104 MPG . I've also found that the bike moves through the air with noticely less throttle and that I can use top gear more with much less downshifting. I still need to ensure that I have sufficient cooling air flow and to enclose the opening around the headlight. I also need more roadtesting to ensure that the dustbin front end is durable enough for the long trip to Ohio.