funkshn (Regular) View all posts in this topic  
Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:13 pm
Just call me Mister 50 MPG        

I know a lot of people get MPG in the 60s, even 70s, on their classic 250s. I do too, when I go on mellow group rides out in the countryside. But in town I ride it like I stole it and do 80 MPH indicated on the freeway, when the freeway will let me. So I typically get 50MPG each fill-up, seldom varying by more than 1 MPG in either direction.

So when I bought an SV650 recently I wondered if my MPG would go down. I'm still riding the 250 on my commutes, but my company gave me Good Friday off, so I plotted a meandering course with the SV650 through the Santa Monica Mountains behind Malibu, then back along the coast. There was a fair amount of freeway involved, and in the mountains I tromped the throttle when it seemed safe to do so. I also tend to shift the SV650 as if I were still on the 250, hardly ever even reaching 6th gear, staying at RPMs above 6000. But at my fill-up at the turnaround point I got... 50.0 MPG. I found that amusing.

It was QUIET in Malibu on a Friday, even though I figured some other folks got the day off, too. I rode "The Snake" and only encountered one other vehicle the whole way. It was a real pleasure to use those great roads for practice without worrying about what other vehicles were going to do. It's full spring out there, too, so the mountains were looking great. The weather was gorgeous, too - temps in the 70s and full sun.

I rode by myself because I was going to stop a LOT and no one else would have put up with me. I didn't know in advance where I was going to turn, and I set an odd pace , slowing on straights and testing the bike on curves. I like to go birding sometimes, so I rode to a bunch of likely spots for uncommon birds. Then I took off my gear, locked it to the bike, and went ghosting through the woods and meadows with my binoculars. Two dramatically contrasting hobbies, I guess. In a dirt parking lot near Point Mugu, I tried taking off on a slight side slope and ended up doing a slow-motion 1 MPH drop to the left. Chalk it up to lessons learned. More tread on the boots, a lower seat(!) for my short legs, and better judgement might have avoided that embarrassment. No damage done, except to my ego. All in all, a great ride.


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