Motorcycle Fuel Mileage Issues

Warning: Controversial Material!

I get lots of inquiries about fuel mileage these days. It’s no surprise given highly volatile fuel prices! Here’s what I know about the subject.

(FILES) In a file picture taken on February 28, 2012 a motorist refuels at a gas pump in the northern city of Lille. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault promised on August 22, 2012 a modest and temporary cut to the taxes on petrol and diesel in order to reduce pump prices for drivers. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/GettyImages

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Vintage Motorcycle Carbs – Lean vs. Rich?

Carb Adjustment, Lean or Rich

Experienced wrenches sometimes forget that we operate with a set of understandings that becomes so ingrained as to become second nature. I don’t normally rely on gizmos like the K&N Air Fuel Monitor shown on my supercharged GL1000 (above). But since things happen so quickly on that bike, it’s a useful and entertaining tuning aid.

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Honda DOHC-4 Performance Parts

Randakk’s CB1123F Cafe Racer!

Extensive “Build” Photo Album (200+ photos)

This bike was built for me by J.R. Luksik of CBX-tras with assistance from Ken Sperry, Rosey Lackey, Jr., Al Bergler, Jim Sawtell, Dennis Parrish and many others.

1st Place Winner at 2015 Detroit Autorama

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Tips on Buying a Used Honda GL1000

Introduced in 1975, the Honda GL1000 was a stunning technical achievement. The original, unfaired GoldWing was the world’s biggest, heaviest and second fastest bike available at the time (only the mighty Kawasaki Z1 was swifter). Novel features included a liquid-cooled flat four engine, belt-driven overhead cams, shaft drive, triple disk brakes, under-seat fuel tank, counter-rotating alternator, two oil pumps, “floating” piston pins, faux top shelter “tank” and detachable back-up kick-start arm to mention a few. Honda used the GL1000 to showcase its considerable engineering prowess and put other motorcycle marques on notice that it was a force to be reckoned with. For the first time ever, there was heavy collaboration between Honda’s motorcycle and automotive engineering teams on the ’75 Wing.

Brake Bleeding Tips

Bleeding the brakes on a GL1000 is straightforward and well-covered in any manual. However, this can be a most aggravating task. Below are some tips to reduce your frustration.

brakebleed

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Randakk’s Amazing Grips – Install Tips for Motorcycle Grips

Another Gripping Randakk Video presentation:

Watch on YouTube for best results.

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Starting a Honda GL1000 after a Long Lay-up

I’m often asked how to return an engine to service after a long lay-up. The starting point would be an engine which hasn’t been started in several years. Hopefully, the crankshaft will turn freely without heroic measures. You should always check this before buying an old bike that’s been sitting. I “pass” on most opportunities to buy bikes with frozen engines. Bikes with frozen engines usually have a myriad of other problems that make them poor candidates for serious restoration efforts.

Barn Fresh GL1000

Here’s the method I use to resurrect GL1000 engines safely. This procedure is very effective in safely cleaning engine internals and removing varnish from the starter clutch rollers. The process works well for most internal combustion engines.

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Engine Compression Testing

Standard Compression Testing:
 
Compression readings depend on a number of critical variables and proper testing technique.
Compression Testing 1

Recommended Honda GL1000 Timing Belt Change Interval

My recommendation for Honda GL1000 timing belts is simple: It you can’t verify their age – change them! Thereafter, my recommendation is to change them every 5 years or 25,000 miles…whichever comes sooner. Obviously, they should be inspected from time to time for any evidence of damage, oil contamination or deterioration which would warrant immediate replacement.timing belt replacement

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Randakk’s Master Carb Overhaul Kit® for Honda GL1000 Parts Location Graphic

Note: The graphic for this Tech Tip is provided courtesy of Tom Thomas of Austell, GA.

My GL1000 carb video goes into great detail on the placement of these bits, but the nice graphic below  provided by Tom Thomas is a handy quick reference.

GL1000 Location Diagram