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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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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Electrical Meltdown!

This ever happen to you?  Randakk customer Randy Troy of Oceanside, CA recently faced this challenge during the resurrection of a ’79 CBX – the alternator harness plug was 100% “toast!”

Now What? (photo by Randy Troy)

Don’t worry, there’s an easy solution …and an easy prevention!

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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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What I’ve Learned from AHRMA Vintage Roadracing

By: Randall Washington (aka Randakk)

Vintage motorcycles can change your life. I mean that quite literally. Building a business immersed in such fabulous machinery has been quite a ride.  One of the best aspects? Working with the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association, AHRMA.

Steve Sharp Aboard Fierce Honda CB175

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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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Honda GL1000 Smokes on Initial Startup?

Catastrophe or Nuisance?

Smoke on initial Startup 1

Greg Jones (left) and Al Wransky (right). Photo by Scott Larson
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Jim Meyer’s 1978 Honda GL1000

Jim Meyer's GL1000

“I am totally in love with this bike after completing the build about 5 years ago. It’s a blast to ride and handles the twistys like no GL1000 was ever expected to. The power increase from the 40mm Webers, the sound from the carbon fiber exhaust, the great braking all add to the experience. How well it takes the curves, was really a big surprise to me. I’ve been to the other side of 100mph (please don’t tell my wife) more times than I can count, and it’s rock stable at that speed.

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