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1976 XS650C Restore

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by cycleranger, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Aside from focusing on mpg. When you are satisfied with your engine state of tune, moniter you range to reserve with your riding style. Getting to know that range is most important. After that its just about "smiles per gallon".
  2. cycleranger

    cycleranger Generally Ok.

    I've been looking at those threads. That's what got me thinking I should do better than ~40 mpg.
    I haven't ridden it to reserve yet, more data to collect.
    Otherwise as far I am concerned it's running very well and I should just shut up about it and enjoy it. :)
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  3. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I think RG's mileage is an exception rather than the rule. I don't know how he does it. With my '78 carb set, I average low to mid 40's around town and can eke out near 50 from a mostly highway miles tank. The '76-'77 carb set I tried returned a few MPG better results probably due to, as I mentioned, the smaller mains. This did surprise me though, because that carb set also uses a richer needle jet (Z-8).

    I have to admit though, I have a "lead wrist", lol. I don't run up to red line constantly (if ever) but I do apply pretty big handfuls of throttle through the lower RPMs quite often. It's just my riding style I guess. I experienced the same mileage discrepancy with my old BMWs. Many claimed 50 MPG or better with them too and I got the same as my 650, mid 40's.
  4. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty, Demi & Gretel: I ask, THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Hi all: I’m sure this is not the case, but I wonder if RG is quoting MPIG (miles per Imperial gallon) - our gallon up here in the Great White North is about 20% bigger than a US gallon.

    I’ve owned three XS650s over the last (good grief!!!) 40-odd years and here they are with their respective fuel economy numbers:
    - a 1975 XS650B (back around 1976~7 when it was nearly new) - 50 MPIG (oddly, it didn’t seem to much matter whether I rode her hard or easy):
    - a 1976 XS650C (the infamous Lucille) and she also gets a steady - 50 MPIG;
    - a 1981 XS650SH (the Special-to-Cafe donor bike) - haven’t ridden it enough for a good check, but it looks like about ....50 MPIG; NOTE: this one has Canadian BS34 carbs.

    If I were quoting mileage in US gallons, I’d guess that these bikes would all get just about 40-42 MPG which is comparable to what many folks on the Forum get. I’d love to know how people do significantly better than that - but I’m afraid that it would involve riding with less vigorous action on my right wrist...
    ...and to that, my response would be.....:hellno: ...because when your riding season is as short as ours, ya gotta get a lotta riding in.

  5. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I haven't used or even thought about Imperial gallons for over 30 years.
    I buy my gas by the litre and measure distance by the kilometre. Around town I get about 23 km/L which is 54 US mpg. When I head out into the mountains and burn through a couple of tanks, I get about 25 km/L or 58.8 US mpg. On one long trip I did get 25.9 km/L or 60.9 US mpg, but that was an outlier.

    Yes, the type of driving you do has a big effect on the km/L and mpg. I am a conservative, defensive style driver in both my car and motorcycle. I shift gears at around 3800 rpm, and seldom exceed 4000 rpm. Believe it or not, I drive at the posted speed limits. That's how I enjoy driving. You will find me in the right hand lane, 95% of the time. Just about every other motorcycle that I see, is passing me in the left lane at a much higher speed. A common speed for me is 100 kms/hr, and I enjoy driving 90 kms /hr on the back roads.
    If you routinely run the rpms up to 5000 rpm or more on the lower gears, then yes, you are going to use a lot more gas that I use.

    I know Pamcopete and Royboy have reported 60 to 62 US mpg. I suspect they are gentle on the throttle, much as myself.
  6. cycleranger

    cycleranger Generally Ok.

    Ok, after today's ride the arithmetic yielded 48 mpg. I'm happy. :bike:
    robinc likes this.
  7. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Just calculated mileage on my '77 XS650D , I got 45.5 US mpg in mixed city and freeway riding. My carbs are two sizes up on the mains and one size up on the pilots. I typically employ a "spirited riding style. I'd say you are right in the normal range.
    robinc likes this.
  8. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I was getting 53 (give or take a bit) this past summer. SPG? I can't count that high....
    robinc likes this.
  9. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty, Demi & Gretel: I ask, THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Hmmmmmm......I’ll have to review my arithmetic.
  10. robinc

    robinc Member of the 'yellow meter gang' Top Contributor

    I keep a spreadsheet to track mileage and oil consumption......lol.

    On the first set of 78/79 stock jetting carbs I had on my 77 I averaged 44.27 US mpg, on the current set 'borrowed' from my 78 I have gotten 48.02 US mpg. The difference may be in differing ratios of city/highway?
    MaxPete and Mailman like this.
  11. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    robinc.........................yes spreadsheets are useful tools, but tracking oil consumption.........................must be a lot of wear on your engine.

    Its not a competition to see who can get the most mpg. There seems to be a range of 45 to 60 mpg. I'd say this reflects the type of driving that is done, from conservative such as myself, to "hell bent for leather" such as many others. As long as you are enjoying your bike and the spark plugs are tan colour, life is good:)
    MaxPete, cycleranger and robinc like this.
  12. robinc

    robinc Member of the 'yellow meter gang' Top Contributor

    Yes RG, a top end rebuild is planned at the end of the season. I knew I was burning oil but wanted to see how much. About 37,500 KMS on the engine.

    I'm measuring what I add anywhere from 150ml to 250ml at a time as required and see that I'm averaging burning a litre/quart in about 500 US miles.
  13. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Well, when I was getting in the 50's, it was mostly highway miles. Very little Idling and stop and go. Maybe the trip miles was off too.
  14. cycleranger

    cycleranger Generally Ok.

    So to add more to the story of this bike for some reason...
    The build date of the bike is 7/75 - it's an early "C", #576.
    I've mentioned before that the two previous owners of this bike kept meticulous service records.
    The bike was purchased new in late 1975 in So. Carolina by the PO's Uncle.

    The first record of service is 11/29/75 with an oil change at 253.5 miles with the trip meter reading 215.
    The next oil change is in Jan '76 at 668 miles.
    Thereafter the oil was changed every 1000 miles and all other maintenance activities listed.
    (Everything! Tires, valve adjustments, filters, points, etc. etc.)

    The records continue with dates until 7/78 with only maintenance and mileage listed until 7/79.
    This is when the PO bought the bike from his Uncle.
    From 7/79 until 8/86 the records continue with the same level of detail.
    At that point the mileage was 38124.
    This was the period the PO was in college and a little after until he got married.
    (The PO told me he replaced the original mufflers with new OEM units some time in 80-82 but for some reason this
    isn't listed in the records. Maybe because he said he changed the mufflers in the dealer parking lot!)

    Then there's a gap until 6/95 with the mileage resuming at 38695.
    This was point that the PO consigned the bike to his brother.
    The records stop at 9/96 with the mileage at 40484 so the brother didn't ride it much.

    Around 1998-99 the PO reclaimed the bike from his brother and relocated to Texas for a new job where as far as know the
    bike sat in his garage for ~12 years under a cover after he drained the tank and carbs.

    I got the bike from him in 2011 with the mileage at ~41407 where I let it sit until last year when I began the restoration.
    So this bike spent ~25 years of its 41 year life off the road.
    Over 30 years the bike was only ridden 3283 miles!

    Anyway, it's fascinating to me to have all this documentation on this bike since so few of these old bikes come with any history at all.
    Usually it's only though forensic archeology that you find out anything about an old bike's past.
  15. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty, Demi & Gretel: I ask, THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

  16. geedubya

    geedubya geedubya Top Contributor

    G'day DJ,

    Very nice to know the provenance of your machine.

    I have coveted this bike since you posted it.

    This must reflect in the price which is asked should you ever sell it.

    cycleranger likes this.
  17. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Pete,
    back when the Canadian Metrification Nazis forced Vehicle Dealers to use the obnoxious "liters per 100 Kilometers" fuel consumption
    measurement instead of the MPG that everybody understood and anyone could work with, I reckoned that I had two choices.
    1) Install a program in my H-P 11C calculator that would read MPG when I entered L/100KM.
    2) Keep my usual practice of zeroing the trip odometer and filling up before it reached 100KM.
    As I never did learn how to program my H-P11C and the conversion exceeds the amount of arithmetic I can do in my head, I took option 2)
    MaxPete, TwoManyXS1Bs and robinc like this.
  18. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty, Demi & Gretel: I ask, THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Agreed Fred - too many other important things to learn about.

  19. Rasputin

    Rasputin XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    2943B58C-F5F6-4D7D-A0E0-7F5724601396.jpeg As for plug colour. I am quite happy with this.

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