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03-19-2015, 11:59 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-20-2015, 12:06 AM by TwoWheels.)
03' Custom, low MPG issue.
Bike has 12,xxx miles on it. Bought used in 2013 from private seller with 6k miles. I'll average about 30mpg city/highway. Even when I baby the throttle, and keep it under 65mph I only seem to gain a couple mpg at best. When I bought the bike, I found that the airfilter was actually torn so some air was bypassing the filter, and there was a dust/dirt that had stuck to the sides of the intake ducting- such a shame. The bike also has a very light pop that occurs out of the front cylinder at a steady throttle, occurring throughout the range above idle. Cleaned the carbs, which were dirty, adjust valve lash, in attempt to solve the issue. Made sure mixture screws were 2.5 turns out (factory default, should I adjust for my location- orlando?), adjusted TPS sensor. Carbs synced. Still having issues, though I performed this maintenance about 6k miles ago.

When the crankshaft is rotated by hand, I can hear hissing out of the oil filler cap when either cylinder is in the compression stroke, even when warmed up. I've put a splash of marvel mystery oil in each cylinder, and this does reduce the noise but doesn't eliminate it. Should I expect to hear what sounds like cylinder leakage , or is this a sign of excessive piston ring/cylinder wear?

I bought a cheap compression tester, inspection camera, and stethoscope from harbor freight (kind of impulsively) so I'll have to do a compression test and look inside the cylinder hopefully in the next few days. I need to figure out how to decipher the noise coming in through the stethoscope...

Another thing I should add, is the bike tops out at about 97. Should I be able to hit 110- max on speedometer? I'm 150lbs. Tire pressure always maintained.
Any other things I should check out?

Appreciate any tips!


03-20-2015, 10:28 AM,
RE: 03' Custom, low MPG issue.
It does sound like you have problems and I can't answer most of your questions but the bike red lines at 94MPH. You might hit 110 (briefly) if you ride it off a cliff...

The mileage isn't great, either, for much the same's a small, low-tech carb'd engine trying to haul around a big, non-aerodynamic bike with gearing angled toward acceleration rather than cruising. (It's a bike that really NEEDS a sixth gear.)

I hear guys talk about getting 50+ MPG on the highway but the best I've done was just a tad above 40 with my 2011 (purchased new in 2013). I think maybe if you were riding strictly on low-speed highways at around 50 maybe you could get it up into the 50 MPG range but at even modest freeway speeds the mileage plummets pretty quickly.

It's a great city bike but not so fun on the highway as the droning will beat you to death after a few hours.
2011 V-Star 650 Custom (new in fall 2013)
V&H Cruzer Pipes, Memphis Shades Bat Wing, Floorboards, Highway Bars,
Locking Bags, Tail Rack, LED Signals & Aux Brake Lights, Headlight Modulator,
Brake Light Modulator, 5/8" Gel Pad Under Upholstery.
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