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Old 12-31-2011, 08:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Livermore CA
Posts: 341

l&s' Jag - '00 Jaguar S-Type SE
90 day: 25.86 mpg (US)

l&s' Vision - '82 Yamaha Vision XZ550RJ
90 day: 59.92 mpg (US)

L&S' Greenaero Ninja 250 - '99 Kawasaki Ninja EX250F Ninja 250R
90 day: 97.24 mpg (US)

SilverAero Ninja 250 - '04 Kawasaki EX250 Ninja
90 day: 88.24 mpg (US)
Thanks: 46
Thanked 176 Times in 91 Posts
Low & Slow's Ninja 250 project

After the recent Las Vegas to Barstow Vetter Challenge I have thought a lot about my future participation in these real-world fuel economy contests. While I'm pleased to have improved a 40mpg bike into a 60mpg+ machine I have to recognize the inherent disadvantages my Yamaha Vision ( 550cc shaft-drive bike) presents versus the 250cc gas bikes and the diesel bikes that have been the previous Challenge winners ( 134 mpg to ~ 157 mpg). I decided to start looking for a used 250cc bike to modify for future fuel economy runs.
After about 2 weeks of searching I found a 1999 Kawasaki Ninja 250 in good running condition for a good price and well under my project budget. It was a salvaged bike and so I had to have it inspected and the engine and frame #s verified to get it titled and registered for street usage.
I adjusted the valve clearances, sparkplug gap, cleaned and re-oiled the air filter and changed the oil and filter. I topped off the tank and rode it around running errands for a few days before doing my first official mpg calculation: 65 mpg.
Today I rode with Alan Smith( Ninja 250 streamliner ) and another stock 2008 Ninja 250 as well as a Triumph 1100 and a BMW 1200. We topped off our tanks at the start of ride and refueled at the end of the ride 126.7 miles later. The ride was at a spirited pace on twisty backroads on a cold day with with about 15 freeway miles on the way back. Alan got 89.47 mpg, the 2008 ninja got 62.1 mpg and I got 72.8 mpg. I was pleased with how the bike runs and how well it handles. It was interesting to compare the 2 stock ninjas with Alan's to see how effective his modifications are.
Now that I have my baseline I'm ready to start my modications. I'll start with a larger countershaft sprocket ( 15 tooth vs 14) and larger windscreen. I'm pleased to already have beaten my best tankfill on my Vision 550cc ( 66.8 mpg) . I'll try to keep posting on my progress.
Happy New Year , L&S

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