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Old 04-09-2015, 02:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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4 banger vs twins

If twins offer greater low end torque than their 4 banger cousin, being more street friendly would they get better mpg? I'm looking at the early 2000s suzuki gs 550 parallel twin vs bandit 650 4 banger vs the sv650 v twin. Ideally id like a 500 or 550 but seems to be a rare find to get a decent one some kid hasn't pimped out. Or, would a high horsepower 650-4 not need to work at low rpm and not matter anyways?

My last 2 bikes were a suzuki dr200 and dr650, the 200 one sipped fuel to the point of being ridiculous and the other got 5L/100km which is somewhere over 45 mpg

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Old 04-09-2015, 02:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My 89 GS 500 e was good for a little over 60 mpg.

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Old 04-09-2015, 03:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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On all my bikes, more cylinders = less fe.
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Old 04-09-2015, 04:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When riding efficiently, I got the same mileage on my 2001 ZX6R Ninja (carbed inline 4, ~100hp) as my current Ninja 650R (EFI inline twin, ~65hp). Both get about 50-55mpg.

When not riding efficiently, the ZX6R would get ~35mpg vs 45mpg for the 650R.

I also had a Suzuki Katana 600 (also a carbed inline 4) that got about the same mileage as the 650R.

I think there are too many other variables with motorcycles to worry too much about the number of cylinders for fuel economy reasons.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Bought an 07 gs 500f nakedised bike. 13000 miles. Stock exhaust big selling feature. I think a bigger front sprocket might be in order at some point
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My GS 500E has been off the road for over a year since I got my GZ250.

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Old 04-10-2015, 10:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I had a KLR650, FZ1, ZX600e & ZG1000, all got 45 mpg when driving half way to work at 60, other half at 75. ZG took a few tries at the carbs to get them right. Did break 50 a few times with the KLR if I ran 55 and went +1 on the front sprocket.

Wasn't ever trying to ride efficiently unless you consider saving momentum on curves, but I usually sped up going in.

Dad had a 80's GL1100? it'd get 32 mpg when I borrowed it a few times to ride to work, no OD.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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1981 Suzuki GS1100 54 mpg cruising hwy (aftermarket racing fairing) 70mph. Got better mpg than my brothers 1980 Kawasaki 550.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sure the rider and gearing play an important role on that matter, but a 2-cyl is still a more sensible option regarding fuel-savings compared to a 4-cyl.
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The biggest efficiency factor is compression ratio, the higher the better from a thermodynamic perspective. Next is the rate of flow of air/fuel mixture as in cc/min. A longer stroke, under square, tends to have more torque due in part to crank offset. Most 4 bangers are designed to get their power at high rpm so stroke and piston mass are kept minimal. Compare this to an industrial engine. Reduced aero drag and weight means less power is required so less fuel is burned. So build a full fairing, maybe lose a few pounds, and consider converting your ride to diesel power or a turbo system.

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