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  • Which Gear

    For a few years I've been riding a Royal Star Tour Deluxe which has the V-4 1300cc engine. Yamaha describes the transmission as having four gears plus an overdrive.

    At 60 mph in 4th the bike is spinning at about 3500 rpm which is right in its power band. In 5th 3500 rpm doesn't occur until about 75 mph.

    In practice riders (including me) find staying in fourth until about 75 mph produces both the best performance and the best fuel economy. I usually cruise at about 65 to 70mph (105 to 110 kph) so I don't often get into 5th gear.

    I've only ridden my Road Star (solo) for a few hundred kilometers and where I live (prairie and foothills) I've been cruising in both 4th and 5th, and only had one mileage check fill-up which worked out to about 50 mpg (around 45 mpg to the US gallon.)
    The bike (04 with Kuryakin air intake, Reinhart short exhaust and a re-jetted (I believe) carburetor) seems happy in either gear, but runs/spins "easier" in 4th at about 2450 rpm than 5th at about 2000 rpm. (Those rpm numbers are from the Delphi forum and apply to a RS 1600.

    Maximum torque for a standard 1700 occurs at 3750 rpm and maximum hp at 4400 rpm from what I've found on the internet. I don't want to cruise at those numbers so I'm looking for some "seat of the pants" experience from more experienced riders which includes probably everyone on the forum.

    Peter

  • #2
    If you're getting 45mpg (US) just leave things as they are. That's good MPG for one of these bikes. As far as what it is you want to know I have no idea. Seat of the pants experience about what?




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    • #3
      I'm with Pobasturd, I can't tell what the question is.

      Comment


      • #4
        Oops. You're right. Reading it over now I see I forgot to ask the question at the end.

        The RS seems perfectly capable of maintaining 60 to 65 mph in 5th up hills and against the wind, but would it be more fuel efficient and easier on the bike to down-shift on hills or even use 4th as the cruising gear full time up to about 70-75 mph?

        (The RSTD 5th gear is too high for strong winds or hills in 5th at 60-65 mph.)

        Peter

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        • #5
          Do visit the rev limiter often, Don' lug the motor it don,t like it.

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          • #6
            It's never good to lug any engine. I go to 5th around 60 mph, unless I'm merging onto a 75+ mph hiway, then I'll take 4th up to 70-75 before shifting. The Roadstar makes great torque so there's no need to constantly bounce it off the rev limiter, but doing it on occasion helps keep it from carboning up. Remember, your Royal Star makes good power also, but it does give up 400cc's of displacement, so naturally you won't shift it like a Roadstar.





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            • roadiemort
              roadiemort commented
              Editing a comment
              You need to learn where the rev limit is so you don't bounce off it, that is learned by practice lol.

          • #7
            Can’t compare a V4 with a short 2.6” stroke to a V2 sporting 4.5” of stoke. The longer stroke has a better mechanical advantage to turn the crank at lower RPM’s. Road Star’s engine is all about low end torque!

            Lugging as defined: if the engine cannot accelerate at ANY RPM, you are lugging your engine. Except, of course, if you are against the limiter.

            Just think like an automatic transmission and apply it to your left foot.



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            • #8
              The rev limit on carbed 1700’s, is 4750 rpms. The low end of the power band is is around 2750 rpms. Roadstars make plenty of torque on the low end. It’s the nature of the beast.
              Your mileage indicates the bike is jetted just fine.

              You can run 4th gear up to about 104mph before hitting the rev limiter. 3rd will get you well into the 80’s. Depending on the situation, shift to 5th closer to 60 unless your pulling on a freeway, passing or pulling a grade. In those cases, downshift, or simply stay in 4th until you’re settled in traffic.

              As mentioned, don’t get in the habit of lugging the motor. You can putt along on a flat easy road at 50 and 55 in 5th, but the bike will have almost zero throttle response unless you downshift to pass, or go up a hill. It’ll knock and protest until the revs get into the power band.

              4th is a very slight overdrive gear. 5th is even taller

              Comment


              • #9
                Whatever it's worth, I don't ride focusing on BEST mpg. I focus on fun. I can clearly understand the picture you are drawing hitting a hill or heavy wind resistance in 5th. I personally like the feel and responsiveness of the bike when it's near the top of 4th gear power band in those situations you noted.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by twowheeltherapy View Post
                  Whatever it's worth, I don't ride focusing on BEST mpg. I focus on fun. I can clearly understand the picture you are drawing hitting a hill or heavy wind resistance in 5th. I personally like the feel and responsiveness of the bike when it's near the top of 4th gear power band in those situations you noted.
                  Amen!

                  “The West is the Best" - Jim Morrison

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                  • #11
                    That's great! Thanks everyone. That is exactly the information I was looking for.
                    I don't want to make the engine labor and fuel economy interests me because I ride mostly in an area where I'm often 20 miles from the nearest gas station. I like to know how far I can ride on a full tank, and how far I can go on reserve.
                    My Royal Star is supposed to have a 20 litre tank with 17 plus 3 on reserve. I've ridden it to empty with a 5 litre container in a saddle bag and I have 13 plus 7 on reserve. That's nice to know. I haven't done that yet with the RS.
                    And yes, I ride for FUN. It really is "twowheeltherapy".

                    Peter

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Unless the bike is lowered in the rear, and riding in the manner you seem to be doing, you’ll find yourself having to go to reserve when it will take 4.1 gals to fill.
                      The tank holds about 5.3 gal, so you have about a gallon left at reserve.
                      Riding back roads and running easy, I can get about 180 miles before reserve. On mine, I can still run a ways after the low fuel light, before I absolutely have to switch to reserve.
                      Numerous cold starts and being more aggressive with stop and go driving, and it will bring your mileage well down into the 30’s.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Numerous cold starts and being more aggressive with stop and go driving, and it will bring your mileage well down into the 30’s.
                        Shit, I wish.
                        With all the red lights I hit going to work and everyone shooting ahead to grab a front row seat at the next light, I’m doing good to hit 30 MPG.



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                        • #14
                          Just pay attention to your motor. It'll let you know when it's happy...or not.
                          I love the smell of smoked pork in the morning !

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