High MPG bike Phase 1

The search for a victim phase

Phase 1 of the project is complete. A hundred plus miles of testing showed the initial MPG for the Suzuki GN125, which I am now calling Suzi Q, to be 89.52 mpg.   I have outlined the objectives achieved in this phase of this project.  I did not keep a running blog of my progress in this phase as I will in later phases so this page pretty much covers all there is of phase 1.


Phase 1 steps accomplished

  • Research available options for engine and bike designs to choose the best starting point for the project. In addition to the size and weight a number of factors had to be considered here. One of the more important was the stroke and bore. This engine will be running at very low RPM so more stroke was found to be important. In the end the best two options were the Suzuki GN125 and the Honda CG125.  So began my hunt for a used bike.
  • locate and procure a motorcycle. This step was concluded on Saturday May 19, 2007 when a 1994 Suzuki GN125 was purchased from the State of Connecticut. The bike had been used by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Basic RiderCourse. The bike had only 2000 miles on it but bears the scars of many beginning riders. This particular bike had been in storage for some time.   It made it's voyage to it's new home on the Harbor Freight trailer towed behind a Honda Civic.  I got 34 mpg transporting the bike.  The use of trailers is going to be an entire topic in the GetBetterMPG tips page so I thought it was worth mentioning.  The same trailer will be used to transport the bike West for it's final ride so I thought it was a good way to bring it home the first time.
  • Return the bike to a factory original state and insure performance is within expected range. Big steps here included the repairs to the ignition system, a bad interface between the coil and plug wire may have been the reason the bike was removed from service in the first place. The Carburetor was a mess and required an overhaul. Half the worlds supply of bird seed had been convieniently stored in the air filter, and the gas in the tank would have been better suited to putting a lasting finish on wooden boat parts. That and a few more fiddely items have now been returned to their proper state.  It was very much a requirement at this point to get a good manual and I found a Haynes that dealt specificaly with this group of bikes

  • Comply with legal requirements for the road. Simply put the bike is now insured and registered in the state of Connecticut. Interestingly the need to be inspected was waved as the agency that owned the bike opperates as a branch of the Department of Motor Vehicle.  It turns out that this bike had never been titled before I registered it. According to the title I am the first owner. Too bad I'm going to Hack it to bits and rebuild it since a single owner bike always has more value than one that has gone through many different owners.. 
  • Determine the initial MPG. I needed to do this before altering the bike from the original design. This is needed to track the results of each change and riding method applied in the later phases of the project.  The Ride completed on July 21, 2007 showed 89.52 mpg. This ride was accomplished with the Carb not as well adjusted as I would have liked as the idle was still moving all over the place but other than that the bike seems mechanicaly sound. The ride was done without applying any of the mpg improvement methods that I will test over the course of the High MPG project. 
  • My phase 1 test route involved some very nice roads in North West Connecticut and South West Massachusetts. I will need to try a few different routes eventualy to find one that is more in line with the type of roads I expect to run this bike on.  I will document that further in later phases. This will become an important topic since the mpg will very with the speeds I am running. To accurately estimate how much millage I will get on the longer ride I need to simulate it as closely as I can durring these tests.
  • This what I ended up with at the end of phase 1.

Here are the specs for what I ended up with at the end of phase 1