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Discussion Starter #1
I recently took a road trip of about 4500 miles. I was pulling a small trailer. (First extended trip with the trailer so I have no baseline here.) My mileage was disappointing; 33.4 MPG for the overall trip. As part of my look over each morning I noticed the exhaust tips were turning darker as I went along. By the time I got home the entire tips were pretty much solid black. It isn't soot because I had to use cleaner and put some effort into cleaning them up.

Power seemed fine. It does turn over just a bit more than it used to when starting although it always starts with no problem. Throttle response was noticeably better at lower elevation.

The bike has not been getting as good fuel mileage as it did last year when it was new and I had decided to chalk it up to fuel in this area. (Had to have reason in my mind and that was as good as any.) This trip started in Wyoming, went to South Texas, along Gulf Coast, up through North Carolina then back home so I doubt that fuel was the issue as I never fueled up in the same place twice.

I am wondering if the blackening exhaust tips offer a clue as to what might be going on. I have read something about resetting the ECU and how that can resolve some issues. I just don't enough about it to jump on that just to see what happens.

Any thoughts are appreciated.
 

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I recently took a road trip of about 4500 miles. I was pulling a small trailer. (First extended trip with the trailer so I have no baseline here.) My mileage was disappointing; 33.4 MPG for the overall trip. As part of my look over each morning I noticed the exhaust tips were turning darker as I went along. By the time I got home the entire tips were pretty much solid black. It isn't soot because I had to use cleaner and put some effort into cleaning them up.

Power seemed fine. It does turn over just a bit more than it used to when starting although it always starts with no problem. Throttle response was noticeably better at lower elevation.

The bike has not been getting as good fuel mileage as it did last year when it was new and I had decided to chalk it up to fuel in this area. (Had to have reason in my mind and that was as good as any.) This trip started in Wyoming, went to South Texas, along Gulf Coast, up through North Carolina then back home so I doubt that fuel was the issue as I never fueled up in the same place twice.

I am wondering if the blackening exhaust tips offer a clue as to what might be going on. I have read something about resetting the ECU and how that can resolve some issues. I just don't enough about it to jump on that just to see what happens.

Any thoughts are appreciated.
Black tips are normal with unleaded fuel, but you did not state the year of your bike or mileage, change plugs, check O2 sensors, pulling the trailer will adversley effect gas mileage, also do not run premium gas it is made for 87 octane.
 

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reset: never touch the throttle during this operation. Start a COLD engine. Let it idle until the fans kick on. Shut down.

Because of the recent decline in fuel quality, I have been using 91 mid grade. It costs 50¢ more per tank at fill up, but I get 20 miles more out of a tank. Do the math.

Besides, it runs better. Less knocking more power smoother. 50¢ for the best deal on the planet. Better performance and a $3.00 rebate.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Reset may have helped.

:shock: I followed the reset procedure and noticed it did improve the starting. I went on a ride with girl friend and matched her V-Star at a little over 41 MPG. :yes: I think that is a better way to judge how it is doing as I usually take a little more fuel than she does riding together. Not that 41 is some sort of record, but since the conditions were the same (and she usually knocks out high 40's) I think it is ok. So, yeah, I believe.

FWIW: the bike is a level three '08 bought new in February 2010. It now has 28,500 miles on it.

Thanks for the suggestions and instructions. :bow:
 

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Is the trailer affecting the air flow exit of the exhaust. Reset the ECM and ride it with no trailer to see what happends. Make sure the air filter is clean (requires replacement every 12 k) and spark plugs are clean (requires replacement every 16 k).
 

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Air filter and clean/regap the plugs

Don't know if the filter and plugs are attributing to your woes but with 28,000 miles if your have not changed these it is time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Don't know if the filter and plugs are attributing to your woes but with 28,000 miles if your have not changed these it is time.
I have pretty much followed the manual for maintenance. The plugs and air filter both have just over 12,000 miles on them now. My riding is mostly on the highway with a little bit of in town commuting. No dirt roads. In fact, I have only broken out the rain gear twice this year so that has been pretty easy on it. :p (Obviously being rewarded for living right.) :shrug:

I pulled the plugs and they are fine in gap and condition. I am planning a trip next month and might go ahead and have them changed out before I leave as it will be past the 32,000 mark when I get home. I don't care to waste the hard earned money, but I do want my baby to have a long and happy life. :thumbup: Any thoughts on that? That is the amount of maintenance, not the living thing. :lol:

I change my own oil and plugs and do the light weight stuff myself. I haven't built the nerve or desire to go under the shelter yet so I help the dealer stay profitable by giving them the heavy lifting.
 
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