Cruising RPM - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
 4Likes
  • 1 Post By toniplavna
  • 1 Post By po18guy
  • 1 Post By john z
  • 1 Post By K-woppa
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-17-2019, 5:46 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
thatvolvonut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Seacoast NH
Posts: 8
 
Garage
Question Cruising RPM

After passing the MSF this past weekend and updating my license and getting the bike registered on Monday, I've finally been able to ride! The Ninja has a good deal more oomph than the 200CC Suzuki VanVan I was on for the MSF.

I'm used to the Crappie Olde Volvo 240 and it's 12 RPM redline - this bike gives me a lot more room to play. What rev range do you guys shoot for when you're just cruising down a local road? How about on the highway? My itchy throttle wrist has done about 100 miles so far, mostly on local roads, and I've found that anything under 3k feels luggy (which is funny to me because that's pretty much where the power peaks in my 240!). So far I've been shooting for about 4k when I'm trying to hold a steady speed, maybe 5k if I expect to be changing speed. Is that a good point to be sitting at?

On a related note, is there a sweet spot in the rev range for gas mileage? I'm planning on commuting ~40 miles round trip on this bike this summer. Gas mileage isn't a priority for me, but it would be nice to know how to maximize it. When I filled up today, I had gotten about 44 MPG, which means I should be getting about 150 miles per tank. Are those reasonable numbers for an '07?

Thanks! Looking forward to a lot of fun miles!
thatvolvonut is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-17-2019, 7:01 PM
Senior Member
 
po18guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,164
 
Garage
There will be an RPM, according to load and speed, which just feels right. If vibration increases, you could be lugging or over-revving the motor. Play around in the fat spot of the torque curve. Get used to the engine. See where the engine is happy and where it is laboring, i.e. more than half throttle to maintain a legal speed. It has a fairly wide tolerance for revs, but too high is wearing the motor out prematurely, and too low does the same thing, but for different reasons. On level ground at a slow speed, like city streets, I sometimes cruise at 2500 - but am ready to change up or down according to speed and road conditions.

Freeway/Interstate is another creature. I cruise at about 80 per, and that is close to the 7K spike in power that the engine produces. I was trained to drive aggressively and I prefer to work my way through slower traffic and be by myself. Too many close calls with sleepyheads almost running me over. Distance is safety.

Pull up a dyno chart on the motor and see where it begins to produce torque and from there to about 7K, it will be happy. 7K and above, you are getting serious. Mind how much throttle you must give it. If you have to dial it on to keep your speed, it's time to shift down. As well, if you crank the throttle and it does not accelerate, you are most likely at too low an RPM. I guess 4-6K or so is a good general RPM. Too low and that lumpy firing order will stress engine/trans/chain, etc.

You're just going to have to get a feel for the bike, as your roads and riding conditions are different from all others.

1987 EX500-A1<br />K&N/Dynojet kit<br />Webcam 245 cams<br />Cobra F1 slip-ons<br />3rd airbox snorkel<br />Tapered rollers<br />Prog. Springs<br />Russell braided line<br />Galfer pads<br />Avon Super Venoms
po18guy is offline  
post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-17-2019, 8:27 PM
bpe
Senior Member
 
bpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 5,565
 
Garage
You will probably get your best mileage in 6th gear @60mph, which would put you at around 5000 rpms.
But with traffic, and just wanting to open it up, you gotta do what you gotta do.


Edit: FYI I got 55mpg's on my last tank. But I use quality gas, it makes a difference.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by bpe; 4-17-2019 at 8:31 PM. Reason: mpg info
bpe is offline  
 
post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-17-2019, 9:56 PM
Senior Member
 
po18guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,164
 
Garage
The EX/GPz is a really good 80 MPH/120KPH bike. Still has enough snot left over to pull more, but is not straining at that speed. Mirror vigilance is critical, however. And, that magic 7K level, the motor is telling you it's happy.

1987 EX500-A1<br />K&N/Dynojet kit<br />Webcam 245 cams<br />Cobra F1 slip-ons<br />3rd airbox snorkel<br />Tapered rollers<br />Prog. Springs<br />Russell braided line<br />Galfer pads<br />Avon Super Venoms
po18guy is offline  
post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-18-2019, 8:25 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 699
 
I have had days where I never shifted below 9,000 and I have had days that were spent below 5,000. Ride at your comfort level but know that are not even close to the power of this bike if you are shifting at 3,000.
44 mpg is in the range of normal, although some will tell you that you need to be getting 50 at those kind of RPMs. NEVER judge your actual mileage on a single tank. As small as this tank is, an extra 2 seconds on the pump can take 5 miles out of your MPG. 10 fill-ups will tell you what your actual mileage is. If you simply fuel up at the same mileage every time, you will never run out. And its way better to fill up at the end of a ride than at the beginning.

John Z.

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. -Albert Einstein
john z is offline  
post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-18-2019, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
thatvolvonut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Seacoast NH
Posts: 8
 
Garage
Thanks everyone - I'm new to bikes (and this particular one, of course) and just wanted to make sure it wasn't way out of whack.



And about that 7k power spike - I knew about it and it still scared the hell out of me the first time I hit it. The only feeling I can compare it to is when my friend's tuned GTI comes on boost. I think I'll enjoy wringing this thing out in the mountains
thatvolvonut is offline  
post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-18-2019, 11:36 AM
Senior Member
 
Kevinl7778's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Hamilton, NJ
Posts: 457
 
Garage
Dont ring it to hard, they dont have a rev limiter and you can stall it out above 9.5K i beleive (ask me how I know).

1993 Teal/White EX500 6K First Street Bike
Kevinl7778 is offline  
post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-18-2019, 8:48 PM
Senior Member
 
Saabnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 2,319
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinl7778 View Post
Dont ring it to hard, they dont have a rev limiter and you can stall it out above 9.5K i beleive (ask me how I know).
Speak for yourself, never happened to me. Not saying it can't happen, I just doubt it's an EX issue and more like a tuning (or some other problem) issue you were having.


Anyways, everyone has had good things to say. Personally, I like to keep the bike between 4-6k rpm when putzing around, engine seems happiest in that range. Under 3.5k is definitely lugging it, I always upshift at that point when decelerating.

For freeway cruising, I've found my EX to be very happy at 70mph, which with stock gearing will have you around 6k and should net you somewhere close to 55mpg. Cruise at 60mph, which is close to 5k, and I've got over 60mpg. 80mph cruising gets you really close to the peak powerband of 7k, so your mileage will probably be short of 50mpg. Anything consistent over 7k and your fuel economy will plummet.

For twisty back road fun, I ignore the tachometer and speedo and go entirely by feel, that former which I really normally do anyways. Once you get a feel for power at a given vibration and sensation of speed, the only important thing becomes what lays ahead. This is actually quite important as your focus needs to be on the road an properly setting yourself up for a corner, which is difficult to do if you are looking at the dash. Just go out, pay attention to the road and get a feel for the bike without the distraction of the dash. Still check it occasionally to make sure the engine isn't overheating.

1990 EX500 - 142,000 miles as of August 12th, 2019
1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
Saabnut is offline  
post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-18-2019, 10:19 PM
Senior Member
 
Themeangreen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Lousyville, Ky
Posts: 230
 
My 06 would rev right on past 9k into the red line if i wasnt careful. That bein said theres no point in it
Themeangreen is offline  
post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-20-2019, 4:15 PM
Senior Member
 
toniplavna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Europe
Posts: 598
 
Im usually around 4.8-6k rpms.
toniplavna is offline  
post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-21-2019, 4:56 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: So Western Ohio
Posts: 133
 
I keep it above 3000, it doesn't pull cleanly at lower revs. I never make it work between 3 and 4000, just putting along in town it's ok.
When going fast I shift when it runs out of lunge. When you feel the acceleration easing off, you should have shifted a second ago.
I keep it below redline, since I'm not racing and I don't want to break it.

I cruise in whatever gear is highest if the engine is pulling smooth, drop a gear if it ain't and get 45-50 mpg on average. I'm a big dude so smaller people might do better, mileage-wise. It does fine on the highway, it surprised me with its good high speed manners when I first got it.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Conax is offline  
post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-21-2019, 9:19 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 106
 
Garage
funny my old race bike the tach was taped up below 5000 rpm and was readable up to 10,500rpms. Bike ran flawless and the person I sold it to ran it for a season with my old Dunlop Race tyres on it. This current bike pulls 11,000 rpm at 130mph if not for more than a 1/1000 one count-just to check if everything is tight. I am riding it slower and more thoughtfully now though.



On the highways here, we go around 90 to 100 all day long. 8000 - 9000 rpm is the norm. I had two commutes for 4 years that were over 30 miles each way, I would run this bike 9000 rpms pretty much the entire trip, 1/2 hour 34 miles and I would stop for a traffic light once. Bike protested in time and I need to do head work. Now, I don't have those type of commutes thankfully and if I did get into a situation like that again, I would use one of my other bikes which are more suited to that type of open road work. EX is a great bike with ergos and ease of maintenance, shi* load of parts all over the world on the internet etc.


Just make sure you buy the best oil you can afford and change it frequently along with the recommended valve lash intervals. PEaCE
ridervfr is offline  
post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-22-2019, 4:29 PM
Member
 
johna6968's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Cheshire UK
Posts: 82
 
I do like to use the full rev range at least once on most rides. The rest of the time Im happier letting it chug along at lower rpm. It will still run cleanly in top at 2k+ rpm, any lower and the whole drivetrain will let you know it isnt entirely happy.
johna6968 is offline  
post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-22-2019, 6:42 PM
Senior Member
 
toniplavna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Europe
Posts: 598
 
2k+ is really low mate for this engine. Thats is below 3k i guess, and this bike is dead at that rpms.
po18guy likes this.
toniplavna is offline  
post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-22-2019, 10:06 PM
Senior Member
 
po18guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,164
 
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by toniplavna View Post
2k+ is really low mate for this engine. Thats is below 3k i guess, and this bike is dead at that rpms.
Below 3K with a load, the engine is lugging big time and threatens to begin bucking. 4-6K it is much happier around most streets.
toniplavna likes this.

1987 EX500-A1<br />K&N/Dynojet kit<br />Webcam 245 cams<br />Cobra F1 slip-ons<br />3rd airbox snorkel<br />Tapered rollers<br />Prog. Springs<br />Russell braided line<br />Galfer pads<br />Avon Super Venoms
po18guy is offline  
post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-23-2019, 3:39 AM
Member
 
johna6968's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Cheshire UK
Posts: 82
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by toniplavna View Post
2k+ is really low mate for this engine. Thats is below 3k i guess, and this bike is dead at that rpms.
Its not where I generally choose to ride but my point was this bike will do it cleanly. I know there are a lot of gpzs that wont
johna6968 is offline  
post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-23-2019, 11:36 AM
Senior Member
 
Kevinl7778's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Hamilton, NJ
Posts: 457
 
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saabnut View Post
Speak for yourself, never happened to me. Not saying it can't happen, I just doubt it's an EX issue and more like a tuning (or some other problem) issue you were having
I dont know how far over I went, I was accelerating and lane changing on the higway in 3rd or fourth and somewhere around 10 it went limp. Just saying.

1993 Teal/White EX500 6K First Street Bike
Kevinl7778 is offline  
post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-24-2019, 8:31 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 699
 
Red line is marked at 11, but every motor is going to be slightly different. Learn your bike. When it stops pulling, shift.
If you are poodling along below 3,000, you are on the lowest edge of where this motor wants to be, and stalling (especially in a turn) is a great way to learn how to do body work.
Remember from your MSF that a bit higher RPM will help with stability. Strangely enough, higher RPM's will also make the bike more "flickable". At least in my experience.
toniplavna likes this.

John Z.

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. -Albert Einstein
john z is offline  
post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 4-24-2019, 3:47 PM
Member
 
johna6968's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Cheshire UK
Posts: 82
 
[QUOTE=john z;912587]
If you are poodling along below 3,000, you are on the lowest edge of where this motor wants to be, and stalling (especially in a turn) is a great way to learn how to do body work. [/QUOTE

I dont ever recall stalling a bike @ 30mph in 35 yrs of riding motorcycle. 3k rpm is even higher speed on mine.

Last edited by johna6968; 4-24-2019 at 3:50 PM.
johna6968 is offline  
post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 8-23-2019, 1:09 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 3
 
For fuel economy:
I’m about to get quoted and yelled at out the wazoo here. If you are EASY on the throttle, you can get upshift at 2500rpms. Now if you gas it in that range, you will absolutely get some chugging and lugging. Doing that and cruising at highway speeds around 5-6k rpms, I get about 60mpg.

Now, for fun riding or passing:
Take a look at a dyno chart and you will see that your peak power is about 7-9k rpms. You can go higher than that, but it’s a waste as you are getting close to redline and getting away from the peak power. If I’m cruising on the highway in 6th at between 60 and 75 and I need to pass someone, (or show up a guy on a 650) I’ll drop into 4th and that puts you right in that 7-9k sweet spot, and it’s a huge difference in responsiveness from 6th gear.
Gawill94 is offline  
post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 8-23-2019, 4:31 AM
bpe
Senior Member
 
bpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 5,565
 
Garage
Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gawill94 View Post
For fuel economy:
Iím about to get quoted and yelled at out the wazoo here. If you are EASY on the throttle, you can get upshift at 2500rpms. Now if you gas it in that range, you will absolutely get some chugging and lugging. Doing that and cruising at highway speeds around 5-6k rpms, I get about 60mpg.

Now, for fun riding or passing:
Take a look at a dyno chart and you will see that your peak power is about 7-9k rpms. You can go higher than that, but itís a waste as you are getting close to redline and getting away from the peak power. If Iím cruising on the highway in 6th at between 60 and 75 and I need to pass someone, (or show up a guy on a 650) Iíll drop into 4th and that puts you right in that 7-9k sweet spot, and itís a huge difference in responsiveness from 6th gear.
Don't get me started.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bpe is offline  
post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 8-23-2019, 8:24 AM
Super Moderator
 
K-woppa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SE MA
Posts: 3,408
 
Hold on guys. It's important to us that the atmosphere stays respectful here. People disagree, but nobody gets yelled at here. Let's not invite it, OK?
ducatiman likes this.
K-woppa is offline  
post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 8-23-2019, 4:15 PM
bpe
Senior Member
 
bpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 5,565
 
Garage
Sorry
Joke in bad taste.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bpe is offline  
post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 8-23-2019, 7:09 PM
Super Moderator
 
K-woppa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SE MA
Posts: 3,408
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpe View Post
Sorry
Joke in bad taste.
Yeah, I figured you were joking, but for the sake of the new member who was expecting to get flamed, and the general forum viewing public, I thought it good to reaffirm our policy that members get treated with respect here.
K-woppa is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome