Let me clarify first, I am no mechanic and this is my first owned bike (newbie).

I bought my bike (Yamaha VStar 950 tourer, 2009) last year, it was pre-owned.

I noticed that whether I drive in cold or warm weather, whenever I fill the tank and reset the odometer to zero, I can drive around 110 Km (68 miles) maximum, before the fuel light pops out.

I bought the service manual and checked Yamaha’s official specs it says:

Fuel capacity: 4.4 gallons

Fuel efficiency: 47 mpg

So technically, a full tank should allow 330km (205 miles) of driving before empty.

It means driving 110km on average before the fuel light pops out is not what is supposed to happen.

What are potential causes that could lead to this over consumption of fuel? (There is no gas leak so that is not a problem)

2 Answers 2


Have you had a tune up on the bike recently? Minor performance problems are significant when have a smaller engine. If one cylinder is running poorly, that's 1 out of 2 your cylinders vs a car that might have 8 cylinders. Most manuals have a "recommended maintenance" schedule in the appendix, so be sure to check it out, or find a guide that explains what you should examine.

If you're going through a ton of gas I'd check the spark plugs to make sure you're not running rich. You can pull the plugs and see how they look and compare them to a chart to get an idea of how the engine is behaving.


  • Thanks Rob. No I didn’t have a tune up, not sure if previous owner did. I will get the right tools and check the spark plugs like you recommended and will update this post
    – ccot
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 1:54

So, the manufacturer will quote the "best" figures it can get - easy cruising, flat route etc etc

If you are just doing "round town" trips then you won't get the figures quoted or anywhere near...

Also, driving style plays a large part.

  • I understand, but my bike’s consumption level is a BIG difference from the ‘best’ figure, this is why it concerns me as not normal. Also on many forums online, people with same bike get on average even more than 47 mpg, see this for example starbikeforums.com/forums/49-v-star/…
    – ccot
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 19:33
  • My local consumption is nowhere near the quoted figures... That comes from my route to work going up a mountain... When i do a 800km cruise then I get the best cruise figure.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 19:44
  • Ah you have the same bike? If you don’t mind sharing on average what mpg does yours do?
    – ccot
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 20:05
  • Not a bike, but same issues with fuel consumption for infernal combustion engines... every car bike and plane engine I have been involved with...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 20:10
  • I think half of the stated consumption average is not within the reasonable range. Be sure to inspect/replace your air filter. Modern motorcycle intake tracts can be convoluted and long, so make sure air is coming in, then spark plugs as above. Make sure fuel injectors are correct for your bike, etc, etc. Fuel injector cleaner, etc. Take a structured approach and you should find the issue. When you refuel, how much fuel does it take? Gas gauges can be very flaky.
    – Tim Nevins
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 21:23

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