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I recently purchased a 1997 Triumph Thunderbird. I've been tracking the mileage with every fill up of the tank. I've gone from 47 mpg, to 42, and yesterday was at 39 mpg. I know mileage can vary, but this seems like a bit much. What should I check and/or be aware of that would make the mileage drop so much so fast.

I've kept tire pressure up, and have cleaned and lubed the chain.

Also, I've been puting in regular unleaded gas. Should I be using one of the higher grades?
 

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How many miles are we talking here? A few tanks, or many? Maybe when you first got it, you rode carefully, and your riding style has gotten more aggressive as you get used to it? You know, faster accelleration, harder braking and cornering? If not, did you replace the air filter(s) yet?
 

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As Wintrsol said, have you tried the easy fixes?
Air filter, valve adjustment, synthetic oil and some carb/injector cleaner, new plugs?

Eric
 

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Are you filling up at the same station? Different locations could have different quality of gas. I noticed a different from 4 stations in my area.
 

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I think it is user variation because I can make my sporty get about 40 if i try but normally im a 35 rider its just that I like going fast
 

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I agree that it is your riding style after getting more comfortable on the bike, if you want to be safe go ahead and change the air filter and plugs
 

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I have noticed that when I use Shell and traveling around 50-55 mph, I am getting 60 mpg! The other thing is that when I have to do 70 mph it is really bad on gas mileage...40-42

I use only premium but that is my choice..
 

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Bikes are more affected by air resistance than cars.
Higher speeds burn more gas. If you initially drove
back roads at slow speeds, and now are taking your
bike on the highway, your MPG would have dropped
dramatically.

(Cars get less MPG in the city because of making the
thousands of pounds of steel speed up and slow down.
The lower weight of bikes makes this less of an issue,
so they get better MPG off the highway.)
 

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Bikes are more affected by air resistance than cars.
Higher speeds burn more gas. If you initially drove
back roads at slow speeds, and now are taking your
bike on the highway, your MPG would have dropped
dramatically.

(Cars get less MPG in the city because of making the
thousands of pounds of steel speed up and slow down.
The lower weight of bikes makes this less of an issue,
so they get better MPG off the highway.)
I get better mileage on the highway with mine than in town. It really depends on the bike.

The mileage can vary greatly depending on how the throttle is used. It's going to be the number one contributor to fuel mileage if the bike is running properly. I think you will be surprised if you run a couple tanks through while concentrating on being very light on the throttle at all times.
 

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There are many variables, but 2 that I recently became aware of that might be influencing my mileage are air temp and/or body position. I normally average about 50mpg, but one very chilly morning at 50-65mph for about 185 miles I averaged almost 60mpg. the only differences I could find were 1. that it was quite chilly so 2. I changed my position to be pretty tucked down and in close to the motor to keep warm! Gained me almost 10mpg!
 
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