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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
New to the forum and trying to figure out my problem.
The problem is, my '03 FLHTC Electra Glide Classic with a Champion Trike kit Is getting very poor gas mileage. Now I know that a trike kit adds extra weight so the mpg will drop. I just bought this trike a couple of weeks ago, riding it home, about 90 miles, about 3/4's of the way I had to fill up. Not what I expected. This past weekend, the wife and I took it on a short run, 43 miles round trip. I filled up recorded the mileage and gallons, on the return trip, I stopped at the same station and did the same. When I got home I figured up the mpg (total miles driven divided by the total gallons), I'm getting 14.043 mpg...
The P.O. is no help, he won't even get back in touch with me. I called up an old friend of mine that works on Harleys and he said to go back to stock jets and it should get close to 30mpg. So today, I pulled the plugs it has Champion RA8HC plugs verses the 6R12 which are stock. The plugs looked good, a little dark tan to light brown. Not bad I thought. So I went about pulling the carburetor off. Pulled the bowl and pulled the jets, main is a 180 and the pilot is a 45. Everything I've read points to around a 170 to 175 main and a 45 pilot. So my jets aren't that far off.
The bike runs good, idles good after warm up, but the mpg is terrible. I don't have a heavy wrist and normally cruse around 65 to 70 on the big roads and around 55 to 60 otherwise.
I read Joe Mintons post from back in '04 about the sportster needle which I pasted to my word processor.
I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and what the fix may be. I don't know what mods have been done, although it does appear to have a stage 1 kit, but not sure. This is a twin cam 88 engine.
Thanks in advance,
Roger in Alabama
 

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How is the diapham, old and stiff? Enrichener? Same with accelerator pump and adjustment. Or vacuum petcock?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey fatbagger, Not sure about the diaphrams, haven't gotten that far yet. Had a bad thunderstorm come through before I could do anything else. But I will say this, the throttle response is real good and smooth.
I was wondering too about the idle screw, it's screwed a good 3/4's of the way down... Just wondering...
Thanks for the reply
Roger
 

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check all the wheels and brakes for dragging?...alignment on pass car?....bad carb?? try another cv?...im stumped!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies gb and tall terry, I'll answer you both here. As far as the brakes dragging, they're not. I checked all three and they spin free with no excessive drag. I'm running 35 psi in the front and right rear and 32 in the left to help compensate for the road crowning and pulling to the right a bit, helps a bunch.
As far as gearing, it's a Champion Trike kit with nothing than the axle driven off the bike's transmission, so no gearing to contend with. I also checked the alignment of the rear axle, perfect.
So, today, I'm gonna pull the diaphrams and check them as well as the slide needle positioning. I'll post what I find.

Thanks again,
Roger
 

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Has the compression been checked?
It could be a combination of things. Are the exhaust outlets sooty/grimey? Is it the stock carb? Does it have a free flowing exhaust and a stock air filter? Did you spin the (lifted) rear tires in neutral and check for drag? Does it have the proper tire diameter?
 

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there has to be some sort of drive connection between the rear axle and transmission sprocket...
even the tire diameter can affect engine rpm and gas mileage,,,..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hello all. Sorry I haven't been on sooner, but I will answer the above questions.
hillcat, no, the compression hasn't been checked yet, on my list. The exhaust is a bit sooty, but not grimey. It has the stock harley keihin carb, but the jets are not stock, 180 main and 45 pilot. It does have the stage 1 air filter, so probably free flowing exhaust too. All three tires have been lifted and spun, only drag is the slight drag from the disc pads, all wheels spin freely. Rear tire size, if I'm not mistaken is 15, I'll have to look again, front is a 21.
tall terry, there is a connection from the tranny to the rear axle, the drive belt from the transmission, and I believe the rear tire size to be 15.
Ddaddyo, at 70, I'm running around 2800 - 3000 rpm's, 5 speed tranny, which is what my cousin is running on his '07 EFI Electra Glide, same engine and tranny.

When I pulled the vacuum diaphram yesterday, I noticed that the needle holder that goes over the slide needle was in upside down and the needle is not a stock big twin needle. The stock needle is not adjustable where this needle has the grooves cut into the top portion for raising or lowering the needle by moving the circlip into different grooves. I also found out that the stock needle is obsolete, but eHarley.com is trying to find one for me. Anyone know where I can get one if they can't? I have ordered another set of stock jets, plus the same ones that were in the carb, should be here next week.

Thanks for all the replies and help,
Roger
 

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What type tires do you have? I have Cooper's in the rear take 26 psi and the front is stock on mine a Shinko trike tire that has 29psi per Lehman trike manual. A Suzuki 1500 trike with all the doo dads on it is as heavy as your Harley. Idk if there is a trike tire which has double the tread in the middle in your wheel size, but with a trike tire your front end handling will improve. I would still suspect alignment as I have seen few roads in the US have a crown so high that I had to adjust the air in my tires accordingly. Do all your vehicles have that type adjusting tire pressure?

I use to go to Dauphin Island and Gulf Shores before the houses were built on the dunes. We stayed at the St Pk campground had a pond with freshwater swimming beach. We would play in the ocean and wash playing again at the campground beach. Probably a house or hotel there now.those were the days.

Sent from my moto g(7) supra using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #12
captainhook455,
Thanks for the response. As far as the brand of tires, not sure, I'll have to check. I just bought this trike a couple of weeks ago. I noticed on the ride home from Montgomery, about 90 miles, that it did pull slightly to the right. When I got home, I started checking out many forum posts about trikes pulling to the right a bit. Many of them referred to alignment and the slight adjustment to the tire pressure. I checked the alignment at the rear axle adjusters with a dial caliper, less than 1/16" between them. I checked the tire pressures. the front was 35 psi and it is a 21" tire. The right rear was at around 33 psi and the left rear was around 36 - 37 psi. So I put 35 in the right and 32 in the left. Big difference in handling on the two lane roads around here, and it may not be so much crowning as it is the roads I ride on are traveled daily with big log trucks and other semi's. On the 4 lane roads, it's not nowhere near as bad, and the handling even on the big roads has improved with the air pressure adjustment. I have the installation manual for the Champion trike kit, but I can't find anything on tire pressure. I know that when I was riding the two wheeled touring bikes we ran 35 psi in the front and rear.
As far as my other vehicles, 4 wheels aren't as prone to pulling as 3, but yes there can be a slight pull on some of the roads around here.
The wife and I want to go to either Gulf Shores and Panama City, probably both, once I get this mpg situation figured out.
Thanks for the reply.

Roger
 

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Put the carb back to stock jetting, needle and main, except for a 46 pilot. Set the float level. Check the slide that it has not been drilled oversized, the hole at the bottom. Be sure the spring is stock. Turn the mixture screw in with the motor hot, it should kill it as it gets close to bottomed out. If not there are other issues. Blip the throttle, the slide should raise and accelerator pump shoot fuel visibly.
 

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captainhook455,
Thanks for the response. As far as the brand of tires, not sure, I'll have to check. I just bought this trike a couple of weeks ago. I noticed on the ride home from Montgomery, about 90 miles, that it did pull slightly to the right. When I got home, I started checking out many forum posts about trikes pulling to the right a bit. Many of them referred to alignment and the slight adjustment to the tire pressure. I checked the alignment at the rear axle adjusters with a dial caliper, less than 1/16" between them. I checked the tire pressures. the front was 35 psi and it is a 21" tire. The right rear was at around 33 psi and the left rear was around 36 - 37 psi. So I put 35 in the right and 32 in the left. Big difference in handling on the two lane roads around here, and it may not be so much crowning as it is the roads I ride on are traveled daily with big log trucks and other semi's. On the 4 lane roads, it's not nowhere near as bad, and the handling even on the big roads has improved with the air pressure adjustment. I have the installation manual for the Champion trike kit, but I can't find anything on tire pressure. I know that when I was riding the two wheeled touring bikes we ran 35 psi in the front and rear.
As far as my other vehicles, 4 wheels aren't as prone to pulling as 3, but yes there can be a slight pull on some of the roads around here.
The wife and I want to go to either Gulf Shores and Panama City, probably both, once I get this mpg situation figured out.
Thanks for the reply.

Roger
4-5 more posts you can show pics as the mechanics here can see what you looking at. Be thankful you don't live in GA as the roads there have holes in the roads that will swallow you. Check out Cloudland Canyon St Pk is the highest PT in the NW corner of GA has a nice swimming area and campground. I saw a 8 pt buck there.

Sent from my moto g(7) supra using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Put the carb back to stock jetting, needle and main, except for a 46 pilot. Set the float level. Check the slide that it has not been drilled oversized, the hole at the bottom. Be sure the spring is stock. Turn the mixture screw in with the motor hot, it should kill it as it gets close to bottomed out. If not there are other issues. Blip the throttle, the slide should raise and accelerator pump shoot fuel visibly.
Don,
Thanks so much for responding. I've done a lot of research on this keihin carb. It's really hard to find out what the stock jets started out as. The pilot I pulled out is a 45, I ordered a 42 and 45. The main I pulled out is a 180, I ordered a 170 and 175. Do you know what the stock main is. I've looked and can't seem to locate a 46 pilot. As far as the slide, I know it has the wrong needle because it's adjustable, the harley carb, which is a 29442-99E has the non-adjustable needle, unless you put shims under the head to raise it up. I can't find the diameter for the needle hole in the slide, but I have a good set of numbered drill bits that I can use to determine, or get close to what should it be, do you know? I've ordered what is supposed to be the stock needle from Ronnie's in MA, I called before I ordered it and was told it is the stock needle. I suppose I could also order what is supposed to be the stock spring, just to be safe.
While a lot of what info I have may be incorrect, it's all I could find. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
The jets and needle should be in by Wednesday of next week.
Thank you so much for your input and if needed I can post pictures if you'll let me know what you need.

Again, thank you so much and Happy Independance Day!!!

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter #16
4-5 more posts you can show pics as the mechanics here can see what you looking at. Be thankful you don't live in GA as the roads there have holes in the roads that will swallow you. Check out Cloudland Canyon St Pk is the highest PT in the NW corner of GA has a nice swimming area and campground. I saw a 8 pt buck there.

Sent from my moto g(7) supra using Tapatalk
captainhook455,
I grew up in GA, north Columbus to be exact, so yes, I am familiar with GA roads, AL is no better, probably worse!!!
We'll have to add Cloudland to our list. Also having horses to take care of, most of our trips will be day runs. If I can't get this mpg issue straightened out, we may not be going anywhere!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the reply Misters, but about what? I've covered so many things carb related, I'm not sure what exactly I should be asking Bob. Jet size, needle size, slide needle hole size, or all?

Thanks for the reply and Happy 4th,
Roger
What type tires do you have? I have Cooper's in the rear take 26 psi and the front is stock on mine a Shinko trike tire that has 29psi per Lehman trike manual. A Suzuki 1500 trike with all the doo dads on it is as heavy as your Harley. Idk if there is a trike tire which has double the tread in the middle in your wheel size, but with a trike tire your front end handling will improve. I would still suspect alignment as I have seen few roads in the US have a crown so high that I had to adjust the air in my tires accordingly. Do all your vehicles have that type adjusting tire pressure?

I use to go to Dauphin Island and Gulf Shores before the houses were built on the dunes. We stayed at the St Pk campground had a pond with freshwater swimming beach. We would play in the ocean and wash playing again at the campground beach. Probably a house or hotel there now.those were the days.

Sent from my moto g(7) supra using Tapatalk
captainhook455,
Just to let you and everyone else, I am running a 16" rear tire, same size as the original. Checked this out after we fed the horses...

Thanks,
Oh, and happy 4th,

Roger
 
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