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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 1982 GL500 Interstate with the full fairing and windshield plus hard bags. I was wondering what I should be looking at for revs on the highway with the setup that I have. I'm getting pretty much 1000 revs for every 10 mph, that is to say that 60 on the highway (level and straight) is just around 6K on the tach. 70mph is 6.5 to 7K, etc. I didnt know if this was normal or maybe a little over what I should be expecting. The bike doesnt seem to be struggling and has power to spare (can pass/go uphill). Also, these observations are with one rider (about 190lbs with gear on), and maybe a few pounds of luggage (backpack for lunch for work). Tires are all up to pressure also.



Sorry if this is a silly question, but I'm brand new to the GLs and bikes in general. My bike does have 71,000 miles on it, so I suspect it will run a little different than say someone with 20k on it. It will make crusing a lot more enjoyable if I know I'm not stressing out my bike by taking it on the highway and running up the revs.
 

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6.5 to 7K is where it starts to get good and travels just fine. It also seems like the bikes balance themselves off around there taking the vibrations out of the system some.
 

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I just took my first decent ride today and was also curious about the RPM at highway speeds.



It seems that 6000 is about 65 mph which had me wishing for another gear. However the vibrations had to do more with the poor road surfaces, once I got on some smooth freeway the bike seemed really smooth at 6000 RPM.



On the rough road the bike seemed really smooth at 5500 RPM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was thinking the same thing, it seems like I need another gear. It does ride smooth when I'm up around 6000rpm, although I have to say I far more enjoy riding on slower country roads than the highway, maybe it's the scenery or maybe I'm still not comfortable at higher speeds.
 

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No matter how your bike is set up, short of finding a way to change gears or doing the 650 clutch swap, ask Stitch, or changing rear tire size, your RPM's and speed will be the same as any of our 500's. What would change depending on your set up would be gas mileage and apparent power, weight takes up power, so my CX will be faster than your loaded GL even though the true power is the same. You can lower your RPM's about 300 on the highway with the 650 clutch swap, which Stitch can direct you to, I believe I've seen him post a link of it before, could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time, and I'm sure it wouldn't be the last, be nice if it was
 

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Dunno about y'all, but @ 6.5-7k rpm's, I'm doing between 75-80 mph. I actually peg the needle @ 85 around 72 er 7300 rpm's. But, I do have a slightly over-sized tire on the rear. Your GL should be CLOSE to that. It's a 5 speed trans.



I also know what your talking about with the vibrations at higher rpms. These motors LOVE 7-8k rpm's ALL DAY LONG!!! Though, you woun't get NEAR 50 miles per gallon running like that.....lol The vibrations?.....Well, it's something that kinda grows on ya after awhile....lol
 

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Good to know I'm not the only one! I was out for my second ride on my new (well, 1980 kind of new) CX500 and afraid i was going to damage the engine if i took it above 6000rpm. I SOUNDS like it wants to go into a higher gear, but then i'm completely new to this bike and relatively new to bikes in general, so it just left me wondering...



Anyway, i've been loving riding it, just glad to know it's not unusual.
 

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As much as I want to recommend the 650 clutch to shave rpms which it does I miss the power that I had. The 650 clutch is like a 1/2 gear improvement. But the clutch itself kicks ass. I think it has 1 or 2 extra plates in it and it takes twice the power to pull the clutch in. But when you drop it she goes no matter what. The one nice thing is my 4th gear has tons of power. I can just go and the speed matches the similar number on the tach. 60mph is 6,000 rpms all the way up to 10,000rpms but it shaves another 150rpms off.



What should be done so you guys feel that you're getting the most out of these bikes is lie. Most tachs in american vehicles go up to what 5,000 rpms. Make 4,500 redline and everyone who feels their bike shouldn't go over 5,000 rpms will love the hell out of it. All they need is a new gauge plate dividing all the numbers by 2.



So



Old vs New

2,000 1,000

4,000 2,000

6,000 3,000

8,000 4,000

10,00 5,000



That's my solution for fixing the mind.
 

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I don't care how many or how few cylinders it has, the sound at higher rpms is distinctive as being at a high rpm.



We'd all love another gear and the bike could easily pull one. Perhaps not a big jump, even 2/3 of a gear and pull back 5, 4 and a little on 3 to spread it out a bit.
 

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As for an extra gear on the 500s I think the existing gears are perfectly matched to the engine's torque and power characteristics. But a 6th speed overdrive gear would definitely be a nice thing to have at highway speeds.
 

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Honda desgined these engines to rev high. It's not going to self-destruct if you go beyond 6000rpm (directed at the person afraid to go beyond 6000rpm). If you cruise at 10 or 20 above the speed limit on the highway (doesn't matter if you're using miles or kilometers), you will have tons of rpm range to go before you reach redline, and you won't be holding up traffic. These bikes continue to handle well, and sound fine, as you approach their speed limit. But, that's not legal anywhere in North America, so we won't be discussing that. ;-)
 

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But, that's not legal anywhere in North America, so we won't be discussing that. ;-)



Legal perhaps not but we've got an 85 mph stretch of turnpike around here most drive 90 on, then there are some areas in TX where you best be able to cruise between 90 & 100 or get run over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
THanks for all the replies. I'm glad I'm not the only one that was thinking about this. I think most of my problem is that I'm not used to riding a bike, let alone on the highway, so 6 or 7k seems high to me (being used to a car at 3k). We're still well below the redline at cruising speeds (as pointed out above), so I guess the easiest way for me to deal with it is to see it as proportionate to driving a car at 3000 with a 5500 redline, just a little over halfway up there.



When I first rode the bike I had a 25 mile highway trip home and found myself upshifting from 5th, thinking that maybe I forgot to get out of 4th or lost count of the gears. At least hearing back from everyone I think I'll be more at ease on the freeway and can actually enjoy the ride a bit more knowing that the bike is performing like it's supposed to.
 

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Here`s the maths;



Ratios.
A GL500 fitted with a STD 130/90-16 rear tyre @6000rpm;
6000 ÷ 2.242 (primary reduction) = 2676rpm​
2676 ÷ 0.931 (5th gear ratio) = 2877rpm​
2877 ÷ 3.09 (final drive ratio) = 931rpm​
931rpm x 60 (minutes) = 55876​
55876 x 6.36` (circumference of rear tyre) = 355371`​
355371` ÷ 5280 (ft/mile) = 67​
So,6000rpm = 67mph,or 11.1mph/1000rpm.

7000rpm would be 77mph etc...



Rhodekill,note that your speedo and tacho may not correlate exactly to these figures due to the tolerances involved with those basic mass-produced instruments, but they should be there or there abouts.

The GL`s rev a few hundred more rpm than a STD or Euro due to the smaller diameter rear wheel, so a primary swap on one of those wouldn`t do much harm, but Honda know what they`re doing, and chose these ratio`s to match the oversquare engine design`s characteristics, so messing about with them will compromise other aspects such as throttle response, flexibility etc. Tinker at your peril...





 

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According to my known-to-be-accurate GPS, both my tach and speedo are highly optimistic.



The speedometer reads at least 5 mph faster than I'm going from 40 mph on up, but it's not consistent enough to rely on. The tachometer also lies about how fast it's spinning, but at least the bragging is consistent. In fifth gear at 4000 rpm, the bike is doing 40 mph, and at 6000 rpm it's doing 60 mph. Oddly, it's nearly dead on. I'm sure other bikes will be similar in that the meter's can't be trusted, but not so consistent by how much. Checking is easy enough though. Any GPS device can do this; even a smart phone, as most of them have a GPS device built in. Just tape it to the tank and compare.



I've only had this bike for a few drivable months, and I'm still not used to the high revs at freeway speeds, but it does seem to really like running at 7000 rpm. ----- Too bad Alaska doesn't have any 70 mph roads.
 

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7k is about the torque peak and about 9k for HP if i remember right.
 

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I still try to upshift once in a while when merging onto the interstate, but like everybody said don't be afraid to rev it some. I travel about 30 miles a day on 495 going about 70-75, which is right around 7000 rpm and my bike seems to love it. Remember, the redline is basically the warning saying that if you go above that you could risk doing something bad, and 7000 RPM's is still 2,000 BELOW redline, plenty of space still.
 
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