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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally got some time free to get in a long run with my new Challenger last week. 500+ miles. Put on the RM tour pack plus my bride and headed up from Kansas to Nebraska in the cool of the morning. This Challenger is far and away my favorite bike now...ALL SMILES! Super smooth, super strong (up to slightly above 100mph.) She handles all the road twists cracks and bumps with effortless grace. My wife noticed how smooth and fluid the handling was in comparison with our other Indian bikes - Chieftain, RoadMaster, etc.. We traveled mostly back roads but also some high-speed interstate with heavy cross winds. The frame mounted fairing makes the whole wind experience much more stable and manageable than my other bikes. When we got up into Nebraska mid-day we traversed about 4 miles of soft gravel road with lots of soft berms and tire catching ruts. Normally I would avoid that kind of road on any of the heavy bikes, but this time decided to give it a go... No problem at all for the Challenger, it proved very stable and easy to handle despite the road conditions. We spent some time going through city streets in Kearney Nebraska with a lot of sand and gravel on the roads and many many dead-end turnarounds. I am pleased with how tight the Challenger can turn... quite a bit better than my Chieftain can do, and never a wobble in slow-speed maneuvers... I love its stability and very smooth torque delivery at the very bottom of its rpm range. Clutch was flawless and predictable throughout. We returned South in the afternoon at 95 to 100 degrees F under an intense sun... realized we had forgotten our sunscreen and got a little burned and overheated. A small price to pay for a glorious day out on the road.

One disconcerting aspect about the fuel gauge and remaining miles indicator I noticed was that the last 1/4 on the fuel tank seemed to empty way too fast and did not appear linear with actual fuel consumption and mileage, twice ran the fuel beyond gauge empty, luckily never ran completely out though. I do usually run my bikes hard and fast with little concern over fuel economy. I will spend some future time checking out the actual fuel consumption and tank gauge dynamics.
I found the PowerPlus a strong runner, even with less-than-par fuel grades, never a balk or stumble of any kind. However, I did notice an occasional valve-train clatter at certain rpms. I believe that the stage-2 slip-ons will mask that little noise annoyance... plus remembering to carry a little octane booster for the middle-of-nowhere fuel stops with nothing available but ethanol diluted regular 87octane. 馃槉
 

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That noise goes away after a while. I'm at almost 2k miles and I don't hear it at all anymore.
 
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The Challenger sound perfect for you, I am holding off having a test ride...... it could get expensive!
 

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I have found that gas tanks that taper down like teardrop shapes generally have this non linear fuel consumption issue with a gas gauge. The gauge can only measure the level in the tank, not the gallons. As you use up fuel the tank profile gets narrower. The top half is wider then it gets narrower after that with the last quarter tank being the narrowest part of the tank. You're not getting worse fuel mileage at the last 1/4 tank, there is just a smaller volume in there. Hope that helps explain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have found that gas tanks that taper down like teardrop shapes generally have this non linear fuel consumption issue with a gas gauge. The gauge can only measure the level in the tank, not the gallons. As you use up fuel the tank profile gets narrower. The top half is wider then it gets narrower after that with the last quarter tank being the narrowest part of the tank. You're not getting worse fuel mileage at the last 1/4 tank, there is just a smaller volume in there. Hope that helps explain.
I concur with the tank shape vs volume observation... it would follow that a properly scaled/graduated tank gauge rheostat would be able to return correct or nearly correct level indications. The tank is certainly not a linear volume, how could a linear level rheostat return accurate readings unless it was adjusted for in the other electronics?
 

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With the bike being fully computerized, it wouldn't be difficult to fix with software. Or at least it shouldn't. I've been in the same situation. I watched it count down below 30 miles once. It was strange to go 100yrds and see a mile tick off...
 
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I've got about 1800 miles on my DH and am a little concerned about the top end noise at certain RPM's. Sounds very CLATTERY......
From comments I've read on various forums, this noise seems normal and people say it goes away as the miles accumulate.

What say you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mine is just a bit above 500 miles now. I have yet to confirm anything definitive about my valve-train noise. Mine was never continuous and never very loud to start out with. I consider it a non-issue at this point. I would change my mind about that if it were to increase in intensity or in frequency.
 

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I'm guessing that the fuel flow could be monitored & measured electronically. It could be shown as miles left to go or a percentage of fuel left in the tank on the screen. Fuel flow rate could also be shown as miles per gallon or kilometers per liter whatever on the screen as well. Microchips can compute any of that data these days.
 

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I鈥檝e never had a touring bike that鈥榮 fuel gauge didn鈥檛 display a slow drop to start with, but during the last 1/4 of a tank, dropped at a much faster rate. I ran my Challenger down to 鈥2 miles to empty鈥 and still had at least a 1/2 gal in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I suspect the same on mine... Just have not yet analyzed exactly. Best bet is just keeping tank full and carrying spare for those longer stretches.
 

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Nice review, gotta say I'm a bit jelly. What little time I was on the Challenger the front end stability felt really solid. Enjoy the ride.
 

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I finally got some time free to get in a long run with my new Challenger last week. 500+ miles. Put on the RM tour pack plus my bride and headed up from Kansas to Nebraska in the cool of the morning. This Challenger is far and away my favorite bike now...ALL SMILES! Super smooth, super strong (up to slightly above 100mph.) She handles all the road twists cracks and bumps with effortless grace. My wife noticed how smooth and fluid the handling was in comparison with our other Indian bikes - Chieftain, RoadMaster, etc.. We traveled mostly back roads but also some high-speed interstate with heavy cross winds. The frame mounted fairing makes the whole wind experience much more stable and manageable than my other bikes. When we got up into Nebraska mid-day we traversed about 4 miles of soft gravel road with lots of soft berms and tire catching ruts. Normally I would avoid that kind of road on any of the heavy bikes, but this time decided to give it a go... No problem at all for the Challenger, it proved very stable and easy to handle despite the road conditions. We spent some time going through city streets in Kearney Nebraska with a lot of sand and gravel on the roads and many many dead-end turnarounds. I am pleased with how tight the Challenger can turn... quite a bit better than my Chieftain can do, and never a wobble in slow-speed maneuvers... I love its stability and very smooth torque delivery at the very bottom of its rpm range. Clutch was flawless and predictable throughout. We returned South in the afternoon at 95 to 100 degrees F under an intense sun... realized we had forgotten our sunscreen and got a little burned and overheated. A small price to pay for a glorious day out on the road.

One disconcerting aspect about the fuel gauge and remaining miles indicator I noticed was that the last 1/4 on the fuel tank seemed to empty way too fast and did not appear linear with actual fuel consumption and mileage, twice ran the fuel beyond gauge empty, luckily never ran completely out though. I do usually run my bikes hard and fast with little concern over fuel economy. I will spend some future time checking out the actual fuel consumption and tank gauge dynamics.
I found the PowerPlus a strong runner, even with less-than-par fuel grades, never a balk or stumble of any kind. However, I did notice an occasional valve-train clatter at certain rpms. I believe that the stage-2 slip-ons will mask that little noise annoyance... plus remembering to carry a little octane booster for the middle-of-nowhere fuel stops with nothing available but ethanol diluted regular 87octane. 馃槉
Mine will show low fuel light and I only put about 4.8-5.0 Gal back in to full. I believe that the low fuel light indicates 1 gal remaining. In working theory 30-40 mi left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ride Command reports mileage remaining all the time... Low Fuel warning comes on, then that quickly goes away to nothing in way less mileage (seemed to be about one fourth), than the computer reported and the gauge goes right down to zero. I will check it out sometime when I actually have the luxury of a spare fuel can in hand.
 
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