So, for my last ride [900km round trip], I decided just to clip on my soft bags and leave the top box at home, and my gas mileage jumped to way above my average, almost to a PB level. Will think twice what and how I pack in future, if I have the choice.
Hmm, paradigm wars - I care about it, I'm happy to record it and try for max efficiency, it's an interesting part of distance riding...the better mileage was an interesting [for me, not you] outcome of my decision to leave the box off.
You don't care? Don't even wanna know? Fine. Have a good day, being interested in whatever it is that spins your wheels.
And even though I care about tire wear, I still ride the same. I just bitch about it..
Here's a blowout from last year where the tire bead broke loose at a hundo with the Wife on the back. Major azz pucker moment. Makes a guy think less about pesky fuel mileage, and more about making it back home.
There are so many variables, altitude, temperature, tire pressure, wind direction and speed. On two Iron Butt rides, all things being equal top box and all, I would stop for gas when the fuel light came on. When I rode east with the wind that interval was every 160 -165 miles. When I rode west against the wind the fuel light reared its ugly head at 135 - 145 miles.
That top box could certainly make a difference though. Mine is lower with a flat top and I have no idea if any of that makes any difference but the question I would ask myself would be is whatever I'm carrying in the top case worth a few mpg. My answer would be yes.