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Anyone have to switch to reserve before low fuel light?

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  • Anyone have to switch to reserve before low fuel light?

    On my wonderful ride to work today at 8am in 83 degrees my fuel gauge was showing a little under 1/4 tank. No fuel light on (yes it works) New fuel sender unit approx 600 miles ago. She started to stumble on me. Twisted her to reserve and she ran fine. Anyone else have that issue before the light comes on.

    A while ago I had a post getting 50 miles per tank. Since the proper jetting and a new choke cable/plunger I recorded 41 mpg on this tank. Mixed riding between 35mph and 65mph. Not too shabby.

  • #2
    sender unit and that tube on the pet cock is not linked. though im sure you can adjust them to line up but probably not worth the effort.

    Comment


    • Kmartcivic
      Kmartcivic commented
      Editing a comment
      Ok, thanks. Yeah im not going through that trouble. Ill just fill up by 1/4 tank.

  • #3
    just fill up when u hit reserve?

    Comment


    • #4
      This is why I'm constantly calculating my actual fuel mileage each time I fill up. I know if I have X gallons of fuel in a tank when full, and I'm getting XX MPG, depending on riding style, I'll hit empty, or reserve, or the fuel light will come on, at XYZ miles.

      I can get 5.75 gallons in an empty tank (2001 1600). Last week we put 5 gallons in it on one of our rides. In theory I still had another 30+ miles of fuel.

      Assuming you get similar, and you now know you're averaging above 40 on a given ride (give it a few tanks to get a true average MPG), you can assume you're empty at 200 miles, figuring you can get 5+ gallons in your tank. I know the fuelies hold less. Subtract 40, your theoretical reserve switch point with a gallon still in the tank, and at around 160 miles your main will run dry. Then, rather than have it go dry while an 18-wheeler is on your ass, just switch over and figure you've got 40 miles to find some gas. 40 miles is typically quite a ways in an urban setting. You might want to routinely start switching over at 150 miles.

      I know you already know this! I'm posting for others who haven't really thought about it.

      I know if I'm cruising, riding solo, I'm going to get 50-55 MPG. I use 50 as my safe number. That means I can safely go 250 miles on a tank, with 3/4 gallon remaining. If I'm really on the gas then I'll use 45 as that number, or maybe even 40. Hard to know during cold weather rides when I start the bike up and let it run just to warm it up once a month or so, since that burns fuel but puts no miles on the odometer. I always reset the trip odometer when I fill up, and always try to fill to the same level each tank, just to be consistent.

      When riding 2-up and on the gas, such as Day 1 of Starfest, I get 45 MPG. When cruising 2-up, we get 50 MPG. As long as you have no fuel leaks or the likes, or maybe a strong headwind, all you really have to rely on is the odometer. Last weekend on level ground in no traffic on a country road, I purposely let it hit reserve while riding 2-op with Anne. It hit at 220 miles. We ran another 17 to fuel, and put in exactly 5 gallons to full.

      Never had a fuel light issue, but I don't trust it. I've calculated that when my fuel light hits I have 75 miles to dead-dry in the tank. I'm not sure how these lights actually work, I'd assume it's a continuity sensor at a set level, so would be really curious why yours quit. Maybe it just failed, or maybe it's got some crud on it. Other guys would know better than me.

      Hope you find it! Congrats on getting that fuel consumption issue solved! 41 MPG is a hellofalot better than 50 miles PER TANK!!

      Comment


      • #5
        Good god!! You guys so overthink this… would you rather push it or ride it?….
        if you need gas…. Put gas in it… if you dont know if you need gas…. Put gas in it…….

        it aint rocket science…

        Comment


        • #6
          act chew a lee some pumpless people have to hit reserve sooner than they did before pumpless, ifn i recollect...........

          Comment


          • MidnightRide
            MidnightRide commented
            Editing a comment
            That would be interesting to know. Didn't use more fuel, just had a harder time drawing it out once the levels got close. Makes sense.

          • brianmac
            brianmac commented
            Editing a comment
            yes , ole threads at RSC stated the pump did a better job of fuel delivery when close to reserve, presumably better job pumping sloshing fuel than gravity.?

        • #7
          Originally posted by Tcontrol View Post
          Good god!! You guys so overthink this… would you rather push it or ride it?….
          if you need gas…. Put gas in it… if you dont know if you need gas…. Put gas in it…….

          it aint rocket science…
          Not that simple when you live out west and it may be 100+ miles to the next gas station. Most of us don't want to be stopping to fuel up every hour 'just to be safe'! At Starfest, for example, we had to build-in an early fuel stop, 40 miles in, because the next stop was 111 miles out, other than a POSSIBLE card-lock station which we may not have been able to rely on. The only reason we knew to build that fuel stop in early was because some knew their fuel range was 140 miles or less.

          Point well taken, however.

          Comment


          • #8
            Click image for larger version

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            if in doubt out west…….

            Comment


            • roadiemort
              roadiemort commented
              Editing a comment
              I used to carry a few empty seafoam cans filled with gas, can were free but had to be filled from a gas can not the pump, I never did need them but saved a few riders from pushing their bikes.

            • brianmac
              brianmac commented
              Editing a comment
              that thang is stupid costy, i had a look at bikeweek at JP cycles, and its just a normal style gas can slope shaped, id rather have my aluminum hiking 500 cc with screw lid and neoprene orings.

          • #9
            Yeah I was just curious. I am pumpless. I never rode it down that low before. We did some 2 up cruising around Daytona and then back home up and down US1 going to work and back thats what I averaged. I'm not worried about the light, Ill just be filling up before 1/4 tank. Or switch to reserve. No biggie.

            Comment


            • #10
              How far does reserve travel for roughly please?

              Thanks Wobbly

              Comment


              • MidnightRide
                MidnightRide commented
                Editing a comment
                On my 1600 I can get around 50 miles, 40 to be safe, but I think you can safely figure 25-30 miles on a carbed bike. I can get 70 miles when my fuel light hits.

            • #11
              Low fuel light? Whats that? I sputter sputter and switch to reserve. I did see a light one time, right before reserve ran out
              It's not that life is so short, it's just that you're dead for so long.---unknown.

              Comment


              • MidnightRide
                MidnightRide commented
                Editing a comment
                Yeah those lights aren't too reliable. Worst thing is when you're starting to hit the pass button and just as you're pulling out to pass, there it goes, time to hit reserve.

                Never had that happen myself (wink).

              • brianmac
                brianmac commented
                Editing a comment
                thats why i dont go pumpless, instant on after switch over to reserve.

              • Kmartcivic
                Kmartcivic commented
                Editing a comment
                I am pumpless and when it went out it was almost instant running smooth again after I switched her over.

            • #12
              ifn ur an old gear head like me, you can hear/feel/sense wwhen its gettting close to reserve. theres a very slight "mis" from air pumping (with pump) for a mile or so B4 it goes wooughhh , dead

              Comment


              • MikeyC
                MikeyC commented
                Editing a comment
                Yep, just seams like you're losing a little power then sputters. Usually I can go to reserve and get 20 more miles or so but this morning was the 2nd time I went to reserve and only got a 1/4 mile out of it. Turned around and did the old wiggle back and forth and made 2 miles to the gas station just as she started to sputter again but only took 4.4 gal

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