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How big is reserve?

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  • How big is reserve?

    I have a 5.3gal fuel tank ('04 R*). I keep my petcock on "On" position so I never run out. When she starts sputtering, I flip it into Reserve and start looking for gas. I was curious how big the reserve tank actually is? When I fill up, she never seems to take any more than 5 gals; of course, on the kickstand I don't think you can get 5.3 gal in there anyway.


  • #2
    It is not a seperate tank, the 5.3gal is all you get..the petcock just has 2 input stand pipes that are different lengths...........
    not all those who wander are lost......

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    • #3
      Typical petcock with reserve. Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        I understand that. But does any one know how much is left when flipping to reserve (basically difference between when "on" can't deliver any more and completely out; 1/2 gal, 1 gal? Sorry 2 inches doesn't help other than "not much". I believe I've ridden 10-15 miles on reserve before in the middle of the desert (no where), scaring the crap out of me the whole way; being real easy on the throttle. I don't know how long it would've gone before I was truly out.

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        • #5
          my 04 vstar 1100 had the same setup. once i flipped to reserve there was about a gallon left. same was true on my 07 venture - so i "assume" the same will be true on my latest purchase - 2004 roadstar... but i'll carry a 2 liter container of fuel (metal and leak proof) so i can flip to reserve and run it dry.

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          • #6
            Intentionally run it dry so you will know, but keep in mind when you do that you’re likely to suck any water that’s in the bottom of the tank into the carb.

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            • #7
              It's typically right around 1 gallon, and enough, with our R* to go between 35 and 45 miles. I run on Reserve, and go until my yellow low-fuel light comes on... after that, I've gone 30 miles before and filled up, with not much left, as you can imagine! I run on reserve because i have no fuel pump.

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              • Father Pobasturd
                Father Pobasturd commented
                Editing a comment
                I run no pump in the "on" position. Never had any issues with that. I have gone 25 miles on reserve without running out, but I babied it all the way to a gas station.

            • #8
              Thanks!

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              • #9
                The book says 3.70 US qt. or 3.5 liters

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                • #10
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	5DB49D68-F6EC-4573-9091-1CDA0B72831C.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	57.4 KB ID:	61968

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                  • #11
                    My suggestion, with any gas powered vehicle, especially motorcycles, is to toss a gallon can on the back and go find out how many miles your reserve is actually good for with your typical riding style.
                    Last edited by Jaybo; 03-07-2019, 04:42 PM. Reason: finishing my whole thought...

                    2000 Roadstar 1600 - BAK, Pumpless, Curt's manifold, Mikuni HSR42 Freedom Combat Pipes Jumbo Strong bags, PPG 'HellFire' Paint.

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                    • roadiemort
                      roadiemort commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Good advice. My ass could be heavier than yours.

                    • Smokescreens
                      Smokescreens commented
                      Editing a comment
                      my ass is heavier than most anymore, lol. need to get back on the hamster wheel....

                  • #12
                    I will run it on “On” ,’when light comes on I know I have about 20 miles give or take depending on road conditions. Then when she sputters I switch to reserve. I have push Reserved to 35 miles. Once never again.

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                    • #13
                      If you're unsure how far you'll get on reserve, just check the average MPGs whenever you fill up. I've been doing it for years because the gas gauge on my 1600 never worked, and until lately, neither did the one on my 1700. As long as i reset the trip meter at the previous fill up, I divide the miles on the trip meter, by the gallons it took to top off the tank, to get average MPG. I usually get about 35 MPG so I don't push it beyond 30 miles after I hit reserve. But I also keep a used bottle of SeaFoam filled with gas in my saddlebag just in case.

                      BTW, I recently replaced my fuel level sending unit, and the light comes on before I have to turn it to reserve.
                      Last edited by Doc_V; 03-07-2019, 07:01 PM.

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                      • #14
                        If I am not mistaken, 5.3 is the total gallonage. 4.8 gallons to run on and .5 for reserve.
                        Life is tough, it's even tougher if your stupid----John Wayne

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