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Offline TT Ashford

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Fuel gauge roulette
« on: May 08, 2014, 09:37:53 pm »
Played a fun game on Sunday on the return run from Spain, fuel gauge roulette, here's how to play. Don't quite fill your bike up with BP's finest a couple of days before you're due to leave town, do a bit of running around town etc, just to burn off a little more go juice. Then....get on the road at 4am Sunday morning to ride the 800+miles home. Starts off well with 14c temperature as we set off, little windy, but dry, looking good I'm thinking. Get out onto the N II, winds picking up some, onto the AP 7 at Figures, head wind really picking up now. Head up to the Spanish/French boarder and bloody hell this headwinds strong now!! Easy to deal with though, more throttle! Many miles, more wind. 6am ish, cross Miallau bridge as sun rising with clear skies, got to say, one of those moments...thinking...days like these,on days like these... Better look at fuel gauge, oh... not as much as it should be,(did the same journey a few weeks prior and had about 50miles more range at this same point), no problem, retract the screen a bit, slow down to 80mph ish, we'll be fine...oh and now only 6c....still won't be long to fuel station now. Bit further up the road, getting colder now, 2c!! headwind not easing off and much up steep hills now, sun's gone in, next fuel station 45km, predicted range 30miles... better slow down...lots, 60mph now. More hills, head winds, cold(shivering now), 30km to fuel, predicted range 20miles...down to 50mph then. Now the hills get steeper using more fuel-awesome-20km to fuel, predicted fuel range errr 0, zip,narda, nought!! Slow down to 45mph, well if we run out will get warmed up pushing bike to fuel station! Should have zeroed trip but we did approx 10-12 miles with 0 range left, rolled into BPstation, girlfriend went in search of coffe machine whilst i filled bike up,shivering a lot, 42euro's, i think 26.3 liters!!Other than that ride home was fine. Anyone gone further on reserve?

Offline Verdun95

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Re: Fuel gauge roulette
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2014, 08:39:31 am »
I know the feeling, happened to me once, covered a bit more than 20 kms while the gauge was reading 0 autonomy left.
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Offline Ernest T

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Re: Fuel gauge roulette
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2014, 01:45:28 pm »
I've gone pretty far with the miles remaining at 0.  I don't know how accurate it really is because it takes varying amount of fuel when I fill the bike up from 0 miles remaining.  It probably has to do with the type of riding you've been doing in the last few minutes/miles before it hits 0.  Sometimes I've gone from 50 miles remaining to 0 in just minutes.  I wouldn't rely on it if you are out in the boonies, but it does seem to be pessimistic which is a good thing.

Offline enGage

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Re: Fuel gauge roulette
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2014, 01:50:27 pm »
I haven't taken my Trophy to 0 miles yet, but I have many times with my Thunderbird (and ran out of gas once).  the Thunderbird has over a gallon of usable fuel left when it hits 0 miles to go and I suspect the Trophy is the same.  This bothered some people, but I look at it this way - when you hit 0, you are effectively on reserve.

Offline atvtinker

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Re: Fuel gauge roulette
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2014, 04:52:15 pm »
You know it's not a good ideal to run a fuel injected bike low on fuel, don't you. The fuel is what keeps your fuel pump cool to keep from burning it up. Food for thought. The whole purpose of the last gallon is so that your pump is still fully submerged. If it were a carburetor style bike then it wouldn't be such a big deal if it ran dry.
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Offline w8d4it

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Re: Fuel gauge roulette
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2014, 04:53:58 pm »
After twice running out of fuel on a cross country ride and having to push a fully loaded 750 Honda a few miles I gave up playing fuel roulette in the 1980s.  The time lost in and aggravation pushing a heavy bike and seeking fuel weren't worth it.
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Offline enGage

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Re: Fuel gauge roulette
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2014, 05:02:49 pm »
*Originally Posted by atvtinker [+]
You know it's not a good ideal to run a fuel injected bike low on fuel, don't you. The fuel is what keeps your fuel pump cool to keep from burning it up. Food for thought. The whole purpose of the last gallon is so that your pump is still fully submerged. If it were a carburetor style bike then it wouldn't be such a big deal if it ran dry.

Well,

I never try to run out of gas.  I did once because my bike had been serviced and Triumph gas gauges don't always read correctly after the battery has been disconnected until the tank is filled.

Having said  that I don't think you need a full gallon of gas to keep the fuel pump cool and I'm not sure how likely they are to fail if the tank goes dry.  Fuel pumps have been in cars and cycles for a long time now and I suspect their engineering has dramatically improved.  In any event, I never had a problem with my fuel pump in my Thunderbird after running out of gas (nor have any of the other folks I know that have run out)  and I ran below 0 miles to go on many occasions.  Maybe I just got lucky, but I do think so.

Offline seadog

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Re: Fuel gauge roulette
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2014, 05:34:51 pm »
After riding bikes with No fuel gauge the luxury of the trophy with a gauge. I know this is different I the UK as there are so many fuel stations. On long touring runs depending on riding conditions I would either have it a s a time when you stop for a drink or a mileage and top up tank.
Peace of mind.

My light comes on sometimes indicating 75miles but this is only on your average speed. But if it comes on I usually start thinking of a fuel stop.

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