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2013 FXDWG
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159 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - I've seen a couple threads about this from the past, but I'm wondering if this is a common thing. My fuel indicator light comes on, with the displayed countdown of 30 miles to go. The 30 miles counts down considerably faster than a real 30 miles. The fuel gauge shows very close to empty. BUT, when I fill up, at maximum I need to put in 3.5 gallons. My FXDWG has a 4.7 gallon tank. Anyway, when I calculate mileage I am right around 40-42 mpg. So there seems to be a phantom gallon in there. I know I should cart a gallon on the back of my bike, and ride it out to see how far it will actually go, regardless of the gauge and indicator light, but really I'm just wondering how common this is, and whether it can be fixed so it reads correctly. Thanks for any insight!
 

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1,967 Posts
Thanks to computers and a hell of a lot of excess wiring maze combined with failure prone electronic sensors late model bike owners are left to the mercy of idiot lights & MOCO's engineering prowess !
Good luck & may the Lord take a likin to ya !
 

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Senior Member
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2,327 Posts
I found that the countdown of miles left to go, seems to be calculated by the speed you are going at the moment. I had 30 miles left, got off the highway dropped to 35mph, after a mile or so I had 40 miles left. Kept riding till I had 15 miles left. Filled up and was pretty damn accurate.
 

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Rider
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Do some simple math and set your trip odometer. Next time you fill up, take the miles on your trip odometer and dived by gallons of gas. Do this a few tank fulls of gas to get an average mpg. Then you'll have a more accurate idea of the miles per tank you can get. And you don't have to run your bike out of gas to know.
 

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Hit it she goes boom
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5,117 Posts
Do some simple math and set your trip odometer. Next time you fill up, take the miles on your trip odometer and dived by gallons of gas. Do this a few tank fulls of gas to get an average mpg. Then you'll have a more accurate idea of the miles per tank you can get. And you don't have to run your bike out of gas to know.
Excellent method, just don't forget to factor in how your riding when you determine mileage. Normal riding for me means at 160 on the trip, start looking for a gas station, but at faster speeds, 160 means, start walking for a gas station.
 

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Lost in Space
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6,859 Posts
Excellent method, just don't forget to factor in how your riding when you determine mileage. Normal riding for me means at 160 on the trip, start looking for a gas station, but at faster speeds, 160 means, start walking for a gas station.
Good advice, sounds like you know what you are talking about. :D
 

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Just Ride
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160 on my RGC means I got another 60 to go before I worry.
 

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Glad to be anywhere
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At least the system has you getting gas while you still have more than you think. Rather than running out of gas when you think you still have a half gal.

mine's been getting 41 mpg using the same method DaMack described. I calculate 35 mpg and start looking for gas after 5 gal x 35 or 175 miles. That would leave me plenty in reserve and give my arse a break because 175 mi in one shot is plenty.
 

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Hit it she goes boom
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5,117 Posts

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2013 FXDWG
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159 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies. I already did the same mileage calculation over lots of tanks of gas (right around 40-42 mpg). Problem is that when I fill up (when the indicator is counting down from 30 miles), it only takes 3.5 gallons (in a 4.7 gallon tank). I wonder if this is a common problem. I guess to know how much I can really get out of a tank, I'll have to run it out. With a 4.7 gallon tank, at 40 mpg, I should get around 190 miles, but going by the indicator, I fill up under 150 miles.

But yeah, I guess I can just do the math and not worry about running it out. Just have to be nervous that first time I run out the indicator countdown!
 

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Old Scooter Tramp
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1,367 Posts
Mine does the same thing. It shows just a few miles left on it and only put 3. Something gallons in it. Have run it down till it just has LO on the meter and have put on just a lil bit over 4 gallons.
 

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2013 FXDWG
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159 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I never would have guessed this, and I'm still not sure he wasn't full of crap, but I talked with one of HD dealership service guys about it, and he said it is set that way on purpose. So you still have a gallon when you think you're nearly empty. Seems kinda strange...
 

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On my 2012 1200 Custom. I have the 4.5 gallon tank and my original light would come on after only driving about 130 miles. Knowing I got about 48 mpg. I would drive another 50 miles and then fill-up. I always put in just about 3.7 gallons. Then I replaced the original equipment speedo with the Tachometer Speedo Combo that has built in fuel gage and count down. Now my idiot light comes on at about 175 miles. Just this past week, my light came on as I was driving out of the driveway on my way to work 23 miles away. There is a Shell station on exit that I take which is 1 mile from work. I got to the station and my debit card would not take. They did not have the system on at 0630 that morning. So, I went on to work and on the way home stopped at that station to fill-up. But, that mile back to the station the bike sputtered and spit starving for fuel. I put 4.1 gallons in that 4.5 gallon tank after 200.7 miles of driving. Harley says the tank is 4.5 gallons. That might be true if the tank was originally designed for conventional carb bikes with fuel shut off petcocks, etc. But for my fuel injected bike needing a fuel pump inside the tank won't take 4.5 gallons. I had that pump out when installing the new fuel sensor for the new speedo and I would think it takes up enough room to rob you about a quart of fuel from the total capacity. That would equate to why a 4.5 gallon tank is really only 4.25 and 4.1 needed to fill-up was just about right.

I bought two backpack camping fuel containers from Bass Pro and carry them in my saddlebags. Each holds about 20 oz. That extra 40 oz capacity will take me down the road if needed an additional 12-15 miles. Cheap Insurance on a long Texas Ride. Used one one time to help out a fellow rider make it to a station about 8 miles up the road.
 
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