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Guitarslinger
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Discussion Starter #1
anyone ever done it to check how far a tank of fuel will actually go?
 

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Guitarslinger
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Discussion Starter #3
I was thinking of getting the wife to follow me in the truck with a gas can.
 

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VA Fender Bender
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i dont think it is a good idea to run any vehicle out of fuel, especially fuel injected
 

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As long as you dont do this on a regular basis, wont hurt a thing. Its not like a diesel where you have to prime it before trying to start it after running out. Just make sure to not leave it dry to lomg afterwords, people been running out of gas for decades and the last decade or so harley has used EFI in some now all models. The fuel pump will not get hot enough to hurt it at all. Over time though thats a different story if its a routine.


"If the opposite of pro is con, then that means the opposite of progress is congress"
 

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Guitarslinger
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Discussion Starter #9
Cool, That's what I was thinking too. I would only do it once on purpose.

IMHO it would be go to know how much farther I have after the low fuel light comes on.
 

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My buddy regularly runs his down as far as he thinks is safe to see how much gas he can get in it. It's a pretty gppd school of thought knowing how much gas the tank holds. He just got his Nightster recently, and his previous bike he would sometimes run it down till he only had a tenths or two of a gallon left. He always checked it when filling and compared it to the milage on the odometer.

With my 2013 FXDC it's had to get the gas to the same level every time. I doubt you could repeat running empty on the same milage with any regularity. I know when my light comes on to start looking for a station. Most gas I was able to get in mine was 4 gallons in a 5 gallon tank when it said I only had 17 miles till empty. I probably had around 40-50 miles in reality. Maybe more....I just can't see any reason to find out. I do like knowing I can go a little further than what the gauge says.
 

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EFI fuel pumps are dependent upon being submerged in fuel to remain cool. if you run the tank down to minimum levels regularly, common consensus is that it will shorten the life of the pump.


Sent from Motorcycle.com App
 

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I've never run out of gas on this bike, either purposely or by accident.
But, I have gone 48 miles after the low fuel light came on and it took 4.6 gallons (4.7 gal tank).

There's been numerous times that I went 20-30 miles with the light on and it would take about 4.2 +/- gallons. So, I'm fairly confident that I have a gallon of reserve after the light goes on.

But, I go by mileage ridden more than I do the gas gauge.
 

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Pessimistic fuel gauge

What's up with fuel gauges on V-Rod picked my bike from dealer and within 25 miles I'm down to 3/4 tank steadily decreasing and finally slowing down a little below 1/2? I fueled @ 120 miles with 4.3 on a 5 gallon tank, I'm hoping for @ least 150 miles on a tank close?
 

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09 Dyna Super Glide
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1,691 Posts
If you know how much gas your tank holds, then all you need to do is to fill the tank up, then ride until the tank is getting low. On a new Harley the low fuel light coming on is a good time to re-fuel.

Then calculate your gas mileage. If you rode 150 miles and it took 3 gallons to fill the tank up again, you are getting 50 miles per gallon. Then subtract how much gas you put in the tank to fill it up again and subtract that from how much gas the tank holds and multiply that by your mileage.

If your have a four gallon tank and it took three gallons to fill it up and you are getting 50 mph, then you had a gallon left which would calculate to another 50 miles.

Pete

anyone ever done it to check how far a tank of fuel will actually go?
 

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I'm glad to see this question. I'm new to this and just bought a 2000 Sportster. I'm waiting for the owner's manual I purchased on eBay to come in the mail.

I'm told I have a 3.3 gallon tank with a 0.5 gallon reserve. There is no fuel gauge and I haven't ridden enough yet to know if there's a low-fuel light. I'm told the engine will sputter a little to prompt me to switch to the reserve. I guess that will have to be my "low-fuel light?"

Also, I think my engine has a carburator and not fuel injection, so from previous responses, maybe it won't hurt to run it dry once to test it?
 

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That brings up another thought. Can I switch from the main tank to the reserve while the engine is running?
 

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Hit it she goes boom
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I would have done this on my sporty if I still had it, I've had to hit reserve a couple of times, without knowing how far it really would take me. Between the aftermarket tank, replacement petcock and a speedo that didn't read accurate, it was a guessing game, after 120 miles I'd start looking for a gas station. carbed so I wasn't concerned. This one is EFI there's no way I'd want to run it out of gas.
 

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Hit it she goes boom
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That brings up another thought. Can I switch from the main tank to the reserve while the engine is running?
Yup, just don't forget your riding on reserve.
 

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That brings up another thought. Can I switch from the main tank to the reserve while the engine is running?
Not sure you would want to try it until you are comfortable on the bike, but I could switch to reserve on my Hondas without even slowing down (at least no more than the sputtering slowed the bike)

As stated, this issue is to remember that you are on reserve and get fuel soon.

I don't understand why someone would feel like they need to run it out of fuel to know the range of the bike. You are never going to get the exact same fuel mileage anyway. Traffic conditions, weather, speed, fuel quality, etc. will all alter it a little bit. As folks have already stated, a little math tells you everything you need to know. Just calculate your mpg a few times using the tripometer and the the fuel pump's reading:

1. Fill tank
2. Zero out trip
3. Ride
4. Fill tank again.
5. mpg = tripometer reading divided by gallons required to re-rill.

So, if you do that a few times and you average it out you know. If it it's 39 mpg. Your range is 3.3 x 39 = 128.7 miles. But, it might vary 10 miles one way or another each time. You're not going to get any closer than that using "the ride until I run out" method.
 

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Senile Member
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I did last summer by accident. I was on reserve and thought I could make it 1 mile more than I did. I was lucky and coast down the hwy and up an exit where half way up it stopped rolling. So I had to push it the rest of the way up the ramp so I could get to the light, push left across the overpass and coast downhill to an ARCO. I got exactly 20 miles when the red light came on.


Oh and if you flip on reserve and someone rides up next to you and flips you the bird, it means you're riding with your valve up-on reserve... if you're not on reserve it means you're an A-hole.
 
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