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Discussion Starter #1
I need to keep better track, but I think my fuel is mysteriously disappearing. It seems to me that no matter how many bars the fuel gauge shows when I park it, it often shows one less the following day.

Does anyone else experience this?

I want to think that maybe when I'm riding the fuel is sloshing around enough that the gauge reads artificially high, and after it sits and settles down, it's the 'accurate' reading. However, (besides that being far-fetched), there are two other potentially related things I've noticed:

1. I can see "fumes" coming out of the vent tube (lower right side, below engine, close to the ground). It's not that fumes are visible, but there's that optical distortion you see over a heat source. Hopefully that makes sense. This is with the bike "warm," but off and parked.

2. While doing some maintenance, I had my tank off for a few days and noticed that there was a "wet spot" of gas below the disconnected fuel line - as if fuel was leaking out very slowly, which I thought was impossible because it's ejected by the fuel pump, not gravity. The tank was close to full (when else would I decide to pull the tank?) when I noticed this. I moved it around a few times over the course of a few days and the puddle followed the tank, so I think it was more than the few drops in the line.

Maybe these two observations are tricking me into thinking I'm losing fuel when I'm really not, or maybe they are both at work robbing me of gas... thru evaporation thru the vent hose and a very slow leak from the line itself.

This is an '05 Vee with 17k mi and the original fuel line (I note the OM advises changing the fuel line every 4 years. Not sure why, but I'm at the 4 year mark now and it's the original hose).

Any thoughts on any of this are highly welcomed.
 

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How to gauge fuel-

Don't trust the fuel gauge.
 

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You will notice that starting the bike on its side stand will generally show one less bar of fuel. I think that this is what you are seeing. Try sitting on the bike and standing it up before you start it if you want to rule out other problems.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
I almost never start it on the side stand, and while I don't really "trust" the gauge, it seems to be pretty consistently "losing" overnight.
 

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Yeah, mine was doing the same thing and first I thought that maybe someeone was entering my garage and pulling the gas but it wasn't happening to any other of the bikes in my garage. Then I thought that maybe it was a slow leak from the qkconn fitting so I placed a clean cotton cloth under it one night and checked it the next morning...no gas and no smell.....so I chalk it up to a wierd gage and nothing more. It always seems to read a bit higher the "night before"

jeff
 

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It could be the lower volume due to cooling is catching you just at the right place. Also, the sender is basically a variable resistor which can be temperature sensitive.
 

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I agree with Jasonslay, the reading when you park is from the bike being upright while the lower reading is from it sitting on the side stand overnight. I suspect if you check it a few minutes after you park it and the guage gets a chance to reset to the lean you will see the same drop.

From the K4 PDF Owners Manual:

"NOTE: The fuel meter will not indicate
correctly when the motorcycle is
placed with the side stand."

Why not try leaving it on the center stand overnight and see if it indicates the same. I think what you are seeing is normal.
 

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gas gauge

Funny that this question should come up right now.
I was this saturday on a ALR ride to the VA hospital BBQ inPrescott, AZ.
After the ride we went to AL post #6 in Prescott for a drink where I parked steeply uphill. Upon getting ready to take off I realised that my gauge still showed full after about 105 miles on the clock. Usually the first bar dissapears in the 90 miles range but having riden for about 30 miles with a big and slow group (police escort) I thought this were my savings thanks to the HD crowd;)
About a half a minute later I was down to the "normal" reading.
I often "loose" a bar during overnight parking but I park usually on the flat in my garage so my question was if the uphill parking had something to do with the change in the reading.
And even after "loosing" a bar overnight I still make quite regularly 200 miles between fillups.
my 2cents
Martin
 

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And even after "loosing" a bar overnight I still make quite regularly 200 miles between fillups.
my 2cents
Martin

Wow, you've got to be laidback to go that far! My bike gets between 37-42 mpg generally but with the low fuel icon flashing away, I rarely go much further then 160 miles before getting nervous and filling up. I think that I went 180 once but the icon had been flashing for 40 miles by then....it was driving me batty! Here's the funny part...I know what my mileage is generally speaking so realistically, I know for a fact that I can easily go 200....but it's very difficult to MAKE myself keep going when that icon is flashing<LOL>.

The worst was a few weeks back when I rode out to Vintage days in Ohio and had filled up in Breezewood then flew to Youngstown(Ohio gateway) running in the low to upper eighties the entire way(90-98 indicated)....it was around 160 miles and I hadn't been paying attention to the odometer or fuel. Yup, it was flashing, the question was....how long had it BEEN flashing? I was scared to death that I was going to run out. Fortunately there was a plaza as soon as I got onto the Ohio section....and it took just a hair under 4.5 gallons netting me mpg in the 36-37 range. Sure made me worry though since that was the first time I had gone that far, that fast....

jeff
 

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flashing

Here's the funny part...I know what my mileage is generally speaking so realistically, I know for a fact that I can easily go 200....but it's very difficult to MAKE myself keep going when that icon is flashing<LOL>.



jeff
Yeah this flashing is very nerving.
I do most of my riding on Highways and find myself very seldom on the freeways, only if I have to. I'm in the lucky situation to have a 55 miles (one way) commute to my retirement project and all of this on Hwys (boring straight lines for the most part) and I'm averaging about 42-43 mpg. The only part where I'm pushing is about for 5 miles up the hill all the rest is mostly at about 70mph.
On longer trips I stop at about the last bar to fill up (usually a good timing to get off the bike for a few) and still am confident that I would get 200 miles and a bit more if needed :cool:

Martin
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the insights, all.

I generally check the gauge while seated on the bike, so I don't think the side stand is the issue. A temp change causing a volume change is interesting - should be easy enough to figure out how much that volume WOULD change.

I think I'm going to pay strict attention to it for a while. I guess I was hoping 3 or 4 people would jump in and say, "oh, yeah, that's your X. All you need to do is Y".

Maybe more scrutiny will prove it's all in my head.
 

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I find that mine is often lower after a days riding. :mod2_clown:
 
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