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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After leaving home on friday with a slightly less than full fuel tank (doh) then spluttering to a stop 10km from a petrol station, (much to the delight of pillion chanting "I told you so") On the way home today we did an experiment (with Ock following us with spare fuel onboard).
I filled up (to the bottom of the fill tube while on sidestand) and cruised home doing between 5000-6000rpm. Once my last fuel bar started to flash hollow I tried to stay a steady 5000rpm using gentle accelleration if needed.
The result I got was 50km from when the last bar started to flash to my local perol station where I filled up with 20.87ltrs of fuel (see pic)
I have taken note of my milage on another occasion when the last bar started to flash when I was riding to Hay NSW. On that occasion I got 45km to the next petrol station (without running out) with a simmilar 21ish ltr fill result, on that day I was cruising at 110km on the Hay plain a dead flat road.
On both occasions I was two up, total rider+pillion weight 160kg plus 20-30kg of luggage.

Hopefully without starting a debate about all the factors involving milage like octane, tyres, weight, downhill, uphill, temp etc etc I'll throw a rough figure for a pre 2012 DL650 of 50-55km range once your last bar starts to flash then work it out from your own situation/load/terrain etc. Hopefully this will help someone one day.
 

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A long distance rider told me once if you want to know how far it will go on reserve, when the light starts to flash, nail it and see how long before it dies. Worst case scenario. If you baby the throttle when the light goes on you will go farther but you will know how short the distance will be if it's all up hill.
Too many variables.
 

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It's going to vary some from bike to bike. It's hard on the fuel pump to run out or even to run extremely low often. It's an expensive part.
 

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Very true about the fuel pump but we're not talking about a habitual offender, I hope, just the inadvertent bad planning.
It would be nice to know just what each individual bike has the capacity for in fuel distance.
In pre FI days I would always run to the local fuel station on what was in the float bowls of the carbs and then fill the tank to the brim. That way I was reassured of the true capacity of the tank. We had fuel taps with reserves in them thar days and had a better idea of distance to push.:furious:
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Too many variables and the innacuracy of the gauge make my figure a very rough estimate, its just the results I got this weekend. The lowest I have taken the gauge before this on the strom was riding to Hay NSW, there is 132Km/82miles between towns around Hay.
This weekend was my first time I can remember running out of petrol, maybe I did once 25 years ago but I cant recall, I have used the reserve tank a few times in the carby days though ! (the fun days of trying to do it on the move and keep going) and then lowering my speed to 80kmph to make it to the bowser.

I was wondering if this one time running dry may have caused any damage to the pump??? time will tell. The irony is that I usually carry a full 1.5ltr fuel canister in my tooltube but it was removed to put in my touring toolkit+spares and I forgot to put the canister in my luggage somewhere, so it was a comedy of errors including not starting out with a completely full tank !!!!
Normally once the fuel icon starts to flash (with solid bar) if I still have a distance to go I top up the tank with the 1.5ltrs to keep the pump well submerged until I can fill up.
 

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Ah, now that is something I'd like to know ~ what is available [in Australia] as a 1.5 litre fuel container?
Advice, please.

I've looked at camping/hiking stores, but they stock rather small aluminium bottles ( of a possibly worrying fragility ) and all with a very narrow mouth for refilling. I guess that sort of thing would be protected by the plastic of the tool tube . . . but I was hoping for a container that could be slipped into general luggage / pannier bags. And with a wide mouth for easy filling & inspection.
Preferably steel or plastic, to withstand heavy knocks (of the sleeping Suzuki style). Or is the aluminium type tougher than I imagine?

Perhaps a two-ish litre plastic container designed for chainsaw oil, or something of that sort?
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If you are going to put fuel in a container then you owe it to yourself to put it into a proper container that is approved for fuel not a plastic bottle that was designed for chainsaw oil.
As far as carrying extra fuel for the wee is concerned I can't see the point unless you are truly going into the desert or somewhere (on a Strom?). With a range of nearly 500km until it runs completely dry tell me one road in Australia where you have to drive that far with no ability to buy fuel or better yet tell me one where another 50km or so of fuel will mean the diffference between running dry and getting somewhere.
BTW. The Sigg brand aluminium bottles are the strongest bottles that you will buy anywhere. I'm still using one for white fuel that is 25 years old.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The pictured Primus 1.5ltr was supplied with my tooltube, I wrap it in a handtowel and it fits perfectly, the towel is handy too !
Im think you could get a Primus canister here in Oz at a camping store. Another good brand of container is the 4ltr Rotopax which are available in Oz at adventuremoto.com.au.
The rotopax fit well when strapped to my front crash bars (yes they would may crush in a fall but they are tough, I suspect the straps would break first), I carry 1 fuel (red) and 1 water (white) rotopax when camping then the tooltube is filled with other stuff.
When road touring the tube gets my touring toolkit, then the 1.5 ltr goes into the luggage. It all depends on the journey/terrain as to what combo I use.
I carry the 1.5ltr for "general" riding/commuting for a top up when low on fuel,
On my first run out of fuel experience the 1.5 was left sitting on my shed floor at home. (murphys law in effect)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you are going to put fuel in a container then you owe it to yourself to put it into a proper container that is approved for fuel not a plastic bottle that was designed for chainsaw oil.
As far as carrying extra fuel for the wee is concerned I can't see the point unless you are truly going into the desert or somewhere (on a Strom?). With a range of nearly 500km until it runs completely dry tell me one road in Australia where you have to drive that far with no ability to buy fuel or better yet tell me one where another 50km or so of fuel will mean the diffference between running dry and getting somewhere.
BTW. The Sigg brand aluminium bottles are the strongest bottles that you will buy anywhere. I'm still using one for white fuel that is 25 years old.
On our xmas 4000km ride we wanted to minimise stops and spend more time exploring OZ rather than looking at petrol stations (unless thats your hobby) and also for touring we work out the major towns to fill at with the approximate range we will get after tryng to take into account all the variables like mountains etc etc, Sometimes out west the accumulative distances between major stops can fall outside our Stroms range. (esp with a strong headwind or a lot of overtaking) For us a journey from home to Tamworth comes in with 1 litre to spare (if you fill the tank properly). On my recent ride/camping in Wyangala Dam state forest near Cowra NSW I spent some time poking around the dirt tracks where my fuel range decreased a lot, I would not have made it out of the forest if I had not carried in and the topped up with fuel. For city riding if needed I can top up with 1.5 ltrs and usually then find a servo within the approx 50-60 km range it provides, yes I do use my trip meter to get to know my bikes given range for load/terrain etc. To ans your question I would say anywhere you ride an extra litre or two may make the difference between running dry and getting somewhere....this weekend 10km was the difference, its first time Ive ever run dry on any model of road bike (not including trailbikes) and I didnt have my Primus bottle onboard... go figure !
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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Ah, now that is something I'd like to know ~ what is available [in Australia] as a 1.5 litre fuel container?
Advice, please.

I've looked at camping/hiking stores, but they stock rather small aluminium bottles ( of a possibly worrying fragility ) and all with a very narrow mouth for refilling. I guess that sort of thing would be protected by the plastic of the tool tube . . . but I was hoping for a container that could be slipped into general luggage / pannier bags. And with a wide mouth for easy filling & inspection.
Preferably steel or plastic, to withstand heavy knocks (of the sleeping Suzuki style). Or is the aluminium type tougher than I imagine?

Perhaps a two-ish litre plastic container designed for chainsaw oil, or something of that sort?
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Good brand aluminium ones are tough, do a stomp on it test at the store before buying. ULP station fillers do fit, just. The rotopax have a decent mouth to for filling.

Mid Nullabor, do you live near anywhere in these pictures??????......
 

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^ ^ ^ ^
Live nowhere near those pictures, but I do like to see those signs as I cruise past.
The Nullarbor ride is something I find quite pleasant. No towering snowcapped mountains . . . though if you head down the track south from Balladonia, there are a couple of mountains worthy of a look (in Cape Arid N.P., I think). Or perhaps they look impressive because they're isolated "singletons".

Thanks, Lagoon & K1W1 for your thoughts on small fuel containers.
For slightly adventurous rides, I carry in a pannier a 5 litre petrol container [one of those red plastic ones with a sloping shoulder on one side, and a filler tube that stores inside the container for cleanliness ~ made in Canada possibly ~ and having a good seal . . . though I haven't dared test it mixed in with my general luggage]. But I don't really like carrying fuel that could, worst case, rupture near a hot exhaust pipe.

Sometimes I like to have a small reserve, to give added peace of mind in approaching the last few litres of petrol (for ordinary trips, not the bigger expeditions).

The Wee's tank range is good, but won't cover all eventualities always . . . and a pessimistic mind like mine can just picture me heading 300 km south from Birdsville, to arrive at Mungeranie to find that their pumps are out of action. And there I sit for the duration, watching cars & 4WD's with 600+ km capabilities simply heading off down the Track. Or you can invent other "more than half-way but the road is blocked forward, yet it's too far to go back for fuel" sort of scenarios.
(I am ashamed to confess that I haven't actually visited Mungeranie or Birdsville. Whenever I'm in the neighbourhood, unseasonal rains put in an appearance . . . and Birdsville gets to stay in my Bucket List.)

Innamincka to Lyndhurst can be a bit touchy, even with everything going well.
At present, I am hoping to "do" the Duncan Highway later this year (Hall's Creek, eastwards and north to Kununurra) which is pretty much 500 km without refuelling facilities. The road is usually in good condition, so fuel consumption should be low . . . but there should be precautions taken for altered conditions . . . and I will take my trusty 5 L container, plus one or two other reserves which I will eventually leave [empty] at the roadside for passersby to score. Not quite decided what to take as containers . . . Hall's Creek has rather slim pickings for last-minute shopping . . . yet it's a nuisance to carry empty containers for a long distance beforehand. And a fuel bladder is an expensive choice, when I wouldn't be using it often elsewhere.

Nor am I tempted to get the BMW GSA for its 33 litre tank.
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Midnullabor, maybe ring the Halls Creek and Kununurra pub/store/servo and see if they can get some jerry's instore ready for you, if you explain you are going to leave one a the end for the next traveller they will probbably be happy to help, also someone will be expecting you if you get stuck out there too. If not maybe post one there.

Heres a link (posted elswhere) to a Birdsville run a mate of the bloke with the Strom sent me. Its on my list to so if you are keen PM me and I might be able to get a week off & join you from somewhere west of Sydney.

Newcastle to Birdsville 2011 - YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2f8hvm9xB0&feature=related
 

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Thanks for the thought, Lagoon. I probably won't schedule Birdsville until 2013, as the planned Kimberley trip has precedence ~ I am having some difficulty getting the domestic planets to align for a decent trip, and I am trying get there (and the Pilbara, depending on time) during a time slot in early winter. Last time I was passing through the neighbourhood it was 2009 and rather too late (October/November) . . . temperatures 43-46 C, and the Bungles were closed "due to fire risk" ~ plus some mechanical problems [Okay, okay, this time I will be going on a Wee] made it prudent to stay on the main highway while coming round W.A.

Kununurra has pretty good shopping (and a workshop that repairs small motors and perhaps motorbikes ~ I gather), so it is likely that some suitable fuel containers will be available at a low enough price that my Scottish blood will countenance "single use containers".

Thanks for pointing out the videos. Impressive number of flat tyres they had on the trip to the Centre (but none for the tubeless V-Strom, I think).
The wide angle camera lens made the trip look faster, more adventurous, and "deserty" than perhaps it appears to the human eye in real time.
Still, you never know when a dirt road will suddenly become more adventurous than you were hoping for.

If you were wanting to go to the iconic Birdsville, I suspect that a more pleasant trip would be westwards along the Barrier Highway, turning off at Peterborough & Orroroo, and northwards via the Flinders Ranges and Marree.
I have only ever travelled the lower third of the Birdsville Track . . . and every time it was in superb 100-Kph condition, with the main irritation being the dust from all the traffic (but the heavy rains of the past year may have hampered roadbuilding on the northern third ~ I haven't checked on this).
Once you reach Birdsville & Windorah, then you can decide whether you've had enough dirt : and simply return home via the Qld bitumen ~ or head further south onto some of those roads the video guys were showing.
BTW, it is not such a good idea to divert from Marree out to see Lake Eyre ~ they've restricted access to the lake : you can go to one spot on the shore, but you can't camp there, and in addition the outlook is rather disappointing I think. Best to take a plane flight to see the grand view of things.
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Postscript.
If visiting the fair town of Thargomindah, please do a bit of sleuthing. I did hear a rumour that Thargomindah was the third town in the world to have electric lighting of the public streets (after London & Paris).
A leg-pulling Furphy, or one of those weird factoids that sometimes have a real basis? There was something about primitive electric generators powered by bore-water flow.
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Discussion Starter #15
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Postscript.
If visiting the fair town of Thargomindah, please do a bit of sleuthing. I did hear a rumour that Thargomindah was the third town in the world to have electric lighting of the public streets (after London & Paris).
A leg-pulling Furphy, or one of those weird factoids that sometimes have a real basis? There was something about primitive electric generators powered by bore-water flow.
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In 1898 bore water generated electricity, not bad !

Thargomindah Tourism - Hydro Power Plant
 
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