Running out of fuel - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-01-2017, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Running out of fuel

Stromers,
here is what happened on the way to work yesterday morning, riding my 2016 DL1000. Leaving home, fuel gauge/fuel range indicating 30miles left in tank. Moving along happily on interstate #5 in Portland, after having covered maybe 5 miles, engine cuts out. I am in the left lane, coming to a stop on a 5foot wide shoulder in commuter traffic. A AAA tow truck/flat bed got me and bike home safely. My commute is approx. 20 miles round trip. I typically run the fuel down to where both the small fuel pump icon & the last bar are flashing around town without a problem. We have gas stations on almost on every street corner here, it seems. I fill up typically with 89 octane fuel. What was different this time was that I had regular gas in the tank. Had to fill up at a small town in central Oregon last. One question I have is, could the 87octane regular gas messed up the 'algorithm' in the computer which figures 'range left' ? In the incident yesterday, the last bar was NOT yet flashing and the fuel gauge/range indicated 29 miles left in tank when I had come to a stop. Filling up the tank in the evening it took 5.5 gallon. I bought this bike new, last November, and had no issues with the fuel gauge/ range reading at all, ridden it to a gas station with only a few miles left in tank on occasion, in town. For the time being, I have to adjust my fuel strategy, to build back trust in the fuel gauge. Overall, I tend to stretch as much as possible out of a full tank of gas. The exception being trips like my journey to the BMWMOA rally in Salt Lake City a few weeks back, where you deal with wide open spaces between towns and one better fills up.

Thank you,

Juergen, Portland OR

Juergen
Portland, OR
1979-1993 Yamaha XT500, (Germany& US)
1993-2016 BMW R100GS, (US)
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-01-2017, 11:40 PM
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Gas qty indicator is nice to have, but usually tracking mileage with odo 1 is more accurate and consistent. Pump is cooled by fuel immersion, best not to constantly run the tank close to empty.

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-02-2017, 12:15 AM
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My fuel level will change after going around a few turns. level indicator could be on the opposite side of the frame rail from the fuel pick up.

I agree with @marcham and the use of the Odometer for a fuel gauge.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-02-2017, 12:21 AM
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Ditto on the odometer. I can figure the Wee pretty closely but the damn CBF plunges off a cliff that moment it's analogue gauge nudges 1/4 full.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-02-2017, 09:54 AM
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Going by the computer for fuel usage is like Russian roulette. You are in the Car-pool lane out of gas with nowhere to go. Very smooth move!
Use the ODO and when the winking blinky indicator of death comes on buy more fuel.
I've gone 40 miles with the first indication blinking but I coasted the last 9 miles down a mountain to the gas station to aid in the effort.
I still had 1.3 gallons in the tank when I gassed up so my indication is very generous, your's may not be so.
Specific to your question of 89 over 87, you may get a few more miles for the higher octane but why force it?
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-02-2017, 10:15 AM
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There's only one problem with the "use the odometer" method...you are assuming a consistent MPG from one fill up to the next. If you are trying to run it down to the last few miles, you better be sure of your MPG's. Even 2 MPG will run you dry if you are trying to squeeze the last 10 miles out of it.

"Use the ODO and when the winking blinky indicator of death comes on buy more fuel."

Personally, this is how I do it.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-02-2017, 10:28 AM
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The ODO helps zilch into a strong headwind. I try not to push past the first blinking bar...I hate pushing motorcycles down the shoulder...the shame, oh the shame
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-02-2017, 01:07 PM
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On my DL650, I just quit playing the fuel roulette game and starting looking to fuel around 250 miles. The range on these bikes is good so not that annoying to put in 4.4 gallons. Sure another 40-60 miles may be in there but I had to let it go.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-02-2017, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfh000 View Post
On my DL650, I just quit playing the fuel roulette game and starting looking to fuel around 250 miles. The range on these bikes is good so not that annoying to put in 4.4 gallons. Sure another 40-60 miles may be in there but I had to let it go.
Oh how I miss the days of mid 50's mpg. My commute is about half 70-80 mph interstate...knocks the mileage down to 48-50 real quick.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-02-2017, 03:01 PM
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I have never ran out in 58,000 on my 650 but have on other bikes. I get my best mpg when riding on a trip loaded down.Reason is I never lead unless no one else knows the way and I do. I just ride way to fast and jack rabbit start and abuse my poor little mule more than the average kid and I am 71! When I still did some back roads drags in the 90s was fun to hear behine your back some younger than my kid say>"That old man can ride!"Guess ten years of strip racing never gets all the way out of your blood. Two traffic schools and lots of tickets keeps the wife happy"You are a old fool! I hear way too often.
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