Dumb Newbie question re: fuel - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Dumb Newbie question re: fuel

okay, I confess that I ran my bike out of fuel last nite. Fortunately, I was close to home and was heading to a pump to fill up anyway. The manual says fuel capacity is 4.23 gal. with a reserve of 0.79 gal. So is the reserve included in the 4.23 gal or in addition to it. The fill up was only 3.6 gals and it was 170 miles from the last fill. I knew I would be needing gas soon but was surprised I ran out. Thank goodness for the reserve.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 09:41 AM
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the capacity of the entire tank is 4.23 gallons (US).

My 650 is fully stock and gets 58mpg. It usually starts to stumble around 200 miles on the trip odo. If you have your windshield on the bike you are probably getting closer to 52mpg (and your odo ranges will be lower than mine).

I ran it once to 240 miles flipped to reserve, and it took 4.2 gallons to fill it, so it was down to a few ounces - Ive never run it completely empty yet (32,000 mile of riding).

Important note: I usually flip it over to reserve around 190 miles on the odo. That way I know its not using more fuel than normal (if it was it would start to stumble before 190), and I will not put myself in a position where Im pulling out into traffic or taking a curve under power, and have the engine drop out on me. Having your engine quit in a corner is scary stuff!

Its good to use the main position when riding with a full tank. Why not just ride around on reserve all the time and have a 240 mile range? If the engine starts to run poorly it might run out of fuel at 205 miles, or 210... then you are completely out and stranded. Riding on main, if the engine runs poorly, it will run that part of the tank dry in less than 200 miles, and you will know something is wrong and you better stop at the next station and fill it up.

It does not hurt the engine to run it dry and flip it over - any stuff in the take wont get sucked past the wire mesh strainer on the petcock intake tubes, and it wont get past your fuel filter.
Its not like a fuel injected engine with the fuel pump in the gas tank and being cooled by the fuel - You can run a carbed bike dry and nothing bad happens (except like I said you lose power unexpectedly in traffic).

Last edited by KCW; 08-21-2019 at 09:48 AM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 10:45 AM
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dmil123, was petcock on or reserve when you ran out. The 3.6 gallons seem less than full tank fill-up from empty.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 10:50 AM
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After 3 times having to go to reserve i have learned on my 1100 150 miles means fill. I am not confident enough to reach down and feel for lever to change it while i am riding. Every time i pulled the clutch in and pulled over.
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I ain't lost until the tank is empty!
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeksvstarclassic View Post
I am not confident enough to reach down and feel for lever to change it while i am riding. Every time i pulled the clutch in and pulled over.
Reaching down to switch to reserve will come natural after a while. When I got my NHRA competition license you have to be able to turn off ignition, pull chute and a few other things blindfolded. Hey, I've even been able to not follow the fork to my mouth here recently and hit the big hole most of the time. 😀😂

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 11:53 AM
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reaching down at 80mph keeping your eyes on the road to flip to reserve is a good reason to always wear gloves

if you grab something else you will get burned

the petcock on my 650 is hard to turn, I cant flip it all the way up in one motion

but the $90 OEM chrome petcock on Ursa turns just as smooth and easy as can be.

BTW there have been a few times when I forgot to turn it from off to on after a quick stop. Thats how I know both of my bikes can get about a mile down the road at 40mph just on the fuel in the float bowls...

EDIT: after thinking about this, you need to be able to operate all the controls on your bike without taking your eyes off the road, including the kickstand (you lose your sense of balance when you look down) Another good reason to always use the kill switch and turn the petcock off everytime you park the bike - so they become muscle memory.

Last edited by KCW; 08-21-2019 at 01:13 PM.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 02:36 PM
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I ran my 1100 out fuel and had to switch to reserve more times than I can remember (often at 70 mp/h). It was a little disconcerting the first couple of times it happened but like Les said you get used to switching it at speed. I actually preferred it happening at highway speed than when running around town and having to do it while downshifting and avoiding traffic. If I was riding in unfamiliar territory I always started looking for fuel after I passed 100 miles on the trip meter. I've had to switch to reserve at 155 miles and as low as 115 so I prefer to err of the side of caution. No petcock on the new bike (FI) but it has a gauge that actually seems to be fairly accurate. At least I haven't run out yet (knock on wood).
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 02:51 PM
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My 650 always gives me a few sputters before she runs out, then just switch to reserve. It is a no brainer now. But ALWAYS remember to switch it back. The wife and I were on the interstate going over the bay bridge in Pensacola, by the time we made it to the first exit after the bridge , I had to coast down the exit. Luckily there is a gas station next to the exit, so it was a short push to the pump.Now before I get off the bike to put gas in it I make sure it is on main tank. We have some areas you don't want to run out of gas in.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 04:07 PM
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When you first get a bike, you'll want to run it down to reserve for the first few fill-ups. How else will you know what to expect if you don't experience it at least a few times? And with practice you can flip it over to reserve without stopping or even slowing much. Usually.

Couple weeks ago I went for a cruise along the beach, some open stretches, some stop and go traffic in towns. I knew it was near empty, but wanted to let it hit reserve. Wouldn't you know it, it sputtered out on me as I took off from a stop light. Embarassing to hold up traffic while I switched to reserve, wait for a few fuel pump strokes, and then start it up and deal with a few sputters. No one honked, and if there were any single digit salutes I didn't see them. Reality is that I got if fired back up pretty fast.

A fill-up for me right at the top of reserve is about 3.3g. And I don't dally any longer than necessary once I'm on reserve.

All I get from my 1100 is about 135mi down to reserve. Less than 40mpg. And I noticed it doesn't matter if I take an 80mph road trip, or just around town. About the same mileage.

Most important - don't forget to switch the lever back to ON before you drive away from the gas station.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 04:18 PM
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I haven't proven it to my own satisfaction yet, but it feels like if you lean the bike to the left you can slosh a little gas from the right side over to the left. Seems to help with the sputters for a bit. Wonder if anyone else has noticed it?

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