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.
Please, call me Bill.
2005 V-star Classic 1100