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Gas reserve light came on yesterday, just 100 miles into a tank. Immediately took it to the pump and the 4.9 Gallon tank would only accept 3.1, meaning the light came on with nearly 2 gallons left. Dealership says they can't do anything about it. I have an incredibly frustrated husband and need to get him and it fixed PRONTO!

Have other folks had this issue?

Is there a way to adjust when the reserve recognizes "low"?

Where can I find information about how the tank level sensor actually works?
 

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I know this isn't really an answer to your issue (well, kinda is), but, I don't use the light to tell me where my fuel usage is. I've had a 950 and currently a Liner and neither one really worked.

I use "Trip 1" for my fill-ups, "Trip 2" for my oil changes and I've never run out of gas.

I look at my gauge panel frequently so I know how many miles I have on the current fill-up (have to look there anyway for the light) and when the odometer reads 100+, I start my gas station strategy. I keep my fuel mileage on my smart phone so I know that I'm getting anywhere from 33 mpg to 37 mph on a regular basis and 100 miles gives me a bit of wiggle room.

I've read a few discussions about this over the years and some riders say they light is "dead on" and others have had the same experience as I have.

To me, this is kinda like the self canceling turn signals. Everything is cool when they work, but if they don't, ...

This approach has taken a lot of the stress about running out of gas away from me, and believe me I still have run it down to the 4+ gallon range while riding on the road. This usually only happens when I in a non-familiar area like when touring and not paying attention to it.

There is pretty much nothing anyone could tell me that would make me trust the light.
 

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Thanks jwallick55. Since this post (just this morning, I know) we've formulated a strategy based on the fact that his filler nozzle is in a different location than on his 950 or my own Strat - that being dead center. There's a lot of air room left in it if filled on the stand.

1)we'll run it until the light comes on again
2)we'll fill it on the stand and take note of that quantity
3)we'll upright it and finish filling and take note of that quantity

#3 will indicate the gallon difference between stand filling and upright filling
after we deduct #2 AND #3 from the 4.9g it's supposed to hold, we'll know approximately how much actual fuel is left in the tank when the light comes on (give or take a bit for airspace left when filled upright but given the nearly TDC position of the filler nozzle on the tank, we don't anticipate there being TOO much air space.

I think for him it's just frustrating that a light came on long before it was expected. Hoping this upright fueling technique helps.
 

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Mine is the same. Light comes on put 3 gallons in the tank. I've never pushed it to see just how much is really left...
 

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My light also comes on right about 3.2 gallons. I am normally somewhere around 138 miles when it happens
 

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Thanks jwallick55. Since this post (just this morning, I know) we've formulated a strategy based on the fact that his filler nozzle is in a different location than on his 950 or my own Strat - that being dead center. There's a lot of air room left in it if filled on the stand.

1)we'll run it until the light comes on again
2)we'll fill it on the stand and take note of that quantity
3)we'll upright it and finish filling and take note of that quantity

#3 will indicate the gallon difference between stand filling and upright filling
after we deduct #2 AND #3 from the 4.9g it's supposed to hold, we'll know approximately how much actual fuel is left in the tank when the light comes on (give or take a bit for airspace left when filled upright but given the nearly TDC position of the filler nozzle on the tank, we don't anticipate there being TOO much air space.

I think for him it's just frustrating that a light came on long before it was expected. Hoping this upright fueling technique helps.
Hi.

I have the same issue on my 2015 vstar1300. Gas reserve light comes on 110 miles/3.6 gollons usage. Do you have any deductions? Is it because we fill it up on the stand? Does filling up on upright position make any difference?

Thanks
 

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Hi.

I have the same issue on my 2015 vstar1300. Gas reserve light comes on 110 miles/3.6 gollons usage. Do you have any deductions? Is it because we fill it up on the stand? Does filling up on upright position make any difference?

Thanks
I always fill both my motorcycles while straddling them so the filler port is dead center and at the top most position it can be in.

I also fill the tank to the brim to get as much fuel in at once, unless I know for certain I am going to park it in the hot sun directly after filling, which is almost never.

Like other posters have mentioned, it is a good idea to reset your trip meter on every fill up and keep track or your mileage. With the size of the tank and the MPG's these bikes get anyone should be able to hit 200 miles on one tank if they really need to.
 

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Do the 950 and 1300 not have a flip lever for the reserve like the 650? Are both sides of the tank hosed together and they give you the light instead?

Definitely be careful about filling the tank all the way. I did that last winter when I put the bike up for storage, filled it right to the top so it would not rust. When it got warm in the spring the gas expanded and leaked out through the filler cap all over the tank and engine.

The gasoline down in the tanks in the ground is cold, even in summer. If you fill the bike up to the top of the cap and then stop in a few miles, it will overflow.

BTW, one thing I like about the 650: 200 miles on the main tank and 80 miles on the reserve. Ive ridden it 248 miles at most and still had a quart in it when i filled it back up.

If you are really worried about running out of gas, get one of those 1 quart aluminum fuel bottles and keep it in your saddle bag. 7 to 15 miles of spare fuel is better than a 7 to 15 mile walk.
 

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FYI on Reserve light .

My average mileage is about 140 miles.. (US bike) but i also know when my light comes on.... I usually get another 50 miles easily on the reserve volume. There is no reserve switch on the 1300.. it's fuel injected and the low fuel light is simply that. a light to tell you when the tank is at a certain level.
Just for personal knowledge ..I was working on my 1300 and took the tank off. when i removed the tank I turned the fuel off ( under the left side of the tank facing inwards is a switch like on a carbureted bike but it only has on and off) . I forgot to turn it back to the on position and took it for a ride. I was basically riding on the sub fuel tank volume only. I got about 35 miles before it ran out of fuel in the sub tank and stalled. I got off the road.. realized my mistake and turned the switch back on.. too hard to do sitting on the bike.... and she fired right up.
 

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Do the 950 and 1300 not have a flip lever for the reserve like the 650? Are both sides of the tank hosed together and they give you the light instead?

Definitely be careful about filling the tank all the way. I did that last winter when I put the bike up for storage, filled it right to the top so it would not rust. When it got warm in the spring the gas expanded and leaked out through the filler cap all over the tank and engine.

The gasoline down in the tanks in the ground is cold, even in summer. If you fill the bike up to the top of the cap and then stop in a few miles, it will overflow.

BTW, one thing I like about the 650: 200 miles on the main tank and 80 miles on the reserve. Ive ridden it 248 miles at most and still had a quart in it when i filled it back up.

If you are really worried about running out of gas, get one of those 1 quart aluminum fuel bottles and keep it in your saddle bag. 7 to 15 miles of spare fuel is better than a 7 to 15 mile walk.

The 950 and 1300 don't use a traditional percock with a main and reserve setting. They just relay on the fuel float to tell you the fuel is low. There is a petcock under the tank but it is almost never used in normal operations
 

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I just filled up my 2015 v star 1300 and it took 4.2 gal. 182 miles on 4.2 gal. = 43.3 miles/gal. Not too shabby, considering that I weigh 260 lbs and ride 2 up more than 50% of the time, climbing the Jill's of western PA. Low fuel light came on at 154 miles.
 

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I'm lucky with a 'dead on' consistent gas light. But I always punch the trip reset when I fill and watch the mileage anyway (after years of riding old school bikes with no "warning light" - they just start coughing and you have to flip the petcock to reserve).

I pretty much get ~130 miles before the light comes on, and have to put ~3 gallons in to top it up at that point. I don't think I've ever ridden more than about 10 miles past the light coming on (nature of my riding)... so no idea how much mileage is 'left' really.
 

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Awesome Idea

I know this isn't really an answer to your issue (well, kinda is), but, I don't use the light to tell me where my fuel usage is. I've had a 950 and currently a Liner and neither one really worked.

I use "Trip 1" for my fill-ups, "Trip 2" for my oil changes and I've never run out of gas.
I've used the trip meter on my 1100 for years to tell me when to fill up. Hated having to switch to reserve while in heavy traffic at 65+mph. I knew that at approx 150 to 175 miles, I would have to switch so I would always fill up around 150. Rarely used the reserve switch. Now, with the 1300 which has a light, I still do the same. I know that the light will come on at about 150miles. I fill up and it almost always takes a bit over 3 gal.

However, I never thought about using trip 2 for the oil. Great idea! Thanks for that tip.
 

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Sitting on the bike when you are fueling it can be risky.

If the gas were to catch fire for any reason, you are holding the bike up with your feet, you have the gas hose in one hand, you may or may not have the kickstand down... I would not want to depend on my reaction to not drop the bike in a gas fire, dumping the fuel out and making it far worse.
 

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...Rarely used the reserve switch...
I can't honestly recall the last time I used the 'reserve' setting because I -needed- it. A couple of my bikes are old-school enough they've got nothing but the trip odometer or the engine dying to tell you when you're there. So even on my FI bikes without a petcock at all, I habitually set the trip odometer and watch that.

Point is, your statement reminds me (speaking as a guy who restores old Japanese bikes for a living) you -should- use the reserve switch at least periodically to keep the reserve part of your petcock valve from getting gummed up and goopey - especially if you don't run / can't get ethanol-free gas. I usually put it on 'reserve' right after filling up every 3rd-4th tank. Then just put it back to 'on' after a few minutes... Just to run some good clean gas through it and keep it cleared out.

I'd recommend once a month, and definitely no longer than 6 months. Seen a lot of petcocks over the years that work great in "on" or "off" but nuttin' in "reserve".
 

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Over the years Ive owned a lot of older cars, older than 8 years when I bought them.

And all the cars I have purchased new, I kept till the wheels were literally falling off or the frame rusted away.

Your MPGs are an excellent indicator of how well your vehicle is running. If you keep track you will know right away if something is off in the engine, if you have a brake caliper dragging, a wheel pointing the wrong way. A lot of problems cause your mileage to drop.

So on a motorcycle, if you just put the lever on reserve, and know more or less when you need to stop for gas based on the mileage, then eventually you will run out when your bike is not running right.

That is the beauty of the 'reserve' system. Set your trip odo, and when the bike stumbles on the 'main' position look at the odo. If the bike is running poorly it will run out lower than normal on the odo, but you are not stranded. You will know your bike is not running right the first time it happens.
 

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Just for reference, there is no petcock under the tank on a 950. But Ive heard that there is under the tank of a 1300.

Its technically not a reserve light, its a low fuel light.

The correct way to fill up is with the bike on the kickstand and off the bike, Its designed for a certain amount of fuel to leave room for expansion. Do not fill while sitting on the bike, or with the bike straight up. And do not try to squeeze as much as possible.
 

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Just for reference, there is no petcock under the tank on a 950. But Ive heard that there is under the tank of a 1300.

Its technically not a reserve light, its a low fuel light.

The correct way to fill up is with the bike on the kickstand and off the bike, Its designed for a certain amount of fuel to leave room for expansion. Do not fill while sitting on the bike, or with the bike straight up. And do not try to squeeze as much as possible.
There is a petcock on the 1300 tank. It's basically impossible to reach with the tank on the bike. I believe it's primary purpose is to avoid dumping fuel everywhere when you must entirely remove the tank. I wouldn't be surprised if it's only on/off with no 'reserve' setting, in fact. (I'll look next time I have the tank off).

I've also heard that fill-up technique, and that the idea was to not overfill the tank such that when the cool gas from underground tank expands, it weeps out the top and gas-stains your paint. I've certainly seen more than a few old tanks with the characteristic 'dribble' marks down the side.

Personally, I regularly violate that procedure - filling it while upright and topping it up all the way - but only when I'm on a longer ride, trying to maximize range and I know I'm getting right back on the road to start depleting the 'excess' gas.
 
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