Ran Out’a Gas
August 25, 2010 at 3:18 pm #4203JtownJJAParticipant
Yesterday on the way home from work, I ran out of gas for the first time. While going about 60 mph, my bike just seemed to be losing power, so I knew something wasn’t right. I looked for the next road or driveway ahead to pull over, and once I was off the road, my engine had died. I looked at the trip meter and had 228 miles on it. Then it hit me…. I usually fill up around 200, and was supposed to get gasoline during my lunch today. OK, first chance to flip over to reserve. Bike started right back up, but I still had quite a distance to get to the next gas station, and I wasn’t sure if I would make it. Luckily I did. By the time I got there, I had 234 miles logged. After filling up, I had put in 3.939 gallons. That would be almost 60 mpg. Not bad at all.
Anyway, I hope that doesn’t happen again. I usually do a quick inspection of a list of things before I go on any ride. I plan to add checking the trip meter to that list.August 25, 2010 at 5:41 pm #28296Gary856Participant
I ran out of gas twice on my DRZ, both times on hilly roads with no traffic around, before I figured out the fuel range. I ran out of gas 3 times on my GS500, once on an expressway, twice on the freeway, after some carburator work was done that worsened my gas mileage significnatly.
I used to wonder what it felt like to run dry. You’d first notice a slight stumble, a slight loss of power, then it would run rough, and the engine would die in about 15 seconds or so (a rough estimate, not exact). That’s enough time for you to react, to pull over, when the traffic’s light, but it could be hairy in heavy traffic. Some riders are able to switch to reserve on the fly without the engine dying or stopping the bike. I haven’t practiced reaching for the petcock without looking and switching to reserve while the bike’s moving, so I just pulled over, stopped with the engine dead, then switched to reserve and restarted the bike. If it really ran dry and the bike would not start on reserve, switch the petcock to “prime” to allow the gas to flow into the carburator for a couple of seconds, start the bike, then switch to reserve.
Often there’s still a rediculous amount of gas left in the tank (like a gallon) when you hit reserve, so going another 20-30 miles in reserve is usually no problem. Of course, each bike is different.August 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm #28297eternal05Participant
Otherwise you can gunk up your carbs by pulling the dregs of the fuel tank for many miles on end.August 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm #28304JtownJJAParticipant
at the fuel pump after filling up.August 25, 2010 at 10:29 pm #28308JackTradeParticipant
of what it feels like when the “main” runs dry.
Has happened to me a few times, but since the first time, I’ve been able to flip the switch on the fly…all about knowing exactly where it is (on my Buell, it’s on a straight line below my knee), and being comfortable with the motions while on a moving bike.August 26, 2010 at 3:21 am #28305eternal05Participant
I wasn’t so “lucky” my first time. Hence the tip
Then again, luck ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.August 27, 2010 at 10:02 pm #28334CBBaronParticipant
I think being able to switch to reserve on the fly is a necessary skill for riding a bike with petcock. Its quick and easy if you are know wher it is. Plus if a useful skill for when you forget to turn the fuel on before taking off
I regularly run until reserve, but then again my commute is 8 urban miles so finding gas is easy. I get a little over 250miles per tank on my Ninja 250.
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