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Run down tank, or fill up early?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by David@DHill, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. On the way to today's weekly Sydney learner session, I was almost at zero fuel in the main tank, so filled up at a big Caltex on Parramatta Road. A few k's later, the motor cut out in traffic. Pulled off, but couldn't restart. Battery was cranking okay, so I assume that either I got a batch of bad fuel (surely that's unlikely at a major servo), or it's because I ran the tank down almost to empty.

    So I resolved ... never let the needle touch 'E' again before I fill up.

    But ... I just noticed that in this thread PatB says that:

    So ... what to do? :unsure:
  2. don't lie, just tell us you put diesel in
    • Funny Funny x 3
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  3. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    There are basically 2 trains of thought. One is as PatB said, the other is don't run your tank to below 1/4 because if you do there's a chance of the fuel system 'picking up' crap from the bottom or your tank.

    Another one I've heard is never put your bike away after a long run with less than a full tank - helps prevent condensation.

    Personally it all depends on where I am. Round town I run it to reserve, on a long trip I fill up at least every 200km even though I can theoretically get 300+ from a tank depending on the ride. I have been almost caught out in the past when the town I'd thought would have fuel didn't. It made for a very sedate 70km ride to the next town - I put 17.5lt in a 20lt tank.
  4. I tend to agree with Mick on this one.

    I would also suggest that if your bike is carburettor or fuel injected may also affect this. Fuel pumps have been known to die quickly if run without any fuel. Most carburettored bikes have no fuel pump, so this is a non issue. Injected bikes will have some kind of fuel pump somewhere, so if I had an injected bike I would not run the risk of getting it empty.
  5. Matters not.

    I despise taking the bike to a servo, so keep one or two jerries of fuel at home. Fill from a syphon when needed.

    Sometimes I'll refill the bike with 1/2 a tank remaining, sometimes it'll be right down with the needle bent around the stop at the bottom, and the fuel light burnt out from being on so long.
  6. I try and keep ye olde Zephyr as full as possible.
    Tank rust is an issue with them and I try and keep as much in there to reduce the air gap and condensation. I'll usually fill around 120 km.
  7. what i do is reset the trip meter when i fill the tank.
    then once you hit reserve check the trip meter, and this will tell you your average fuel range.

    then at any time you can just look at the trip meter and you will know how much fuel you have.

    oh whoops... you have a gauge . oh well
  8. Gauges arent very accurate on bikes, the tanks are too odd shapes. I would use the tripmeter method still.
  9. I chicken out at 210-230km.
    It should hold plenty more (300ish) but I really can't be bothered pushing it for any distance or length of time.
  10. Also never fill when there is a tanker in the station as there have been a lot of instances where water at the bottom of the station tank was stirred up by filling from the tanker and the pump users copped a high load of water in their fuel.

    Cost a work colleague $750 to fix and the NRMA said that it wasn't an uncommon problem.

    Cheers Spocky
  11. Fuel is guaranteed by all the majors shouldnt have cost anything. Sounds fishy.
  12. EFI bikes are a different animal. As noted above, many of them rely on having the pump immersed in fuel in order to cool it and, in addition, running any pump dry is not kind to it. However, most of the EFI bikes I've seen don't have a reserve tap or, indeed, any kind of tap and rely on a gauge and/or warning lights to let you know when fuel's getting low. I've still run mine down until the warning lamp comes on as a matter of course, with no apparent ill-effects, as observation has indicated that there's still enough fuel to cover the pump at this point.

    If my bike's going to be laid up for awhile I'll fill the tank to minimise condensation as previously suggested but that's a separate issue as far as I'm concerned.

    If you need to regard ~a quarter of your tank capacity as unuseable because of the possibility of getting shit in your carbs, you tank needs cleaning out.
  13. No not at all. The issue is not the fuel delivered but all the storage tanks have some water in the base due to condensation, ground water leakage in etc etc. The problem occurs when it is stirred up during delivery and you fill your tank at the same time. Three cars had filled up and had stopped with engine problems from this one gas station.

    As per usual they denied it until NRMA drained some fuel and it separated to about 30% water in the column.

    They did eventually pay for the repairs but I have avoided filling up when a tanker is in the bay or just leaving.

  14. I'll second that.

  15. What.... Why?

  16. I do this every day... If I filled up at the quarter mark, I would have to fill up twice a friggen day. No thankyou.
  17. I find it more convenient to fill a jerry or two on the weekends, rather than put fuel in the tank on my way to or from work (with the associated helmet off, earplugs out, gloves off, wallet out of top box.....reverse order to get going again). Throw in the horrid slippery surfaces at most of my local servo's, and I prefer not to go there. Simples :)

  18. Fair nuff.
    I don't take my open face helmet off, keep my wallet in my pocket and the fuel stop takes me 30 seconds.

    Each to their own I guess.
  19. Ed-zachery. I refuse to wear an open face helmet (not much interested in a skin graft on the front of my face, nor a bone graft to replace chin/jaw in the even of a face-down off), and having lost one wallet in my younger days of riding from a back pocket, I try not to carry a wallet/phone on my person.

    Plus...even open face helmets are technically a no-no when entering a bank, servo etc.

  20. 1. While the open face my be less protection when you come off, I certainly feel safer with an open face while on the bike. I don't loose any peripheral vision, I can move my head very fast for quick checks and I can hear better. All I couldn't do with a full face.
    I feel like the open face will keep me ON the bike longer, where a full face would keep me safer if I came off

    2. I always take the helmet off when going to the bank or bottle shop, but not servos.

    3. I keep my wallet in my front pocket. No problems yet.