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Running out of petrol - reserve switch

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by renew490, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. hi guys

    Bought my bike 3 weeks ago, and still been riding on the same tank of petrol I bought it with. Been doing short rides on small streets.

    In the manual it says when you run out of petrol you need to be able to switch fuel tap to reserve while still riding, switch to PRI first, then after a few seconds to RES? Is that what everyone does?

  2. Nup. Always just straight to reserve. After a while you will get used to the way the bike feels and you will notice it running flat well before it starts to splutter.
  3. Use your odometer as a fuel gauge. Reset to to zero when you fill up. As it approaches whatever your particular bike's range is you know it's time to fill up.

    But you should practice switching to reserve on the go anyway.
  4. thanks for the tips. Is there a reason why my bike manual says switch to PRI for a few seconds first then RES? Seems easier that way anyway.
  5. No good reason. I've always switched straight to RES.

    There might be a technical reason if the PRI position draws fuel from both the high level and low level intake. This could cause the carburettor bowls to refill more quickly if they are running down and the engine is starting to stumble, as opposed to only presenting fuel according to the vacuum pulses that are often used to actuate the tap in the normal or RES position, but I don't know that is the case.

    It's not going to hurt your bike to change it straight over, at any rate. If it makes you feel good, pause for a second on the prime position.
  6. thanks, sounds good, won't worry about PRI too much then
  7. Downside to switching to prime first is your hand is away from the bars longer, may be an issue depending where you are at the time (traffic/speed, etc) As you feel the bike running out of fuel, back off the throttle, reach down (you shouldn't have to look) and turn to reserve. Allow 2 or 3 seconds for the fuel to fill up again then slowly throttle on, continuing on your way.

    There will be the occasional time you'll be approaching an intersection or roundabout and go to accelerate and the bike will stumble (bad time to need to go to reserve) but it happens. Also, there may come a time when you'll be stationary at the lights and go to accelerate away and the bike will die, again, bad time for needing reserve.

    Like Jazzfan said, get to know roughly how far you get before needing reserve and fill up before that, or soon after you hit reserve.
  8. Prime is very useful if your bike has sat for a while. It allows the fuel to fill your carburettor bowls prior to starting. If the bike has sat for a while, they might not be full of fuel. With the tap in the normal position, fuel is only delivered to the carbies when the engine turns over, producing a vacuum pulse opening the valve momentarily.

    I appreciate this in starting my SRX 6 - 600cc kick start only single. It takes a bloody good kick to start it. There are only so many of these. Prime, choke, kick fire (I've got fuel). If I need another one, then it goes to half choke and normal ON position, as I know the carbies have got fuel, and I'm not wasting my time and effort with herculean kicks for no result because there is no fuel there.

    DO NOT leave your fuel in the prime position if the bike is not running. This can allow your fuel to drain through your carbies, flooding them big time, contaminate your oil (worse case) or at least waste it if your float valves are less than perfect.
  9. Uh yes, just last week my bike stalled on me at the traffic lights because she'd run out of fuel. Managed to get her started just in time before the masses of peak hour traffic behind me got impatient!

    If I know I'm going to run out of fuel soon, I usually switch to reserve if I'm in dense traffic/filtering.

    My bike fuel cock has no prime setting, it has only on/off/reserve, so I don't think it'll be bad if you switch straight over to reserve. As others said, it's less time that your hand is off the handle bars and therefore safer for yourself.
  10. The only reason for switching to Prime first, I think of, would be in case you left it too late, Gives the bowls an unhindered fuel surge.

    And, yes I agree with Jazzfan. Odometer should be used in conjunction with Reserve.
  11. The only situation I fear is running out while leaned over.

    Traffic may get pissy if you slow down for a minute, but it's not your fault if they're impatient and not observant enough to figure out that you're dealing with some sort of problem.

    Stalling at the lights has a risk of someone rear ending you*, but it's their fault if they do. And, once again, if they get annoyed it just speaks badly of them.

    *Tip: Immediately pulling the clutch in immediately reduces the potential damage, as it makes the bike more inclined to simply roll forward if bumped. No promises of it saving anything, but can help and is something you'll shortly be doing regardless :p.
  12. Don't forget to put the fuel tap back to ON. Nothing worse than running out of fuel than to reach down to switch to reserve only find out your already on reserve....
    • Agree Agree x 3
  13. I mostly leave it on reserve and only turn it to the on position during long rides. The reason being moisture and dirt build up on the bottom of the tank. At one stage I had accumulated enough water which ended up rusting out the bottom of the tank. Others I know have had the carbies block up from dirt due to never running on reserve.

    It pays to run in reserve every now and then.
  14. Haha! I ran out of fuel two days ago, there's no reserve tap I don't think, just a digital fuel gauge that sometimes works, I now know it can do 398km in 16.4 capacity (manual says 17L :mad: )

    It was Embarassing!
    It's like the walk of shame to the fuel station my goodness, what an experience...
  15. #15 b12mick, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
    Conversely you could put a cap of metho in with every 3rd tank of fuel and maintain your bike properly.....

    edit. And to avoid having water/moisture in your tank never put your bike away for an extended period without a full tank. Other people I know always fill up their tank after a long ride before they put the bike away for the night..
    • Like Like x 1
  16. thanks for the tips guys!