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Switching to Reserve

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Chief, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. I'm a new rider and I would like to understand what happens and how much warning you get when the bike needs to be switched to reserve. I haven't as yet needed to switch to reserve preferring to fill up well before hand. So what are the warning signs other than I can see the fuel guage getting low. Of most concern is that the bike would stop at an inopportune moment due to lack of fuel. I expect it gives a cough / splutter beforehand. What can I expect?

  2. cough splutter cough switch to reserve :)

    on my old bike i knew i can get 200k's per tank b4 needing to hit reserve, so just when i fill up i reset the trip meter and then when it gets close to 200 i would fill up.

    on my new bike now a little light comes on with a fuel pump, but i dont know how many k's that gives me till she konks out.
  3. I don't have a reserve :(

    But I never let the tank get below two bars on the readout, so it's not so bad.
  4. i dont have a fuel gauge. never had on all 3 of the bikes, tzr had reserve, which didnt work, virago had reserve which worked. and the r6 has no reserve but has a little fuel light that comes on to tell me i need some juice or i aint gunna moove my caboose.
  5. Yeah it gives a coff doesn't usually die straight away keeping an eye on the kms is a good thing reseting it every time you fill so you know about when you need reserve and practice riding along and switching it over so you dont panic if it happens and you know where the switch is in the riding position, just dont forget to switch it off reserve and back to on when you fill up
  6. ^ +1

    I usually hit reserve when riding on the freeway so it pays to be able to confidently locate and flick over your reserve switch when riding!!

    Very obvious on my bike when I hit reserve and I have enough time to flick it over before I start losing power
  7. I actually find my bike feels lighter thru the twisties - but it's not a reliable way of telling when you need to twiddle the switch/lever :)
  8. when it starts to cough/splutter you still have a reasonable amount of time to flick it over. i usually just keep the throttle steady maybe open it just a little bit more, doesnt increase your speed cause its not really getting too much fuel then just reach down and turn the switch. make sure you know were the switch is without having to look, just makes things so much more easier. from the first splutter it takes around 5seconds before i have it switched over but i would say you have a fair bit more time than that.

    i noticed the virago went faster on reserve and just before reserve but couldnt feel a difference in the weight.
  9. The strainer or filter in the virago is diffrent on reserve and the on position I would say the reserve one was cleaner there for getting fuel easier making the bike go better , just a thought
  10. either that or the bike is lighter from less fuel :p
  11. Reserve Tank for a CBR250R

    Hi, I just picked up my cbr250r over the weekend. I asked the guy at the store whether he knew how to engage and disengage the reserve tank. He wasnt too sure, and was hoping someone on this forum could fill me in.

    My fairings doesnt have any stickers/markers to indicate where i should line up the reserve switch. The switch itself has on and off markers. So my question is, where should i turn the switch to turn off the reserve tank (and vice versa)
  12. To turn your tank onto reserve -> turn it clockwise,
    To turn reserve off -> turn it anti-clockwise
  13. Generally it depends on the type of bike. Firstly the reserve switch (if your bike has one) is simply to be able to elect which part of the tank it picks fuel from. The reserve setting allows fuel to be taken from the very bottom of the tank so that all can be used. The normal "on" setting is higher up. So when the fuel level drops to where the normal "on" can no longer get fuel, then the fuel that is left in the line and carbs will be used until it dies. Often teh first sign of running out of fuel is for there to be a loss of power or hesitation at wide open throttle, but the engine recover a little as lesser throttle openings. Many bikes these days will have fuel warning lights, especially those with EFI. As a general rule it would be best to avoid running out of fuel as has already been mentioned, you might run out in an unsafe location. Secondly it will often cause the sediment in the lower parts of tanks, carbs, etc to be sucked into teh engine. Whilst this is not so much the problem, it is more so that sediment can clog up other parts of carbs etc. Most EFI bikes will simply stop as many have a cut out on the pump/fuel regulator. Many bikes have a "pri" setting as well or in place of teh reserve setting. This stands for prime. Many fuel cocks have a safety system of only allowing fuel to go through it on the "on" position when their is vacuum present. That way if there is a fuel leak, it wont leak when the bike is sitting in the shed. Viragos from memory may have a vacuum operated fuel cock. If there is a problem with teh fuel cock or the vacuum lines then that could possibly explain a difference in running perhaps.

    Anyway as has already been said using the trip meter is a good start, secondly, running out of fuel is not the best for the bike or your safety. Sometimes in order for the fuel to get through to get the motor running again takes a fair bit out of the battery (especially if it needs vacuum to get the juice flowing - so use "pri" or "res" and the bike will start easier btw). Many a time I see a flat bettery when the fuel is out.

    Best trick is if you know you are getting low on fuel, then switch over to reserve BEFORE you actually run out. Be concsious of the fact you need fuel and go and get it. That way no unsafe situations, and no probs to the bike.


    PS fuel c%*k is an actual word, but the forum sees it as a bad word. it should read fuel c o c k.
  14. Another question then, if switching to reserve merely picks up fuel from lower in the tank, are the two areas physically separate? Does the main tank feed the reserve? Does that mean you could ride on reserve the whole time?
  15. Yes you can ride on reserve the whole time, but then when it stops it stops.
    A lot of the newer bikes don't have reserve (like my VFR)
  16. There are no separate compartments for ON and reserve. There are 2 fuel lines/tubes in the tank for seeping petrol. The fuel line for ON is positioned higher than the one for reserve.

    Think of switching to reserve (from ON) as a warning that the petrol is low and to get petrol at the first opportunity. If you don't put it on ON but always on reserve, then you won't have that warning.
  17. My bike was coughing and spluttering the first time I had to switch over, but that said, it was also cold so I wasn't too concerned until I got no more power when I was trying to rev the bejeesus out of it. I have to say, at the time, running out of fuel was the last thing I thought of so I happily pulled over and gave it a go on reserve and off I went.

    Reserve is the same tank, its just that you're taking the dregs essentially - really emptying it out. That's why people will be telling you to make sure you put it back on "on" when you refill otherwise you'll be taking everything including the dregs without realising it :)
  18. Thanks everyone, that's clarified it nicely.