Using your Trip odometer as a Fuel Gauge

1. ## Using your Trip odometer as a Fuel Gauge

I know that this is pretty basic but it wasn't totally common sense until I applied the principles and thought I should share it with the noobs.

My first complaint (coming from the cager world) is that my bike doesn't have a fuel guage, then my second complaint is that after the fuel indicator comes on, how soon do I have before I am stranded.

So for several months I've been basically topping off my tank based on rough estimates, # of hours I've been riding and general guessing by listening to the swish of gas (if any) in the tank.

Sooo.... the following light came on one day.... use the trip indicator to see how far you go; forget about memorizing your odometer reading as I tried this several times forgetting immediately the reading at the next stop light.

so here is the common sense method...
1. fill up your tank till its brimming
2. reset your trip odometer to 0
3. ride until you the "need gas" indicator comes on or whenever you think you need gas.
5. start again at step 1.

look at the trip reading in step 4 (this is how far you can go until the light comes on). The receipt in step 1 will indicate the amount of gas consumed for the distance traveled in step 4. You won't know the distance travel the first time you fill up your tank.

so divide the two... Km traveled / # of litres = km/litre

With my high rpm riding style I'm getting about 11km/per litre and about 160km before my indicator light comes on. My tank has a capacity of 18 L and a reserve of 3.2 L so theorectically I can travel another 33.3 km before I am stranded.

Leaving my bike on the trip odometer allows me to know how much fuel I have left since the light will come on at around 160+ ...

I know this is all basic.... but I figure that since I had to figure it out, someone else out there might be in the same boat...

2.

3. You best take into account road and wind conditions.

Bucking a headwind in Death Valley my mileage can drop to about half of what it usually gets. That'll cut your reserve down too.

When I'm on trips I carry at a minimum a 1 liter aluminium camping gas container. It's saved my butt more than once.

4. I fill up every 200 kms. I can get about 220 before I hit reserve, then I have another three litres, which takes me to about 260 kms of "spirited" riding.
I didn't use any math, I just pushed my limit 10 kilometres at a time until the bike stalled.

5. yep, generally about 200km is a safe bet. if you wanna push it farther thats your perogative. changes with liter bikes i'll assume but a 600 is 200 and your gold

6. should have bought a honda (600rr)!!!! mine has a gas guage so no guessing and no resetting the odometer.

7. I fill up every 17 kilometres. Not many people like riding with me for that fact.

8. Sounds like one of the bikes made on biker buildoff or some show like that - guy put a 4 litre tank on his chopper, then had to ride it 1/2 way across the states

9. Originally Posted by Tigon
should have bought a honda (600rr)!!!! mine has a gas guage so no guessing and no resetting the odometer.
Yeah but....it's a honda

10. I also use the 200 km mark as well, better safe than sorry. My fuel light usually comes on anywhere between 180 and 220, depending on how spirited my riding is.

11. Originally Posted by Jonny rebar
Yeah but....it's a honda
Meaning better quality

12. hmmm i thought everyone used the tripometer.

My tanktakes \$12 worth of fuel. \$2 worth is reserve, and the other 10 is the remainder of the tank.

If I ever get close to reserve, I refill with another \$10.

13. 200 KM.... errr depends
my 99 R6 was 200km before the light goes on
my 03 600 RR was NO WHERE near 200 KM, it was like 140 - 160 km
my 05 750 gsxr was more like 180 km ish...

so yeah, i use my tripdometer all the time instead of the gauges.

14. I have a F4i and the reserve is great. As soon as it flicks on I know I need to fill up. However one beef I have with it is the time it turns on. I feel it turns on much to early. When I was riding in the interior. I thought I had plently of gas. Well I did but my reserve thought otherwise. It turned on and I travelled over 40kms on it. Then when I filled up I still had another 1 litre to go. I learned my reserve turns on when I am down to 1/4th of a tank. 1/4th of a tank is a too much for a reserve in my opinion.

Using the Trip meter is an excellent way to keep track of this and it is a good indicator if something is wrong. If all of a sudden you are getting awful gas mileage, time to bring it in.

15. uhh, if the reserve was like 1 liter how would that make you feel? there would be zero point in that unless you never leave town. 40km is fine, just know how much longer you have. there is no point pushing the limit if you dont have too. why run out of gas for sheer laziness and the fact that the reserve light would basically be "ah shit i need gas now" ? thats silly

16. Very true, a quarter of a tank is just about right to make it useful.

Everyone should at least once, pack a 4 liter gas can and let your bike run out to get a good idea of how far you can go on "reserve", you may be surprised.

If you don't want to do that, record how far you went since the reserve came on, give it at least 20 or 30, fill it to the brim, compare how much you put in to your tank capacity and do the math to extrapolate your true reserve capacity. I feel far to many people fill up way before they really need to cause they really don't know how far they can go.

Personally, I don't like riding with people that feel they need to stop and fill every 150 k, ya just get going and they want to stop...

RC 51's excepted, Honda had a real brain fart there.

Originally Posted by anoxion
uhh, if the reserve was like 1 liter how would that make you feel? there would be zero point in that unless you never leave town. 40km is fine, just know how much longer you have. there is no point pushing the limit if you dont have too. why run out of gas for sheer laziness and the fact that the reserve light would basically be "ah shit i need gas now" ? thats silly

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