Low Fuel Light - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2007, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Low Fuel Light

I had a nice little experience yesterday. I was heading off to meet my gal and her dad for lunch after work. I stopped to get the bike, and was running a little behind, so I took the interstate as opposed to my normal back-road twisties.

The section of interstate that I was on is under construction, and it is 2 lanes in both directions with concrete barriers lining each side including the median for about 10 miles. I was just past the first exit where the construction began when I felt a slight lag in power. I checked my gauges, no lights, must be my imagination. Coming up on the second exit (I was getting off at the third, the 3 have approx. 1 mile between each) it started to cut out. Unfortunately, the exit is part of construction and therefore closed off with the same barriers. Keep in mind there is NO shoulder, and lanes are so narrow that tractor-trailers will not run 2-wide.

Going over the exit, the engine sputtered big time, and I knew there was a problem, and I wasn't going to make it to my exit, so my only choice was to pull over on the acceleration lane of the 2nd exit (thank goodness that part was open). I went as far to the end of it as I could so that cars coming onto the interstate would have enough room to merge (hopefully).

I got off the bike, checked the tank, and it was dry as a bone. I know the indicator light works, because it always comes on when the fuel pump kicks on prior to starting the bike. So I called the g/f and told her where I was, and to go get a gas can and a couple gallons. I left on my hazzards and hopped over the barricade. I'd hate to see my bike go, but I'd rather live to tell about it.

It took about 15 agonizing minutes for them to get there. In that time, about 5 cars coming onto the highway narrowly made it into traffic, and I felt both bad for causing panic, but also irritated that they weren't paying attention and had to swerve at the last minute. She finally got there with the gas, and it was still tense because I was just waiting for somebody to hit the truck and take out the 3 of us. Finally got it fuelled up and out of there. I was still shaky for a while, too many youtube videos of morons hitting parked cruisers, etc because they aren't paying attention.

So now I have to figure out why that damn light didn't kick on. I was resetting my trip meter every fillup. I'm definitely getting back into that habit, even if I do get the dummy light fixed.

"The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
-Will Rogers
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2007, 03:49 PM
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The float switch is stuck. Sometimes you can clean it up and it will work. Or just replace it.
I always reset the odometer so I can calculate my mileage and can get a laugh at the pump cause I'm getting about 40-50 MPG!

You need to be careful not to run FI dry. It will have a tendency to mess up Your injectors.

I have always relied on the reserve and can kinda tell when the bike is starting to run a little lean. When the OD reaches a certain point, I get gas.

A few ccs short of a full litre.

Last edited by mac020; 09-24-2007 at 04:00 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2007, 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by mac020
...I always reset the odometer...
A big +1 here.

Don't rely on lights or gauges. Go by your odometer. Just make slight adjustments for the type of riding you've done on that tank and you're good as gold.

My gauge is f*cking useless. It doesn't move for the first 150km, zooms down to E in the next 100km, then I can usually get another 50km out of it before having to switch to reserve. F*cking useless!

In God, we trust; all others must provide data.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2007, 08:34 PM
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Agree with others to go by the odometer & NOT the fuel light. Like on two bikes when I read 200Kilometers I start to look for a fuel station for I know, normally the fuel light will come on at around 260 or 270 & on another bike it is good for 360Klicks so even at 300 Klicks I will look for a fuel station.

Far better to fill up rather then run out of fuel as you NOW KNOW.

Though remember if you have been doing some back road stuff to where you are doing a lot of shifting, then compared to hwy use you are using up far more fuel, so pull into a fuel station. Hey it is a lot better to pay $10.00 for a bit of fuel rather then run out of fuel & NO you do not obtain much fuel here in Cdn for the preice as often it is around $1.19 pr litre or sometimes higher.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2007, 09:19 PM
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i did the odometer thing as well....when i had one now that i got no gauges at all im always filling up and mapquesting where i go.....now im directionally retarded so i did that before but now i pay attention to the trip mileage
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-25-2007, 06:48 AM
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I'm pretty sure the low fuel light on startup is just a light check, and not a test of the sensor itself.

You might try plugging and unplugging the lead to the fuel pump/gauge sending unit and see if it's a bad connection. As stated, it could be a gummed up sending unit, although I believe it's inductive, and not a float. Regardless, it's easy enough to remove the whole assembly and clean it.

Also, I mistakenly installed a TRE unit in the wrong connector once - the only other connector under the tank that would fit, and lost my low fuel light. The bike still ran, but I rode like that for a couple weeks until I figured out what happened.

But light or no light, I'm with the others - I always go by my trip odometer. It's the only way I can properly plan for fuel stops. This is important if you ride in places where distances are long, with few gas stations in between.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-25-2007, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Like i said i normally use the trip meter but just got lazy. Won't be happenning again.

"The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
-Will Rogers
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