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Old 03-29-2011, 08:43 AM   #1
snobear22
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Default Tank Vent Question

Going through older posts here and I think the light bulb went on in my head so to speak. Put about 104 mile miles on a tank of gas ,bike died on the xpress way , saw a tractor trailer a ways behind me, found the shoulder real fast !! Any ways, wrote it off to poor mileage, switched to reserve, got to the gas station filled her back up. When I opened the gas cap, noticed a swooshing sound but I didn't pay any attention to it, topped off, went on to work. Question : how many miles are you guys getting on a tank of gas , my bike is a 2003 classic vulcan 800, if I remeber right, and only guessing here , I put maybe just over 3 gallons in it, just remember it seemed not enough for a empty tank so to speak. after reading posts , my guess is a clogged vent tube - cap. Input would be great, love the older posts, this forum has saved me all kinds of headaches !!! Thanks !
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:52 AM   #2
yamatospecial
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I normally get about 130 miles when I have to switch to reserve. I went 156 miles before I finally gas up. Check your gravity tubes from the tank for kinks or twists.
Ride safe, K...
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:12 AM   #3
2Whl4Stroke
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In cold weather with the choke on a bit I get about 130 before I hit reserve, nice weather I get about 150 before I hit reserve. It is usually about 3gls on a fill up after I hit reserve.
This is average riding, no burn outs and revving the piss out of it.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:38 AM   #4
griffjo
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snobear22

I too have a 2003 800 Classic (currently with 14,611 miles).

Normally, I get around 145 miles before I sputter and must switch to reserve (approx. 50+ MPG). However, I'm a fairly conservative rider & installed highway sprockets (18/40 vs 17/42 stock) that help drop the RPM's a little, so my MPG is probably a little better than most.

I did some testing and found:
Primary tank holds just under 3 gallons
Reserve holds just about 1 gallon (perhaps a tiny bit more).

At 4+ gallons it's bone dry & you'll have to push it (unless you carry some gas with you, like I did on my tests). This allows me to go 180 miles before I start to sweat.

Naturally, individual riding style/circumstances (speed, two-up vs solo, modified exhaust & jets, etc.) will effect mileage, but less than 35 MPG sounds pretty bad. Are the pipes and jets stock, or have you had the exhaust modified and gotten it re-jetted? This too can really effect MPG. I would also think if you had severely clogged vents, lines or tubes, you would notice a dramatic reduction in performance and response.

Were I you, I would go to get it filled up, note the mileage, ride, but not too many miles from that same station, re-fill exactly as before (same fill level, same pump, etc.), note the mileage again. Then, re-calculate your MPG (EXACT # miles between fill-ups divided by EXACT # of Gallons). Write all this stuff down (don't try to rely on your memory) & use a calculator. A few miles and a few 1/10th's of a gallon can significantly effect the calculation.

Do this a couple of times & you'll get a true picture of your actual fuel consumption patterns.

I keep very close tabs on my MPG's (cars & bike). Not because of the gas useage itself, but to provide an early warning alert to ANY possible performance problems.
(Pay close attention to tire pressure & wheel alignment, keeping your carbs clean & keeping your chain clean & well lubricated - all these help a lot)

As I said before, approx. 35 MPG sounds pretty bad to me. Poor MPG is not a problem - it's a symptom of a problem.

PS-Hats of to the Nitty Lions, from an old WVU Mountaineer - it was once a great rivalry.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:03 PM   #5
tnavressdog
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I have a 2005 800A with 18/39 sprockets. I usually go about 170 miles before I start looking for a gas station. I've actually run the bike dry before to know the true capabilities. I hit reserve at 178 miles (3.1 gallons to fill) and 209 miles when tank was dry. That means the 800 only has 3.6 gallons of usable fuel and not the 4.0 gallons as stated in the specifications. Mine is a California model so I don't know if that makes a difference.

I also keep close tabs on my fuel mileage and the bike has averaged 58 mpg over the last 10 tanks.

Last edited by tnavressdog; 03-29-2011 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:27 PM   #6
Dan S
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I get about 50 mpg running non-ox. I prefer to gas up at around 100 miles if I can. I don't know where the reserve is set on the new Pingel petcock. Guess I'll have to push it sometime and find out.
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:13 PM   #7
griffjo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnavressdog View Post
I have an '05 2005 800A with 18/39 sprockets. I usually go about 170 miles before I start looking for a gas station. I've actually run the bike dry before to know the true capabilities. I hit reserve at 178 miles (3.1 gallons to fill) and 209 miles when tank was dry. That means the 800 only has 3.6 gallons of usable fuel and not the 4.0 gallons as stated in the specifications. Mine is a California model so I don't know if that makes a difference.

I also keep close tabs on my fuel mileage and the bike has averaged 58 mpg over the last 10 tanks.
tnavressdog,

I don't know if the difference is mine is an 800 Classic & yours is a California model 800A (perhaps it's not the same tank), but the 800 Classic tank holds almost EXACTLY 4 Gallons.

As a carefully controlled test, I deliberately ran it bone dry (sputter, then stopped) as I rode around town, poured in 0.501 Gallons of gas (carefully measured, at my usual pump, into the container that I brought with me), rode 2.85 miles to the gas station, and put in 3.564 gallons. That's 4.065 Gallons. Subtract the approx. 0.060 gallons (conservatively calculated at slightly less than 50 MPG) used to ride the 2.85 miles to the same gas station and the net total came to 4.005 Gallons.

Usual station, usual pump, usual incline, usual "Full" level - everything usual. I've performed this test twice and got almost identical results. The only way I can think of to measure it any more accurately would be to run it dry within pushing distance of the target gas station.

Similar testing methodology shows the '03 800 Classic consumes approx. 2.9 Gallons before she starts to sputter and a switch from "Primary" to "Reserve" is required. This leaves approx. 1.1 Gallons in "Reserve".

How you ride and how your 800 Classic is modified will vary one's particular MPG's and therefore your individual miles to "Reserve" & "Empty", but you can take these capacity numbers to the bank.

But, for me, at 145 miles, get ready to reach for the reserve toggle. At 195 miles, get to a gas station, or get ready to coast, or push.
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2003 Vulcan® 800 Classic - Pearl Mystic Black
National Cycle Custom Heavy-Duty Windshield
Mustang Two-Piece Wide Vintage Touring Saddle
Volar SissyBar/Backrest - K&N Air Filter
Viking Quarter Circle SaddleBags & SissyBar Bag
Scootworks Sprockets (18/40 - 2.222:1 ratio)
Baron 3" Bullet Tachometer - Engine Guard (black gloss finish)
Michelin COMMANDER II front 130/90-16 73H, rear 140/90-16 77H
EK X-Ring Chain, Deer Warning Whistles & BackOFF® Brake Module
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:48 PM   #8
Bob Myers
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I had a problem with mine vacuum locking at about ½ tank. It wouldn't do it at 3/4 or at ¼(after burping it). Almost within 5 miles on a tank each time. I rerouted the vent line in the front right side, ran it along the frame to the right of the radiator and down below the brake pedal. Totally cured my vacuum problems. There were no visible kinks or flat spots on the hose, just way too dang long in my opinion.
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