Gas Level Issue - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Gas Level Issue

I did a search through the forums, and I am sure there a ton of posts about this already but I have an issue with Fuel Gauge vs. "Miles until Empty" reading on my Voyager. I live in an area which can be rather hilly, and I have seen my range go from 40 miles, to "---" in an instant, yellow warning light blinking and all. The fuel gauge seems to be rather steady though. I am just wondering how many don't even bother with the center screen and just run off the fuel gauge- which in turn begs the question...how accurate is your fuel gauge? lol

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 04:54 PM
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I have the same experience with my Vaquero. As for how accurate the gas gauge is...not very. I have filled up when the needle is on E or slightly below. It's a 20 liter tank and I have yet to put more than 16 liters in it. So in reality my empty is really about 1/4 tank.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 06:41 PM
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The fuel gauge and the Miles until Empty have their idiosyncrasies. Ride and watch until you get a good idea of how your bike's read-outs behave and keep an eye on the trip odometer. The information gleaned from the combination should stand you in good stead once you learn how to interpret the interplay. It may take quite a while since you also need to factor in the effects of the road and weather conditions. Ride safe.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 08:18 PM
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I just use the same method I did before they had gas gauges on bikes, I reset my odometer / tripmeter every time I fill up and go by that knowing when it hits 140 miles its time to start looking( or pushing if I have been a little to heavy on the on the fun grip.)
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-06-2017, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
The fuel gauge and the Miles until Empty have their idiosyncrasies. Ride and watch until you get a good idea of how your bike's read-outs behave and keep an eye on the trip odometer. The information gleaned from the combination should stand you in good stead once you learn how to interpret the interplay. It may take quite a while since you also need to factor in the effects of the road and weather conditions. Ride safe.
What he said. Most of these bikes have about 1.1 to 1.4 gallons left when the display goes to "---" on level ground It is a float, so as the incline changes, the float will move up and down a little. It is also going to be a little different from bike to bike. Being a float is why one instant it will show "---" and the next it will show a number of miles to empty, sometimes quite a few. The gas below the empty level should be considered as a "reserve".

You can estimate the real miles to empty at this point as 1 gallon (or less if your reserve is 1 gallon or less) times your expected mpg for the terrain you are on. That usually still leaves a small volume for error if you have to push it that far, but you should never let it get that low. It could damage the gas pump. You know the tank capacity, 5.3 gallons, so you can determine your "reserve" by filling up as soon and it shows empty and subtracting that amount from the tank volume.

My "reserve" is 1.3 to 1.4 gallons, probably because I fill it up an inch or so into the neck instead of stopping right at the bottom of it. I also rock the bike sideways a little bit to eliminate air pockets in the tank since it is at an angle on the kickstand. I'm not sure how much difference rocking makes on the Voyager with a longer 1500 kickstand, but it made a big difference on my Sabre. It had such a small tank, I needed every oz. of gas it would hold, especially on group or long distance rides.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 01:10 AM
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I've run my bike for over 50km (30 miles) on several occasions after the "---" showed up, so I know I have at least that distance in reserve under most circumstances. So now when the "---" first shows, I just reset one of the odometers to zero, and start looking for a gas station. Moving through the odometer screens also stops the "FUEL" warning from being quite so irritating, replacing that flashing word with whichever odometer you select. "---" will still show in the screen below.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 10:03 AM
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When my Voyager gets low on gas mine will flash until I get up to speed when starting out from a stop. When this happens, it will usually do it once or twice more before it stays on steady. Heavier throttle will make it come back on also. Once its on steady I usually put in between 4.2 and 4.5 gallons for a 5.3 tank. I usually get between 140-160 on a tank depending on how and where I'm riding, before it starts to flash.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 10:42 AM
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On my Vaquero it's totally useless. Right after filling up, it often reads 250+ miles, which it just won't do. The miles to empty appear to be using an instantaneous fuel economy reading and not averaging it out.

Just don't worry about it; set a target on your gas gauge and be done with it. For me, if I'm in an unfamiliar area, I try not to go below 1/4 tank. So I start looking for fuel when I get there. When I'm home (and know how far I am from a gas station), I just get gas when the light comes on.

There's also no prize for getting the gas as low as possible without running out. I think people spend a bit too much time fussing about using every drop before they get gas. Just get gas often and avoid the stress of wondering if you're going to run out!
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
On my Vaquero it's totally useless. Right after filling up, it often reads 250+ miles, which it just won't do. The miles to empty appear to be using an instantaneous fuel economy reading and not averaging it out.

Just don't worry about it; set a target on your gas gauge and be done with it. For me, if I'm in an unfamiliar area, I try not to go below 1/4 tank. So I start looking for fuel when I get there. When I'm home (and know how far I am from a gas station), I just get gas when the light comes on.

There's also no prize for getting the gas as low as possible without running out. I think people spend a bit too much time fussing about using every drop before they get gas. Just get gas often and avoid the stress of wondering if you're going to run out!
I do the same thing - 1/4 tank!

On my daily commute (30 miles each way), I know that 2 lines before the E, I gotta fill up, because I won't have enough gas to *comfortably* get home. It usually means filling up every other day.

I wish the Vaquero had the range my buddy's Harley does (Road Glide Ultra). He goes 200-250 on a tank (6 gallons).

-John

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DraKhen99 View Post
I do the same thing - 1/4 tank!

On my daily commute (30 miles each way), I know that 2 lines before the E, I gotta fill up, because I won't have enough gas to *comfortably* get home. It usually means filling up every other day.

I wish the Vaquero had the range my buddy's Harley does (Road Glide Ultra). He goes 200-250 on a tank (6 gallons).

-John
Yeah, it's a product of the type of frame. The Vulcan 900 actually has a bigger fuel tank and gets slightly better fuel economy, I owned one and the range was great! I do miss that. Could be a LOT worse. I've ridden a couple of times with folks on sportsters or custom choppers with peanut tanks who have to stop ever 75 miles or so. Crazy!

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

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