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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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!
 

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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!
Haha, funny you mentioned the Sportster ... my wife was looking at 'em, and didn't like the peanut tank (she knows I like to go 150-200 miles in a day when we do day trips). When she finally bought a bike [Sportster], it came with the 4.3 gallon tank, so she just fills up when I do for convenience. I think she's getting well over 50mpgs.

-John
 

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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!
According to Kawi, the 900 and 1700 both have 5.3 gallon tanks. I know on my 900, when the light came on which was normally 160-170 miles, I would put 4.2 gallon in. I pushed the tank one time to 200 miles and put 4.6 gallon in it. A lot of it depends on whether you can use the full amount in the tank or not. Also where the float is in the tank makes a difference too.
 

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According to Kawi, the 900 and 1700 both have 5.3 gallon tanks. I know on my 900, when the light came on which was normally 160-170 miles, I would put 4.2 gallon in. I pushed the tank one time to 200 miles and put 4.6 gallon in it. A lot of it depends on whether you can use the full amount in the tank or not. Also where the float is in the tank makes a difference too.
I stand corrected, for some reason I was thinking the 900 had a larger tank. From what it looks like in the service manual, I would assume the entire tank can be used, with a bottom-mounted fuel pump.

Certainly it's better fuel economy is a contributing factor in the range though. In my experience the 900 got 20-25% better fuel economy.

I generally put around 4 gallons into my 1700 when the light comes on, which makes sense; the light meaning I've got about a gallon left. That means I have 30-40 miles left before it stalls; but there's just no good reason to push it that far; but it's nice to know it's there if you find yourself a long ways between gas stations.
 

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I generally put around 4 gallons into my 1700 when the light comes on, which makes sense; the light meaning I've got about a gallon left. That means I have 30-40 miles left before it stalls; but there's just no good reason to push it that far; but it's nice to know it's there if you find yourself a long ways between gas stations.
I normally fill up both my car and truck at roughly a quarter tank. If the bike tank is 5.3 gallons and I put 4.2 gallons in, that is just a hair under a quarter tank (math comes out to 1.325 gallons at a quarter tank). So basically the light means a quarter tank. That should be easy enough to remember. Now whether the gauge is right or not is another thing. My 900's gauge was just touching E when the light came on even without the mod.
 

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Calculations are great but you can never put 5.3 gallons in the tank. There is always the top part of the tank you can not fill, since the gas cap is lower than the highest point of the tank. If you over fill it, it will leak out all over you and the bike. Respectfully I think, (not positive) but the tank will actually hold 4.7 + or - A few tenths of a gallon of fuel safely. This is the actual usable size of the tank.
 

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Calculations are great but you can never put 5.3 gallons in the tank. There is always the top part of the tank you can not fill, since the gas cap is lower than the highest point of the tank. If you over fill it, it will leak out all over you and the bike. Respectfully I think, (not positive) but the tank will actually hold 4.7 + or - A few tenths of a gallon of fuel safely. This is the actual usable size of the tank.
I read somewhere that motorcycle gas tanks are designed to hold more than the stated value. My guess is that they spec the volume held as when on the kickstand and filling to the designated level. Don't know how true it is, but based on my experience with my Honda Sabre, I think that may be true. Spec volume was 4.3 gallons and I put a tad more than 4.3 gallons in it once. Those musta been some rich fumes I was running on! :surprise:
 

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I filled up the Vaquero this morning. Gas gauge was at or around the 2nd bar up from E, and it took 3.096 gallons to fill to the neck, where the gas pump automatically shuts off. (right above the baffle in the filler neck).

Assuming the tank will hold 5.3 gallons, while on the kickstand, that's roughly 1/3rd of a tank, which would mean the gas gauge is accurate (6 bars total).

-John
 

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Calculations are great but you can never put 5.3 gallons in the tank. There is always the top part of the tank you can not fill, since the gas cap is lower than the highest point of the tank. If you over fill it, it will leak out all over you and the bike. Respectfully I think, (not positive) but the tank will actually hold 4.7 + or - A few tenths of a gallon of fuel safely. This is the actual usable size of the tank.
On April 3rd of last year I put 4.917 gallons of gas in my Voyager. Without looking at a calendar, I'm guessing this was on a payday and I had rode to and from work the night before with the fuel light on most of the way. I rarely ever ride more than about 10 miles after light come on before refueling. I was not worried about running out but would not want to make the trip to work without filling up again, I live 12.7 miles from work, 25.4 mile round trip.
 

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When my gas warning comes on I can still go at least another 60+ miles. Have gone as far as 80. Never ran out. But my warning comes on at 1/4 tank.
 
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