Why are you scared to hit reserve?.
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Thread: Why are you scared to hit reserve?.

  1. #1
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    Default Why are you scared to hit reserve?.

    Serious question. It seems so many are absolutely terrified to let their bike hit reserve. What is the reason? I don't understand the point of completely avoiding the low fuel warning system that was designed for the bike, and has been in use on most every carbuerated bike ever built.
    Back on the road. 2003 lightly moddified 118ci C model.


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    Senior Member Motorcycle Mike's Avatar
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    I hit mine all the time.
    Black 2004 1300 Ctro, 2009 Royal Star Venture
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    Member Angler2312's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorcycle Mike View Post
    I hit mine all the time.
    +1


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    Senior Member dan3's Avatar
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    One day I was merging onto the slab, going uphill, in a left curving section of road, from the right. It was a time when there was a line cars I had to merge into, and there were cars on my six. At that moment I ran out of gas. Already having to concentrate on merging safely in a curve and also paying attention to the car on my six I had enough to do without taking my left hand off the bars and hitting the reserve switch. It was a very tense moment. Afterwords I told my self that was never going to happen to me again.

    That's my reason and to me it's a good one.
    Dan


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    Senior Member HondaPartsGuy's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say that I am "scared" of hitting reserve , it happens all the time. But it can create a pucker factor when it happens at just the right time.

    80 mph on the freeway with a large truck behind you , I don't care how fast you flip the lever , that truck in your mirror just keeps getting bigger & bigger.

    Making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic , and just as you let the clutch out , she spits & sputters.


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    Senior Member shadowfist's Avatar
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    ^ what he said, similar situation, but I still hit it fairly regularly I just watch the trip odometer and when i'm getting close I am a bit more leery of doing low speed maneuvers where sudden loss of power could result in dumping.
    Current rides:
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    I don't usually ride till I hit reserve, but it doesn't bother me to do it.

    When I hit about 100 - 120 miles, I start watching for gas stations (and price). If there are not any around, I'll hit reserve with no problem.

    On the 1800, I fill up at 120 or less, and get a little concerned if I can't. I just don't trust waiting for the light to come on.
    2003 HD Road King (for sale one of these days)
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    Senior Member enduro's Avatar
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    Been riding about 50 years and to me it is just normal to run it into reserve virtually all of the time. Doing more long distance riding now an exception is when I'm on the western freeways. There isn't always a station out in front of you within the reserve distance so possibly I will fill before hitting it, all depends on what is out in front of me.

    But the above concerns are real and the very simple answer is to use reserve, not avoid it. If I'm in one of those potential situations then I just switch to reserve early, why not?, there is no negative consequence. You still get the full amount of fuel. When you switch to reserve early it is essentially the same thing as a low fuel warning light. You're not going to have any instantaneous lack of fuel emergency, you just need to get gas in the next 25 miles or so. MPG can vary greatly from all kinds of circumstances and there have been times where I may be concerned about fuel in traffic, maybe a construction zone or accident backup, I might just temporarily switch to reserve to be certain there won't be a problem and then when I clear the traffic I'll switch back to the main.

    I use reserve liberally, just switch to it early and you don't have to worry about it sputtering. If your using the odo to fill at 130 then instead of filling switch to reserve at 130 and get gas when you can, no worries.
    Last edited by enduro; 04-11-2012 at 12:48 PM.
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    Super Moderator mneccspv's Avatar
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    I agree. But I usually can go to 160+/- before hitting reserve.

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    Senior Member shadowfist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mneccspv View Post
    I agree. But I usually can go to 160+/- before hitting reserve.
    daaang! I usually hit reserve around 120, do you guys fill your tanks fuller or something? I stop when the bubbles start collecting in the neck.
    Current rides:
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    there is a reserve on these bikes! I never knew that. I'm going 150-160 miles without hitting it.

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    Senior Member Donut's Avatar
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    I pulled over in front of a semi after just passing him at night it sputtered and died on the interstate and he was comming up on me quick so I headed for the edge of the road. Another time in the middle if a busy intersection.

    Donut/Doug
    Donut Doug

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    Senior Member Stanky Dawg's Avatar
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    I hit reserve all the time but I admit that I start to get nervous when that light comes on.

    A lot of depends on where I'm riding. There's not a lot of gas stations out here if you're in the Mojave desert or on the Indian reservation in the Anza Borrego area. Why take a chance on running out of fuel ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donut View Post
    I pulled over in front of a semi after just passing him at night it sputtered and died on the interstate and he was comming up on me quick so I headed for the edge of the road. Another time in the middle if a busy intersection.

    Donut/Doug

    Did that once right infront of a huge delivery truck and thank God the delivery guy had quick reaction time. He was yelling out every words under the sun at me like I intentionally did it to piss him off .

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    Senior Member texasmike's Avatar
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    i'm just sorta in the habit of filling up when i hit 100 miles don't know why i just do.
    texasmike
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    Senior Member G8MCCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mneccspv View Post
    I agree. But I usually can go to 160+/- before hitting reserve.
    I have been 182 on the ody before getting the bog down. I would like a gauge on my 1300 but thats just a personal WANT and not a need.
    Mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by HondaPartsGuy View Post
    I wouldn't say that I am "scared" of hitting reserve , it happens all the time. But it can create a pucker factor when it happens at just the right time.

    80 mph on the freeway with a large truck behind you , I don't care how fast you flip the lever , that truck in your mirror just keeps getting bigger & bigger.

    Making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic , and just as you let the clutch out , she spits & sputters.
    it did happen to me with my 750, had a truck behind doing 75 in highway, the truck guy work with me, so i was passing a few cars, and oops the bike start sputtering, holly crap, glad the guy did c what happen and slows down , parked in left side of the highway cause i forget the things on reserve already and didn't turn it back in normal when i did fill it up . so now with x i always watch the speedo , i hit reserve like 2-3 times , but mostly i fill it up as soon as i get 130miles..

  19. #18
    Senior Member steph's Avatar
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    Never did myself, mainly cause I like to know that low fuel will not interfere with my bubble and I can fuel in a gas station of my choice, rather than having to turn the switch in a bad moment as described above and wonder if I'll come upon a fuel station before I ''really'' run out of gas.....

    But then again, even with cars, I rarely let it go lower than 1/4 tank.

  20. #19
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    I run on reserve allthe time, have gotten 37 miles on it.When I filled up put in 4.937 gal.

  21. #20
    Senior Member motorcyclereb's Avatar
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    For those that don't use the reserve. On one of my trips when I had the Goldwing evidently I picked up some water when I filled up. That night it froze and split the seam of my gas tank. Talk about fun driving the 1200 miles with a leaking gas tank to get it home. Just one of the problems with not using reserve. Sediment that never gets pushed out and stays in the bottom of the tank, not good, it can ruin a good tank. I use reserve regularly at least once a week just for those problems.

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    Senior Member shadowfist's Avatar
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    i've heard about that happening too, gumming up your carbs when you switch over for the first time in 10 years.
    Current rides:
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    1994 Ninja 600 (streetfighter project)
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    Senior Member Donut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSw View Post
    I run on reserve allthe time, have gotten 37 miles on it.When I filled up put in 4.937 gal.
    Right! Wait untill you have to push that heavy thing.
    Donut Doug

  24. #23
    Senior Member Shawn60's Avatar
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    First time I hit reserve on this bike I didn't think it was because of low fuel...it was an instantaneous no-go sensation that I was sure was an electrical issue. Each time I have to turn to reserve is exactly the same scenario & I'm thinking now that how it is always going to be on a single-carb bike. Multiple carbs, I'm guessing, will let you know because they don't have exactly the same float levels, close but not exact, & when one starts running out of fuel you can feel the bike pulling a bit. The other thing I don't like is that even when you turn to reserve there is a fairly long lag time before fuel fills the bowl up. I dropped nearly 15mph on the highway before it kicked back in. If the bike had the gage you can at least see when you are getting ready to flip the lever.
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    Senior Member arebee's Avatar
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    I agree with a lot of those posting, I've had some "interesting" situations when I hit reserve. Even had it stall once as I was taking off at a red light, I started rolling and so did the cars behind me and it didn't want to start right up. Thats why I think the light would be a good reminder, sometimes I get 120 from a tank sometimes I get 140... Would be nice to know before...
    2007 1300R Titanium, de-badged, Coyote gas cap hinge, National Cycle highway bars, progressive 412, loud ass Stebel horn, Batwing, Harley Aux Lights, Rivco solo rack and some Pony paint..

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    Use mine all the time. I have even aquired the feel for the bike just as it is about to need to switch over. Between mileage and that feel where it's just starting to lean out it has never been an issue.
    Scott~

    2005 VTX1300S

  27. #26
    Senior Member Dunknd's Avatar
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    Default In no way..

    am I afraid to use mine. In fact I ride until I hit reserve and have no problem cruising another 20 miles or so as long as I'm in town. If I'm on a trip. I start looking to fill up around 140 to 150 even if I haven't hit reserve.
    2005 Gray VTX 1300C, Kuryakyn Hwy Lights, Windshield, Cheap Saddlebags, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs and Grips, Kuryakyn Floorboards, Hondaline Luggage Rack, 2 Piece Mustang seat...a work in progress!

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    Seasoned Member VTX1300cnME's Avatar
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    I run mine to 130-140 miles, swap to reserve, and look for a gas station.

    Bub Club member #361

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    Senior Member lonewolff's Avatar
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    Yep, no problem running until I hit reserve. I too have gone a long ways on reserve but prefer not to. I don't mind going up to 20 miles but after that I'm not too excited about it! LOL
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    Senior Member Shutterbug78's Avatar
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    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by Motorcycle Mike View Post
    I hit mine all the time.
    2006 1300c. Cobra sissy bar and luggage rack, clock, direct-wired GPS, 12 volt outlet, Back-Off and Path Blazer light modulators, Dyna Beads, Scootworks risers, progressive fork springs, 1800 bushings, All-Balls neck bearings, Memphis Shades windshield and lowers, RIVCO highway pegs, PAIR mod, K&N air filter, Kury Iso Grips, Glen's CPR and permanent A/F, Factory Pro re-jet, SPyKER mod, Stebel, Cobra Speedster Slashdowns.

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    I never fill up until I have used about half of my reserves. I dont wait for it to sputter though. I switch over at about 130miles and then ride until 160 or so. That seems to be where my bikes limits are. Some day I am gonna throw a 1 gallon gas can full in the luggage and cruise til I'm dry just to see what the actual limits are.

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