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Fuel Gauge on R1200GS


MarcS

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When I picked up my GS (on Saturday), the bike showed 6 bars plus the little pentagon at the bottom on the fuel gauge. I rode for about 80 miles, with no change in the gauge, and then topped it up with about 2 gallons. Gauge never changed. Rode another 200 Sunday, and the gauge stayed at 6 bars until about 120 miles into the trip -- by the time I hit 130, it was at 3 bars. It then dropped down to 1 bar until reserve at around 190 miles indicated. Fueled up at about 210 mi with 4.6 gallons. Put another 190 on before refueling, with identical innaccurate gauge behavior. Filled up, back up to 6 bars. Not sure how much gas; 4.something gallons.

 

Was riding yesterday and saw -- with 20 miles on the tank -- and saw 7 bars, which is as full as it's ever indicated. This means that after 20 miles it was showing MORE fuel than it did when I filled it up.

 

What's the deal with the fuel gauge? I've seen inaccurate fuel gauges on other bikes but never one this ridiculous.

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I had questions re: the guage when I first got the bike and my service manager gave me the bulletin from BMW about it.

Pg 1

R12GSfuelguagepg1.jpg

Pg 2

R12GSfuelguagepg2.jpg

HTH

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I had questions re: the guage when I first got the bike and my service manager gave me the bulletin from BMW about it.
That actually explains a lot! I also picked up a new GS last week and have been trying to figure out the gas guage ever since. It appears to me the first top bar is about two gallons, then the next middle bar counts off in segments the next two gallons, and then the four bottom bars are for the last gallon plus. But it's interesting to note in that bulletin that the last four bars aren't an "actual" reading but the "level calculated by the rate of fuel according the fuel injected into the cylinders."

 

I found that I get about 90-100 miles out of the first top bar, another 90-100 out of the second middle bar, and then about 30-40 out of the bottom four bars. When I hit the reserve the first time, it indicated I had 37 miles left. When I hit the reserve the second time, it indicated I had 48 miles left. I ran it down to an indicated "12 miles" being left when I fueled up the other day. I've seen reports of riders having "0 miles" left and still have made it to gas stations. I don't think I want to sweat that one out. I'll watch my guage and mileage!

 

Now I can just figure out and get used to those self-cancelling turn signals. Half of the time they go off while I am sitting at a corner before I have even made the turn!!! grin.gif

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Paul--

 

Thanks for sharing that service bulletin with us. My ST's fuel gauge performs much the same way, so I'm sure that BMW's impeccable logic--i.e., "the fuel gauage . . . is designed to read FULL for fuel levels between 12 and 20 liters"--must apply to the ST as well. dopeslap.gif

 

Say what?

 

Ah, now I understand . . . you intended for the fuel gauge to be completely inaccurate until you down to a half tank. Kind of reminds me of Pee Wee Herman's reaction, after he crashes his bike into a car, flies through the air, then picks himself up and proclaims "I meant to do that."

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Any thought to watching the countdown/when it gets to whatever miles you are comfortable with stop and get gas?

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As a way of monitoring to make sure ASN, I do pay attention to how many miles have elapsed when 1st bar goes away. Mine is pretty consistent at 122-129 mi. Then I change over the display to trip meter until I refuel. To me, there is nothing as annoying as the stupid yellow "low fuel" triangle flashing. So, if I can help it, I fill up around 200 miles. Obviously on a long trip I'll run longer so I'm not stopping as often for fuel. Just my $.02

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Chuck Hatcher

Oddly the R12GS Adventure does not exhibit this trait. Maybe the tank is shaped differently enought to allow more conventional gauge behavior.

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Oddly the R12GS Adventure does not exhibit this trait. Maybe the tank is shaped differently enought to allow more conventional gauge behavior.

 

I'm not so sure... the level decrease sure as hell isn't linear as far as I can tell, but I've only run a tank or so through mine. It looks nearly empty but only takes 5.25 gals to fill crazy.gif

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<<Any thought to watching the countdown/when it gets to whatever miles you are comfortable with stop and get gas?>>

 

lol. Actually, since I put on the adventure tank, I havent run out, but the gage is cornfused bigtime! starts counting down, then stops, then counts down again.

 

I will just stop about 300 miles and fill up

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The old flying adage applies - "The only accurate fuel gage in the plane is the one on your wrist." In flying the only thing that matters is how long you've been in the air, and thus how much longer you can stay there. In biking the only thing that matters is how far you've gone and thus how much farther you can go. Trip odometers are a wonderful thing.

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Morning Ken,

 

Oddly, in over 4000 hours I never saw a gas guage that didn't work correctly. I'd refuel at 1/4 to be on the safe side but I always trusted the guages...still do. thumbsup.gif

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ShovelStrokeEd

Figuring out a fuel gauge is simple.

 

It is a level gauge and nothing more. That is, it indicates the height of the fuel column in the tank. Now, if the tank were perfectly symetric, top to bottom, such as a cylinder or a cube, the gauge could easliy be used to interpert how much fuel is remaing. The bike would look a bit ugly though.

 

The fact is, the tank is not symetric, it has all sorts of variations in shape due to the need of fitting a frame and the top of the engine under it. Thus, the amount of fuel remaining per unit height varies as will the rate at which this height changes as fuel is consumed.

 

The easy way is to just reset one of your trip odometers each time you fill up. Pick a fuel consumption figure that reflects you average and multiply that by the number of gallons in your tank. Leaving yourself a 30 or so mile margin, it is simple to determine when you need to fill up or how far you have left until you do. No problem.

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I have never had a problem with the way the GS gage works, to me it makes perfect sense to drop from full to half in one step.

 

having about 9 gallons to play with now, I always just use the odometer. Now if I could just get enough time in a row to go through a few tanks, I would be happy!!

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Hmmm... according to this service bulletin, "... As result a 10 segmented fuel readout gauge can not be used for this motorcycle."

 

Oh really?

 

Later build '06 GS models DO have a segmented fuel gauge. And it STILL doesn't work 100% correctly. Note that in this picture, my tank had been topped up to the very top of the filler neck and yet, only 8 segments are showing. And in fact, the planets must've been aligned just right when this picture was taken because it rarely shows more than 7 segments.

Yes, I know that nothing beats the tripometer for monitoring your fuel. But on a $15k bike, I would expect the gauge to be fully functional. And by the way, the dealer says that BMW will not fix this unless I have a total "gauge failure".

 

Odometer-881miles-small.jpg

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Kinda low miles on the ol' pig, dontcha think? Problem might go away with vastly increased miles. wink.gif
uh, the trailing couple of zeros are obviously not working on the odo either. wink.gif
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I find it truly amazing that with all the technology available and all the computerization that BMW includes on it's bikes, that their gas gauges are so worthless.

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their gas gauges are so worthless.

Funny, mine goes up when I put gas in and goes down as I ride. Doesn't yours? My trucks guage stays ABOVE full for 100 miles and then starts going down. Maybe I should throw it away, too.

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