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ST reserve: how many miles?


BMWSTeve

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I had trailered the ST down to Florida for Xmas vaca with the family. I got to get out and burn a few tanks, meet some nice people(HI CycleRuss!) and take in the sights. I had a stange thing happen, my reserve light kicks on with 45-49 miles to go no matter where I go and how fast I ride, I a usaully a pretty conservative guy. While in Florida my reserve light came on between 53 and 57 miles to go! I find this pretty odd seeing how Florida is not any flatter than Southern MI where I reside. Being that I was on vaca I was too lazy check actual mileage, I was keeping a running total with the trip meter untill I accidently zeroed it out when getting gas in Key West.

 

A little thing I bought while down there is a SUNPASS. A $25 gizmo that you buy to pre-pay tolls with, it takes about a day to activate after you call it in. What a pleasure it is to sail thru toll booths compared to digging for change. I left it with my in-laws after we left for them to use

(they are snow birds) and it will be waiting for me next Xmas.

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The experience I have gotten from a friend's R1200RT and my ST with our gas gauges is as follows. The miles to empty is fairly accurate. But empty doesn't mean no fuel left as then you are on reserve. I think this point has been misinterpreted by many, hence all the consternation about malfunctioning gauges. Then how far on reserve would depend on your mileage.

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My R1200RT flashes the reserve light anywhere from about 60 to 85 miles to empty, but the OBC isn't linear once it drops below about 100.

 

But I've also noticed that my gas mileage is down about 5~7% (about 3 mpg) since November, which usually is when they start giving us the "reformulated" fuel in the Mid-Atlantic region. Maybe you have been burning 10% ethanol in Michigan and pure gasoline in Florida.

 

In the East (north of Richmond), we have the EZ Pass which, if you sign up in certain states (MD is one) doesn't cost anything. Otherwise there is a small monthly fee. I have the transponders on both cars and my RT and it sure is great not to have to wait in line to pay tolls. The only downside is that for some tolls (i.e. NJ's Garden State Parkway), the amount isn't posted in the EZ Pass lanes so you don't know how much you've been billed until it's posted to your account - which can be checked on line.

 

Glad you could enjoy your ST over the holidays!

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The experience I have gotten from a friend's R1200RT and my ST with our gas gauges is as follows. The miles to empty is fairly accurate. But empty doesn't mean no fuel left as then you are on reserve. I think this point has been misinterpreted by many, hence all the consternation about malfunctioning gauges. Then how far on reserve would depend on your mileage.

 

How did you find that out? Thats interesting to know smile.gif

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I found it out by trial. I found I usually get about 30-40 miles after my gauge is a zero - give or take. I also found I get a few more miles on a flat or uphill section than downhill due to where the intake is placed in the tank. dopeslap.gif

 

(I'd say DAMHIK, but I've already posted that it was just outside of Winnemucca, NV where I learned that little tidbit. smile.gif )

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On my particular ST the fuel countdown is pretty damn accurate. When it count's down to zero, you have maybe 10 miles, maybe less. The countdown has started at as little as 42 miles and as much as 54 miles.

 

I don't know for sure, but it seems that the system is actually measuring the fuel consumption in real time. I was running down the road and the countdown was running mile for mile. I got held up in slower traffic and it counted down 10 miles in 4. I've noticed this many times. It seems that there could be an instantaneous readout for fuel mileage as on some of the RT's, even average fuel mileage.

 

One other thing I have noticed- the first bar on the fuel guage doesn't go away until 80-95 miles. Then the bars count down pretty fast until half tank, at which point it seems to respond pretty accurately from there on. I'd rather have it read accurately in the lower fuel range anyway, since I tend to push the limits of the tank.

 

Frank

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That is one of my goals for this year: take a gas can with me and just ride until the engine stops to see how far I can go.

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My ST was never particularly accurate once down into the 'fuel light zone' until the gauge went bad and I had it repaired under warranty.

 

Dealer replaced the fuel sender strip and calibrated it. It is now VERY accurate. When the fuel light comes on you have 1 gallon of fuel left, give or take, and can be assured that you need gas in 40 miles!

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I've posted this here before:

 

A riding buddy's ST was thought to be getting terrible mileage compared to mine, at least going by fuel guage indications. He did the carry some fuel with you and run it until runs out test and went 75 miles after the countdown went to zero! The dealer recalibrated his system and now he is a happy camper. When they do this, the fuel cell should be as empty as possible because that is where they will set the zero.

 

Frank

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I too run mine to and beyond the zero marker, but not too far. The most I've probably done is likely to be around 15miles beyond the zero. Every time this would have been at a very conservative pace. My riding style veries considerably, I've had my fuel light come on at a maximum of 52miles to go and at 28miles to go in the opposite end of the scale.

 

My tank has never taken any more than 18.5 litres at any fill up, thus with an apparently useable 21 litre tank, it would look like I've always had a further 20miles left after zero.

 

From the previous posts it looks like the fuel gauge reading is specific to each machine, particularly if they can be recalibrated by the dealer.

 

Most I've done on a tank was 228miles and I'm sure the ST would stretch to 250 very conservative miles on a tank. Whatever the tank mileage, I normally fuel up when the guage reads in the teens anyway.

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BMWSteve - I think you get better mileage in Florida because the air is considerably less dense (warm and humid) than in MI. It's the same reason that airplanes are more efficient at high altitude.

 

Everybody should head out with a quart of gas in their pack and run the bike dry. It could be a matter of survival to know exactly how much gas the tank holds and how the reserve light is calibrated.

 

My 2 cents....

 

g-

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My experience with the fuel cell on my ST is that it will hold 5.5 gallons when totally empty and filling it to the bottom of the filler neck. I've put as much as 6.1 gallons in it from bone dry up to the top of the fuel hole, as full as you can get it. When you fill it that much, be sure to ride it at least 20 miles right away to burn the excess off to keep from getting it into the cannister.

 

Frank

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I think we have a communication difference here. What I mean is that I call 'reserve' when the orange light kicks on and the little fuel pump flashes on the screen. Some people call 'reserve' is after that and when the countdown meter is at '0'. Flashing lights bug me, so I start looking for fuel within the range listed on the dash. This puts me at about 200miles for the tank for fill-up, which is at limit of my 2 friends I ride with the most, 1 on a K1200RS and the other on a Valkyrie Interstate.

 

I don't know what to think about the air density issue, I ride in 70-80 humid air in MI all the time and I don't knock down that kind of mileage. The pure gas idea, I don't know either, we get junk fuel from about Halloween till Easter, which the ST doesn't mind. My R1100RS you could tell the diffference. Maybe we get junk fuel all year around now up in MI, Russ my Florida friend gets 53MPG all the time with his ST.

 

Thanks for all the input.

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What I mean is that I call 'reserve' when the orange light kicks on and the little fuel pump flashes on the screen. Some people call 'reserve' is after that and when the countdown meter is at '0'.
From what I've seen, "Some people" would include BMW. However, there are people that view it as you do, so they have their tanks recalibrated by the dealer to reflect that.
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You are on reserve when the "fuel pump" flashes and the countdown begins. It is indicating the theoretical miles to empty. Some bikes systems are not calibrated correctly and can run past zero for quite a while.

 

Frank

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Hey, Shawn-

 

I agree with you and say that 150 miles or so on one sitting is about enough for me. But I do like the extra range so that I don't have to fill up at every stop. And besides, I like lording over some of the guys I ride with who have a range of about 130-140 miles of gas. Oh? Well, the beemer is not even at half tank yet!

The first stint of 150+ in the saddle usually means the next stint is considerably shorter unless I am off of it for a while. It's a case of the old "iron" butt turning to mush.

 

Remember a while back we were talking about getting lowered footpegs from Suburban Machine? Have you done that?

When I had my seat re-done, I had them raise it a half inch or so and have found that I don't feel the need for lowered footpegs now. That was the one detail that has transformed the comfort on my bike for me.

 

Frank

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