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I had a hard time starting this morning. I'm wondering if I was low of fuel. I showed about 1/4 tank but was on the main position for fuel. When do you need to switch to reserve?
 

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I've only done it while riding and the bike starts tugging and RPMs drop a lot when I press in the clutch... my fuel gauge doesn't work, so I can't say how much it would measure.

If you can still feel or hear gas in there, try leaning the bike to the side where the petcock is and try using the "prime" setting to get fuel in the carbs, then go back to "on". Or just use reserve to try to start it and see if there's a difference.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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At an indicated 1/4 tank you *should* still be ok on RUN, but if you have any doubt switch to RES to start, then switch back to RUN after the engine warms up to see if it begins to stall after a few minutes. I suggest running on reserve occasionally when you don`t need it, just to make sure it will work when you do.

I haven`t done it yet, but I think next season I`m going to strap my 1 gallon gas can on the back, and ride until I hit RES, and then run the reserve out too so I can find out how far a full tank, including reserve will carry me. Also check gauge to see what it reads when reserve is needed.
 

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I've needed it at the red of E.
If it's hot outside, I usually fill up before 1/4 tank because of POOG.
I had it twice this summer.Switching to Res and opening the cap fixed it.
The bike had been parked in the sun at the golf course both times.
 

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Concert connoisseur
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I hit red at a quarter tank once. thought I was good for a while but just after it hit red I started sputtering, once your past half tank the guage moves pretty quickly.
 

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Old Twistie Sticks Rider
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I usually started lookin for a handy gas station at about 150 mi., or a bit before red, but would really get serious when it hit red or started to miss, and I had to switch to reserve...
It would hit red before it started to miss...
I wish my Sportster had a reserve, but it don't...:(...
Have a good one...Old Dog...
 

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Why in the world did they ever get rid of reserves on bikes?

Reserves, tachs, center stands, fuel gauges, temp gauges, comfortable seats.

What idiot decided they weren't needed anymore.

I can't even stand riding a bike with the speedo on the tank.

Who wants to keep looking down there?
 

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I can't even stand riding a bike with the speedo on the tank.
think they were there first and were moved to the handle bars later I O guess a tank shifter would mess tour whole life up ,huh?
 

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think they were there first and were moved to the handle bars later I O guess a tank shifter would mess tour whole life up ,huh?
I doubt a tank shifter would be that popular anymore.
Unless of course Harley came out with one, then everyone else would too.

Now, how about that typing lesson you were working on?
 

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Old Twistie Sticks Rider
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My speedo in not on the tank, it is a multifuncion analog + digital or whatever, has speedo, odometer, 2-trip meters, low gas light, codes display, and so on, but the low gas light is a piece of crap, I had it come on once and thought someone has stole my gas, took nearly 0.7 gal to fill up...lol... It came on on Mondays ride at only 118 mi. (usually around 150 mi.) and I rode till 148 mi. and I filled it with 2.8 gal. (narvious )(4.5 gal. tank)...lol... I'll take reserve any time, I don't like being narvious...
About the so called tank shifter...lol... That was what the last Harley I rode had till this 09 I bought... That was 50 some years ago, the tank shifter on that one could not hold a light to the bicycle pedal kick starter, I would crank on that darn thing till I was near death, lay over in the ditch and recover enough to go at it again, oh yeah it would eventually start... I swore I would never own a Harley, maybe even never a road bike...lol...
Well, you say I broke my word (thats allowed after 50 years), well yes I did but Kaw. quit me and the vn750, I didn't quit them...
All that said, I really do like my 1200 Sportster especially in the mountains, it handles as good, and is as quick as the vn750, I didn't say better, I said as good, and only a few pounds heavier, low gear is a bit higher than I like, but it pulls ok...lol...

PS- accord guy wrote "Now, how about that typing lesson you were working on?"
Be careful accord guy, big fingers are usually attached to big fists...lol...
Have a good one...Old Dog...
 

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When it hits the red and starts to sputter is when my reserve comes on. If your fuel gauge is kaput, one suggestion is to use your trip odometer. When you fill up, put the petcock on fuel and reset the trip to 0. Depending on your riding style, when she starts to cough and sputter its time to turn on the reserve. Even with a gauge, its about 128 miles for me and its time to turn on the reserve.
 

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My speedo in not on the tank, it is a multifuncion analog + digital or whatever, has speedo, odometer, 2-trip meters, low gas light, codes display, and so on, but the low gas light is a piece of crap, I had it come on once and thought someone has stole my gas, took nearly 0.7 gal to fill up...lol... It came on on Mondays ride at only 118 mi. (usually around 150 mi.) and I rode till 148 mi. and I filled it with 2.8 gal. (narvious )(4.5 gal. tank)...lol... I'll take reserve any time, I don't like being narvious...
About the so called tank shifter...lol... That was what the last Harley I rode had till this 09 I bought... That was 50 some years ago, the tank shifter on that one could not hold a light to the bicycle pedal kick starter, I would crank on that darn thing till I was near death, lay over in the ditch and recover enough to go at it again, oh yeah it would eventually start... I swore I would never own a Harley, maybe even never a road bike...lol...
Well, you say I broke my word (thats allowed after 50 years), well yes I did but Kaw. quit me and the vn750, I didn't quit them...
All that said, I really do like my 1200 Sportster especially in the mountains, it handles as good, and is as quick as the vn750, I didn't say better, I said as good, and only a few pounds heavier, low gear is a bit higher than I like, but it pulls ok...lol...

PS- accord guy wrote "Now, how about that typing lesson you were working on?"
Be careful accord guy, big fingers are usually attached to big fists...lol...
Have a good one...Old Dog...
But it's always best to proof read a smartass reply.

Again, what do they have against a reserve? It's such a simple design.

Does it affect the new fuel injection systems or something like that?
 

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From personal experience at replacing fuel injectors on my dads truck, running a tank and fuel system dry of fuel can damage fuel injectors. Simple deduction leads me to believe it would be the same for a motorcycle. Thus, no reserve. However, they compensate with digital/lcd fuel gauges or a low fuel indicator light.
 

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Old Twistie Sticks Rider
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Again, what do they have against a reserve? It's such a simple design. Does it affect the new fuel injection systems or something like that?
I have no idea what they have against a reserve on the tank... As for me, I think its like country ham and red eye gravy, there ought to be a federal law against having one without the other, I'm very much with you on the reserve bit...lol...
I don't see how having a bit of gas to dump in is worse that running out on anything... I know on the older dozers and most other injector type engines, if you ran out you had to bleed most of them, and there was some damage, nothing was caused by not running out, at least to my knowledge...lol... I think dirty fuel might be worse on injectors than most anything...
Have a good one...Old Dog...
 

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When I had my 750's I would always just leave it on Reserve.
That way the petcock never got stuck.
I just went by the gas guage and at a 1/8 tank or so I'd look for gas.
 
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