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Sportster fuel gauge

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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 01:57 PM     #1
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Sportster fuel gauge

I am new to riding motorcycles and recently purchased an 06 883 Low-XL (no modifications to the bike). I noticed that there isn't any sort of fuel gauge. How do you know how much gas is in the tank? It seems strange to me that one is not included (my touring scooter has one). I live in a rural area and would not like to run out. Is there a gauge accessory that could be installed to accomplish this? Also I notice a reserve setting on the fuel switch. How many miles can you get from the reserve setting?
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 04:56 PM     #2
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Smile Re: Sportster fuel gauge

I have been riding motorcycles since 1975 the first time i ever had a bike with a fuel gauge was the Dyna i bought for the wife a year ago
so every time i fill up i reset my trip meter to 0 and as the miles clock up the fuel level goes down
if you know the capacity of your tank if you fill up after 50 miles you'll see how much has been used and you'll be able to work out a rough mileage to tank
you need to give yourself a wee bit of leeway just in case although i can get about 150 miles out of either of my bikes i tend to fill up around 100 miles cos thats the best my bum can do without a stretch
if you need to use reserve id want it to be less than 15 miles but Ive never put the reserve past 10 miles
the type of riding you are doing will affect you fuel usage
by the way this is much more accurate than the Dyna fuel gauge shows empty when half full

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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 05:15 PM     #3
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Re: Sportster fuel gauge

My 05 1200c does not have a gas gauge but it does have 2 trip odometers and I use one of them for reference. I have a 4 1/2 gallon tank and 1 gallon or that is reserve. I'm good for 145 miles before before it starts gulping for the reserve. My 05 is a carb bike btw.
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 09:55 PM     #4
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Re: Sportster fuel gauge

I reset the second trip odometer every time I fill up my 07 EFI 1200 Sporty. It has the larger tank, 4.5 US Gals, 3.75 Imperial Gals, 17 Litres. When the reserve light comes on after about 120 miles, I reset the odometer again. I have covered over 45 Miles from the start of the reserve but I was starting to worry.
I think a proper fuel gauge and an even larger tank wouldn't go amiss.
The lack of a fuel gauge and of a tacho are my only gripe about that wonderful bike.
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Old Jun 18th, 2009, 12:40 AM     #5
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Re: Sportster fuel gauge

Wow....I have an 06 883C with the 4.5 Gal tank, and I get like 180 before I have to switch to reserve, and then get around 30-45 on reserve.
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Old Jun 19th, 2009, 09:00 AM     #6
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Re: Sportster fuel gauge

hmmmm....is there actually a reserve switch on the sporty or are you talking about when the low fuel light comes on?
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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 08:05 PM     #7
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Re: Sportster fuel gauge

Thanks everyone on the advice and tips. I have the 3.3 gal tank with the .8 gal reserve. I rode about 75 miles on a full tank and filled up again. It took 1.7 gal to top it off. I am now using the trip meter to monitor fuel but it is nice to hear what others are getting as far as fuel milage to gauge what mine will be like. So far so good. Thanks again.
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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 09:07 PM     #8
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Re: Sportster fuel gauge

Quote: Originally Posted by smitty901 View Post
Ride till it starts to quits switch to reserve , then stop at the first gas you see. works in town if out of town you better keep track of miles reserve does not last long.
I miss my reserve on the newer bikes.
I would 'definaitely' use Sgt. smitty's advice above! It's simple to follow, and he has lots of army stripes. That means he's done lot's of walking!
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Old Jun 20th, 2009, 11:55 PM     #9
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Re: Sportster fuel gauge

Quote: Originally Posted by Tibo View Post
Thanks everyone on the advice and tips. I have the 3.3 gal tank with the .8 gal reserve. I rode about 75 miles on a full tank and filled up again. It took 1.7 gal to top it off. I am now using the trip meter to monitor fuel but it is nice to hear what others are getting as far as fuel milage to gauge what mine will be like. So far so good. Thanks again.
Good call Tibo, as you have found out, most use whatever tools come with the bike AND the odometer method to be sure. I have always done the latter because I would get "jittery" if the sign says "175 miles Before Next Gas" is posted.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2009, 06:25 PM     #10
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Re: Sportster fuel gauge

The guy I bought my 883 from used a piece of tape to mark down what the odometer read when he filled up, he kept the tape on the handlebars. I read the manual and found the trip reset switch on the odometer. Much easier!

(I don't recommend the tape!!!)
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