low fuel warning and miles to empty

The information I get on remaining miles to empty after the orange low level warning is most odd and pretty useless. Yesterday I NOTICED THE ORANGE LOW LEVEL LIGHT

An example of odd information on level and miles to empty was seen yesterday. When I first noticed the orange low level light, the trip showed 11 miles to empty, As I travelled further the miles to empty value increased steadily until after about 25 more miles it showed 150 miles. I have noticed this before but have never continued to see at what point the value starts to decrease and never continued till it actually ran out of fuel because I have no confidence in what it shows. When I have stopped and switched off the value returns to a very low level again. Has any one else seen this on any Guzzi or are the indications reasonable and credible?

On my Stelvio it does not count down after the low level warning light comes on, but counts up to show you how many miles you have done since the light came on.

My Bellagio is the same.

It seems to be a universal useless feature with many new bikes.

A countdown is what we want, not a count UP! At least the car manufacturers have got that bit right. Why bike designers do it this way is beyond me. All it gives us is bragging rights down t’pub; “I managed 68 miles after the light came on before I ran out of fuel. On the M6. At midnight. On a Bank Holiday.” :blush: :smiley: :unamused:

There are stories out there of 90+ miles being possible on the Big Tank Stelvio after the light comes on. I’ve done about 70 before bottling it. One day, I’ll to the strap-on test (I mean strapping on a petrol can :sunglasses: ) and test the real ‘après attention’ range.


As my Bella has an 18 litre tank and the light comes on at 12, I look at my trip and know I need to fill up at trip + 40% maximum to be safe.

My car gives a range until the petrol light flashes up at about 50 miles to go, then nothing, no range, nothing. I think the Stelvio is better as at least I know how far I’ve traveled after the petrol light comes on. I work on 30 miles max after that, but maybe that is a little conservative. It is fine in the south east where most towns have a supermarket with a petrol station, but in less densely populated areas, here and on the continent it would be better to plan ahead.

Running out of petrol was something I did in my youth, with little money and less common sense.

Why do manufacturers fit motorcycles with such small fuel tanks ?
Why do the motorcycle media never notice or comment on this ?
Even so called adventure tourers often have small tanks ,
later stelvios excepted .

This is a real biggie in my choice of bikes!

I was smitten with the Tiger Explorer when it came out. Test rode one by mistake and loved it. Having had a really good experience with my 955i Tiger I was very very close to placing an order but something was nagging me about the range and I also wanted to try a Stelvio again (which I did, 3rd test ride as it happens). Just for the record, my 955i had a 24L tank and the Explorer 20L (prototype design of the Explorer had a bigger tank but was considered unwieldly or something). 955i was good for just about 250 miles and yes, I found this out the hard way :blush:

Many folk don’t see the issue and I would agree that even when touring, you only get issues when the French have a Bank Holiday or whatever but at the time I was occasionally using the bike for a 112 mile round trip commute and it is the long distance regular commuter who will understand only too well what I mean.

When touring solo or with a pillion, the range is also an issue if you’d prefer to stop at the top of a mountain for a break rather than a petrol station forecourt. With the Stelvio, I can ride a couple of hundred miles then wake up the next day and get straight into the journey again, without any pushing concern for fuelling up again. I guess it’s called ‘range anxiety’!

Riding in a group is different, though. Nomatter how good your range is, you end up stopping to suit the lowest-ranged bike. Not so bad in a social/leisure ride environment but not so good if you need to push on to meet a ferry.

When I had my KTM 990 Adventure, which was quite a thirsty beast, I added a third fuel tank, plumbed in and linked to the two main tanks. This provided a total capacity of 28 litres and was a pain in the bum to fill up but the additional 8.5 litres made the difference.

I’m shocked how the motorcycle media rarely consider fuel range too.


The motorcycle media consider touring/rallying as an old folks hobby and not one they are interested in. Mostly they are correct.
Bikes manufactured are going to be more affected by the media than us.

What Ian said, motorcycles have ceased to be sensible transport. They are now more so toys stroke fashion accessories. It seems to me that it’s the maxi scooters that are providing some semblance of practicality. Even then there are issues with various makes & models with reliability or poor design or ease / cost of maintenance.

I dunno about that.

There is plenty of evidence to support a small motorcycle being sensible transport, especially in a city environment. There are also plenty of examples of overweight, stupidly fast toys which gobble up tyres in under 2K miles and cost even more in servicing than they do in depreciation. I guess we all know where along the scale we prefer to be :smiley:


Jon, I have to agree with you. Why are motorcycles exempt from the congestion charge in London and also the Dartford crossing? It isn’t because bike riders take time getting their gloves off to get their cash out at the pay booths, as there aren’t any pay booths these days. I see bikes as a solution to congestion especially after I had to ride to a meeting in West London from Essex last week during rush hour. Maxi scooters are ok if you like that sort of thing, but they are not for me Mike, each to his own.

Look at car design. They are making 1 litre cars that can do anything you need from a car.
On bikes I have a friend who is downsizing from his Victory to a 1400 Cali. ie Bikes are getting ridiculously big.
I agree that small bikes make sense in traffic, take up less space but the major manufacturers see bikes as toys and have done since the late '70’s. This was heralded by the bike press as the way forward.
China and its bike industry may change this but I suspect for the UK it will be academic.
If robot vehicles are made to work then private transport will become a very rich mans toy and the rest of us will simply ring for a robot taxi. Better for most but our vocation will become history. Pack up your rucksack and take a robot to the rally. Good for Bob Berwick though.

Yes, a few exceptions from the crop of modern bikes, which I have first hand experience of; KTM 390 Duke and CCM GP450. Both are commonly dismissed by testosterone-fuelled ‘expert’ bikers for having small engines. In reality, they have the performance we would have been quite happy to accept a few years ago - especially the Katoom which was like an RD350LC but with better handling, better brakes, less maintenance and (much) more economy.