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Old 11-22-2010, 01:09 PM   #1
HighFive OP
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New Owners - Stupid Questions Thread

Here's a place for new owners to ask those "stupid" questions. The kind you're embarrassed to ask for fear of being laughed at, or lectured for being such a noob. Questions like: Where's the fusebox? or What does OBC stand for?

Then hopefully some wise BMW sage who, feeling ambivalent or simply bored, cruises by might share said wisdom with grace and style.

Since I seem to be a frequent violator, I'll start this Thread by asking my next stupid question:

"Is something wrong with my fuel range calculator on the display? It never reads higher than about 110 miles, after I refill the tank. It seems to wait until the fuel level falls below a certain level, then it begins a countdown from 100 toward zero. Is that the way all the OBC's work?


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Old 11-22-2010, 01:19 PM   #2
itsatdm
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See the little arrow next to the mileage est? When on it means greater than. What mileage the instrument shows seems to vary among bikes and even on the same bike at times. It is not accurate because of the shape of the tank, except for the grossest measurement. Mine usually starts in the ^12? range than slowly increases. Once the arrow disappears it is supposedly measuring true mileage estimate. Mine still varies, being pessimistic until it gets down to about 80 miles.
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:53 PM   #3
JoelWisman
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This symbol ">" displayed on the fuel range means greater than.

The crux is that most BMW bikes including the F800 have strange shaped fuel tanks. The fuel level sensor is not in a place to be able to tell just how full the tank is, but simply that there is more then 2.4 us gallons.

So if your tank is fullish, all the computer knows is that there is somewhere between 2.4 and 4.2 us gallons.

As such, the computer assumes worst case (2.4) and displays the ">" symbol to let you know that your range is likely at least X miles, but may be much more.

Once fuel gets down to a level the sensor can read, the ">" symbol will disappear and live computations will commence.

As far as I know, the only thing changed on newer models is that the range does not count to zero but rather changes to display "--" when range is very low. I do not know if software updates will change this functionality on older models.


Note: the OBC estimates range bassed on averages of past performance, current rate of usage, and other factors.

The OBC's estimate of your range is just a guess. The computer has pretty good information of what has happened in the past, but no idea what will occur in the future. Changes in terrain, elevation, wind, fuel energy content, riding style, payload ect are beyond it's capabilities to control for.

Take the range as a potentially helpful estimate at best.

When the low fuel light kicks on, at best, you really need gas soon!

Actually since BMW is not known for sourcing the best fuel level sensors, there is no reliable substitution for an awareness of how many miles ago the tank was filled versus what demands have been placed on the fuel since.

I strongly encourage use of a trip meter :)
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFive
Here's a place for new owners to ask those "stupid" questions. The kind you're embarrassed to ask for fear of being laughed at, or lectured for being such a noob. Questions like: Where's the fusebox? or What does OBC stand for?

Then hopefully some wise BMW sage who, feeling ambivalent or simply bored, cruises by might share said wisdom with grace and style.

Since I seem to be a frequent violator, I'll start this Thread by asking my next stupid question:

"Is something wrong with my fuel range calculator on the display? It never reads higher than about 110 miles, after I refill the tank. It seems to wait until the fuel level falls below a certain level, then it begins a countdown from 100 toward zero. Is that the way all the OBC's work?


HF


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Old 11-22-2010, 02:59 PM   #5
JoeDuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFive
Here's a place for new owners to ask those "stupid" questions. The kind you're embarrassed to ask for fear of being laughed at, or lectured for being such a noob. Questions like: Where's the fusebox? or What does OBC stand for?

Then hopefully some wise BMW sage who, feeling ambivalent or simply bored, cruises by might share said wisdom with grace and style.

Since I seem to be a frequent violator, I'll start this Thread by asking my next stupid question:

"Is something wrong with my fuel range calculator on the display? It never reads higher than about 110 miles, after I refill the tank. It seems to wait until the fuel level falls below a certain level, then it begins a countdown from 100 toward zero. Is that the way all the OBC's work?


HF
Get your bikes software updated and you wont have that issue with the OBC. It'll give no distance and then after you hit reserve show you miles ridden on reserve.

Here's a dumb question: Is it bad to use heated grips in the rain?
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JoeDuck
Here's a dumb question: Is it bad to use heated grips in the rain?
Only if you hate warm hands.
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:04 PM   #7
SlowRide13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDuck
.....and then after you hit reserve show you miles ridden on reserve.
And on that note; what is meant by 'reserve' on this bike?
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:16 PM   #8
JoeDuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowRide13
And on that note; what is meant by 'reserve' on this bike?
I don't have the manual infront of me, but IIRC its ~1.1 gallons remaining.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:40 PM   #9
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Excellent input....thanks for that info Itsatdm & Wiseman. I had not noticed the Greater Than symbol, and certainly didn't understand the inner workings. Does BMW not know how to measure volume progressively in the tanks they build? Seriously....not being sarcastic. Seems they would use the same mold to make the tanks the same way, and then be able to measure volume (by sensor height incrementally, very accurately. But what do I know?

Regarding Heated Grips in the rain....definitely no problemo! You will not create a short circuit or an dangerous condition by doing so. You're not very likely to be electricuted by the 10 amp draw (just guessing on amperage) under any condition. Well....er...a...unless you put your feet down and become "grounded". Another fine reason to keep your feet on the pegs!

HF

p.s. What does reserve actually mean on this bike? Would that be when the fuel range counter begins decrementing or when the fuel light comes on? So, would that mean 2.4 gal or 1.1 gal or what?
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:35 PM   #10
itsatdm
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It varies between bikes. I have run mine close to 0 miles a few times and I had .8 gal left. Fuel light usually comes on around 40 miles to empty, so guessing at that point 1.5 gal. Something you are better determining yourself.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFive
Does BMW not know how to measure volume progressively in the tanks they build? Seriously....not being sarcastic. Seems they would use the same mold to make the tanks the same way, and then be able to measure volume (by sensor height incrementally, very accurately. But what do I know?
As Joel explained, the tank is not a perfectly regular shape. If it was, the sensor could span the entire vertical extent of the tank and be very accurate. However, it's full of bumps and protrusions and curves, and the floor is not level. So while the tank volume can be calculated quite precisely, the quantity of fuel within it cannot.

The fuel level sensor only occupies the lower portion of the tank. For simplicity, let's say it can measure the bottom half of the tank. It will thus tell the bike the tank is "full" if you have half a tank, a full tank, 5/8ths of a tank, 9/10ths of a tank, etc. Because it has no idea how much fuel is above its highest reading, it (politely) declines to guess, and thus you'll only see the fuel level begin to dip when you've used that first half of the tank. This is the same on my Wee.

It would, hypothetically, be possible to calculate instant fuel consumption (the OBC already does this), subtract that from the full tank volume, and display a full-tank level gauge. However, to be accurate this would rely on the rider filling the tank to the same level every time and then resetting the fuel gauge manually - and can you imagine the whining if BMW made that a requirement?

I use a hybrid OBC/brain-o-matic distance-to-empty method - assume the tank is 15 litres (giving me a 1-point-something-litre margin for error), and use the OBC's calculated average fuel consumption (which I reset each tankful). If it says, for example, 5.0L/100km, then my range is 300 and I'll start thinking about fuel at 250.

This is less easy for those of you saddled with miles, gallons and cubits, but still do-able
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:46 PM   #12
Al Tuna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowRide13
And on that note; what is meant by 'reserve' on this bike?
You need to remember sight glasses lie it might just be gas
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:29 AM   #13
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Hey, I got one of these. If I'm washing the bike with a jet spray, is there any part of the bike I should be cautious about blasting with the spray for fear of drowning it in some way?
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:32 AM   #14
Al Tuna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildman
Hey, I got one of these. If I'm washing the bike with a jet spray, is there any part of the bike I should be cautious about blasting with the spray for fear of drowning it in some way?
Yep
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildman
Hey, I got one of these. If I'm washing the bike with a jet spray, is there any part of the bike I should be cautious about blasting with the spray for fear of drowning it in some way?
I'll try this one, someone double check my work here though...


Don't spray:

- directly on the sides of either wheel hub, at the bearing seals
- into the exhaust
- into the intake
- directly on the edge of the tail light
- directly on the edge of the instrument cluster
- directly into the chain grooves
- directly into the shock dust wiper
- directly into any button

Basically you don't want to spray into O-rings or into the exhaust or intake.... Most of these that I said "directly" you can spray from 3 feet away so it isn't pressurized, just don't get real close.
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