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Old 06-18-2013, 08:20 PM   #1
Squelch OP
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Running out of gas...

I'm getting ready to ship my bike to Korea, and it needs to be empty before they crate it up. I'm going to go ride around until it gets really low, and then ride it around my neighborhood for the last little bit. I have three questions:
  1. I've only had it for a few weeks and about 900 miles. When there are no more bars above the solid black background of the fuel pump on the fuel gauge, any idea how far it has left before it runs out?
  2. What are the signs and symptoms of the bike running out of gas? I have had a few bikes with petcocks, and know the general symptoms, but is there anything special with the F800GS?
  3. Are there any special considerations when running the bike out of gas - will it harm the engine in any way?

I have an almost full tank and the movers will be here Friday, so I've got two good days of riding in front of me. Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:16 PM   #2
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The fuel helps cool the pump. Running out of fuel can damage the pump.

I would drain the fuel out of the tank rather than run in dry. You can either turn the bike upside down, or find a hose on the low point of the tank.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:11 PM   #3
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You really think they are going to CHECK the contents of the tank?
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Full Power View Post
You really think they are going to CHECK the contents of the tank?
Customs do, often. Here they will also check oil levels and use a hydrocarbon gas detector to sniff for vapour and residue. Might be different in the US but i'd be surprised.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DS Rider View Post
Customs do, often. Here they will also check oil levels and use a hydrocarbon gas detector to sniff for vapour and residue. Might be different in the US but i'd be surprised.
Yep I read several RR here on this side where customs check and empty the tanks.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:41 AM   #6
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In Canada they don't. They onkly ask that they are 1/4 full for plane cargo.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:43 AM   #7
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Mine runs out of gas at 47miles after the fuel light goes on.... found that out the hard way!
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:48 AM   #8
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To answer your question........

Don't rely on the fuel guage accuracy, it's like a weather report. Last time I rode -22 kms to empty! The fuel sock is in the lowest part of the tank in a depression so the engine will just quit. Yes the fuel cools the pump but they're not that fragile. A couple of smokes won't instantly doom you to cancer. If it were me I'd ride a country road free of traffic and carry about a gallon in a can. Depending where you run out, just put enough in to get home. If it MUST be dry then when you arrive safely home, put it on the centre stand and let it run in gear till it quits. To get it going again at the other end, fuel it of course then cycle the key on and off to get things primed then try to start it. They don't have a circulating system like cars etc for pressure regulation but use variable voltage so you'll have to bleed the air out by running it poorly for a bit.

They may not check but it would be an expensive bother if they got all upset and did it for you.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:43 AM   #9
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Customs do, often. Here they will also check oil levels and use a hydrocarbon gas detector to sniff for vapour and residue. Might be different in the US but i'd be surprised.
.
. There will ALWAYS be both vapor, and residue...
4.2 gallons of flammable liquid is FAR safer than 4.2 gallons of vapor.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:17 AM   #10
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your fuel tank is a sealed system. If your charcoal canister is still installed, the tank is vented into the charcoal canister. The charcoal adsorbs the gas vapors so they don't exit the system. Then when you start the bike, vacuum from the engine sucks the vapors back out of the canister, into the intake system and it burns the vapors.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:32 PM   #11
GH41
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Why are you shipping to Korea? How difficult will it be to insure the bike over there? GH
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:33 PM   #12
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The moving company called and said they'd drain the tank for me - think I should take them up on their offer?

I was going to take the advice here and ride around with a 1-gallon gas can strapped to the back, staying away from high-traffic areas. But if they can do it, (and be liable for it) then it might be better. I would insist that I watch the process, so I know what happens. I'd also like to take pictures of the bike in the crate.

As far as why I am shipping it to Korea - I am moving there for a couple of years. I haven't figured out the insurance yet, but I will most likely use USAA. They will insure motorcycles over there as long as you also have car insurance through them.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Power View Post
.
. There will ALWAYS be both vapor, and residue...
4.2 gallons of flammable liquid is FAR safer than 4.2 gallons of vapor.
Yep, agreed. Vapour is explosive, fuel as a liquid is not. I believe they allow less than 5% of the LEL as acceptable. In the past we have had to nitrogen purge (race car) engines being sent overseas after rebuild in order to pass testing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squelch View Post
The moving company called and said they'd drain the tank for me - think I should take them up on their offer?
If it were me i'd let them do it. less hassle for you cause you can ride the bike to them if you want rather than trailer it there. My guess is that they'll just drop the fuel line off and drain it that way. - Then probably dump your old fuel into their cars. win win for everyone.

DS Rider screwed with this post 06-20-2013 at 07:14 AM
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Power View Post
.
. There will ALWAYS be both vapor, and residue...
4.2 gallons of flammable liquid is FAR safer than 4.2 gallons of vapor.
True enough in certain circumstances like your livingroom, but 4.2 gallons of fuel leaked into a cargo bay will turn into how much explosive fuel vapour? It matters because you could puncture an empty tank and be fine but not a full tank. Turbulence could cause shifting, hell even the Cargo dude loading on the ramp could drop your crate BESIDE the aircraft and cause a major fire destroying a multi million dollar bird.

It's the airlines. They're afraid of nail clippers too.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:59 AM   #15
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I have flown my 800 internationally twice. Both times the freight co's said no more than a litre in the tank. But the air cargo employees said if the can't see any gas when peering through the gas cap, your fine. In fact no one checked either flight - locking gas cap, and no key. Dave
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