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Discussion Starter #1
I was out riding recently when my fuel light came on. I hadn't filled up in a while so this came as no surprise. It seemed about time. Well, I was on my way home anyway so I decided I'd wait until I got home and stop at the gas station right by my house. I was only about 6 miles away. Well, I ran out of gas about a mile short of my house. Now, I know I have gone longer that 5 miles with the fuel light on before. The light is supposed to come on when you have like .9 gallons left. I was surprised.

Since then I fill up right when the light comes on. Each time I have topped off the tank it has only taken slightly more than 2 gallons to do so. One time it took 2.5 gallons. What gives? If it has a 3.9 gallon tank, and the light comes on with .9 gallons left, it should take 3 gallons to top it off. It has never been over 2.5. Something doesn't make sense. And after it ran out of gas 5 miles after the light came on I'm afraid to run it more than a mile with the light on.

Can anyone make sense of this? Am I missing something here?
 

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I've had similar experiences. Sometimes it comes on and sometimes it doesn't. After I ran out of gas once I learned to watch the trip meter and fill up at 130 miles. I've heard similar stories from others. . .
 

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I usaly hit the reserve around 125 or 140 miles (depend of my type of riding) and hit the end of the tank after 30 to 60 miles.

my consumption is around 5L per 100Km (I don't which comparaison you use in US, sorry)

a friend had got same pb with a 2002 750ie, Ducati replace under warranty is fuel pomp and injector.

Flavien
 

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Michael,

My reserve light behaves similarly to yours. Even if I wait until the light is continously on, the tank will only take about 2.6 gallons. Which means I still have about 1.3 gallons left instead of the stated 0.9 reserve.

It's odd, though, that you ran out of gas five miles later. Even with my sub-30mpg fuel consumption (don't get me started on THAT...), I reckon I'd still be good for another 35 miles after the light comes on. Sounds like your warning light is both pessimistic AND unreliable.

So does anyone know if the low fuel sensor is in any way adjustable? From the drawing in the Ducati parts catalog, it appears to be a probe that's threaded into the rear base of the tank. I'd love to be able to recalibrate mine so it isn't crying wolf.
 

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Trust the trip meter.

Reset the trip odometer each time you fill up the bike and use the fuel light as a reminder. If you keep track of mileage whenever you fill up, within 1000 miles or so you'll know for sure how far you can go on a tank. I always filled up my M900 before I hit 120 miles unless I was doing all highway miles, then I could get away with about 150. I only ran it out of gas once, and that was because I was doing some accelleration runs on it after the warning light was on and didn't consider how much I was reducing the mileage.
 

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Yep, keeping an eye on the trip meter always works. That's one reading I can trust.

Related Thread

Your recent mishap may just be a freak incident. Mine always lights up past 90 miles consistently. But many riders here claim they can get 120. Point being, I have a feeling the sensor is not reliable to begin with.

--- Edit Typo ---
 
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if you get more than 90 miles before the fuel light comes on
your not riding hard enough
 

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If I rode my S4 that hard, I'd be in jail before the light came on...

Routinely get 120-130 before the light comes on, and just did 150 miles and it only took 3.6 USgal to fill it up. Had about 3/4 of a gallon left, If I can trust what my manual says the tank will hold.
 

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My old Yamaha had a real reserve gas valve (the ones you twist on/off). I miss not having that. I was actually surprised to find the Monster didn't have it.
 

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In my experience, fuel guages/lights on Italian bikes are there only to remind you that the bike you are riding burns fuel and that at some point you will have to purchase some.

Use the trip meter.

I have run the S4 out of gas at around 110-130 twice, so I start thinking gas around 100 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, I started looking at the trip meter to gauge my gas needs. I still wait til the light comes on but now I fill it as soon as it come on rather than risk it. But, it seems like I am doing more filling up than riding due to my paranoia.

I guess I'll keep good track of the trip meter for a couple of tanks and talk to the shop. It seems as if I am stopping at about 80 miles to fill up. Way too soon! I'd like to get at least 100 miles between stops.....
 

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In my experience, fuel guages/lights on Italian bikes are there only to remind you that the bike you are riding burns fuel and that at some point you will have to purchase some.
--------snip-----------------
Now THAT's funny! ;D

I continue to be amazed by the wide variation in Duc gas mileage.
 

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i think it also depends on how heavy a rider you are... if you're carrying a few extra tons of beer-belly around your fuel economy is gonna drop like a rock... i get at least 190 miles on the odometer before the fuel light kicks in.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I wouldn't be worried if I had a beer gut. I weigh 170 - 175 depending on what time of year it is. ;D I get down to 165 in the summer racing (mountain bikes) season. So, my weight isn't an issue. I'm going to keep a log of my mileage to see what the hell is going on.
 

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I wouldn't be worried if I had a beer gut. I weigh 170 - 175 depending on what time of year it is. ;D I get down to 165 in the summer racing (mountain bikes) season. So, my weight isn't an issue. I'm going to keep a log of my mileage to see what the hell is going on.

if you're comparing mileage, be sure to log what type of riding you're doing... commuting or canyon riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So far 99% of my riding has been city riding. We don't have canyons in New Orelans. I have made 2 trips out to the back road across the lake from here though and the roads are pretty twisty...not like California or anything but still fun. Plan to do more of that soon. As well as my first trackday on Super Bowl Sunday.

Good point about the riding conditions. I guess if I get back to back highway and back road trips my mileage problems won't be so bad. Right now I am basically commuting and riding in traffic all the time. I could see why I'd have low mileage. Still don't know why it ran out of gas after 5 miles though........
 

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I get anywhere from 250-300km out of my 01 900 depending on the type of riding I do. Most of my riding is commuting 50km to work. Using the trip metre is what I do as well and it was particularily helpful on my 10,300km trip this summer through the rockies. BTW, I weigh 215lbs.
 
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Re: Fuel Light....Reserve: DESIGN FLAW, SAFETY RISK

For those of you who continue to ponder the reason for premature or intermittent fuel light behavior, I have something to report. I have a 2001 S4. I recently brought it in for its routine 6k mile service and asked the mechanic about any fuel sending unit issues he had seen after describing my experience with the fuel warning light. It was at this point that he brought what would appear to be a SERIOUS DESIGN FLAW issue with the gas tank/fuel sending unit to my attention. Upon inspection of the fuel sending unit, it was apparent that there was excessive wear on the wiring which appeared to be stemming from some degree of friction and some degree of thermal breakdown. The mechanic pointed out to me that the design of the gas tank puts the fuel sending unitl in a position where it is LAYING DIRECTLY ON THE CYLINDER HEAD. These two things touching (i.e. plastic wires and hot metal) is a recipe for disaster. He said that another customer had the same thing and unfortunately for him, the wires ended up eventually burning up, causing a short which shut down the fuel pump and left him completely stranded. Can you imagine this happening at a track day in the middle of a turn? I just ran my bike on the track on October 10. I began to feel sick. The mechanic then showed me a later model Monster gas tank where the DESIGN HAD BEEN CHANGED. The new design has a recess which allows the fuel sending unit to sit higher and therefore clear the cylinder head. Finally, the mechanic suggested that this should really have been a RECALL by Ducati due to the severity of the flaw and the obvious safety issues at stake. For those of you with Monsters of the 2001 vintage, I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO EXAMINE YOUR FUEL SENDING UNIT to see if there is any wear. If there is, you will see a corresponding wear mark on the top of the cylinder head. It is unmistakable.

Needless to say, I am with the help of my dealer, pursuing this issue with Ducati of North America. Adding insult to injury, my tank has a custom paint job.
 
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