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When I fill my new-to-me 2003 K1200RS, I do it whilst the bike is on the centerstand, and I fill to the rim, so to speak. The fuel gauge never reads full. Is there a way to get more fuel in, or is the gauge just not that well-calibrated?
 

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MaxR said:
When I fill my new-to-me 2003 K1200RS, I do it whilst the bike is on the centerstand, and I fill to the rim, so to speak. The fuel gauge never reads full. Is there a way to get more fuel in, or is the gauge just not that well-calibrated?
Mine does the same and my low fuel light comes on prematurely too. I believe they are recalibrated by the bmw Motorrad diagnostic system (dealer's computer). I just know that I get about 225 miles max out of a full tank.
 

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I tried the filling on sidestand vs centerstand. Filled the bike right up on the sidestand,then jacked it up on the centerstand and using a measuring cup added a whole 8 ounces more....so to me not even worth the effort of using the centerstand when travelling with all the camping gear on the back.....! :teeth
 

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I know for a fact the lo-fuel light can be re-calibrated. Mine had to be done after the data was deleted while being serviced.
I have no idea if the fuel gauge can be re-calibrated or adjusted.
 

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Mine just barely makes it to the bottom edge of the full line when the tank is (carefully) filled.
 

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Here's a related question - When I fill my tank to max on a hot day and leave the bike to sit a while, the fuel expands and dumps through the overflow. To avoid this I leave the fuel cap unlatched, and the key flap up to remind me to secure the cap before riding. Is this a common fault? My bike has done this from new, so I figured they all did it.....
 

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If you're going to be going for a ride right after your fill up then you can fill it to the rim if you wish. I have done this on road trips to get an extra few kilometers out of a tankfull. However, if you are going to let it sit out in the heat immediately after fueling up then you should fill it only to the bottom of the filler opening. Leaving the cap open does not negate the fact the fuel will expand as it warms up. That's a law of physics and you can't get around it. If it's not flowing out the tube it's flowing out somewhere else hidden under the plastic. All you have done by leaving the cap open is to give the fuel another route of escape.

My fuel guage does the exact opposite of all of yours. It shows full until the tank is a quarter full and then the needle starts to drop fairly quickly and I know it's time to find a gas station. I have gotten into the habit of using the trip odometer to get a better idea of how much fuel I have left. I suspect the problem lies in the adjustment of the in-tank sensor.
 

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FlagRS said:
Mine does the same and my low fuel light comes on prematurely too. I believe they are recalibrated by the bmw Motorrad diagnostic system (dealer's computer). I just know that I get about 225 miles max out of a full tank.
Really...wow... my low fuel light comes on at about 150... and by 175 -180 I'm sputtering.
 

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Yoda,I agree completely that the fuel will expand regardless. However, with the cap closed, the only route for the fuel is down the overflow. Once this starts, it siphons out very quickly. Leaving the cap unlatched allows the fuel to expand into the neck. I'm a chef, not a physics wizz so cant explain it any better. I never have a puddle of fuel under the bike if I leave the cap unlatched even when very full. The the low fuel light was re calibrated on mine after the data was lost during a service. The procedure is to drain the tank and fill with the required amount of reserve fuel, calibrate via the computer, and its done. I had mine calibrated with less reserve so the light would come on later as the trip meter (IMHO) is a more accurate of measuring distance to empty
 

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flyingkiwi said:
Yoda,I agree completely that the fuel will expand regardless. However, with the cap closed, the only route for the fuel is down the overflow. Once this starts, it siphons out very quickly. Leaving the cap unlatched allows the fuel to expand into the neck. I'm a chef, not a physics wizz so cant explain it any better. I never have a puddle of fuel under the bike if I leave the cap unlatched even when very full. The the low fuel light was re calibrated on mine after the data was lost during a service. The procedure is to drain the tank and fill with the required amount of reserve fuel, calibrate via the computer, and its done. I had mine calibrated with less reserve so the light would come on later as the trip meter (IMHO) is a more accurate of measuring distance to empty
So, after you have left the bike sit overnight (or perhaps for a day or two or whatever) and you go to ride it again, when you then close the lid does fuel spill out as the cap enters the neck? Perhaps dribbling down inside the fairing or out the tube? If not I would say you have likely lost fuel to evaporation due to the exposure to atmosphere.
 

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DaveTheAffable said:
Really...wow... my low fuel light comes on at about 150... and by 175 -180 I'm sputtering.
Looks like lots of different numbers out there http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16171&page=1&pp=10&highlight=mileage

My low fuel light comes on at 180 and my needle is above the empty mark. I always try to fuel before 200. At 200 I still have more than a half a gallon in there. I remember once taking it to 223. My ridding partner (wife) has a '07 RT with a 7.1 gallon tank and range of 350+ miles. Every time I fill up she gets just a few gallons.
 

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flyingkiwi said:
Here's a related question - When I fill my tank to max on a hot day and leave the bike to sit a while, the fuel expands and dumps through the overflow. To avoid this I leave the fuel cap unlatched, and the key flap up to remind me to secure the cap before riding. Is this a common fault? My bike has done this from new, so I figured they all did it.....
Mine used to do this, it started after a service visit at the dealer and disappeared after a subsequent service visit. IIRC, this condition is caused by mis-connected vent / drain hoses. I'd double check the two small hoses coming out of the bottom of the tank. One, the tank vent line, should go to the carbon canister (assuming you still have one). The other, the filler cap drain, should route under the bike.

If they switch these two hoses, then the gas vent drains to the ground as the tank warms up. Water draining from the filler nozzle would then go to the canister (not good).

Edit: fuzzy head this morning. I seemed to recall something about a float also causing this problem. Sure enough, if your float falls off the vent line inside the tank, it will allow liquid gas to exit the tank instead of just the vapors. You'll experience the symptoms you described. Forum search is an awesome tool:

http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4057&highlight=fuel+leak
 

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Thank you for the comments. The cap is only left unlatched after filling if it is not going to be ridden immediately. (like stopping for food) It only takes a few minutes on the road for the level to drop and the symptoms abate. I will investigate the two overflows, and the charcoal canister. Don't know if Aussie spec bikes were fitted with them, and I have owned it from new, so I will investigate. As for the flap inside the filler neck, were they fitted to K12RS's? Definitely nothing there....
 

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Fuel Gauge

FlagRS said:
Mine does the same and my low fuel light comes on prematurely too. I believe they are recalibrated by the bmw Motorrad diagnostic system (dealer's computer). I just know that I get about 225 miles max out of a full tank.

My 2002 K1200rs: I don't trust the Gauge. I set the trip meter to zero miles every fill up and try to refuel at 150 miles. I have gone 200+ and the fuel light came on. I have also rode 20 miles with the fuel light on ...
 

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Dealer can calibrate

When I bought my new to me 2004 K1200GT at the end of last summer the prior owner had let it sit to where the gas got bad and the fuel pump got gummed up. He put a fuel pump in but did not repair the gauge and fuel light. The bike only had 6200 miles on it and I had it fixed at the local dealer. When I got it back the gauge worked but the fuel light came on after a gallon was burnt off. I went back in and they calibrated to where it came on with 1 gal left. You have to have the mododitec or whatever it is to do it.
 

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Yes, the fuel sender inside the tank is the usual simple variable resistor sliding up and down with fuel level.

As is common with most cars, the resistor is connected to the fuel gauge. There is not much you can do about the gauge calibration. If it is wrong, then either the resistor in the tank is faulty or sticking, or the gauge is faulty.

The low fuel lamp is a different story. They use the voltage from the resistor and gauge combination to 'trip' the low fuel lamp on through a separate electronic module which has a connection to the diagnostics plug. To calibrate the 'low fuel on' lamp they are changing the data stored in this module.

I have never had a problem with mine, but provided the system was basically working and the low fuel lamp was just a bit off, it should be possible to fit a variable resistor on the voltage sensing line and manually fine tune your own 'low fuel on' trip level.

That would save spending money at the Stealer, because most of the time they charge for is spent emptying the tank and refilling with a measured amount of fuel. I am pretty capable of doing that myself - easy with Quick Disconnects.

Note from my explanation that is is possible for the gauge and low fuel lamp to be telling different things, although the gauge with no adjustments should be telling the truth and it is worth finding out the position on your gauge that corresponds to 1/2 gallon of fuel remaining. Remember though that fuel can be trapped in the left side tank void where it is not measured by the float sender.

Later bikes with fancy trip computers have a strip sensor fitted instead of the simple variable resistor. I read many have a lot of trouble with those.



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And there were so many problems with the strips, they discontinued using them when the K1300 came out, not sure when/if they stopped using them on the Rs, but my S did not have one, it was a 2009.
 

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Gregg2gs said:
Agreed. Mine does exactly the same. Maybe 160 and yellow light.
If you don't push the power all the time, perhaps your bike is using more gas because its O2 sensor has too many miles on it or is polluted?

If you ride the bike hard for fun, then 160 sounds about right. How long does your rear tire last?

Rider behaviour, rear tire, brake pad life and gas consumption pretty well go together. :)

I get 180 to low fuel light with 20 left in the tank and may be another 10 to 'sputtering'.



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