PDA

View Full Version : 12RT fuel gauge, new twist



BigAdv
09-17-2007, 03:46 AM
Sorry to start a new tread on this, but I have a new question on this issue.(didnt want it lost in an old tread)

So same sort of issues, range not showing what it should etc (07 RT). Ran the tank down to 11km to empty, filled the tank, took 21.6L. Thus 5.4L ACTUALY left in the tank. Riding home, look at the gauge and only shows 3/4 full. Put it on the center stand in the garage, still showing 3/4 full. Now not being too smart, I still managed to figure out that 5.5L is a 1/4 tank. so in concusion the range reading that my bike is displaying are correct for 3/4 of a tank. BTW Ive filled the tank up 4 times now with the same results. My question is, have others with range issues also seen or noted the fuel level issue, or is this a new one?

PS: The on board computers av. fuel consumption is dead on, displayed 5.1L/100km. 21.6L used to travel 426km, =5.07L/100km.

dancogan
09-17-2007, 11:50 AM
The fuel guage on my '05RT gets down to empty when it's about to use the roughly 3/4 gal reserve. Same with the computer estimate of range. In other words, it seems to want me to think that I'm out of gas when I get down to the reserve. Works for me. The computed figure regarding fuel consumption is spot on. Even after the fix, the temp is so far off as to be useless.

greenwald
09-17-2007, 12:53 PM
Having an '05 R1200RT and hearing about the inaccuracy of fuel status, I too experimented with my ride by once taking the fuel level down to "0 Miles To Empty" on the computer display.

I discovered upon filling up that I had 1+ gallons of gas still in the tank.

I thought about going to the dealer for recalibration of the sensor, but decided not to, and here's why.

First of all, not being a die-hard Iron Butt affectianado (though next year, I plan to complete an Iron Butt ride [1,000 in 24] just as a personal goal), I don't need to exhaust every drop in the tank between fill ups.

Second, having been caught unexpectedly in bumper-to-bumper traffic near large cities more than once, I'd rather keep my fuel supply a little on the high side anyways - one less worry while crawling along behind an endless line of semi's.

Thirdly, I suspect our fuel pumps are similar to automotive designs, where the gas actually acts as a lubricant for a pump mounted inside the fuel tank. Therefore, letting the fuel level get too low raises pump lubrication issues, and risks a possible shut down.

So, I will live with a system that 'lies' to me about fuel left. At least this way, when the warning light prompts me to get fuel, I will have adequate 'back up' should that next fuel stop be a little further down the road than I should have planned for in the first place.

Ride Often and Alert!

Tom K.
09-17-2007, 02:14 PM
So, I will live with a system that 'lies' to me about fuel left.

I agree. As long as the readings remain consistent (as they have on my '06RT), they can be re'lied' upon!

Of course, we could go back to the dual petcock system on my first BMW (/6): the engine sputters, turn one petcock to reserve, ride a few miles, turn the other petcock to reserve, ride some more, stop and lean the bike, ride some more, start walking....

Tom

vmi1991
09-17-2007, 11:14 PM
Dan:
Was you temp sensor software upgraded only, or did they move the sensor to the front of the bike?

My temp was flukey at first, but managed to stay about 1-4 degrees below actual, consistant enough to be annoyed at BMW, yet functional. After the rear frame was replaced, the temp was all over the place.

So, besides the software upgrade, I had a dealer put the the sensor prob on the right side fairing. Usually the reading is within 1 degree now.

The 2005s shipped with the sensor underneath the rear seat reading the temp at the luggage rack.

Worth a try and should be a warranty-covered solution, if your bike is under warranty that is.

George
1200RT '05
53,600 miles and counting.

BigAdv
09-17-2007, 11:14 PM
The responce that I was looking for was- does your fuel gauge read full when full(4 complete segments) or does it read only to the third dash(3 complete segments)? Where is the normal full mark? (The part or segment that is below the bottom dash, the one that tappers in, is the reserve?)

Also I will not just live with it, this is a premium brand product, if it were my 750 with a fuel gauge issue should i live with that as well? I think not.

greenwald
09-17-2007, 11:23 PM
Dan - like George mentioned - get the temp probe moved (hopefully under warranty) to the right side of the front fairing area. Made all the difference for me on my '05 R1200RT. Now the guage reads a temp that 99% of all other thermometers (banks, my Dodge Ram, etc.) agree with, to within a degree or two.

As for the tank guage issue, it reads totally full, but be careful when filling up. Once the back-flow shuts off the pump nozzle for the first time, I have found that there is still room for a fair amount of fuel to still be added, before it actually starts creeping up the filler neck.

In otherwords, whenever I 'thought' I had filled up, I was actually down enough to not get all the bars to register on the computer display.

What I 'live with' is not an inaccurate fuel graph (as long as I put ALL the gas I can into the tank), but rather a hefty reserve amount, for reasons I previously stated keep me in my comfort zone.

Good Luck, and enjoy the ride!

njnear
09-19-2007, 02:02 AM
My on board computer is spot on in calculating gas mileage. In a recent post I stated something like this:

Low fuel light on 50 miles to empty.

Rode to 53 miles "past" zero to empty. That's 103 miles after low fuel light came on.

Rubber stopper out of tank.

Filled 7.08 gallons on 315 miles (mileage calculation agrees w/ computer). Tank is stated at 7.1 gallons.

I say there are more than 2 gallons remaining when the low fuel light comes on if the rubber stopper is out.

I'll leave the metric conversion to you, but I think it's 3.8 L/gal and .6 miles/km.

marcopolo
09-19-2007, 08:25 PM
As mentioned, you really have to "massage" the last good bit of gas into the tank after the nozzle shuts off for the first time. I've added 4-5L on some fill-ups after the first shut-off.

I had my fuel guage re-calibrated, under warranty, because the low fuel warning was coming on way too soon. While I could live with the small black gas pump icon flashing on the display, I found the yellow warning triangle very distracting.

BTW, I recently filled up after riding 485 kms. I was able to get 24L into the tank, so I still had 3L to go before empty. Three-quarters of that tankful was used while I had two full side bags, and a full 49L topcase (highway riding, of course).

BILLP
09-20-2007, 02:30 PM
Overfilling the tank will end up clogging the charcoal canister. Don't ask me how I know!
But on my '07RT the low fuel light comes on at 45 miles to empty. Then once it hits zero I have a gallon left. Good enough for 35/40 miles before I really might have to push a bike.

By then you rode 300 miles on a tank. What is the issue? Buy some GAS!

mcclaro1
09-28-2007, 02:18 AM
My '05 RT has been consistent since the gitgo on fuel. The yellow light goes on at 50 miles to go. At zero miles to go I have about one gallon reserve left (I removed the plug long ago). On fillup, it usually takes a few minutes or a few miles to register full. It seems that the mileage calculator defaults to an initial reading of 327 miles to empty and then adjusts up or down depending on how much fuel is added.

henzilla
09-28-2007, 01:15 PM
Overfilling the tank will end up clogging the charcoal canister. Don't ask me how I know!
But on my '07RT the low fuel light comes on at 45 miles to empty. Then once it hits zero I have a gallon left. Good enough for 35/40 miles before I really might have to push a bike.

By then you rode 300 miles on a tank. What is the issue? Buy some GAS!

sometimes the closest gas is over 300 miles away! pull into a station that used to be open and its closed....next town 120 miles away... Have pulled into stop with 0 showing on computer after 30 miles of riding that way. Anxiety check for sure.

kbasa
09-28-2007, 02:55 PM
Overfilling the tank will end up clogging the charcoal canister. Don't ask me how I know!
But on my '07RT the low fuel light comes on at 45 miles to empty. Then once it hits zero I have a gallon left. Good enough for 35/40 miles before I really might have to push a bike.

By then you rode 300 miles on a tank. What is the issue? Buy some GAS!

Same here.

And getting annoyed by a temp gauge that's off by a degree? :huh

hlothery
09-28-2007, 03:33 PM
I have the same fuel gauge issues....no big deal if it is consistent, which it is. The temp reading was 4 degrees low until they reprogrammed and moved the sensor. Now it is 7 degrees too high. Mildly annoying, but again, if it is consistent, even I can to the math.

dleonard1952
09-29-2007, 09:02 PM
I can testify that the range of my fuel tank is 322 miles as I recently ran out at that point. I ran out because I foolishly relied on my gauge which showed nearly half a tank. It still amazes me that a company that can make a reliable and high performing automobile can't make reliable speedomoters or other instruments on their motorcycles.

1analguy
10-04-2007, 04:46 AM
I think BMW is, generally, in love with technology. They seem to enjoy answering questions that no one is asking. I had the same "won't-read-full, goes-empty-too-soon" issue with my RT's gauge when it was new. At the 600 mile service, I had them do a by-the-book recalibration. Then, I tossed a can of gas in the top case and ran the bike completely dry (it finally killed while idling at a stop sign across the street from a gas station...and no, I'm not always that lucky). I put it on the center stand, removed the rubber sleeve in the filler neck, and filled it to the bottom of the metal neck. It took 7.48 gallons. Now, it does display full on the bar graph, but not for very long. It starts coming down after only a mile or so. When the yellow triangle comes on, there's about 1.5 gallons left. When the very last pixel on the bar graph winks out there's 0.7 gallons left, which I think is a nice reserve amount.

So, this "solid state" fuel sensor strip can be made to display useful information if BMW is willing to spend extra time (and money) calibrating it correctly, but apparently there isn't enough time to do this while the bike is on the assembly line, so I don't know why they didn't stick with an old-fashioned-yet-stone-ax-reliable, one-moving-part fuel float for a sensor like the ones in most other bikes. I'm sure they probably fail too, but I've been riding for over 35 years and have never had one fail on me...

motoclass
10-07-2007, 05:27 AM
I put it on the center stand, removed the rubber sleeve in the filler neck, and filled it to the bottom of the metal neck.

Bob,

What do you mean by "removed the rubber sleeve in the filler neck"? I see it. Do I remove the gas cap assy., like on the early K-bikes, to get it out?

Thanks!

Tom K.
10-07-2007, 04:53 PM
Bob,What do you mean by "removed the rubber sleeve in the filler neck"? I see it. Do I remove the gas cap assy., like on the early K-bikes, to get it out?Thanks!
Simply open the gas cap and gently pull the rubber gasket up with your fingers - mine came out very easily. The big advantage I've found is that the gas pump's auto-cutoff isn't as sensitive, making the fillup a much more pleasant experience.
Tom

BigAdv
10-08-2007, 05:42 PM
I had the bike in the shop 2 weeks ago to have a few things done, they replaced the front wheel speed sensor dew to it rubbing on the rotor ( tech missed this at PDI, ABS light came on the day after picked up the bike!) Also had the TB's synced. I had complained about the fuel gauge not showing full aswell. The tech said that he verified my complaint (he filled the tank and it did not read full) he checked that the system did not have any faults, which it did not, and he ordered a new fuel level sensor. Have not got a call to say that the part is in, but with any luck, it sould correct the fault in this case.

As a side note, I also mentioned a few other faults that I had noted, one the windshield has a very noticable warpage to it and the rear seat has some voids in the foam on the side under the vinyl. This is the responce that I got;

The cust. accepted delivery of the bike like this there for it is not our responcibility.

The parts I complained about are not damaged in any way from use, they clearly have a defect in material or workmanship. Nice. By that reasoning the wheel speed sensor and fuel sensor should not be warranty as well since they were like that since delivery!


Anyways I post when I get the new sensor in and let you know if all is well.

Earl

BigAdv
07-23-2008, 02:01 AM
to continue the story. the bike went into the shop today to have the fuel gauge repaired. Since my last up date, the bike has been in the shop 3 seperate time for this issue. I brought it in as stated in the last post to do the sending unit, but they could not get it done that day, and they informed me that BMW was coming out with a software update for this problem.(this was back in dec.) So we waited till the new tune was aval. to do. Had that done in may, did not fix the problem. So they reordered the sending unit that they where going to replace in the the first place. Today they replaced the sending unit,( also did a recall for the EWS). This is the first time that I have seen the gauge reads full!!! A joyfull and happy day. Really, this was a minor problem that turned into a major hassle for me. I guess I cuold of just let it be, but that yellow triangle and flashing fuel pump can be very anoying and a little disheartening when you are in the back and beyond of the middle of nowhere. With some luck this will be the last the dealer will see of me for a while.

Earl

HOKIE
07-31-2008, 01:28 AM
My 2007 R1200RT only shows 3/4 full after each fill up. I know I am getting a full tank because I can run about 350 miles on the tank.

47512
08-15-2008, 12:03 AM
In 84 I bought a KRS, it had a widget in the fuel tank they called a thermister, it measured the temp of the fuel to turn on the low fuel light, it was replaced 2 or 3 times, it never did work with any consistensy. I replaced the 84 with a 91 KRS, and it had a real fuel level gauge with a float, it worked perfect every time. It seems BMW just cant help themselves when it comes over engineered nonsence. Anybody rember idrive in BMW cars??

Ken G.

Artiee
08-15-2008, 02:16 PM
I've come to the conclusion that this varies (and will always vary) from motorcycle to motorcycle. Two identical RTs, with the same exact amount of fuel, ridden side by side, in the same manner, are going to have two slightly different readings on their fuel gauges at the end.

In the following quote, the poster stated....


When the yellow triangle comes on, there's about 1.5 gallons left. When the very last pixel on the bar graph winks out there's 0.7 gallons left, which I think is a nice reserve amount.



I've run my RT down until the very last pixel "winks out". When I fill up, the tank has taken 6 gallons each time (verified visually that fuel level has reached the bottom of the filler neck). That means I have 1.1 gallons left while he only has 0.7 gallons left.

My owners manual states that the flashing low-fuel icon (the one which looks a fuel pump -- along with the yellow triangle) will illuminate when you are down to your reserve. Actual performance on my motorcycle has consistently shown I'm not down to my reserve until the last pixel "winks out", while the low-fuel icon starts flashing while the gauge shows approximately 1/8 of a tank left. I prefer it this way because I actually have more fuel left than the gauge indicates -- less chance of unintentionally running dry.

A fuel guage in a motor-vehicle is not really intended to be an extremely precise piece of precision, scientific equipment but a general warning of when you need to stop and fill up again. I doubt BMW is going to invest the time and money to ensure identical calibration from motorcycle to motorcycle, just that the gauge is generally accurate.

Everyone just needs to become familiar with the peculiarities of their own individual machine, and ride accordingly.

BigAdv
08-16-2008, 12:16 AM
"I doubt BMW is going to invest the time and money to ensure identical calibration from motorcycle to motorcycle, just that the gauge is generally accurate."

If it was a matter of it being out by a bit, I'd agree with you, however, mine was out by 1/4 of a tank. I feel that this is a bit more than is acceptable. And by the way the new sender they put in my bike has not fixed it.

Earl

gened12
08-16-2008, 01:03 AM
Same issues as posted. Originally he gauge never made it to full. So 1st calibration and that was fixed except that on 0 km showing I still had over 7 liters left. On a 30 liter tank that is a lot. I made mental calculations on an Iron butt ride but was left out of gas 5 km from a town... I just had a second calibration done during a service nd will let you know how it goes.

Cheers

Denis R1200RT 07

markgoodrich
08-16-2008, 01:34 AM
The responce that I was looking for was- does your fuel gauge read full when full(4 complete segments) or does it read only to the third dash(3 complete segments)? Where is the normal full mark? (The part or segment that is below the bottom dash, the one that tappers in, is the reserve?)

Also I will not just live with it, this is a premium brand product, if it were my 750 with a fuel gauge issue should i live with that as well? I think not.

BigAdv, here's the way I understand it, and the way my bike acts; someone else with actual brains can chime in and correct me.

When the "miles to empty" notation says "0", you're at the bottom of the lower diagonal line, you've gone onto reserve, with wildly variable amounts of gas in different bikes' tanks.
I marked this on the photo with "EMPTY:

The "Full" mark, as I understand it, is the third horizontal line, again shown on my photo. If I'm incorrect, then so is my gauge, but it really doesn't matter to me, as my bladder fills faster than the tank empties. I hope I'm right, and I hope this helps.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j236/queenbetty/BMW%20ACC/RTGasGauge.jpg

BigAdv
08-16-2008, 04:48 AM
Mark,

nice pic, it shows how my gauge used to read before they tried to fix it. The mark that you show as full is instead the 3/4 full mark, and so one down. After the software update and a new sending unit my gauge does in fact now read all the way to the top. However, it drops down rapidly and the low fuel warning still comes on too soon. I know this using simple math and the description of operation from the riders manual. The tank has a total capacity of 27L, of which 4L is the 'reserve'. The low fuel light is to come on when the volume in the tank reaches the reserve amount. Therefor I should use 23L and then the low fuel warning will come on. At 5L/100km I should be able to travel 460km(285miles) and then the low fuel warning will come on with an additional range of 80km(49miles) giving a total range of 540km(335miles) till the tank is empty. This is not happening, my low fuel warning comes on at 360km(223miles) if I fill the tank at this point it will take 18L . This happens now as before the repairs where attempted. The only thing that has changed is the gauge does read full. Unfortunatly the hassel to get it in and looked at is more than I am willing to endure now so I will just leave it be. It does leave me with a very bad impression of BMW however. I just seem to like things to work as advertised i guess, and this does not.

Earl

Earl

RACEYDOG
09-07-2008, 01:39 AM
My '07 RT has 3 gallons left when the computer says 0 miles left. I ran out of gas last weekend while trying to find a gas station. I had 1.5 gallons left when I ran out going up a hill.
So all of you that are saying it isn't "that" important, bite me.

1analguy
09-07-2008, 06:56 AM
I think BMW is, generally, in love with technology. They seem to enjoy answering questions that no one is asking. I had the same "won't-read-full, goes-empty-too-soon" issue with my RT's gauge when it was new. At the 600 mile service, I had them do a by-the-book recalibration. Then, I tossed a can of gas in the top case and ran the bike completely dry (it finally killed while idling at a stop sign across the street from a gas station...and no, I'm not always that lucky). I put it on the center stand, removed the rubber sleeve in the filler neck, and filled it to the bottom of the metal neck. It took 7.48 gallons. Now, it does display full on the bar graph, but not for very long. It starts coming down after only a mile or so. When the yellow triangle comes on, there's about 1.5 gallons left. When the very last pixel on the bar graph winks out there's 0.7 gallons left, which I think is a nice reserve amount.

Something has changed since the above took place last season. I rode well into December and, on the last day on my way home from work in the morning it was 26 degrees out, so I parked the RT for the season. The tank was quite low, with nothing showing on the bar graph. One thing led to another, and I never filled the tank like I always do on a vehicle that I'm storing for the winter. In the spring, I filled the tank to the bottom of the neck again. The bar graph went full alright, but instead of dropping after a mile or so as it had previously, it stayed on full for a good long while (maybe 10-15 miles). Actually, I was happy as now it was acting more like the gauges in my other vehicles. I've been riding all summer so far without wondering if the rest of the calibration had changed along with the topped-up reading.

Well. it has. Normally, when I fill the tank I reset Trip 1 and then use Trip 2 as my day-to-day trip meter. I was commuting to work (20 miles each way) for the last couple of weeks, with my old "0.7 gallon left with 1 pixel showing" information in the back of my head. I just kept resetting Trip 2 each day and forgot to check Trip 1. So I rode until there was 1 pixel on the bar graph which, fortunately, occurred near work. When I came out in the morning for the ride home, I figured that I'd ride home and fill up there. Hell, I've got 0.7 gallon for 20 lousy miles, right? So I set out for home and a few blocks from work, I see the gas prices at the station up ahead dropped over night so I decided to pull in and fill 'er up. When I topped it up, the pump said 7.3 gallons. Huh? So, when I finally went to reset Trip 1, there's 385 miles on there! Now, I know the empty tank holds 7.5 gallons total (see quote, above). That means that now, 1 pixel left means 0.2 gallon left, not 0.7.

It seems that over the winter, with the sensor strip completely exposed and dried out for those 5 months, combined with the dealer's re-calibration the previous season, the fuel gauge (bar graph) has now become totally dead-nuts serious when it says that there's no gas in the tank, and it shows nice and full when you fill it. Of course, this is the best that could be hoped for, but now I'll have to keep an eye on the calibration for a while to be sure that it has settled permanently. Has anyone else seen this happen?

aaaaaa
09-14-2008, 10:52 PM
I can testify that the range of my fuel tank is 322 miles as I recently ran out at that point. I ran out because I foolishly relied on my gauge which showed nearly half a tank. It still amazes me that a company that can make a reliable and high performing automobile can't make reliable speedomoters or other instruments on their motorcycles.

The cars are quirky also. The final drives just don't fail.
robert

lfranklin
09-19-2008, 04:06 AM
I have been following this thread and a couple of comments have raised a question or two. Regarding the rubber stopper. 1. Could someone describe this a bit more and where it is located and should it be removed. 2. The charcoal cannister, where is this located? 3. Filling to the bottom of the necked down area, will this damage the cannister?

I have been filling my bike up to the bottom of the what looks like a black necked down area in the tank. Tonight I put in as much as I could bringing the level up to top of the necked down area. My computer showed 1 mile remaining and I put in 6.5 gals. This means I had ~ .6 gals remaining, assuming that all 7.1 gals is usable. My quantity gauge does not go all the way to the bottom of the gas pump icon, it does go ~1/4 of the way to the icon.

I am debating about getting it repaired or calibrated or just live with it and when the low level light comes on at ~ 48 miles it is time to start looking for gas.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Leon Franklin

MPATROVSKY
09-20-2008, 02:55 AM
The rubber neck filler is some kind of protection to something but I threw mine away months ago. The tank fills easier and quicker. As far as the gas gauge goes, I'm reminded of the man with one watch who knows what time it is and the one with two watches is never sure. Set your trip oddometer and start looking for gas at around 250 to 275 miles should take five gallons or so.

Tom K.
09-20-2008, 06:12 PM
I have been following this thread and a couple of comments have raised a question or two. Regarding the rubber stopper. 1. Could someone describe this a bit more and where it is located and should it be removed.
Leon Franklin

To remove the gasket (technical term is "rubber thingy", see my earlier post (#18) in this thread.
Tom

hgordee
09-21-2008, 03:07 PM
I have had the same problem w/my 08. They have replaced the sensor and recalibrated twice. The guage still does not read full. Just above 3/4. The dealer says this is a problem w/the 08's and does not have a fix. BMW apparently has not had enough complaints to warrant them fixing the problem. I too am disappointed and would like a fix

greenwald
09-21-2008, 05:17 PM
I have had the same problem w/my 08. They have replaced the sensor and recalibrated twice. The guage still does not read full. Just above 3/4. The dealer says this is a problem w/the 08's and does not have a fix. BMW apparently has not had enough complaints to warrant them fixing the problem. I too am disappointed and would like a fix

Here's where the MOA could be a consumer advocate for problems we have with our bikes.

Have 'regional' members (I'd volunteer for my region) collect information on problems or issues unresolved at the dealer level, talk with the parties involved if need be (both owner and dealer / tech), and then channel this information to MOA in a pre-arranged format, to be passed on en masse to BMW (Germany) quarterly, at a high enough level to get noticed.

I've made this suggestion before, but it sort of got caught up in the "strategic vs. tactical" semantics black hole.

GEORGEWK
11-10-2008, 01:35 AM
The fuel guage on my '08 R1200Rt acts like those mentioned in the thread, it is not accurage but is always the same. Until....

Today, however, after I filled it with gas, the guage just kept going down from where it was to having the the warning light on, the gas pump icon blinking and the guage indicating no fuel.

Is this normally a loose connection? A canister issue? Fuel filter?

I will appreciate getting direction on where to look on the web for info on this.

Thanks, George

professor
07-03-2009, 08:17 PM
Yesterday when I put my '07 1200RT to bed, the guage said I had 129 miles left and the bar graph was about half way up. This morning when I started it, the guage still said 129, but the bar graph showed empty and the low-fuel warning was flashing. As I started riding, the number rapidly decreased so it said I was out of gas after about 5 miles.

I pulled into a station and filled the tank. It took about 3.5 gallons (the tank is 7.1) so I still had plenty of fuel.

As we speak, the RT is on a lift at the dealer. I was told that they see a lot of problems with the fuel sensors, especially in this area. He said he thinks that the gas we have around here is damaging the sensors. I hope the fix lasts a while, but if it fails again, I want it to fail before the warranty runs out. ;)

cjack
07-03-2009, 08:38 PM
He said he thinks that the gas we have around here is damaging the sensors. I hope the fix lasts a while, but if it fails again, I want it to fail before the warranty runs out. ;)

Yeah right. The gas is so bad around here that one (my wife's K12S) failed with 10 miles on the bike. The replacements (3 out of 5 of our bikes) have lasted though.

barry5k
07-04-2009, 04:41 AM
It would be interesting to put a small can of gas in the saddlebags and run the bike until empty (or stop when sputtering) to see the real mileage, etc. I did this on my cruiser and I now know about how much gas I will have (depending on conditions) and I no longer feel stressed about the warning light.

By the way, my R1200RT gauge computer is way more accurate than any other bike I have had!!!!

(Ok, no need to flame me for riding with an extra can of gas!)

mneblett
07-04-2009, 02:24 PM
It would be interesting to put a small can of gas in the saddlebags and run the bike until empty (or stop when sputtering) to see the real mileage, etc. I did this on my cruiser and I now know about how much gas I will have (depending on conditions) and I no longer feel stressed about the warning light.

By the way, my R1200RT gauge computer is way more accurate than any other bike I have had!!!!

(Ok, no need to flame me for riding with an extra can of gas!)
No flames here -- I did this. I went 25 miles past "0" miles left before I refueled at a station (I was running out of time to meet someone for an appointment, and therefore didn't have the chance to run the tank completely dry). As I recall, I had something like .3 gal left in the tank when I refilled. I now have a pretty good idea how far I can "push" if I have to, although I don't normally do so because I want enough fuel in the tank to keep the pump cool.

mpmarty
07-04-2009, 04:34 PM
No thanks on running it out on purpose. I'm in no hurry to replace my fuel pump.
With over seven gallons of fuel on board I can make it to the next gas station from anywhere I ride long before going below a quarter of a tank. Three or four gallons is my normal fill at between a hundred and fifty and two hundred miles. That's far enough for a stretch and walkabout anyway.

greenwald
07-05-2009, 11:37 PM
No thanks on running it out on purpose. I'm in no hurry to replace my fuel pump.
With over seven gallons of fuel on board I can make it to the next gas station from anywhere I ride long before going below a quarter of a tank. Three or four gallons is my normal fill at between a hundred and fifty and two hundred miles. That's far enough for a stretch and walkabout anyway.

Totally agree. Ran my R1200RT down to the "7 miles to empty" warning the other day, and then put in 6.2 gallons.

So, that leaves something in the neighborhood of 3/4 of a gallon that stays off the fuel supply radar...........excellent, as that can remain dedicated to lubrication / cooling of the fuel pump, which is mounted internally within the tank.

Ergo, I will take my "miles to empty" numbers seriously as the 'hard deck,' and not fret over what few vapors in the tank I may not have utilized before reaching the pumps! :dance

RT3MPC
07-07-2009, 05:43 PM
sadly i just had my 4th replacement installed on my 07-RT with the 12 k service. I do not trust it since it showed 125 miles left but when I decided to fill up, it took 7.06 Gal.

Tank is 7.1 gal-

Odometer is the best way to avoid getting gas sent out to you on the side of the road

cjack
07-07-2009, 05:53 PM
BMW has gone back to the float type gas gauge on the '09 K1300S.

cjack
07-11-2009, 01:42 PM
I just lost another fuel strip on the '08 K12S. This one did not go open on the sensor material, but went to 2K in air instead of the 2.5K which seems to be the nominal stock value. The 2K caused the fuel gauge to read 2/3 tank when it was almost empty. And a value that low, prevents the diagnostic computer from recalibrating the strip apparently. There never seems to be an issue with the heater resistance (the outside 2 of the 4 terminals on the strip connector). It read 33 ohms like the rest of the four broken fuel strips we have had on these bikes.

I guess when these bikes are out of warranty, it's going to be $200 a strip to replace it.

professor
07-11-2009, 09:16 PM
cjack wrote:
I guess when these bikes are out of warranty, it's going to be $200 a strip to replace it.

I guess when these bikes are out of warranty, I'll just use the trip odometer as my fuel guage.

bigdog19
07-21-2009, 03:42 PM
My fuel gauge worked fine till I 24K service on 06 RT. I got it back and ran out of gas showing 109 miles left. Dealer $330.00 to fix. I'm setting my tripomeder. I was thinking BMW or Dealer fault.

cjack
08-02-2009, 12:52 AM
I just lost another fuel strip on the '08 K12S. This one did not go open on the sensor material, but went to 2K in air instead of the 2.5K which seems to be the nominal stock value. The 2K caused the fuel gauge to read 2/3 tank when it was almost empty. And a value that low, prevents the diagnostic computer from recalibrating the strip apparently. There never seems to be an issue with the heater resistance (the outside 2 of the 4 terminals on the strip connector). It read 33 ohms like the rest of the four broken fuel strips we have had on these bikes.

I guess when these bikes are out of warranty, it's going to be $200 a strip to replace it.

I just lost another strip. I edited this above post of mine since I had the resistance 10 times higher than it should have been. Must have been dreaming when I said 25K instead of 2.5K. The allowable value of the strip is 2.2K to 2.8K when the strip is not being heated...ie in air or in gas, but not in use. I have had these last two strips which failed, go to about 2K and the result of that was to read full even when the tank was empty. I saw one the other day that went to 11.5K and also one became open circuited.
When a new strip is taken from the parts bin, it should read 2.2K to 2.8K or it should not be installed as the new strip. Apparently, they can be out of range even in stock. Hmmm...
So I am on my fourth strip in my '08 K1200S. I hope this is not another EWS.
But in the '05 and '06 K12S bikes I have known, the sensor strips are doing well. So there is hope. BTW, the Zumo 550 has a great fuel gauge feature.
Did I mention that the new K1300S bikes are using the float type fuel level sensor?

Motorwerk
08-02-2009, 03:09 PM
I went through a couple of strips as well. Both had no indication of fuel capacity when they failed. Not sure how much to trust them even when they do show a reading.

I'm currently noting, along with mileage, what the fuel gauge reads at every fillup. So far it seems there is about 2.5 gallons remaining, (if it truly holds 7.1) when it reaches 1/4 tank.

It has been mentioned that the '09 R's went back to a float type system as well but not sure if it is accurate or not. I guess time will tell but so far I have not a heard of a failure on any of the '09's.

cjack
08-02-2009, 09:46 PM
It has been mentioned that the '09 R's went back to a float type system as well but not sure if it is accurate or not. I guess time will tell but so far I have not a heard of a failure on any of the '09's.

According to the parts fiche, the '09 RT, R, and GS, are still using the strip.

professor
08-03-2009, 12:39 AM
How does the strip work? - when it's working

cjack
08-03-2009, 01:11 AM
How does the strip work? - when it's working

It changes resistance because it is being heated...except for the portion, (percentage of length), still in the gas.

ghyber
08-30-2009, 02:26 PM
It changes resistance because it is being heated...except for the portion, (percentage of length), still in the gas.

If I can add to the above reply:

Thermistors work on the principle of changing properties of thermistor material. If a thermistor is cooled by the presence of fuel, then thermistor material acts as an insulator and breaks an electrical circuit or increases resistance. In the absence of fuel, the thermistor is no longer cooled and the thermistor material changes from an insulator to a conductor and makes an electrical circuit.

As your BMW motorcycle thermistor dries up from fuel consumption, it is programmed to eventually illuminate the FUEL LOW caution light (that's the flashing fuel pump display) and the "Master Caution" yellow BMW triangle.

For what it is worth, thermistors are widely used in fuel storage systems for aircraft. I know that for a fact the Bell Helicopter 412 uses thermistors to turn on master panel caution lights and airframe fuel transfer pumps. They are widely used and very reliable for large quantities of fuel typical in aviation: eg. 2200 - 3200 lbs in a Bell 412 helicopter. Now remember BMW's heritage is aviation related.

For obvious safety reasons, we NEVER even come close to running the fuel tanks of an aircraft dry or empty; that's like "practice bleeding". For what it's worth, I do not think you should be running your $25,000 motorcycles dry either; it is clearly stated not to in the Rider's Manual. Have a look at page 27 for those who own a RT. If you are going to criticize a system operation, please ensure that you are operating said system in accordance with the manufacturers's recommendations.

So I don't know if my helo thermistors are accurate down to the gram of fuel. I suspect some of you folks are relying or expecting and demanding laboratory style micrometer accuracy from a device that may not have to capacity to provide such precision.

My only beef with the BMW display is what I referred to as the Master Caution yellow triangle; I only wish (just like an aircraft) I could reset it after acknowledging the condition.

B1Pilot
08-30-2009, 02:49 PM
Now remember BMW's heritage is aviation related.

My only beef with the BMW display is what I referred to as the Master Caution yellow triangle; I only wish (just like an aircraft) I could reset it after acknowledging the condition.

I think the exact same thing! It almost pavlovian for me that when I see that flashing light I want to acknowledge it but then punch it out! I guess a couple thousand hours of flying will do that to you.

BMW heritage is aviation -- never could have guessed ;) Maybe thats why I have been addicted to their bikes and cars for 15 years... closest to the real thing.

ghyber
08-30-2009, 03:44 PM
You folks may want to reconsider your different philosophies when it comes to your BMW multifunction display (MD) fuel capacity display.

The only truly reliable method of ensuring you have an adequate quantity of oil in the engine is through the sight gauge. Nobody relies upon the oil-can symbol in the display to let them know they are low on engine oil?

I use the same philosophy for my fuel level. I am positive that if you really needed an accurate fuel remaining quantity, you would have filled-up your reservoir yourself to the rim and would be tracking your fuel consumption and backing yourself up with the Trip meter counter, the Zumo 550 fuel consumption feature and the BMW MD fuel consumption rate display.

BMW makes and installs good equipment considering the environment. As for floats, well let's just say toilet technology probably costs more in the end than the thermistor strips made in large quantities in Asia.

Tom K.
08-30-2009, 10:52 PM
You folks may want to reconsider your different philosophies when it comes to your BMW multifunction display (MD) fuel capacity display.

The only truly reliable method of ensuring you have an adequate quantity of oil in the engine is through the sight gauge. Nobody relies upon the oil-can symbol in the display to let them know they are low on engine oil?

As there is no dipstick (or sight glass), those of us who drive late model BMW cages rely on the BC readout. So far, the one on my 128i has been quite accurate.

Tom

professor
08-31-2009, 12:29 AM
My 3rd fuel strip is working flawlessly - so far. :nod

Semper_Fi
08-31-2009, 12:34 AM
3rd times the charm :drink

rhorsle
09-03-2009, 10:46 PM
Today, I had to tow my brand new 09 RT to the local dealer. My bike indicated that I had 1/4 tank left and 74 miles left on the tank when I left my house. I went down the interstate to work and when I got 5-6 miles down the road I got no warning and my bike started sputtering and cut off. I luckily was able to pull to the right side of the road. This was a pucker moment.
Thinking that I had gas in the tank, no warning lights at all, I made the call to have it towed to the dealer. I told the dealer, I thought I had run out of gas and but my indicator said I had 1/4 tank. I showed him the gas guage before he put gas in the bike. After he put 1 gallon of gas in the bike, it cranked right up.
According to my dealer, they did not know if there was a way to correct this issue.
They were going to contact BMW. Not sure how that will pan out. I guess I will follow-up with them when I take my bike in for the 6000 mile service. For now, I guess I will have to rely on the trip metor.