Fuel Gauge etc., etc.


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
Mag
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:58 am
Location: Silverlake, WA
Motorcycle: 1982 Yamaha Venture (Crashed/Sold)
1982 1100 Silver Goldwing (sold)
1989 1500 Beige Goldwing (sold)
1988 1500 Beige Goldwing (current ride)

Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby Mag » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:40 pm



So, have a question for you 1500s out there. I was riding the bike this weekend, filled up the bike gas tank, and off I went. By the time I made it to 110 miles, the fuel gauge needle was just to the right of the empty, but not on the red line. Per the handbook, the bike holds 6.3 US Gallons and when the needle enteres the red band on the gauge, there should be approx 1 gallon left. I am just way too paranoid on this, and 110 miles with the needle gonig that far down does not seem right. It took 3.3 gallons to fill up the bike again, so I am getting 32+ just starting the bike out after sitting for a while, so that is pretty good, right? It is a Goldwing.

What are your thoughts on this? I have a hard time the bike will go through another 50 miles until it hits the red band.



User avatar
macdaddykeith
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:00 pm
Location: Claremont, NC
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby macdaddykeith » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:02 pm

I noticed that sometimes it does seem that the needle goes down quicker than others. But, when you fill it back up it does average out right. I have been waiting later now before I will put gas in. I have been waiting until the red lamp starts to glow before I put in gas. It seems to me that no matter if I wait until the red lamp glows or go ahead and put in gas when it gets to just before the red line, the mpg seem to average 34 to 36 if I am doing stop and go traffic like around town or to work or such. When I am on the road on a trip, it is way higher though.

User avatar
RoadRogue
Posts: 1919
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:51 pm
Location: Castlegar BC, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 1500SE

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby RoadRogue » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:50 pm

you should be able to get 200 miles before the red low fuel light comes on. The fuel guage lies to you, You said that you went 110 miles on 3.3 gallons of fuel, thats half a tank. When the low fuel light comes on you should have 1 gallon of fuel left 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

amsoilguy
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:33 pm
Location: Boise, Idaho
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby amsoilguy » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:51 am

When I first bought my '88 I saw essentially the same thing, now I just go by mileage.
Allan

'88 GL1500

User avatar
virgilmobile
Posts: 7663
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:10 pm

My 88 fuel gauge is about the same(not accurate)...My idiot light didn't work either....I opted to replace the sending unit in the tank with a float switch..I average 35 mpg local driving.

User avatar
Mag
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:58 am
Location: Silverlake, WA
Motorcycle: 1982 Yamaha Venture (Crashed/Sold)
1982 1100 Silver Goldwing (sold)
1989 1500 Beige Goldwing (sold)
1988 1500 Beige Goldwing (current ride)

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby Mag » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:51 pm

Damn, i do not want to drive around with a spare gallon of gas, but maybe I should just to see what I get. I have no idea of whether the fuel light will go on or not, so this will be interesting....or I always take breaks at the 100 mile mark (or around there). When running out of gas, just fill the tank and start it up?

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:32 pm

Mag wrote:Damn, i do not want to drive around with a spare gallon of gas, but maybe I should just to see what I get. I have no idea of whether the fuel light will go on or not, so this will be interesting....or I always take breaks at the 100 mile mark (or around there). When running out of gas, just fill the tank and start it up?


You'll have to crank it a bit once you've filled it again to re-fill the carbs, but yeah, no other special procedure required.

User avatar
SgtCharlie
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:34 pm
Location: El Paso
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Goldwing Aspencade in "Plum Crazy" Purple

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby SgtCharlie » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:30 am

This has been a great help to me!

I recently purchased my 1995 Aspencade and drove it home from Fort Worth, TX to El Paso, TX (704 miles in two days) with my wife on the back. Our combined weight is around 400, so the 30ish MPG I was getting, I just chalked up to the fact that we were driving into the wind and heavy. Then I got home and started putzing around by myself and found that I was only getting 5-7 more MPG. I was flabbergasted, as I thought that I would be getting at least 40 MPG out of her (since my other bikes got that).

Now that I've read ya'll comments, I feel better about the 35-38 MPG that I've been getting.

I was also freaking out because during our trip, we went 200 miles at a stretch, more than once, and now my gauge is showing empty at 130-150 miles. I have yet to have the guts to actually ride it until the gas light comes on, or it runs out. (I do know the gas light works because of the momentary bulb check when the ignition key is turned.)

Thanks again for all ya'll comments.
God Bless,
Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

User avatar
artgrantz
Posts: 276
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: Manchester, PA
Motorcycle: Current: 2008 GL1800
Previous: 96 GL1500 SE
85 GL1200 I
85 GL1200 I
75 GL1000
Contact:

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby artgrantz » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:03 am

The fuel gauge is a good reference but I always went by mileage and the warning light. The low fuel light on my 1500 would come on at 180 to 185 miles under most conditions. I know I could go another 35 miles after that because I did it a couple of times, never tried going farther.

User avatar
Mag
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:58 am
Location: Silverlake, WA
Motorcycle: 1982 Yamaha Venture (Crashed/Sold)
1982 1100 Silver Goldwing (sold)
1989 1500 Beige Goldwing (sold)
1988 1500 Beige Goldwing (current ride)

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby Mag » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:08 am

My needle made it to just before the red line and I was at 130...I probably had another 50 mile in there, but just chickened out. Wish they did a better fuel gauge.

User avatar
Wingsconsin
Posts: 787
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:47 pm
Location: Sussex, Wisconsin (West of Milwaukee)
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800 - Pearl Orange
1996 GL1500 Aspencade - Pearl Blue
1992 GL1500 Aspencade -Candy Red
1983 Suzuki GS850GL - Blue & Black
Contact:

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby Wingsconsin » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:28 am

Experience is a better guage than the fuel guage that is on the 1500....

Relying on "200 miles per tank to the red light" will also get you stranded someday....

My bike can average 45 MPG or 35 MPG depending on riding conditions...That extra 10 MPG could cause you to miscalculate your need for fuel pretty easily....I have a laminated sheet on my handlebar attached by velcro. It shows the MPG to the red light and then when to empty...

Here is how I figured it ...
The Red light comes on at 5.3 gallons used with a 1 gallon reserve.
So at :
30 MPG the red ligth comes on at -- 159 Miles and empty at 189
35 MPG the red light comes on at -- 185 Miles and empty at 220
37 MPG the red light comes on at -- 196 Miles and empty at 233
40 MPG the red light comes on at -- 212 Miles and empty at 252

You can see that the MPG on any given tank is important --

From EXPERIENCE I know that at
67 MPH my bike will average about 37 MPG so I have 195 miles till the light comes on approx...
75 MPH my bike will average about 35 MPG so I have 185 miles ....
60 MPH my bike will be closeer to 43-44 MPG so 200 Miles is well within my range at that speed...

The point is that once the red light comes on..you need to look at the miles on that tank (reset your trip odometer at every fill up) and then quickly at a a glance know the miles to EMPTY ....That way you will know if you are going to have to walk....

Experience :mrgreen:

Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


Motorcycle Adventure Storys writen by me
http://neverlost-justexploring.blogspot.com/

User avatar
SgtCharlie
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:34 pm
Location: El Paso
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Goldwing Aspencade in "Plum Crazy" Purple

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby SgtCharlie » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:31 pm

I would love for someone to post a DIY article on changing the crappy factory gauge with a float system.

Thanks for all ya'll's input, it has been very helpful.
Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:19 pm

SgtCharlie wrote:I have yet to have the guts to actually ride it until the gas light comes on, or it runs out. (I do know the gas light works because of the momentary bulb check when the ignition key is turned.)


All this does is tell you that the bulb is not burned out.

The fuel warning system can (and DOES) fail, and when it stops working, it simply doesn't light up anymore. The bulb still lights up during the key-on bulb check.

So strap a couple gallon jerrycan on the back, go for a ride, and wait until you see it come on. If you run out of gas before it comes on, you know it doesn't work.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:20 pm

SgtCharlie wrote:I would love for someone to post a DIY article on changing the crappy factory gauge with a float system.

Thanks for all ya'll's input, it has been very helpful.


Virgil and I both have swapped out the low fuel sensor on our GL1500's for this homebuilt system, and it works great:

Building a replacement Gl1500 Low fuel sensor

User avatar
Wingsconsin
Posts: 787
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:47 pm
Location: Sussex, Wisconsin (West of Milwaukee)
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800 - Pearl Orange
1996 GL1500 Aspencade - Pearl Blue
1992 GL1500 Aspencade -Candy Red
1983 Suzuki GS850GL - Blue & Black
Contact:

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby Wingsconsin » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:07 am

I must be lucky...My fuel guage is fairly accurate...at 1/2 tank I am down about 3-1/2 gallons...
When the red light comes on I need 5.3 gallons to fill it up...
When it reads at or below the Empty line I start looking for a filling station.... :mrgreen:
Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


Motorcycle Adventure Storys writen by me
http://neverlost-justexploring.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Mag
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:58 am
Location: Silverlake, WA
Motorcycle: 1982 Yamaha Venture (Crashed/Sold)
1982 1100 Silver Goldwing (sold)
1989 1500 Beige Goldwing (sold)
1988 1500 Beige Goldwing (current ride)

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby Mag » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:33 am

Wingsconsin wrote:I must be lucky...My fuel guage is fairly accurate...



I want that.....I will have to pay attention to where my miles are at 1/2 way on the gauge, I think it is at 90.

User avatar
Wingsconsin
Posts: 787
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:47 pm
Location: Sussex, Wisconsin (West of Milwaukee)
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800 - Pearl Orange
1996 GL1500 Aspencade - Pearl Blue
1992 GL1500 Aspencade -Candy Red
1983 Suzuki GS850GL - Blue & Black
Contact:

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby Wingsconsin » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:41 am

Mag wrote:
Wingsconsin wrote:I must be lucky...My fuel guage is fairly accurate...



I want that.....I will have to pay attention to where my miles are at 1/2 way on the gauge, I think it is at 90.


Miles are inconsequential to some degree..Gallons at 1/2 mark shown is the key...

Example - 90 miles at 30 MPG is not as good as 90 miles at 45 MPG ...(3 gallons used vs 2 gallons used)
And this number changes depedning on riding conditions, speed, weather, etc....
So EXPERIENCE at various riding styles will tell you what 1/2 empty really means on YOUR bike...

Ride early - Ride Often - ;)
Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


Motorcycle Adventure Storys writen by me
http://neverlost-justexploring.blogspot.com/

User avatar
SgtCharlie
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:34 pm
Location: El Paso
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Goldwing Aspencade in "Plum Crazy" Purple

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby SgtCharlie » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:16 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Virgil and I both have swapped out the low fuel sensor on our GL1500's for this homebuilt system, and it works great:

Building a replacement Gl1500 Low fuel sensor


This is an OK article, but I am spoiled for all of your in depth, step-by-step "how to's" and the article doesn't clearly describe how to get the old fuel gauge system out and putting the new one in.
Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:20 pm

SgtCharlie wrote:
WingAdmin wrote:
Virgil and I both have swapped out the low fuel sensor on our GL1500's for this homebuilt system, and it works great:

Building a replacement Gl1500 Low fuel sensor


This is an OK article, but I am spoiled for all of your in depth, step-by-step "how to's" and the article doesn't clearly describe how to get the old fuel gauge system out and putting the new one in.


It's pretty simple - first, make sure your gas tank is either empty or quite low, or you will have gas going everywhere when you open it up.

Take the seat off the bike. You'll find the fuel sender/pump on the top of the gas tank. You can see part of it here in Virgil's picture:

Fuel Sender/Pump
Fuel Sender/Pump


Start the bike, then disconnect all the wires. This will stop the fuel pump pumping gas. Wait until the bike dies from fuel starvation. Remove the fuel lines from the top of the sender. Remove all the acorn nuts. Gently pull it up and out - you'll have to disconnect the vent hose before you can get it entirely out.

The assembly you pull out has the fuel pump (at the bottom), fuel gauge float, and low fuel sensor all mounted on it.

User avatar
SgtCharlie
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:34 pm
Location: El Paso
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Goldwing Aspencade in "Plum Crazy" Purple

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby SgtCharlie » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:22 am

Cool, thanks. That helps a lot. I'll wait until I have the new float assembly ready then I'll give out a try.
Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

User avatar
virgilmobile
Posts: 7663
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:09 am

Side note....attached to the fuel pump assembly is the low fuel sensor...BUT the fuel level float Thingy that operates the fuel gauge is attached to the left side of the fuel tank.It is a separate part.On the 88 that is.

User avatar
Dusty Boots
Posts: 573
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:25 pm
Location: Alvinston, SW ON
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500Aspencade

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby Dusty Boots » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:04 am

Mag wrote:So, have a question for you 1500s out there. I was riding the bike this weekend, filled up the bike gas tank, and off I went. By the time I made it to 110 miles, the fuel gauge needle was just to the right of the empty, but not on the red line. Per the handbook, the bike holds 6.3 US Gallons and when the needle enteres the red band on the gauge, there should be approx 1 gallon left. I am just way too paranoid on this, and 110 miles with the needle gonig that far down does not seem right. It took 3.3 gallons to fill up the bike again, so I am getting 32+ just starting the bike out after sitting for a while, so that is pretty good, right? It is a Goldwing.

What are your thoughts on this? I have a hard time the bike will go through another 50 miles until it hits the red band.




I think you should trust what you read in the manual. :!: :D




If you don't, ..... fill up a small 2 gallon gas can the next time you get low, place it in a saddle bag and continue riding, preferably along a 2 lane road until one of two things happen. Either your low fuel level sensor will activate the red warning lamp on the dash, or you run out of fuel, because the sensor no longer works, which is handy to know. (fix it!)

I will often run my bike until the fuel gauge is far past the red bar/marker, like this, as my warning lamp does not come on until the needle is almost clear of the red bar/marker.(usually around the 290km/182mi mark, when touring)





After spending more time on the bike and running multiple tanks of fuel through it in a day, you soon learn to judge how much fuel is remaining in your tank by the position of the fuel gauge needle and looking at your trip meter to see how far you have travelled since you last filled up. Believe me ... there are plenty of roads/places out in the less populated west, that if you miss refueling at a fuel station, it can be 150 mi plus to the next one

I always zero/reset my trip meter at every fill up and know I can always get over 310km/194mi on a tank when touring

Keep your speeds to 60 mph, or below and train your right wrist to be ... 'less active', if you want better fuel economy. When loaded down with all my camping gear, I average 38 mpg(US) when touring across the country.






Dusty

User avatar
Wingsconsin
Posts: 787
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:47 pm
Location: Sussex, Wisconsin (West of Milwaukee)
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800 - Pearl Orange
1996 GL1500 Aspencade - Pearl Blue
1992 GL1500 Aspencade -Candy Red
1983 Suzuki GS850GL - Blue & Black
Contact:

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby Wingsconsin » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:07 am

Dusty is right on!

And that concludes our gospel for today... 8-)
Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


Motorcycle Adventure Storys writen by me
http://neverlost-justexploring.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Mag
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:58 am
Location: Silverlake, WA
Motorcycle: 1982 Yamaha Venture (Crashed/Sold)
1982 1100 Silver Goldwing (sold)
1989 1500 Beige Goldwing (sold)
1988 1500 Beige Goldwing (current ride)

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby Mag » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:46 am

Dusty Boots wrote:Keep your speeds to 60 mph, or below and train your right wrist to be ... 'less active', if you want better fuel economy. When loaded down with all my camping gear, I average 38 mpg(US) when touring across the country.

Dusty


Well, a fantast write up, thx mucho. I can not believe that it is ok to ride the bike with the fuel gauge that far below the red line. Ugh, makes me do nothing but look at the gauge instead of the road sometimes, but also nice to know. They should re-position the gauge on the dash to more accurately report.

By the way, your comment above, if I keep my speeds to 60 or below, I would be driving slower than the 18-wheel trucks. Speed limits where I live are 70mph on the freeways ;) . I will take a spare little gas can with me just to try it out and see what happens. For 6 gallons, I should be running about 200 mile on the tank. I am semi lucky due to having gas stations every 10 miles or so.

This is a great article, thanks for the help, this is great, just to get used to the bike more.

User avatar
Dusty Boots
Posts: 573
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:25 pm
Location: Alvinston, SW ON
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500Aspencade

Re: Fuel Gauge etc., etc.

Postby Dusty Boots » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:25 pm

You'd be better off losing your fixation on the fuel gauge. Use it as a reference and learn to utilize your trip meter for refuel time. Best to leave the float alone, or else you'll introduce further confusion!
When you run over 60-65 mph expect your fuel economy to drop off. It doesn't matter how many RPM you're turning over, it's the amount of power needed to overcome the aerodynamic drag of pushing such a large frontal area through the air. Keep it below 60-65mph and less power(<fuel) needed to push it.
I once had to start hunting for fuel with only 135km/85mi showing on the trip meter while running I-90 through WY, but I won't tell you how fast I was running. Does the term WFO mean anything? :lol:




Return to “GL1500 Information & Questions”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSNbot Media [Bot] and 2 guests