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Thread: 18 RTW fuel guage/range/tank

  1. #1
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    18 RTW fuel guage/range/tank

    Hi All,
    I'm bonding with my new to me 2018 RT. 'How far on a tank' is always a first thing when I add one to the stable. My experience with this one is a bit perplexing. Fill tank and reset trip #1. Ride. Low fuel lite comes on. Keep riding. Last bar on fuel gauge vanishes. Switch to 'range' on dash info. 40 miles to go. Keep riding. range says 1 mile to go. trip #1 says 295. OK, I give, pull up to pump. 5.5 gallons bring it up into the very top. MOM says I have a 6.6 gallons of usable fuel. Quick math says I got 50.5 MPG. So, do you find the gauge, low fuel lite and range info to be WAY cautious? Did I have another gallon (50 miles more or less)? Thoughts and experience sought.
    BTW--yes, I know, don't run it dry--don't run it low--bad for pump--bad for cat--bad for glass (Chinatown fans out there?)
    61 R27, 64 R60/2, 82 R100RT, 01 R1100RT, 18 R1200RT, 63 Honda CA110, 65 Honda S90, 71 Honda CB350 and many gone but not forgoten

  2. #2
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    Can't say for sure about the '18. My '06 consistently has about a gallon left when the distance-to-empty display reads zero. I consider that my "reserve", it has saved me several times.

    I generally start looking for gas around 250 miles on the trip meter, or when the yellow low fuel light comes on. I never use the fuel gauge.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  3. #3
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    For me, the range is always a matter of riding style on any given ride, from a low of under 250 miles to just over 370 miles per tank with the instrument panel saying 10-zero range left. So I really don't bother to concern myself with the theoretical range except for planning fuel stops on trips. For touring I calculate on 270 miles per tank as very doable unless I expect to be running hard through the mountains and then I calculate 240.

    Even then, it is only occasionally that I ride from fillup to fillup. I tend to stop once in the morning, at noon and perhaps once in the afternoon. I fillup and stretch and find the day goes much easier for me.

    I know there is some range left after the bike says "0 miles to empty" but don't have any need or desire to find out how much is left unless it is an emergency. Modern engines use much finer and more detailed spray patterns, etc., on the fuel-injectors, to achieve the performance and emissions that they do. Sucking the very last bit of gas out of a tank typically means that you are picking up the largest pieces of sediment and crude that are in there and running them through your fuel system. This typically won't cause any issues, but it is opening the door to them and can create a needless problem so I leave that till it might be necessary. YMMV
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: 2019 R1250RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '14 R1200RT / '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  4. #4
    I ran my '14 RT range down to 1 mile. Took 6.6 gallons to fill. I won't be trying that experiment again.

  5. #5
    Registered User kioolt's Avatar
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    My 18RTW gets about 300 miles to 0 miles left. It shows no bars on the fuel gauge a few miles before that. I have only been able to put about 5.6 gallons in the tank at this point. It is my belief that the low fuel warning happens about 1 gallon to early and that the fuel gauge is also showing a lower reading than actual fuel left. I have talked to my dealer about this when I took it in for service. The service person had it checked. His response was that there were no error codes and that maybe that could change the sensor at a later date if I wanted them to. I will probably follow up on this next year while it is still under warranty.
    2004 R1150RT 186,800 miles , 1991 K100LT 128,700 miles, 1982 R100RT 106,900 miles
    Total 422,400 BMW miles
    AMA,BMWRA,BMWMOA
    The cheapest thing on a BMW is the nut that connects the handlebars to the seat.

  6. #6
    Booger Man
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    Same thing here with my 18RT. I can run it down to zero miles fill it up and the tank will take about 5.5 gallons. One time I took a about a quart of gas with me and ran it to -20 miles . Still didn't run out of gas. Talked to local service mgr at dealer he said they could look into it but most likely would come up with anything. After 10K on the the bike I just play it by ear. No problems so far.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the input.
    61 R27, 64 R60/2, 82 R100RT, 01 R1100RT, 18 R1200RT, 63 Honda CA110, 65 Honda S90, 71 Honda CB350 and many gone but not forgoten

  8. #8
    Registered User kioolt's Avatar
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    I think we should contact BMW collectively about this. It may get a response that way. Is there an email address that we could use for this?
    2004 R1150RT 186,800 miles , 1991 K100LT 128,700 miles, 1982 R100RT 106,900 miles
    Total 422,400 BMW miles
    AMA,BMWRA,BMWMOA
    The cheapest thing on a BMW is the nut that connects the handlebars to the seat.

  9. #9
    I don't understand how this is a real problem. If the results are consistent then you know what to expect and plan with this in mind.
    Buck in Greensboro, NC
    2013 R 1200 RT Midnight Blue - traded, 2014 R 1200 RT Ebony Metallic, 2016 S 1000 XR

  10. #10
    Registered User kioolt's Avatar
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    This is a real problem because it is inconsistent with the owners manual which states that the low fuel warning light will come on when there is approximately 4 liters left in the tank. When in actuality there is more like 8 liters left in the tank. Also, anybody riding the bike that is not familiar with the fuel gauge inaccuracy will be stopping early to fill the tank. Quite simply BMW should have an accurate fuel gauge.
    2004 R1150RT 186,800 miles , 1991 K100LT 128,700 miles, 1982 R100RT 106,900 miles
    Total 422,400 BMW miles
    AMA,BMWRA,BMWMOA
    The cheapest thing on a BMW is the nut that connects the handlebars to the seat.

  11. #11
    Registered User alegerlotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdfbeemer View Post
    I don't understand how this is a real problem. If the results are consistent then you know what to expect and plan with this in mind.
    The (US) manual states:

    Usable fuel quantity - Approx 6.6 US gal (Approx 25 l)
    Reserve fuel quantity - Approx. 1.1 US (Approx 4 l)

    It is slightly confusing in how its worded, but from experience of those who have posted it sounds like the total is 6.6 gal, but the gauge goes against all but the reserve, so 5.5 gal.
    2016 R1200RT
    2007 KTM 450 XC-W (10/17 - 5/18)
    2005 R1200RT (2/2015 - 12/2016)
    1985 Yamaha XJ 700 Maxim (7/1989 - 9/1991)

  12. #12
    It sounds to me like the system is telling folks "miles to reserve" rather than miles to being a pedestrian.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  13. #13
    Registered User alegerlotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    It sounds to me like the system is telling folks "miles to reserve" rather than miles to being a pedestrian.
    Well stated.
    2016 R1200RT
    2007 KTM 450 XC-W (10/17 - 5/18)
    2005 R1200RT (2/2015 - 12/2016)
    1985 Yamaha XJ 700 Maxim (7/1989 - 9/1991)

  14. #14
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Never got this concerned as the F800GS is the first bike I ever had with an actual fuel gauge. I donít consider it really possible to be 100% accurate. 160 miles - look for gas using the trip odometer......I have faith in that.
    I donít know how accurate the fuel gauge is in any of my 4 wheel vehicles either........using the trip odometer as a reference on 4 wheels as well.
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  15. #15
    I have never, ever, had a fuel gauge that was completely accurate. Almost every one I've ever had was conservative in a way, and not so conservative in another way. Every one has shown empty with fuel left. At the same time most have shown the first half of the tank being used more slowly than the bottom half of the tank. And often that last quarter of a tank seems to be going away fast enough to have gas dripping on the roadway.

    The best I can do is get used to the behavior, and hope I remember which is the car and which is the pickup and which is my bike. Actually the most accurate full to empty is on my G310GS.

    Or as Voni says out here in West Texas and the Great Plains generally, "Gas early and often." We do not live and ride where there is a Stop & Rob on every corner, or even in every little town.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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