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Hi, just got back from road trip on my 2019 R1250RT. I ran "fuel range" down to 10 km, stopped and fuelled up. It only took just under 20 litres to fill. So I'm confused as to where the other 5 liters are?? The Manual states "usable Fuel Capacity" (page 127) is 25 litres. so how do I run to 10km to empty, but can only put <20 litres in bike?? That's 20% less than full. When my 2009 1200LT had the "fuel range" at 0 miles, then the 2 flashing bars (meaning no fuel left) came on, it took almost the full 26 litres to fill it? Any ideas or do I need to go back to grade three math......
 

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2020 R1250RT Alpine White
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Was the reserve fuel icon illuminated on the display (indicating reserve fuel was being used)?

I'm getting used to my 2020 R1250RT also and trying to get a feeling of how accurate the fuel range indication is. When my tank is filled while on the center stand, and I am on a highway trip my fuel range displays around ~300 mi (~480km) or so.
 

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Larry, nh1200c…will you contact me please?
Maybe your settings are such that you don't accept PM's…but I can't start a "Conversation" with you.
Thanks,
Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Was the reserve fuel icon illuminated on the display (indicating reserve fuel was being used)?

I'm getting used to my 2020 R1250RT also and trying to get a feeling of how accurate the fuel range indication is. When my tank is filled while on the center stand, and I am on a highway trip my fuel range displays around ~300 mi (~480km) or so.
Yes the Fuel Icon was on, but my point is that, if I was using my reserve and it showed only 10km or 6 miles to empty, should I not have put in 25litres or close to 6.6 US Gallons? I was only able to put in 20 litres or 5.2 US Gallons......
 

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2020 R1250RT Alpine White
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Larry, nh1200c…will you contact me please?
Maybe your settings are such that you don't accept PM's…but I can't start a "Conversation" with you.
Thanks,
Brad
Sorry Brad, I hadn’t setup that section but I think it’s working ok now.

Larry
 

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2020 R1250RT Alpine White
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Yes the Fuel Icon was on, but my point is that, if I was using my reserve and it showed only 10km or 6 miles to empty, should I not have put in 25litres or close to 6.6 US Gallons? I was only able to put in 20 litres or 5.2 US Gallons......
Understood and I agree, I was just trying to understand whether the fuel range was actually computing with non-reserve fuel capacity (which is what it sounds like) as opposed to total fuel capacity.

On my (US) bike the ~300 miles-to-empty number would have to include reserve fuel as my mileage figure runs ~49 mpg on straight highway runs.

Larry
 

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2005 K1200LT
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14,186 Posts
I don't know how the newer bikes compute "distance to empty", but the LT low fuel light could be set to come on when you were some level of fuel left. In other words you could empty the tank, put in one gallon and "set" that as your low fuel light. Then your low fuel light will always come on when there was only one gallon left. As for the read out on the LT it used an algorithm to predict the distance that used average fuel mileage as well as fuel level. The only time I ever ran out of fuel was on a long distance ride pulling a trailer and I neglected to re-set my average in the BC (which was significantly lower pulling the trailer) and when it went from 15 to go to "--" I ran out within a mile.
 

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2020 R1250RT Alpine White
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I don't know how the newer bikes compute "distance to empty", but the LT low fuel light could be set to come on when you were some level of fuel left. In other words you could empty the tank, put in one gallon and "set" that as your low fuel light. Then your low fuel light will always come on when there was only one gallon left. As for the read out on the LT it used an algorithm to predict the distance that used average fuel mileage as well as fuel level. The only time I ever ran out of fuel was on a long distance ride pulling a trailer and I neglected to re-set my average in the BC (which was significantly lower pulling the trailer) and when it went from 15 to go to "--" I ran out within a mile.
John that is a very neat way to do it and I hope the new(er) RTs have something similar, but I haven’t found any info in the manual as of yet. (I would really be impressed if it’s something that might be able to be set one of these days by a GS-911 or similar.)
 

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I never use the miles to empty computation. If I'm riding back roads here in Central Texas I'm riding at 75 - 80 Mph. Once I get on our highways which can be up to 85 mph speed limits then I'm doing 90 - 95 mph so fuel consumption will be very different. I've gotten to 237 miles and my reserve light was on and it said 17 miles to empty. I now ride until I hit 210 miles and I start looking for fuel. It's safer this way :)
 

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Hi, just got back from road trip on my 2019 R1250RT. I ran "fuel range" down to 10 km, stopped and fuelled up. It only took just under 20 litres to fill. So I'm confused as to where the other 5 liters are?? The Manual states "usable Fuel Capacity" (page 127) is 25 litres. so how do I run to 10km to empty, but can only put <20 litres in bike?? That's 20% less than full. When my 2009 1200LT had the "fuel range" at 0 miles, then the 2 flashing bars (meaning no fuel left) came on, it took almost the full 26 litres to fill it? Any ideas or do I need to go back to grade three math......
Did you fill up with your bike on center-stand or side-stand? Your rider's manual should be pretty much the same as for my '15 RT, and in there you will find that to get as much fuel into the tank as possible, you should have the bike on the side-stand. At least some of your missing 2 liters will be accountable by this.
 

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2020 R1250RT Alpine White
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Did you fill up with your bike on center-stand or side-stand? Your rider's manual should be pretty much the same as for my '15 RT, and in there you will find that to get as much fuel into the tank as possible, you should have the bike on the side-stand. At least some of your missing 2 liters will be accountable by this.
Pad, on the 2020 RT the manual calls out to use the center stand for fueling (which makes sense as the filling port is in the center of the tank). "Make sure the ground is level and firm and place the motorcycle on its center stand."
 

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When I've been running 48-50 MPG and get down to less than 10 miles on MTE, I've noticed about .5 gallons or 1.9 liters left over. So I figure even at empty, I'll have 15-20 miles left over yet. Not that I'm going to push it that far usually.
 

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Pad, on the 2020 RT the manual calls out to use the center stand for fueling (which makes sense as the filling port is in the center of the tank). "Make sure the ground is level and firm and place the motorcycle on its center stand."
Thank you, and of course you are correct! My '15 RT manual says exactly the same thing. I was quoting from memory, and it turns out that was slightly faulty! You will find what I had said in the '14 RT rider manual. Apparently that was changed in the '15 and later manual, and I believe I know why!

The 2014 RT Riders Manual states:

"Make sure ground is level and
firm and place motorcycle on
side stand.
The available fuel tank volume
can only be optimally
used with the vehicle standing on

the side stand."

As you know, the tanks are identical on all models from 2014 onward. So, why did BMW changed the refueling paragraph? If you take a look at the refill port, you will note that there is a "neck" consisting of a short tube that extends into the tank. When the bike is on center-stand, the tube prevents you from filling the tank completely, leaving a pocket of air at the very top of the tank (also note what BMW calls out for the fill level in the '15+ manual). Now, if the bike is on the side-stand, that tube will be quite significantly tilted, which will allow the intended air pocket to be exposed, and hence more fuel can be introduced into the tank! Incidentally, if you have been around these forums long enough, you would have read of people (usually long distance riders, IBA) who would drill a hole near the top of that tube so that the air pocket will vent, and allow the tank to be filled completely. BTW, knowing all of this, and yet I also fill up with my RT on the center-stand!

So why did BMW change that recommendation on later models? I suspect that the reason is legal in nature, to eliminate potential liabilities issues. What liabilities? Think about it. That air pocket is there by design to allow for expansion of the fuel at higher temperature. That space is vented, and you will find the other end of the small vent hose somewhere under the bike, near the left foot-rest. Now, if you have the same habit as I do, and that is ti fill up with full tank before going home, and if you had filled the tank completely with very little or no air space in the tank, what will happen is that the cold gasoline (as pumped from relatively cold underground tank) will expand as it warms up, and on a hot day that expansion can be a lot. If that happens, which is quite likely, in your garage, and something happen to create an accidental fire, I believe that BMW could be held responsible with the paragraph stated above in the book!!!
 
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Thank you, and of course you are correct! My '15 RT manual says exactly the same thing. I was quoting from memory, and it turns out that was slightly faulty! You will find what I had said in the '14 RT rider manual. Apparently that was changed in the '15 and later manual, and I believe I know why!

The 2014 RT Riders Manual states:

"Make sure ground is level and
firm and place motorcycle on
side stand.
The available fuel tank volume
can only be optimally
used with the vehicle standing on

the side stand."

As you know, the tanks are identical on all models from 2014 onward. So, why did BMW changed the refueling paragraph? If you take a look at the refill port, you will note that there is a "neck" consisting of a short tube that extends into the tank. When the bike is on center-stand, the tube prevents you from filling the tank completely, leaving a pocket of air at the very top of the tank (also note what BMW calls out for the fill level in the '15+ manual). Now, if the bike is on the side-stand, that tube will be quite significantly tilted, which will allow the intended air pocket to be exposed, and hence more fuel can be introduced into the tank! Incidentally, if you have been around these forums long enough, you would have read of people (usually long distance riders, IBA) who would drill a hole near the top of that tube so that the air pocket will vent, and allow the tank to be filled completely. BTW, knowing all of this, and yet I also fill up with my RT on the center-stand!

So why did BMW change that recommendation on later models? I suspect that the reason is legal in nature, to eliminate potential liabilities issues. What liabilities? Think about it. That air pocket is there by design to allow for expansion of the fuel at higher temperature. That space is vented, and you will find the other end of the small vent hose somewhere under the bike, near the left foot-rest. Now, if you have the same habit as I do, and that is ti fill up with full tank before going home, and if you had filled the tank completely with very little or no air space in the tank, what will happen is that the cold gasoline (as pumped from relatively cold underground tank) will expand as it warms up, and on a hot day that expansion can be a lot. If that happens, which is quite likely, in your garage, and something happen to create an accidental fire, I believe that BMW could be held responsible with the paragraph stated above in the book!!!
Thanks for the insight Pad and I had been wondering about that neck in the tank just today! I was filling the tank (on the way home as you predicted! haha) as our riding season is drawing to a close (49F this morning) and I wanted a full tank for limited condensation as well as to have a dependable amount of fuel to calculate the stabilizer required.

I wish the neck wasn't there to be frank as it is hard for me to position my eyes in the right place to gauge when to start tapering off the fuel flow from the nozzle in order to avoid any splashing of fuel onto the tank top. Your explanation of the neck design makes sense and I certainly agree that a reduction in potential liability is likely the cause.

On the "distance to empty" discussion, I also found that on my 2020 RT the distance is using the full tank volume (6.6 gal) and the average fuel consumption to display a predicted range value. The bike seems to have an update cycle every few minutes (as opposed to a distance based update) but I haven't got that figured yet.

Larry
 

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I think these range estimates are biased toward leaving a little capacity so you probably still had some fuel in the tank. (better than over-estimating your range)
A couple of weeks ago I was riding in the mountains on my 2011 GS. We changed our route and needed to travel farther than expected for fuel. My buddy has a 2 gallon Rotopax so we felt comfortable. I ran my range down to 0 and went approximately 2 more miles to the gas station. It took 4.87 gallons. The capacity is 5.28 so there was still some range left.

Regarding cutting the fill tube to allow more capacity, the result will be saturating your carbon canister with fuel when it expands. It's purpose is to filter vapors from the tank, not raw fuel.
The air space in necessary to prevent this.
 

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Thanks for the insight Pad and I had been wondering about that neck in the tank just today! I was filling the tank (on the way home as you predicted! haha) as our riding season is drawing to a close (49F this morning) and I wanted a full tank for limited condensation as well as to have a dependable amount of fuel to calculate the stabilizer required.

I wish the neck wasn't there to be frank as it is hard for me to position my eyes in the right place to gauge when to start tapering off the fuel flow from the nozzle in order to avoid any splashing of fuel onto the tank top. Your explanation of the neck design makes sense and I certainly agree that a reduction in potential liability is likely the cause.

On the "distance to empty" discussion, I also found that on my 2020 RT the distance is using the full tank volume (6.6 gal) and the average fuel consumption to display a predicted range value. The bike seems to have an update cycle every few minutes (as opposed to a distance based update) but I haven't got that figured yet.

Larry
Season coming to an end? 49 deg.F cold???? ;) Sorry, but I love to ride, especially in the cold. For me, 49 deg.F is fairly comfortable. The rule that I use for putting my RT away for the winter is when salt is applied to the road. Salt and aluminum don't play well together! Some years, I was riding well after Xmas, while most years, my riding stops near the end of November, but in all years, I will be riding in below-freezing temperatures at least several times. Heated grips are great, but I rarely used the heated seat. Don't know why, but that's just how it is!

I have the same problem as you do regarding seeing into the tank while fueling. I typically will start by putting the hose nozzle down past the bottom of the neck and fill, so that the splash at the end will stay inside the tank. Then, I would bring the nozzle up above the end of the neck and gently squeeze globs more fuel in to the level that I want, without the splashing. BTW, it is my habit that whenever I ride more than, say 100 miles (99% of the time), I will always fill up at the station closest to home before getting home. The reason is the same as yours. Condensation in the tank at any time is not good.

As for when to refuel, you will find that most of us who have been riding these bikes for a while use mileage as a guide over anything else. I have my Nav V set to give me warning at 250 miles, but I also keep track manually and start thinking about the needs to keep an eye for a pump at around 230 miles.
 
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Hi, just got back from road trip on my 2019 R1250RT. I ran "fuel range" down to 10 km, stopped and fuelled up. It only took just under 20 litres to fill. So I'm confused as to where the other 5 liters are?? The Manual states "usable Fuel Capacity" (page 127) is 25 litres. so how do I run to 10km to empty, but can only put <20 litres in bike?? That's 20% less than full. When my 2009 1200LT had the "fuel range" at 0 miles, then the 2 flashing bars (meaning no fuel left) came on, it took almost the full 26 litres to fill it? Any ideas or do I need to go back to grade three math......
You have a 25 litre capacity of which the RT will allow you to use about 21 litres and 4 litres are reserve which you basically have to guess your mileage around 30 to 45 miles until bone dry.
So when your display indicates ‘ — —‘ you have roughly 4 litres worth of road miles, until you are stranded on the side of the road.
 

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Hi, just got back from road trip on my 2019 R1250RT. I ran "fuel range" down to 10 km, stopped and fuelled up. It only took just under 20 litres to fill. So I'm confused as to where the other 5 liters are?? The Manual states "usable Fuel Capacity" (page 127) is 25 litres. so how do I run to 10km to empty, but can only put <20 litres in bike?? That's 20% less than full. When my 2009 1200LT had the "fuel range" at 0 miles, then the 2 flashing bars (meaning no fuel left) came on, it took almost the full 26 litres to fill it? Any ideas or do I need to go back to grade three math......
It's not exactly apples to apples but I was once running low on fuel in my 2012 Toyota Tundra. Didn't find a gas station until the fuel predictor read negative 10 miles!! Then when I filled up it took about 3 gallons less than rated capacity. Three gallons would have gotten me another 54 miles down the road. I think the manufacturers are trying to get you to fill up earlier so you don't suck in the residue at the very bottom of any tank which can clog up injectors. Just a guess.
 
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