motorcycle 101 guides

How Accurate are Motorcycle Fuel Gauges?

How Accurate are Motorcycle Fuel Gauges?

The most common issue with old motorcycles is their faulty and inaccurate fuel gauges. When riding an older motorcycle, you cannot always trust the fuel gauge to show the actual amount of fuel remaining. However, even modern motorbikes with digital instruments and high-tech machinery can show you the wrong fuel level. Continue reading this article to learn how accurate motorcycle fuel gauges are.

1. Why Motorcycle Fuel Gauges are Mostly Inaccurate

1.1 Small Fuel Tank Size

Small Fuel Tank Size

One of the major reasons why motorcycles’ fuel gauges are mostly inaccurate is because their fuel tanks are smaller than the fuel tanks on other automobiles. A motorcycle fuel gauge cannot measure the fuel level accurately because even a sizable amount of fuel being added or consumed only results in the fuel gauge’s needle moving only slightly. To avoid this, make sure to refuel the fuel tank completely to ensure an accurate estimate of the fuel level.


1.2 Unusual Fuel Tank Shapes

Unusual Fuel Tank Shapes

Photo Credit: PXFuel

Cars and other heavy vehicles have rectangular fuel tanks that make it easier for the fuel gauge to estimate the remaining fuel. Unlike cars, motorcycle fuel tanks have unusual shapes and geometry which makes it difficult for the fuel gauge to accurately measure the fuel level.

2. Motorcycle Fuel Gauges Issues

2.1 While Riding on Challenging Terrain

While riding on challenging terrains, such as going uphill or turning tight corners, the fuel gauge can fluctuate and become unresponsive. It is better to read the fuel gauge when your motorcycle is parked on a flat surface.

2.2 Motorcycle Fuel Gauges Fail to Reset After Being Refueled

The most common issue with the motorcycle fuel gauge is that it does not update after the fuel tank is refueled. This usually happens due to the fuel tank being empty most of the time. A full fuel tank will result in more accurate fuel readings. Adding only a liter or two to the fuel tank will not provide an accurate reading.

Another issue with motorcycle fuel gauges is that they may show high readings even if you know the fuel tank is only half full and the fuel gauge may suddenly start dropping quickly.


3. Can Aftermarket Fuel Gauges Offer More Accurate Fuel Readings?

Can Aftermarket Fuel Gauges Offer More Accurate Fuel Readings

Photo Credit: Reddit

Whether using a stock or an aftermarket fuel gauge, it is not guaranteed that the fuel readings will be accurate. There are many aftermarket fuel gauges available in the market and their reliability and ease of installation vary between products. A good-quality fuel gauge can provide accurate fuel measurement but can be a little expensive.

4. How Can You Measure the Fuel Level If Your Fuel Gauge Gives Inaccurate Readings?

4.1 By Looking Inside the Fuel Tank

If you are unsure whether your fuel gauge is showing accurate readings, just open the fuel tank cap and check the fuel level. You will not be able to get the exact measurement, but if you are an experienced rider, you can predict how many miles you can travel with the current amount of fuel in the tank. You can also use a non-flammable torch to get a better view inside the fuel tank.

4.2 By Using the Reserve Fuel

By Using the Reserve Fuel

Photo Credit: UXMatters

Most motorcycle fuel delivery systems also come with a reserve fuel tank capacity. A reserve fuel tank capacity does not mean a separate fuel tank. It is a valve that stops the flow of fuel to the engine when the fuel tank is left with 1-1.5 gal of fuel. A rider can turn on the reserve fuel to reach the nearest gas station for refueling. If the motorcycle fuel gauge does not provide an inaccurate reading, you can still rely on the reserve fuel.


5. Final Words

Motorcycle fuel gauges can be inaccurate, which makes them difficult to rely on. If you do not want to be left stranded because you ran out of gas, make sure to check the fuel level manually by looking inside the fuel tank before going for a ride. The reserve fuel tank capacity can also be an indication that you should refuel the fuel tank. If you want your motorcycle to perform well, do not keep the fuel tank empty as it can lead to rusting and dust accumulating, degrading the fuel quality. Poor-quality fuel entering the motorcycle carburetor or fuel injectors can worsen the motorcycle’s performance.

If you want better fuel mileage, performance, and longevity, always keep your motorcycle well-maintained. Also, if you want to improve the aesthetics, comfort, and safety of your motorcycle, Viking Bags has several aftermarket parts available at its online store. These include sissy bars, crash bars, fairings, handlebars, seats, and backrests. You can also improve the storage capacity of your motorcycle by installing saddlebags, sissy bar bags, and handlebar bags.

Reading next

Reasons Why Your Motorcycle Engine is Overheating
Reasons Why Your Motorcycle Won't Shift into Neutral

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.