Monday, April 13, 2009

Low fuel light

I've been riding my motorcyle to work instead of my scooter. Usually in the morning I find that time is preciously in short supply so I just B-line it to work using a couple of different routes depending on mood, weather and traffic flow.

(reflections at work)

I just go with the flow. While my commute takes around 45 min in urban traffic (25km each way), sometimes I put in a few extra miles just for the fun of it. The calendar shows that we are well into Spring but it is still cold in the mornings and today we even got snow in the higher elevations. The Lows for tonight are forecast to be around 2C. It's just semantics . . . 2C is cool to us, while 19C is cold to those who live in Key West.


The cool morning turning into violent thunderstorms, and around mid-day the clouds opened up to reveal sunshine. It felt warm in the 9C heat so I decided to return home via the southern route through Richmond. Traffic was very light today as most businesses were closed for Easter Monday. We were open for business as usual.

I find that my Suzuki is more suited for highway travel and it is easier to break the sound barrier. While I was cruising on the freeway I glanced down at my instrument cluster and I noticed a Yellow light flashing next to my Tachometer which is supplied as standard equipment. Panic set in. Warning lights usually signal that there is a problem. As I was scanning my gauges everything was checking out okay. The engine temp was 78c, if I was out of oil then the engine would be overheating. I am very careful to make sure that maintenance is always done on time. I had the bike fully serviced before hibernation last fall. Fresh Oil, fresh antifreeze, new brake pads, new chain, new tires, new clutch all systems ready and waiting for summer.
Turns out that it was my low fuel warning light. I can't remember when I last filled the tank, perhaps sometime last October

(only the best Chevron for me; 96.9/ltr today)

My tank holds around 17 ltrs, and I took 12.8 ltrs so I could have travelled another 80 kms (50 miles) without breaking a sweat.

(all gassed up and ready to roll)

I'm glad that all is well, that the yellow warning light was nothing more than a reminder to get petrol.

Message for Jack Riepe:

Jack, sometimes you just know someone well enough to know what they like. You know what I mean. When you see the perfect gift for someone, you buy it, or when you see a picture or something you know that person will like, well . . . you just have to bring it to their attention. Some of you is rubbing off on me and I am now getting Jack Riepe eyes. Here is a sign that I spotted at the Custer Rest Area along I-5 just south of the US/Cdn border crossing.


Perhaps you should buy one of those red mobility scooters, and put those "battered baby seal look" to good use



  1. It just gets worse and worse. Now they are giving Jack ideas!
    On my feeble motorcycle, the one with the manual reserve, I'm still on the original chain after 25,000 miles (40,000 canadian miles). Phhhtfht! It must be because i don't have an alternative route home.

  2. Was wondering If the second sign was some sort of clarification of the first sign.

  3. Conch: Like yourself, I do not have an automatic retracting side stand, nor do I have the famed Russell day-long seat, the one with the heated seat switch, or fabled weak plastic seat latch.
    While not noted in the post, I also have installed new Michelin Pilot Powers tires front and rear. These sport bike tires have a good reputation for wet weather handling. My SV650 has higher mileage than yours and while the chain would have lasted another season, it was more economic to replace it while the tires were being mounted.
    This is the first bike I have every purchased that does NOT have a petrol gauge. I have to set the trip meter when I fill up and look at the elapsed mileage (or is that kilometerage). I remember that the prev owner told me that I have 80kms left when the gas light comes on, and I didn't really absorb what he was telling me until later when I noticed that I did not have a gas gauge, but I do have a tachometer (thank goodness), otherwise when would I know when to shift.
    I was looking at google maps, and also the website miletomile and you really only have that one road. I would imagine it gets very congested, at times.
    Oh, you're one up on me, I don't have a manual reserve

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  4. cpa3485 said: "Was wondering If the second sign was some sort of clarification of the first sign"I thought that a photo of only the disabled sign would have been taken out of context, as it could have been a sign posted anywhere, so I also posted the photo showing both signs. But maybe you are right, they may go together, of course, we are not aware of Jack's inclinations, perhaps he would prefer specimens of the 1st variety and his preference for Topless ladies and wet t-shirts is just a smokescreen.

  5. John McClane: said, "What's a service animal?"In the Jack Riepe context, it means a scantily clad object of the opposing gender.

  6. Your SV650 is in excellent shape for a machine with morew than 40.000 km on it

  7. Conch:
    Actually my SV650nK4 has nearly 60K which is around (38K miles), so almost 50% more used than yours. It runs just like new. All major expenses completed last year, and just ordered new windshield, as the old one is all cracked, split, and fittings rusted. so will look like new soon.
    You have to remember that we have more roads to ride and mileage can add up fast.
    I am in the "looking" stage, perhaps for something more suited for touring, will have to go down to the Triumph dealer and sit on a triple speed. Other than that, perhaps a V-strom or F650GS. I want something with hard side cases and top box

  8. Dear Gents:

    Years ago, in my Kawasaki H2 stage, a police officer grabbed me on the tail end of a weekend ride. The theme of that run was “Visigothic.” The cop charged me with indecent exposure. Standing before the judge, I explained that a motorcycle is subject to some degree of vibration and is susceptible to a lot of road irregularities, which stress the kidneys. I responded to the charge that I was responding to a call of nature.

    The judge was a reasonable sort and claimed that there have been times where his age had prompted him to pull over to relieve himself, and that he was inclined to dismiss the charges.

    Yet before he could rap the gavel, the cop asked, “What should we do with the woman who was relieving him?”

    Bobskoot: It is my understanding that most motorcycles built after the Reformation are fuel injected (as standard equipment) and come with a fuel warning light, as opposed to a sheepskin bladder reserve tank. Long distance riders in the know will tell you that they never rely on the warming light, and adjust the odometer each time they fill the tank. This is what I do.

    I have a sign on my top case that encourages members of the opposite sex to assist me, particularly in mounting. But the sign also lists the recommended ages of the opposite sex and a variety of ways in which their assistance may be applied. This leaves nothing in doubt and adds to my reputation as “Mr. Sensitivity.”

    Bob’s motorcycle has all the earmarks of a machine that is pampered to the extreme. But I must say that I am surprised he jumped on it without looking in the gas tank , and that he wouldn’t have topped off the stash of last October’s gas with a hit of fresh high test.

    I had almost forgotten that some bikes have chains.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack Riepe
    Twisted Roads