Half Empty, or A Little Farther

Hey Kids,

My Suzuki Boulevard motorcycle is equipped with a trip meter which, if you remember to reset at each fill-up, which allows you to more easily calculate fuel mileage.

Why is it important to know fuel mileage? Thanks for asking.

The fuel gauge is a series of little black bars on the back lit background of the electronic display that line up across the top. As the tank of 4.1 gallons empties the bars go out.

The first bar goes out after 1 gallon.c50

The next bar goes out at 2 miles.

The third bar goes out at 2 ½ and the fourth goes out at 3.

The fifth light starts blinking at 3.6 gallons.


If you happened to know when the bar started blinking and you took note of how many miles you had traveled at each bar disappearance, you would know how many miles you can continue before the last bar stops blinking and you start walking.

The whole process can be obsessive. It’s not always the same mileage. Depending on the air temperature, the roads and speed you were traveling, the wind direction, and how hard you twist the throttle at the traffic lights; the MPG changes. And how many miles have you traveled before you noticed the warning light?

Some people think that once the gauge reads ½ full, just fill the tank and all of this calculating is irrelevant.

I’m more of the “establish where the limits are, with a certain degree of uncertainty, and see how close you’ve calculated it” kind of guy.

And maybe push it a little.

But that’s just me.


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7 thoughts on “Half Empty, or A Little Farther

  1. I’m with you on the knowing part.

    If I’m on road trip though I try to fill up around the 120 mile mark (200km). This way I have a decent buffer if i happen into a sleepy town that’s… err… asleep.

    • On the open road, every 100 miles or so, I refill for the exact reasons you say. I assume it’s the same there, but there are also some gas-tank challenging distances between stations around here.

  2. Hi Mike,

    Your post made me smile because it reminds me of my husband, Mr. Ken, closely watching the computer monitor thingie on his car dashboard. It shows the latest gas mileage and can change minute by minute, depending on many things. He keeps up a running commentary on it as well, making for a really “fun” car trip.

    It must be a guy thing. 🙂


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