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February 7, 2007

Bring My Wallet

There is an old saying that BMW stands for 'Bring My Wallet' and I experienced it in a different way. The electronic gas gauge on the new BMW R1200GS is know to be a little be wacky to say the least. I had my original gas sensor strip replaced under warranty a few weeks ago. I have not fully tested out the full range of the bike by riding until I run out of gas. On my way home after work, at the 50 miles until empty mark the orange warning triangle lit up and the the word FUEL! flashed on the screen. My range was decreasing quickly and I decided to pull into the Chevron in Los Gatos to fill up. As I pulled into the gas station my range was six miles and I had forgotten my wallet on my desk at work. I called Sharon to see if she could drop by the gas station on her way home and buy me some gas. She was twenty minutes away and I couldn't wait that long because there was a Big Redwood Park board meeting I had to attend. I asked a couple walking their dog if I could borrow five bucks and I would return it to them later, but they had no cash on them. I looked in the pockets of my Aerostich suit and found $1.52 in coins allowing me to buy .53 gallons of 89 octane. I get about 40 miles per gallon so that should get me home which is twelve miles. I turned the key and my range jumped up to 38 miles. I made it home safely.

In the morning Sharon left me her credit card so I could fill up on the way to work. I rode twelve miles back to the same gas station and filled up the tank to the brim with 4.3 gallons. The tank holds 5.3 gallons total. So, I figured that the range actually counts down to the one gallon reserve level. When it hits zero I have one gallon of gas and about 40 miles to find some more. Most GS riders ignore the gas gauge and use the old school method, using the tripmeter to count the miles they have gone. You would think on a bike this expensive that BMW would have tested the gas gauge before slapping it on the GS and putting it out to market. It has been said before that BMW lets their customers test their bikes for them. I'll continue to test out the GS for them but meanwhile, I've decided to store an emergency ten dollar bill under the seat for gas when I forget my wallet.

Posted by stephen at February 7, 2007 1:05 PM


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