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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Finished up the last of my first tank today. Did 191 miles before she quit out on me. I made the error in thinking the SV got ~50mpg so was expecting around 250 miles per tank or a bit less. I've just been waiting for the light to come on the last few rides so I had an idea of how much is left when it comes on. I guess the joke was on me. Luckily I was only about 2 miles away from the exit I was taking, which also has a gas station. Also thankfully, the road from the exit to all the shops and gas station was downhill, so I just hopped on the bike at the exit and coasted all the way to the pumps.

From some Googling, it seems like people usually get around 100 miles before the light should come on, does that sound right?
 

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I've got a 1st Gen with the same problem. I got about that many miles on my first tank before I also found the low fuel sensor was inop. The light comes on when starting, so I doubt it's anything else. I have a new sensor on order. I had fuel along because I wanted to figure out that 100 mile thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah mine comes on too, so it's probably just the sensor. Funny this is I was able to start it back up again after letting it sit a couple minutes, just enough to go 100 yards or so before quitting again, managed to do that twice before it was just done and I had push it.

Where is the sensor located? I had a quick look under the tank before it got dark, but all I could see was a couple wires going up behind a heat shield. I'm guessing it's behind that?
 

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My previous bike (K6S) would do around 150 miles before the light started blinking. I would then have about 30 - 35 miles of fuel remaining.

But if I did 150 miles in one hit, my ass would need a rest anyway ...
 

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One of my previous bikes once went 600 miles without stopping for fuel although it usually needed fuel around 500 miles.. The nice thing about that is you get to stop at places that are much more interesting than gas stations. There are a lot more places to pee than there are to buy fuel.

Gen 1 is carbureted, the only thing with wires in the tank is the fuel sensor. My V-Strom had the fuel pump in the tank, so check a parts diagram on fuel injected bikes. If you have the new part in hand, there will be something that looks like it already in your tank, just remove and replace.
 

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When the fuel light does not work it is almost always a problem with the fuel level sensor.

Sometimes just the solder connection holding the sensor to the stalk fails and can be repaired (re-flow the solder).
 

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191 Miles is a good general average you can expect from a full tank. My record was 210 miles of slow country road riding and I ended up stranded in the middle of nowhere in Maine. Not recommended. You should refuel at 170 mi to be on the safe side. The low fuel light usually turns on around 120-170 mi depending how much you twist the throttle. You can also check Fuelly for rider reported mpg values.

I have a first gen fuel thermistor I could send you for $20. @mad8vskillz sent it to me by mistake, so the money would go to him. All you need in addition is the fuel pump O-ring. Take a look at the partsfiche (parts no. 10 & 14) for the fuel pump and see if that's something you're comfortable with replacing yourself. It's a pretty simple swap once you have the fuel pump out.
Your low fuel light is turning on when you turn the ignition on, right?

There's also this good video about disassembling the fuel pump:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When the fuel light does not work it is almost always a problem with the fuel level sensor.

Sometimes just the solder connection holding the sensor to the stalk fails and can be repaired (re-flow the solder).
That's good to know, I'll have a look at the soldering when I get the sender out.

191 Miles is a good general average you can expect from a full tank. My record was 210 miles of slow country road riding and I ended up stranded in the middle of nowhere in Maine. Not recommended. You should refuel at 170 mi to be on the safe side. The low fuel light usually turns on around 120-170 mi depending how much you twist the throttle. You can also check Fuelly for rider reported mpg values.

I have a first gen fuel thermistor I could send you for $20. @mad8vskillz sent it to me by mistake, so the money would go to him. All you need in addition is the fuel pump O-ring. Take a look at the partsfiche (parts no. 10 & 14) for the fuel pump and see if that's something you're comfortable with replacing yourself. It's a pretty simple swap once you have the fuel pump out.
Your low fuel light is turning on when you turn the ignition on, right?

There's also this good video about disassembling the fuel pump:
Yes, the low fuel light works as it lights during the test phase when the bike is started. Pulling the fuel pump won't be an issue, I've done Mustang engine swaps and had the tank off my old Katana all the time (fiddly ass carbs). That's a pretty good video for reference, though I'm not sure if I can take anything he says seriously if he painted over a Burning Copper bike.

Looks like I'll need two of the o-rings? Will the gen 1 sensor work in the gen 2, or is this another one of the '03 oddities? Also just realized I didn't mention before, it's an '03 lol. If it'll work I'll def hit you up on that if I need it.
 

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Best I get is around 160-ish miles on my 99 before the warning light comes on. I always fill up between 120/150 just in case and got into the habit of resetting the Odey just before I open the Filler cap at the pump :)
 

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191 Miles is a good general average you can expect from a full tank. My record was 210 miles of slow country road riding and I ended up stranded in the middle of nowhere in Maine.
wait what? i get MAAAAYBE 100 before the idiot light and usually less

I have a first gen fuel thermistor I could send you for $20. @mad8vskillz sent it to me by mistake, so the money would go to him. All you need in addition is the fuel pump O-ring. Take a look at the partsfiche (parts no. 10 & 14) for the fuel pump and see if that's something you're comfortable with replacing yourself. It's a pretty simple swap once you have the fuel pump out.
i don't want the money. just pay it forward if anything

There's also this good video about disassembling the fuel pump:
that's not the filter they're cleaning, that's the strainer (the filter is inside the big black plastic thing)
 

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Looks like I'll need two of the o-rings? Will the gen 1 sensor work in the gen 2, or is this another one of the '03 oddities?
I think you'll only need the main o-ring, and the master mechanic in the video even re-used that one.
Yes, '03 has the same sensor (click on 'where used'l as 1st Gen.
EDIT: Wrong. The one I have is for the '03. The 1st Gen are carbed so don't have a fuel pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Alright, I'll run the tank low and then have a look at the sensor to see if it just needs resoldering or if it's toast. I'm not great at soldering so I'll probably just replace it anyway. @sv650bklyn I'll hit you up on that if I need it. I do live in St Paul which is pretty much a warzone right now though, so it might better to wait a week or two anyway.
 

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I've run out of fuel twice on my formerly naked Gen1. The first time was at 190 miles, the second at 160. If the tank really is 4.3 gallons, my mileage would be between 37 and 44 mpg. That seems a bit low. But, I only do slow when riding with someone. I'll be glad when the low fuel sensor comes in, some warning would be nice.
 

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I'll hit you up on that if I need it.
Turns out the fuel gauge I have is the one for the 1st Gen. The 2003 one is different. Sorry for the confusion.

P.S: Did a 300 mi run today and averaged nearly 51mpg (mostly empty country roads and a bit highway). Filled up after 170 mi with about 1 gallon left in the tank, so 220 would have been possible today. I won't test this anymore though... Note that even though the official tank capacity is 4.5 gallons (CA version 4.3), I've never been able to put more than 4.3 gal in.
I just put new spark plugs in and have a feeling the efficiency increased substantially.
 

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I don't think you could easily get that last .2 gallons into the tank because of the way the filler neck sticks down into the tank a bit. I'm sure that's to allow for some expansion when temps increase.
 
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