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Old 19 Apr 2009
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990 fuel gauge - or lack of...

evening all,

Its still not clear why a bike designed to ride around the world doesn't have a fuel gauge but the 990 adventure (2008) doesn't so there we are....

To get around this I'm thinking about sticking a flow meter between the tanks and the FIS to a monitor mounted on the bars to keep track of the fuel flow. Has anyone tried this or have any other suggestions of how to keep track of your remaining fuel?

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Old 20 Apr 2009
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Surely your mile tripmeter tells you when youve done say 170 miles - you then know your getting near to reserve then if its like the old 950 the reserve light comes on and the trip resets to zero and starts counting the miles on reserve you have about 4 litre reserve so going gentle about 30/40 miles 50 if you go really carefull Dont think any bike I have ever owned has had a fuel guage on it and whos to say how accurate that would be anyway ?
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Old 20 Apr 2009
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Hey Jake,

ordinarily I'd agree with you. Having a good idea how far you can go on a tank plus the reserve light and the counter works well enough for travelling in reasonably constant conditions.

Whats got me thinking is what happens on a long trip in remote areas with changing road conditions (tar/dirt/SAND/offroad) where I'm changing speeds, gears and power settings. It means there isnt an easy way to know how much is left in the tanks and so I wont have much of an idea when I'm going to hit the reserve.

Having a gauge of some sort will give me an idea of how my fuel is doing compared to the distance I've covered. It gives me the chance to do something about it sooner rather than later if I'm falling behind, half tanks = half the distance covered and so on.

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Old 20 Apr 2009
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I know what you mean and think maybe the thing to do when faced with these conditions is use one tank as your main and switch the other tank off at the fuel cock - so when your main tank runs out you still have an equal amount of fuel in the second tank and know you can at least get back to where you set off from or will know how much further you can get on the remaining tank. Its a fail safe system. However if you want a fuel guage I am sure a standard aftermarket item and sender unit would not be to hard to set up but its adding something else to an already fairly complicated bike - believe me I know - I did a lot of miles both in and outside of Europe on the KTM and to me its best not to get it overcomplicated with add ons that may cause a problem when you least need it.
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Old 20 Apr 2009
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Nether my 2008 990 Adventure or my 2007 640 Adventure has a fuel gauge! completley unnessary in my opinion, as most are inaccurate!

990 - approx 135 fast road miles before fuel light comes on. Then I managed once 65 miles before I filled up and there was a few litres left in the bottom.
I reckon 38 ish mpg from fast road work to 48 mpg ish for tickle two up work

640 - approx 300 fast miles before fuel light comes on and goes onto reserve at same time, then you have about 20 miles before you are pushing despite a bit of fuel sloshing around in the bottom! All time record best is 76mpg at a steady 80kph (50 mph ish) in Norway on the road. Riding it as god intended (fast off road) worst case so far MPG 40 mpg.

both bikes completley standard and well maintained.

keep an eye on the elasped distance and think about the condtions you have gone through in that time should be a good indication.

If your that worried buy the big expensive tank from touratech or better still :- Safari 40 litre tank from Core Racing - Aqualine Fuel Tanks, Larger fuel tanks for Off Road Motorcycles

or cheaper by a thousand quid! carry a jerry.
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Old 25 Sep 2011
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I have never found the lack of a fuel guage to be too much hassle (not that I've gone truly away from civilisation on my KTMs), but I can see how they would help, or at least a guide beyond odo. Has anyone ever heard of a sight tube being added to the bottom of each (or either) tank? If just at the lower half behind tank protection, it could be safe. Otherwise a (plastic) welded section of transparrent (?) plastic to allow guestimation.

Am not sure about my 990A tank, but I think it is orange all the way through, but my 18l for the LC4E seems to be clear under the black coating, so potentially feasible to strip and clear lacquer?

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Old 15 Sep 2013
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Hi all,Remember that a KTM fuel pump is cooled by fuel. Running that tank dry will allow your pump to heat up and cause excessive wear to it. You will also be sucking up all the trash in the bottom of the tank.
I agree a sight glass would be great addition.
My quad uses a graduated mark rubber ribbon on the gas cap. Pull it out dry it off, put it back in, pull out and read the wet line. Crude but works
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