Motorcycle reserve is designed as a fail safe option in case the fuel runs out in the main tank.
The reserve fuel will help the rider to travel a few more miles and reach the nearest gas station to refill the tank.
Can you run the motorcycle on reserve all the time? While running on reserve all the time wont harm the motorcycle, it is not recommended. When the fuel is emptied out, you won’t have a safety net to fall back since the fuel in the reserve tank is also emptied out. The very purpose of reserve is negated if you run the motorcycle on reserve all the time.
You won’t get to know when the main fuel tank was emptied earlier.
Let’s dive into the pros and cons of running on reserve and look at the reasons why you should not run the bike on reserve all the time.
Pros And Cons Of Running On Reserve
Let’s first discuss the pros of running the motorcycle on reserve.
The main advantage of running on reserve is that you will be draining the fuel completely and not allow the dirt and old fuel to settle in the tank for a long time.
If the reserve is never used, the dirt will start accumulating in the reserve tank to abnormal levels.
Using the reserve tank by switching to RES in the fuel petcock valve will use the fuel from the reserve tank and empty out any dirt accumulated.
On the other hand, running on reserve all the time has its downside too.
Running on reserve will actually negate the entire purpose of reserve tank in the motorcycle.
Reserve tank is specifically designed to store reserve fuel which can be used when you run out of fuel in the main fuel tank.
It is fail safe and a backup mechanism to store some fuel to be used by the bike rider when the main tank runs out of fuel. Using the fuel from the reserve tank, the rider can go to the nearest gas station and refill the tank.
If you are running the motorcycle on reserve all the time, then it is as good as having no reserve in your motorcycle. You won’t be able to retrieve soe additional fuel when your fuel tank is empty. Only this time the fuel from the reserve is empty too.
Once the fuel is emptied out you won’t have a safety net to fall back since the fuel in the reserve tank is also emptied out.
In addition, you won’t get to know when the main fuel tank was emptied earlier. You can guess the low gasoline levels from the fuel gauge, and that would be your cue to visit the gas station immediately.
That is the main disadvantage of running your bike on reserve all the time. When the main fuel tank runs out of fuel, you will not have the reserve tank to fall back on.
Why You Should Not Run On Reserve All The Time
As discussed above, the disadvantage of running the motorcycle on reserve is you don’t have the reserve fuel to fall back on when the amin fuel tank is emptied out.
If you are running on reserve, both the main fuel tank and the reserve tank fuel will be drained out of fuel.
So, when the fuel is empty – it means both the main tank and the reserve tank are empty.
The bike rider will not have any other alternative other than parking the motorcycle and go look for gas.
On the other hand, if you run the motorcycle normally without switching to reserve, you will have reserve fuel to fall back on. When the fuel empties out in the main tank, you can then switch to reserve and use the reserve fuel to run few more miles.
That’s the reason why you should not run on reserve all the time. If you run the bike normally and the fuel empties out, then you can run on reserve to travel few more miles and to the nearest gas station.
How To Switch To Reserve Tank In Motorcycle
To switch to the reserve in you motorcycle, all you need to do is turn the reserve fuel switch located on the left side of the bike, right below the fuel tank.
The reserve switch will be in the ‘ON’ position if you were riding the motorcycle and have run out of gasoline.
Turn the reserve fuel switch by 180 degrees to change its position from ‘ON’ to ‘RES’.
Once you have switched to the reserve position in the fuel valve, the fuel from the reserve tank will starting flowing into the engine to generate power.
You can start the motorcycle now and ride to the nearest gas station to refill the main fuel tank.
For a detailed guide, you can check out our post on reserve fuel switch.
Do Motorcycles Run Better On Reserve? There is no proof or evidence that shows the motorcycles running better on reserve. The running condition does not differ whether you are running the motorcycle on reserve or not.
Does running on reserve harm the motorcycle? Running on reserve will not harm the motorcycle. Switching to reserve will make the fuel from reserve tank to flow to the carburetor. It is the same as fuel flowing out of main tank to the carburetor.