After all these years of riding, I finally pulled the N00bIe$t of all moves...


Well-known member
...I ran out of gas.

In my reserve tank. :rofl

Thank AAA Premier membership and my stupidity for misguiding my newly acquired 1987 Super Magna (no low fuel light). Just a short town jaunt to be sure it's not doing anything funky.

Just died on the freeway, pulled over and checked the tank. Worst thing is, having owned old bikes before, now I'm triggered that I could be something worse... I'm gonna just tell myself it was running out of gas. I shook the bike around and didn't hear sloshing. So yeah, knock on wood and say it was running out of gas!

Please share your running out of gas stories. Who has done the 3 mile push of shame?


Well-known member
Nothing quite like thinking you're a pro and pulling a noobie mistake out of cold storage.

When I was first learning to ride I once had to call my dad to come bring me some gas. I thought there would be some kind of indicator light or something. The bike dying was a good indicator i was out of fuel. But i was like a mile from the house so no biggie. Parents are great.


Well-known member
Please share your running out of gas stories. Who has done the 3 mile push of shame?

That happened decades ago when my brother was in town and I had left the long gone but missed Seca 550s fuel petcock in the reserve position.

Thankfully as we were sitting there on the side of Guerneville Road near Forestville a small pickup pulls up, guy gets out and asks "need any help" and within 5 minutes he'd put enough gas in the Seca's tank to get us home.

So, sorry, no drama.

Now when I FIRST got that bike it was 10+ years old in a crate brand new and on one of my first rides on it, with a full tank, it sputtered to a halt on a darkening Mark West Springs Road on an evening when I was slated to be home in time to go out to dinner with the family.

Guy came by with a cellphone so I called my wife as I started pushing the bike up and down the hills towards Santa Rosa.

VERY dangerous as that section of Mark West Road is medium tight bends and the light was disappearing.

I kept trying to jump start it while pushing and getting more and more exhausted and then, all of a sudden, it came to life and I jumped on the thing and took off.

About 3 miles later I see my wife going the other way, thankfully she saw me, and I got the bike home as it was just a few more miles.

Seems that brand new "old" bike had the carbs cleaned but not well enough as fuel seeped into the float bowls very slowly, (clogged petcock maybe), so there was only enough gas to go a few miles before it was starved for fuel.

Took it back to Jim and Jim's and they took care of the issue.

Great bike.


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Well-known member
The only bike I've ran out of gas on = bike with largest gas tank. BMW GSA. Three times in 50k miles....... not a good record.

Once in the middle of nowhere, luckily the guy I just overtook knew something was wrong, pulled over and even suck-siphoned gas from his tank, getting a mouth full of 87 in the process. Wouldn't take a cent in payment... I still feel guilty about it,

Second best was running out on Montague expy on teh way to work, pulled over and in 30sec a guy was coming over with a gas can from his lawnmower, filled up and on my way. Again wouldn't take a dime.

People can be great sometimes.

Third on Hwy87 to work, I rode backwards down an on-ramp to get off the HWY and pushed the beast over a mile to the station. That was fun...


megalomaniacal troglodyte
Staff member
kz1000, forgot i parked it nearly empty the last time i rode it and ran out of gas on the way to the gas station 3 blocks from home.

ran the oldgoldwing out of gas about a mile from home on a shakedown run after working on it. more than once.

running out of gas just happens, meh


Dogs best friend
I confess, it happened to me about a year ago....and there was absolutely no justifiable reason for it. I was on my Bandit 1200 which embarrassingly enough is equipped with a fuel gauge.
It didn't leave me stranded but still could've gotten me killed. I was zipping along a fast stretch of freeway while surrounded by cars. As it suddenly began to sputter and lose power I fumbled for 'reserve'on the petcock. Having never before needing to touch it while sitting on the bike I misjudged where it was and couldn't find it in time with my gloved hand. (Hangs head in shame)
I usually track my mileage with my tripometer and fill around 120 miles. Unfortunately my Ducati shows "-----" for my odometer and has recently decided to start resting my tripometers randomly. So this could be me soon!

Dave H

Well-known member
Happened to me for the first (and hopefully only!) time about 1 year ago; south bound on 101 in Marin coming to the top of a long uphill stretch the engine started to cut out. I was lucky on multiple counts; I crested the hill with momentum, traffic wasn't too heavy, I was able to coast to the next exit 0.5 mile ahead, and there was a gas station about 2 blocks from the exit (guess that's fairly common). Very unpleasant to go from feeling that you have complete control over where you want to place your machine on the road to feeling very vulnerable. Completely my fault of course... I was tired and pushing on to my next stop on a reasonably new bike that I hadn't fully explored the range of. Lesson learnt...


Mr. Dual Sport Rider
You people who leave your petcocks on reserve are doing it wrong. :x I always leave mine in the off position and turn it on as part of the starting procedure. It never gets accidentally left on reserve.

But way back before I learned to always turn them off, I had a 1978 Yamaha that had a float valve that didn't seal properly, so it filled the crankcase up with fuel then dumped some more on the ground. That's when I learned what the correct petcock position is when parking a bike.

I ran out of gas with that same 1978 Yamaha when I first got it. I wanted to find out how far it would go before hitting reserve. Unfortunately there was a tear in the rubber inside the petcock that allowed fuel from the reserve path to get to the carburetor when in the ON position, so when it hit reserve it was actually dead empty. At least it was downhill to the nearest gas station. I had to replace the rubber part in the petcock.

I ran my KTM 990 Adv out of gas once too. When I first got it, I verified that I could go at least 28 miles after the low fuel light went on. Apparently the fuel tank sensor degraded a bit over the years. After I had owned it for about six years I rode it until the low fuel light went on then went five or six miles further. On my way to the gas station to fill it up it it ran out about 100 feet short. Had to push it across an intersection and up a sidewalk into the gas station.

I sort of ran my third XR650L out of gas just a couple of months ago. That one has a 4.0 gallon tank, unlike the 4.7 tank on the one I still have. I hit reserve about 15 miles from home and figured I could make it. Five miles later I'm stopped at an intersection and it runs out. I could have tilted the bike onto the left side to move the gas in the right side of the tank and made it, but I was across the street from a gas station, so I just pushed it over there instead and filled it. That's the last time I put gas in that bike before selling it.

I'm sure there have been other times I've run out of gas. I manage to do it in cars too.
I did this leaving Yosemite last year. I thought I had enough fuel to make it but under estimated how thirsty this bike was climbing out of the park. Managed to run out of gas as I entered the tunnel on Big Oak Flat Rd. Lights in the tunnel were out as a bonus so I got to push the bike through the tunnel with my hazards flashing in full gear, with a bit of a hangover. Oops.

Ducati geezer

Well-known member
Many years ago. On my BMW k75, with my wife on the back. Coming back from Sonoma, last thing she says as we put our helmets on, “ are you sure we have enough gas?”
Of course I assure her. I have at least 30 miles left. Well, I probably did if I was riding single. I get reminded of that day every once in awhile.


Well-known member
Ran out of gas in my driveway once. Gassed up in Sparks, Nv, didn't stop until I was in my driveway in Santa Rosa, 266 mi. The driveway is uphill. Put the bike in the garage. The next morning, I turned the bike around to go to work so it's now facing downhill. It wouldn't start, out of gas. This was on my Weestrom.


Well-known member
I've found the 'range' on most of the bike's I've owned. Two recent occasions spring to mind. A new to me 2016 Aprilia Tuono factory. I was pushing the mileage to empty so I knew what to expect. Almost made it to the gas station; just 25 yards shy. My favourite occasion was in 2018 while out riding with the Flying_Hun in sunny ol' England and finding out about 3 miles from the hotel that the range of a 2016 Yamaha R6 (rental) is just over 160 miles :laughing


Ask me about my B-1-D
push of shame with my bmw airhead r100rs, two fuel valves, two reserves, lost track and ran both bone dry

had to push across monterey to find a gas station on thursday nite of moto gp weekend. camping at the track, frog pond

lots of witnesses for my loss


Well-known member
I have a good one. 1985 I had a XT550 that I commuted to Richmond on from Lafayette. I would always push the limits of gas with that thing. Coming home one night, I hit the Caldecott in the far right lane doing about 65. Remember when at 6PM traffic through the Caldecott moved because traffic was from 4 to 5PM, long time ago young BARFers. So as soon as I enter the tunnel it starts sputtering. I keep on the gas and get exactly half way through still on the uphill. I dismount like a GP rider mounting his steed, another old reference for you youngsters, GP riders used to have to run and push start their bikes. There is a curb about 8 inches wide along the wall and I have my bike in the lane while I am running along the curb. No fucks given by anyone. Still going by inches from me at 65. Push out the tunnel and over the hill and coast into Orinda and get gas. Didn't push it too much after that


Veteran of Road Racing
Whammy has never ran out of gas before, but I have come mighty close many a time.
Once I ran super low on the way back from work ,and just barely made it to a gas station off 132.
The old 600RR was wheezing and sputtering.
I then realized I didn't have my wallet at all. Ohhhhhh snap. :wtf
Good thing for me I lived nearby and had a family member bring me it.
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Spagthorpe RA
Got some work done on my K12 and got a courtesy R1150.
Drove that home, and on the way back next day, entered the fwy and suddenly, nothing.
Had not gone over 30 miles since they handed it to me.

Yeah, probably about 3 miles. Luckily it was flat along the valley flood plain, but, still ...

Have not trusted any unknown vehicle since.


Dogs best friend
Have not trusted any unknown vehicle since.

I suspect that's what happened to the OP.
I didn't realize he was on a new (to him) bike until I saw him mention it in another thread. As Dr SLO said, there is a learning curve when it comes to the range on an unfamiliar bike.


Well-known member
I suspect that's what happened to the OP.
I didn't realize he was on a new (to him) bike until I saw him mention it in another thread. As Dr SLO said, there is a learning curve when it comes to the range on an unfamiliar bike.

That damn old Magna DRINKS gas like a fiend. I love that old 80's fast motorcycle, but gonna have to keep an eye on that tank for sure!