Friday, December 18, 2020

Remember to fill the gas tank of your Royal Enfield

Looking down into gas filler opening of tank.
Looking into the gas tank opening is like staring into a black hole.

I still like MY idea about how to remember when to tank up my Royal Enfield Bullet.

My 1999 model doesn't have a gas gauge, or a trip odometer. My memory isn't what it used to be so twice lately I have "hit Reserve." There's nothing wrong with having to switch the petcock to the Reserve setting, except when it happens in the middle of an intersection.

Readers have suggested a variety of ways to remember when to tank up.

The best old school recommendation came from Chennai Wrencher. He wrote:

"Maybe recording fill-ups (on) a notepad in your riding jacket might work as well, the old 'paper brain' gambit? I'm usually ready to stop and stretch out anyway well before 100 miles have passed. Can't hurt to have a look into the tank as well then, eh? If you can see fuel, you won't be walking!"

Maynard suggested throwing money at the problem:

"How much could a new complete speedometer cost with a second, resettable odometer? They're so convenient!" he wrote.

A cheaper way might be the old-fashioned accessory resettable odometer proposed by Bilgemaster.

Darrel Bedwell had this idea:

"I used (a) suitcase combination lock to keep track of my next fill up mileage."

Bilgemaster also suggested this:

"Just beg an old grease pencil nub from your grocer or a friendly stock clerk, tuck it into your riding jacket, and write the last three digits right onto the speedo glass whenever you fill up as a reminder. It's reasonably waterproof and just wipes off."

An Unknown reader made what I call the most creative suggestion:

"I use a small rare earth magnet on the bezel around the speedometer. Just line it up with the number on speedometer to correspond with the last two numbers on the odometer when you fill up. The speedometer reads 0 to 100."

(That might work. The speedometer bezel on my Bullet IS magnetic, although the Bullet casquette that surrounds it is not.)

Kacey3 pointed out that, of course, there's an ap for that. He wrote:

"I use the Fuelly app to record every fill-up, which both helps me remember when I last filled up (both when, and at what mileage) and also gives me an estimated "miles per tank." Those two pieces of information taken together make it pretty easy to figure out if I need gas or not."

In any case, don't make the mistake Scaleyback made:

"When you are in the middle of nowhere, reach down to flip onto Reserve and find it already IS on Reserve. A Meteor Minor is quite heavy to push up even a slight hill!"

Do you remember the method I proposed and am trying to live with? Check it out. So far so good.


  1. Even Steve McQueen checked his gas tank in "The Great Escape" before the epic but doomed mad dash to freedom. So, be like Steve and check the tank. You can be cool, too.

  2. Has anyone suggested a wireless bicycle cyclometer on your handlebar? It'll have a resettable odometer and will be super accurate as to speed and distance after you set it to the diameter of your front wheel. Not very expensive and relatively inconspicuous.

    1. Anonymous1/25/2021

      I have tried a wireless bicycle meter on my bullet, however, it must have been a cheap meter, did not register. I currently have a wired bicycle meter which works most of the time, however, it can be a challenge to get the magnetic pickup close enough to the magnet on the hub or spokes.


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