Running on Empty

Bingo fuel on Honda’s CBR1000RR.

Running on Empty

I spent the last week in July commuting each day aboard a 2009 Honda CBR1000RR between my home and the Home Depot Center, the site of Summer X Games 15 located in Carson, California. Over the past four years I've burned vacation time moonlighting for ESPN, undertaking the role of race director for the Supermoto and Super X events. The work is enjoyable, although the days can be long and, in my case, culminated by a 50-mile trek south on the 405 Freeway.

Following the Thursday-evening Super X Adaptive (handicapped) practice session I hit the highway with my thoughts occupied by the day's activities and still-to-do-list for the following morning's Supermoto practice/seeding sessions. No sooner had I settled into the carpool lane when the CBR's reserve light illuminated. Dang it! Suppose I should have gassed up before hitting the on ramp. The Honda's informative dash displays fuel-mileage info and also begins counting the amount of fuel consumed in tenth-of-a-gallon increments once the reserve light comes on. I did a quick mental calculation, like a naval aviator returning to the boat in a "bingo" fuel state, only I didn't know exactly what the CBR's reserve capacity was...one of those details an actual owner would know.

Have to say it was pretty nerve-racking as the digital readout clicked from 0.8 to 0.9 gallon consumed. I was within a mile of my target destination, a Shell station just beyond the I-405/I-5 merger when 1.0 gal. displayed on the dash. Seconds later the engine sputtered and died. Fortunately, I was able to dead-stick 'er in, tapping the dregs of the tank with just enough slosh to get one last brief burst of power at the base of the off ramp and silently glide up to the pump.

Honda's specifications for the CBR1000RR list a 4.7-gallon capacity, including 1.06-gallon reserve. The pump meter read 4.697 gallons in topping her up while the 185.4 miles displayed on bike's trip meter equates to 39.47 mpg for that sortie. Needless to say, I plan to keep fuel-range testing a bit more, er, reserved in the future.