Will Not Start if Fuel Gauge Does Not Register

CarlS

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I compiled the following from several different sources. It is anecdotal; I haven't found anything official about it.

It seems that the Tiger 800's and XC's will not start if the fuel is not registering. Fuel not registering can be caused by being out of fuel, of course, and by a weak or dead battery. It appears that the ECU must read the fuel gauge in order for the bike to start.

If the fuel gauge reads zero, it won't start. If you have disconnected the battery or it has lost some voltage your ECU will shut down, when you switch on you need to tell the ECU that there is fuel available. The ECU can only check the fuel if the fuel is moving about (don't ask why). That's why you have to sit on the bike and preferably shake it from side to side with the ignition switched on until the fuel gauge starts to move.

Had the same issue myself after not using the bike during the snow and forgetting to plug the Optimate (Battery Tender) in. The battery does not need to get completely flat for this to happen, just drop in voltage a little.
One person reported they had to wheel the bike around in a circle to get the fuel to show on the gauge. Once the fuel gauge starts registering, the bike will start.
 

Ksquared

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As many fuel pumps cool and lubricate themselves with the fuel, this is probably some sort of safeguard. Doesn't sound as though it works very well, however.
 

CarlS

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I would really like to know the the why and the purpose.
 

The Seeker

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I would really like to know the the why and the purpose.
I think K2's reason is a definite as almost all electric fuel pumps are cooled by the fuel running through them.

Also, anything that has fuel injection can be harmed if you run it completely dry.

Or...you could be an idiot like me and run out of fuel 3 miles from home with a plain old gravity fed fuel system and have to push the bike home as your punishment!
 

CarlS

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The original poster of this problem finally took the advice and installed a new battery. The bike showed no bars on the fuel gauge and the starter would not engage. He then sat on the bike and tipped it from side to side sloshing the fuel around. He turned the key back on and two fuel bars showed, hit the starter and the bike fired up. It took several miles before the fuel gauge displayed a full tank.

Problem solved.
 

dism

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Been looking for info on the problem i encountered last monday.
After riding my tiger for about 1 hour, I stopped for an quick coffee.
When I was ready to get on the way again, the bike would't start at all.
Immobilizer light was on, fuelpump gave no sound and the bike did nothing.
Checked gear, sidestandswitch, deadswitch, clutch etc. etc. but all to no appeal.
Transported the bike home, checked everything again, unhooked an rehooked the battery: nothing
Did some internet research and stumbled upon this thread; didn't work for me though...
After battery rehook, fuelindicator shows zero, but shaking/tilting/moving the bike has no effect whatsoever: indicator shows nothing.
Bike is now sitting at the dealer. Big Bummer! See what he's comming up with for explanation.
Glad I was al least in my home neighborhood. Imagine standing somewhere in Romania...
 

CarlS

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Do you have a bike alarm, particularly the Triumph alarm? If so, that may be the problem. Several folks have had this trouble caused by a faulty alarm. Did you fully charge the battery or jump from another battery? A very slight voltage drop will cause the bike not to start. Please let us know what the dealer finds.
 

dism

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No, I have no alarm installed...
And No, I didn't (have to) charge the battery or jumpstart the bike.
Didn't think that was neccessary, 'cause I just rode the bike.
Come to think of it right now, this was my first ride with the TomTom Rider placed in the active dock connected directly to the battery over a 5a fuse.
Could that cause the problem, in words of draining the battery too much?
 

CarlS

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That is possible if it is on all of the time. However, when running, the alternator is more than ample to power a GPS, lights, electric grips, electric vest, etc.
 

dism

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...the alternator is more than ample to power a GPS, lights, electric grips, electric vest, etc.
That's exactly what I thought. Triumph installed a powerful alternator, from what I've heard...
And I installed and tested the dock last week, disconnecting the battery and connecting the dock, without the motor running.
After the weekend, the bike started right away, I only had to reset the clock.
Only after riding several dozen miles, the bike suddenly refuses to start...
Apperently there must be someting else wrong.
Sure hope it will be fixed soon, planned a nice trip next week...
 

CarlS

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I hope they fix it quickly. Did you check your fuses for a blown fuse?
 

Sea Dog

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Riding into town the other day on my T800ABS and fuel gauge dropped to zero bars about 100 meters from the fuel station. Arrived at station, still on bike, stopped engine, turned key off. Gave it about 30 seconds, turned key on, pressed the started button and it fired into life with no bars showing on the fuel gauge. Filled up with 17 liters of petrol and life continues. Scratching my head now.
 

Silent Mobius

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Hi there to you all. It's been a while since I've passed by but... I'm having similar problems but... MY Bike do starts with no fuel gauge indicates. It fires at first

While on my sunday riding and when I passed by a fellow rider i've hit the high beam button and... suddenly my fuel went all the way down and the light came ON. Also no km gauge till empty.

The fault it's the P0640 and it says fuel level sensor malfunction...

But... my bike starts fine. Well... on the first attempt once after getting hot the bike will not start

Look at this vid:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c9euZEki4c

hope it will help

also:

P0460 Fuel Level Sensor Circuit Malfunction

Catch you all later as I will fit a second sensor

TigerMode800XC'er
 
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