5.2 Gallons of Gas in a 5.0 Gallon Tank

On the way back from the Yuma Prison Run today, we stopped in El Centro to fill up our gas tanks. The gas tank on my Harley Ultra Classic ...

On the way back from the Yuma Prison Run today, we stopped in El Centro to fill up our gas tanks.

The gas tank on my Harley Ultra Classic was down to its last drop, I thought for sure I was going to run out of gas on the freeway.

When I filled up the tank, the gas pump showed 5.2 gallons was delivered. The tank on the Ultra holds 5.0 gallons, according to Harley.

So how did I get 5.2 gallons in there?

First of all, I didn't actually fill it all the way up to the rim of the tank opening. I did top it off, but I still left some air space in the tank, mostly because I couldn't pump anymore gas into it without having it spray back out at me. If the tank actually is 5.0 gallons, then I probably had 4.9 gallons of gas in it.

My guess is that I got ripped off. The gas station probably tweaked the pumps to show that more gas was delivered than was actually pumped. Considering there are very few gas stations along the desert stretch of the I-8, they figured they could get away with it because most people are just happy to get gas.

Moreover, most people are not as keenly aware of their gas tanks as bikers are, so most people wouldn't even know.

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  1. Maybe Harley simply rounded off the capacity of the tank, in their documentation? Gas pumps should have a certification sticker on them from the state dept. of weights and measures. They have to be certified on a regular basis. At least in most states.

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  2. You put 5 gallons in and the tank is listed at 5.2 gals cap. That means you only had a tick over 3 cups of fuel in the tank. Even if you were "running on fumes" this is not a lot of fuel. Run it out of gas and see how much you can get in it.

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  3. Disregard my previous post. I misread the article and had the measurements backwards. Not enough coffee that day!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The posted capacity of the tank is a rough number, like the way a one liter engine is usually closer to 985cc (or the Piaggio 500cc is actuially 460).

    ReplyDelete

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