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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Couldn’t find on a search and don’t really trust the printed specs. What is the actual reserve fuel capacity on a 2015? Like many of you I prefer to have it close to or just starting the reserve for short off road trips to save that last bit of up high weight. Thanks.
 

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With, or without, the, "Secret Reserve?"

The reserve fuel amount (volume, not pressure) is determined by the petcock standpipe height. Exchanging OEM vacuum petcock to a manual version may reduce the effective available reserve volume, because of shorter standpipe height in the alternate manual component.

(A friend of mine found out this is so! :))

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Now, a weird saga from KLRiana: A sincere, helpfully-intended guy discovered a technique for converting the OEM petcock from vacuum-actuated to manually-actuated; wisdom he freely shared . . . may have even made some kits to sell or give away. He also promulgated a misapprehension, cutting petcock standpipes affected fuel pressure! Ain't so. Static fuel pressure to carburetor remains solely a function of the "head," the vertical elevation distance between the carburetor and the fuel level in the tank. Standpipe height is of no consequence to fuel pressure in a gravity-fed fuel system such as the KLRs.

Yet . . . some beneficiaries of his vacuum-to-manual activation petcock modification dutifully followed his instructions regarding standpipe height, in hapless expectation of increasing, "fuel pressure." Some established physical principles require revision for successful realization of this expectation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
By “secret reserve” I assume you mean the bike is upright and runs out of fuel so you lay it on presumably it’s left side to get whatever remains on the right side of the gas tank chamber to cross over the frame tube to the left tank chamber? Can’t be much.

No, I’m just talking the plain old ordinary reserve using the stock vacuum petcock. For me “secret reserve” is life or death supply (and very well may be death if I have to push this pig up a hill through the woods) and I’d rather not count on it. Thanks.
 

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EricZ, do you have a vertical work stand or center stand or exposed rafters in the garage or carport to connect tie downs (ups) to?
Can you acquire an empty Visine bottle?
If one disconnects the fuel tap vacuum hose from the carb nipple and squeezes the air out of the Visine bottle and then attaches bottle to the vacuum hose, the applied vacuum will allow one to drain the fuel tank into containers. First the On Volume & then the Reserve Volume and measure your bikes Reserve Volume as if on smooth, straight & flat asphalt.

I'll suggest about .9 - 1.1 gallons.

But when riding off-highway the reserve volume will Less. Because we keep splashing the 'secret reserve' fuel supply over the center hump. Then I'll suggest about .7 - .8 gallon.
 
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Owners manual on my 2018 says .6 gal. On every bike I have ever had I figured the reserve would be enough to get me 20-25 miles on the highway.
 

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40 - 50 miles of reserve is most common with an oem automatic vaccum operated fuel tap on the KLR650, IME. On smooth, level highways.

Maybe they changed/shortened the ON stand pipe height on the newer models. Best to find out for ones self, in ones own neighbourhood, instead of out on the open road.

One can always lay it down in the borrow ditch to get 5-10 miles from the 'secret' reserve.
 
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I'd always count on 20 to 25 highway miles and I never had to push it. I never really worried a lot about the weight of the gas either, I like gas :)
 

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I didn't worry about the weight of gas either until I crashed down a sandy embankment and couldn't get my KLR back up onto the trail and had to walk two miles back to camp......now I worry about all the weight on the bike and carry only what I need plus a healthy reserve. I also managed to pare off another 25 lbs from the bike.

YMMV

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Exactly. Every bit helps. Especially up to 25 or so pounds of extra fuel up high in the center of the bike can be a big difference off road.
 

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I have hit reserve twice on my bike, both times I found a gas station within a mile or two of switching over. Both times I put 4.9 - 5.1 gallons. So I am thinking I had about a gallon left which = around 55 miles under normal highway riding for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I hit reserve the other day and put an additional 37 miles of highway and rolling country roads with mostly spirited riding and needed 5.313 gallons to fill up to about a 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch below the baffle. I was getting nervous that last mile or 2.
 

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40 - 50 miles of reserve is most common with an oem automatic vaccum operated fuel tap on the KLR650, IME. On smooth, level highways.

Maybe they changed/shortened the ON stand pipe height on the newer models. Best to find out for ones self, in ones own neighbourhood, instead of out on the open road.

One can always lay it down in the borrow ditch to get 5-10 miles from the 'secret' reserve.
I can get 6 gallons in my gen2 from bone dry to brim full. I filled it brim full at Prudhoe Bay Alaska and then stopped at construction flag lady about half a mile from the fuel stop at Coldfoot, Ak. The engine died while I was sitting with the bike level and talking with the flag lady. When allowed to continue, I switched to reserve and rode half a mile to the pump and pumped in 5 gallons to brim full.

That tells me there are 5 gallons in the "ON" side and 1 in the "RES" side. I have only had to use the "secrete reserve" one time so, I can only say it works, but I wouldn't want to count on it for more than a few miles.
 
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