Whether you’re caught up in the moment and forget to check your fuel gauge or you had a lapse in judgement and didn’t make it quite as far as you thought, we’re wondering  if you’ve ever run out of gas and had to walk or hitchhike? If so, there’s usually a story behind it and we’d love to hear it in the comments below.

  • DickRuble

    Happened to me twice, last time two years ago. About 3/4 mile from the gas station. Had to push it and while doing so who do you think was showing me the finger? Harley Davidson riders and pick-up truck drivers… in case you wonder why I hold them in the level of esteem I do, though my feeling for them precedes this event by many years. And no, nobody stopped.. not that I wanted anyone to. Just busting the myth of motorcyclist solidarity..

    • DickRuble

      Actually.. comes to mind.. a cop stopped while I was peeking inside the tank. He told me to be off the emergency lane in 30 mins or he’ll call a tow truck because they were about to resurface that area and he needed me gone. .. The last half of the distance was uphill.. on an exit ramp to an overpass.. about 90F, humid, late summer, late afternoon.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        You could have left the bike there, walked to the gas station, bought or borrowed a gas can and come back. Much faster.

        • Jon Jones

          You bike would be gone by the time you returned in many places.

        • DickRuble

          I didn’t know how far the gas station was and if, out of excess of zeal, the cop would come back, find it and tow it away.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      What bike were you riding?

      • DickRuble

        My mz skorpion.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Never heard of it before, but there is a Wikipedia page for it
          It says “Some early Skorpions were fitted with an Austrian Rotax engine.” so there is some common lineage with KTM.

          • DickRuble

            Yamaha 660 engines for most of the production.

    • SerSamsquamsh

      I think that A$$holes where showing you the finger. The Venn diagram shows significant overlap of course.

  • vinnyvavoom

    The choices are not optimal. It was only once for me but that does not make me “A real motorcycle rider”.

    PS – DIck, It was when I had a Harley and I did not make it off my bike and someone (a landscaper with multiple gas cans) had already pulled over. He gave me gas and refused money. Disdain for those who ride a certain motorcycle or drive a certain vehicle is short sighted and small minded. A percentage of all people no matter their vehicle of choice or their affiliations are jerks, kindhearted or somewhere in between.

    • DickRuble

      I wasn’t riding a Harley… Maybe they would have stopped for a Harley..

  • RyYYZ

    Happened to me once (how do I vote?), many many years ago. Forgot that my old XS400 was already on reserve before I headed into town. Fortunately a friend happened by (may have been following me, can’t remember), and was able to go up the road and get a windshield washer fluid container (not approved, I know, I know) full of gas for me.

    • Gabriel Owens


  • Daniel Ouellette

    I ran out of gas when my fuel strip went south and was still showing that I had 100km worth of fuel left.
    Lucky for me, I ran out of gas in front of one of the rare houses in the area.
    The owner gave me a lift to the nearest gas station and I was back on the road half an hour later.

    Nice people still exists

  • novemberjulius

    I ran out of gas driving a box truck, right before an intersection. Somehow I could sputter the engine, and ride the clutch and after about 3 agonizing minutes I had coaxed it off of the road and into a parking lot. At least on a bike you can push it off the motorway.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Happened to me on my 1,223 mile non-stop ride from Daytona Bike Week back home to Fort Worth TX in 1987. In Florida on I-10 I got into a racing match with a BMW car. I wouldn’t let the car get ahead. The only thing is my 1986 Harley was carburetted and liked running at 75 mph, not 85 mph (used too much fuel). So the BMW didn’t get ahead until I ran out of gas. Luckily a gas station was on the next exit. Had to walk.

  • Kamohelo Mohudi

    happened three times or so , downhill usually, as the low fuel light warning comes on, yeah i can get 20km but if petrol doesn’t get to the pump then what can one do?coast the bike, start it up once on the uphill start it again and hope it can pull up far enough for your walk to be less than 5km, one my coils were messed up and i had just come back from work and had the afternoons fuel left in the tank that finished more than 10kms from the station, waited on the side of the road untill someone who knows me stopped and got me fuel…an hour wait

  • JWaller

    Brand new bike with EFI and a low gas light, but no fuel gauge. I was waiting for the low gas light to come on, there were plenty of gas stations in the area. I just wanted a good idea of what kind of range the bike had. I ran out of gas about a half mile from a gas station. The low gas light never came on. But, the bike was a Ural, so go figure. Anyway, it ran out at just over 200 kilometers. So I figured stop for gas at 180. Then one day it ran out of gas at 147 kilometers. I had been riding at full throttle into a massive head wind, only making about 50 mph. Now I never ride without a spare gas can. Never have run out of gas on any other bike since my first bike, an EX-500 which I forgot to switch off of reserve when I was a newbie. Bike started sputtering, I went to put it in reserve only to find it already was. Damn.

    • ChiefPockets

      Yeah, that’s a classic Ural mistake. I’m already on my third fuel light and never travel without a jerry can full of fuel. Your range numbers pretty much match mine, though, so at least you know your engine isn’t way out of tune yet.

  • SRMark

    I had just put a new petcock on my old SR500, took it out for a shake-down ride and found out that that reserve range was much less than the previous one. As I sat by the side of the road making sure I was indeed out of fuel, an off-duty DNR office, heading in the other direction, turned around and came back to check on me. He had an empty gas tank in the back of his pickup, went to a gas station, came back and filled up my tank. He would not accept payment for the gas. There are some good folks out there! I hope you are one them.

  • therr850

    Have not had the “no gas” problem but have had two tires blow out at inconvenient places and times. The rear I just rode, struggled, to help. The front my wife was along on her bike. Left her there and rode home fifteen miles for a used tube. Changed tubes, inflated with a syringe pump (took forty-five minutes) and continued on our way.

    • therr850

      Oops. Did once. Riding acoss Kansas the fuel pump on my Cavalcade died while on vacation. No idea where we were, how far to gas, which direction was shorter, at sunset. We planned on stopping in Wichita about another hundred miles. Thankfully a Kansas road crew was headed home for the night and their policy is to help all stranded motorist. Took me to town, found the autoparts store owner who sold me an adaptable electric pump and took me back to the bike till I got it running. They wouldn’t accept any money, not even for coffee and donuts. We sent a thank you letter to the Governor.

      • Jon Jones

        Nice story!

  • Strat

    I did on the way home from work. It’s a rural area, but there’s a landscaping service just over 2 miles from where I ran out. The temp was in the 90’s. I pushed the bike there. On the way, every car that went by stopped and asked me if I needed assistance, including a woman that offered to put it in the back of her mini-van if I thought we could fit it in there. Five motorcycles passed by going in either direction, couple baggers, couple sport bikes and a dirt bike. Not one of them slowed down let alone bothered to ask if I needed any help. When I got to the landscaping service, the guy that ran the place had a full, 5 gallon gas can and filled my tank. He didn’t want any money. I told him to take it. The next day I stopped by there with a 12 pack of beer for them. So much for the brotherhood of motorcyclists.

    • DickRuble

      Gee.. you weren’t riding an MZ skorpion, were you?

      • Strat

        It was an SV650. I must’ve screwed up setting the trip odometer I use for gas miles. I have a buddy that works about 3 miles from my company. He rides the same route on his KLR and I thought for sure he would go by at some point. No such luck.

  • Matt O

    when i was new i had a terrible time remembering to turn the petcock off reserve. Probably did the walk of shame three or four times. How about in a car? The trucks we have at work often have broken fuel gauges, ask me how i know.

  • elgar

    Oh yes…youth, tight $$’s, and high fuel economy all contributed to running out of fuel and ‘pushing’ on many occasions when I first started street riding with my GS400s. Reserve was good for about 75 miles (!) so it was too easy to forget that I was already on reserve when running out of gas and the bike started to sputter…D’oh! Thankfully it was an easy bike to push and a gas station was never more than a 30 min push. Good times…

  • Sayyed Bashir

    This is not a running out of gas story but similar. I used to ride all over Texas on my 1986 Harley. Stayed at a motel near San Antonio and next morning the battery was dead due to the cold. Got a jump start from a running pickup not realizing that would fry the voltage regulator. 15 miles out of town the bike died. Got a ride to the nearest gas station from a nice lady in a Cadillac who wanted me to go with her to her mansion. I was more worried about my bike sitting by the highway and had to decline her invitation. Hitched a ride back to San Antonio and got there just in time before the truck rental place closed. Drove the rental truck back to the bike and backed it up into a ditch but couldn’t load the 650 lb bike. Finally two guys stopped to help and I drove the truck all the way to Dallas and dropped the bike off at the dealership. I met a lot of interesting people thanks to that Harley.

  • TC

    I had a Buell Thunderbolt with a ‘low fuel’ light that would come on about 5 miles before the tank ran dry. Took me two times to learn that lesson. Amazing what you notice as your are pushing a motorcycle on the freeway shoulder to the next off ramp.

  • Ron Hayes

    It happened to me on an old CB500T and later finding out my brother siphoned the tank to fill the lawn mower. Again it happened when my step father asked me to take his Yamaha V-star 650 out for a ride because it was running rough. I went for about 30 miles and it quit. I asked him if he put in gas and he said he put in 2. I responded by “2 gallons” and he said “No! 2 dollars”.

  • TimRowledge

    Not gas (or as we call it in the U.K., petrol) but electrons. After a late night party in a real medieval castle my friend & I headed back around 2am down small rural roads and finally to a stretch of dual carriageway that crossed a large area of heathland. Which was on fire. On both sides of the road. And my electrics quit.
    Given that this was in 1976 we were both on Yamaha FS1Es, so going pillion was not an attractive option -I think it might have overstrained the elastic band in his engine and left us both totally stranded in Dante’s first circle. I think we finally got the engine going but no lights and eventually got home for breakfast. Ah, the joys of youthful motorcycling!

  • Ted

    No walking or hitch hiking. Did have to call MTS once. Don’t travel without them.