10. I can wait until the next gas station


When I’m in the thick of a good ride, I hate to stop – even if it’s just to refuel. Unfortunately, motorcycles seem to double in weight when their tanks are empty and you’re pushing them alongside of a highway…in the summer…in full riding gear…with the gas station shimmering in the distance like a desert mirage – offering fuel, cold water, and air-conditioning. Don’t ask me how I know this.

However, I will say that, when I moved from the Southeast to the Southwest, I had to recalibrate the percentage of tank I’d go through before I’d start considering a gas stop. Why? Because I’ve spent far too many miles trying to make myself as small as physically possible behind the windscreen or tucked up close to a tractor-trailer’s bumper, milking that last little bit of mileage out of a tank as I prayed I’d make it to the next gas station. For example, in 1998, while riding the first Kawasaki Nomad cross-country from its introduction at Daytona Bike Week, a headwind (and a heavy right wrist) decimated my gas mileage in West Texas. After 37.2 miles on reserve, my Nomad sputtered to a halt as I pulled into the station. I put 4.23 gallons of fuel into a 4.2 gallon tank.