Range Anxiety. As electric vehicles have become more common, the concept has spread widely – but motorcycle riders have always been aware of it.
In the Olden Days, motorbikes typically didn’t have in-tank sensors and a petrol gauge. To track your fuel consumption, you had to track your mileage since the last fill-up – and since most bikes didn’t have a trip meter either, you had to notice and remember the odometer reading at your last fuel stop. If you forgot, the only way to tell if your fuel was running low was to wobble your bike from side to side and listen for sloshing, or to look in your tank. (A mate of ours tells of being lost in the dark, running low on fuel – and only just stopping himself from lighting a match so he could see the inside of his open tank better. Eek.)
I was reminded of the bad days of range anxiety a few of years ago, when I collected a Honda CRF250L from Sheffield and rode it back home to Crieff. (Nearly 300 miles of mostly-motorway on a wee trailie – not recommended as a relaxed touring route!) The stock tank is small, and I didn’t yet have a good sense of the tank range. With the fuel indicator getting down to the last bar, and 20 miles to the next services, range anxiety was alive and kicking.
As for the Crieff Cloverleaf, the longest route is Cloverleaf South, at 238 miles. A long-range touring bike can do that on a tankful, but the rest will need a fill-up (or maybe three on a stock CRF250L!) Fortunately, there are ample petrol stations on the Cloverleaf routes (you can view them on our Google map). Also, wherever possible, our scheduled stops include a refuelling option for your bike as well as yourself!
On-route facilities range from large motorway services to unstaffed, pay-at-pump outposts. It’s worth being aware that opening hours can vary, and some smaller rural outlets might even be closed on a Sunday or after 5pm. Also, certain legs of the Cloverleaf go through remote areas and don’t pass close to fuel stations. Our advice is to stop and refuel sooner rather than later – so you can have a relaxing, undistracted ride, and avoid the dreaded range anxiety.
As for exploring the Cloverleaf routes on an electric motorbike – we’re really looking forward to doing this, but we’d leave it a couple of years yet!