Which side do you wear your reserve on?

  • Thread starter Thread starter Anonymous
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Which side do you wear your reserve on?

  • Right

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Left

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Don't know

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • This is a dumb poll

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
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somebody "doesn't know" what side their reserve is on? LOL - Keep riding, you'll find out soon enough :)


I figured that if you run out the throttle hand isnt doing that much anyway, so I have mine on the right!

Sorry I have not been udating the main website lately. I am still playing with that Triumph ST I bought.

I do have some really exciting photos from the Norton Factory to post soon!


My fuel reserve is on the left. With the reserve on the right and the bike low on fuel and on the side stand, you may have trouble starting it. Left-hand reserve solves this problem.

Norton factory photos


Which factory - Bracebridge St, Plumstead, Andover or Gladstone, Oregon?
I'm with Jerry. When I run out, I go dead stick, so I have to pull in the clutch, which leaves my right to reach down and switch. I'm assuming I'll have to bump start after that. Should be entertaining :shock:

However ... never having had a "kicker" bike before, I've always had the luxury of getting on, centering the bike, and lifting the side stand before hitting the start button (most modern scooters have a kickstand cutoff, so one has to have it up to start). So in short, Jason makes lots of sense.

I don't know about everybody else, but my 850 was brutal to get on the center stand. It's going to take me a while to learn the correct leverage point :?

Hi David,

John Favill has sent me some photos of the original Commando design team outside the factory. I think it is Andover, but will check with him.


Dana - my 750 is really easy to get on the centerstand. I do it while sitting on the bike. Have you tried that?

Petcocks - my tank is off for repairs so I'm putting my reserve on the left. I find it useful to hold the throttle on when it runs out. You don't lose as much speed that way. Less chance of becoming an SUV hood ornament :)

reserve fuel ap

When I purchased my Mk 2a brand new in 1974 the reserve was on the left side. I still have the bike. Ivon
Reserve Side

Howdy Folks!

My reserve was originally on the Starboard (right) side when I purchased Daisy.

I moved it to the Port (left), glad I did to! When the main runs low she spits and sputters. I work the throttle with the starboard hand and reach down with the port hand to open up the reserve.

Works for me :wink:
It is funny how some of these questions stay in your mind !

You know, according to my 1972-1973 Owners manual, it shows a diagram with the switch layout & fuel tap layout.

It shows that reserve goes on the right. So that is where mine has stayed.

But whenever you need to switch to reserve, (you can usually feel your engine dying) unless I twist over with my left hand, you have to let go of the throttle & front brake.

You then lose that control you have over your bike, so I reason that the best side would on your left. It is a lot easier to reach down with your left hand & you can still "coax" your bike along & you still have the best brake if needed.
Yep, I agree about losing control with the reserve on the right, that's one of the reasons why I put mine on the left; see above for the other reason.

When I bought 'Pa'my 1975 850es, new, it came with the reserve on the left with a little decal "reserve"on the tank just above the petcock.
My reserve is still on the left though not the oem part.

Ride On
I have an 850 Commando Roadster - just like the one pictured at the top of the Forum.

Because of leaking `Petcocks' etc. I have changed them a couple of times buying the best quality I could find.

In any case I use the right side for my `reserve' because I can look inside the tank through the gas cap and see how much fuel I have left. I found no problem last weekend reaching over with my left hand to turn on the right gas tap/petcock. (I actually have to look inside the tank once in awhile :oops: )

And now the real point of my post - I use a `Reserve' petcock on both sides of my tank. On my tank, there is no `plumbing' connecting the left and right halves except for the space at the top of the tank.
Therefore I do not see the point of having a reserve tap on one side and a `regular' tap on the other (with the 2-3" stand pipe). The fuel left on the `regular' side below the stand pipe is not available to the reserve side unless you rock the bike left/right to get the fuel on the `regular' side to slosh over to the Reserve side.
As a backup I reset my trip odometer to keep track of the miles I have ridden and therefore the amount of fuel I have used.

That's my thinking on it - I'd appreciate comments either way.
I have reserve on both sides now also. My bike came with leaky petcocks and now has a nice set of BAPs. The shop I bought them from recommended reserve on both sides for the same reason given above. I look inside to see how much is left before each ride. Haven't run out yet but I think the reserve capacity is probably quite limited, basically just enough to make it to the nearest gas station.

Just an FYI...I too noticed that my interstate tank had a fuel "reservoir" remaining on each side of the tank. Given this design, it made no sense to keep the stand pipe in the main petcock. I use BAP petcocks (older style) and found that the fuel screen is removable. So, with a small pen knife, work the glue free from arond the edge of the plastic screen where it meets the metal body of the petcock, then simply unscrew it. Pull out the standpipe and relace the screen. You can now drain both sides of the tank!

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