I tend to think that the fault lies with designers who have their heads up their ass. Designers who fuss and fret over unimportant things at the expense of things that really matter to the serious rider.
For years they have been trying to push the "preying mantis"/"stick insect" look, despite the shouts of horror from the majority of serious riders
Maybe they are the same designers who worked on the Pontiac Aztec?
Talking of small gas tanks I went onto reserve at 118 miles while out on the Nighthawk today. The gas tank holds 3.4 gals, with 0.5 being a reserve, so only 2.9 gals on main petcock, so a maximum of around 135 miles at normal speeds, maybe 150 miles if riding gently.
Because the gas can only flow into the carbs via a vacuum controlled diaphragm in the petcock during normal running, when it does run out of the main level in the gas tank the float chambers are all pretty much empty when it splutters onto reserve.
This means that by the time you realize that the reason for the misfiring is the fact you are "out of gas" and you lean down and fumble with the petcock to turn it onto reserve it takes quite a while for the spinning engine to hold the petcock diaphragm open long for enough fuel to flow into the float chambers for the motor to spring back to life. If you happen to run onto reserve while at a signal light, it takes a lot of use of the starter motor to keep the petcock diaphragm open long enough for a re-start.
The advantage of the system is you can leave the petcock in the "on" position without having to worry about stuck float needles/overflowing float chambers when the bike is parked, but it does mean you have to keep a close eye on the trip meter and/or fuel gauge.
The digital fuel gauge is pretty accurate and even blinks at you when it is about to go onto reserve, so you do get plenty of warning, and I always zero the trip meter when I fill up. But today I got caught out and had to coast into the slow lane on the freeway while the freewheeling motor kept the petcock diaphragm open long enough for the float bowls to fill and for the engine to burst back onto 4 cylinders again.
No, I have been able to ride for about the last 2-to-3 weeks. Initially just a mile or two was too painful and I had to head home, but gradually I could go further, and now I think I can pretty much do as I please.
I'm starting my 10th week since the surgery, and while it was slow going for the first 6 or 7 weeks, the healing became rapid during the last 2 or 3 weeks and I would rate myself as fully recovered now.