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Before going for a ride this afternoon I pulled into the local service station to top the tank up with fuel. The woman who was putting the fuel in wasn't paying much attention and must have had the nozzle wide open while filling the tank. Anyway petrol back spat out of the tank neck and I reckon a good half a litre of petrol flowed over the entire tank, the seat and down onto the engine and header pipes. I was very pissed off but managed to keep my mouth closed. Luckily the engine was barely warm as I'd just left home. In future I will be the only person who fills my tank.

Could some one tell me, if it had been a hot summers day of 40 degrees celcius and I'd just been for a long hard ride would the temperature of the header pipes have ignited the petrol?
 

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the auto ignition temp of gasoline is 246 C, 475 F. you should be ok even then, unless you over massively overtemp the engine.
 

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I've seen fuel overflows onto hot engines happen many times (used to design petrol pumps...Gilbarco) and rarely do you get that type of ignition. The MOST important thing to remember is to shut off the engine before fueling. Sparks and gas vapor tend to make a mess. In the case of a spill, best thing to do is to shut off the fuel flow from the pump and step away from the bike....in about a minute (on a bike) the worst of the ignitable vapors will have evap'ed. My main concern would be the effect on the bike's paint. Certain additives in the fuel can lift paint (esp. repaint jobs w/o clearcoat).

On the other end of the spectrum, the majority of fueling site fires by consumers involve women during the winter. Static electricity causes many of these....cell phones don't. Women tend to sit in cars while the vehicle is fueled and then exit sliding out of the car. The first (grounded metal) item they tend to touch is the fuel nozzle....which is grounded (via a wire in the hose) to the pump....and you get a nice fat spark. POOF!

That is why I always fuel my own bike and car.

Derswede
 

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a few times, the nozzle never automatically turned off, so i've had overflow as well. i don't think the engine or pipes get high enough to just ignite.

even though it's against the law to pump your own petrol in new jersey, the guys that work there seem to know not to touch my bike. i've been places where they just run my card and hand me the nozzle and a paper towel.
 

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Ends,

Do they not have an exception for bikers in NJ? Here in OR we can't pump our own fuel in our cars, but we can on our bikes.
 

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Interesting to hear that in some places you can't fill your own tank by law. In the UK it's very rare to find a petrol station that will fill your tank for you. Self-service is the norm and it doesn't seem to have caused any problems. If it did, I'm sure our wonderful government would soon ban it. I've been on the road for thirty years now and can't recall ever having an attendant fill my tank.
 

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Interesting to hear that in some places you can't fill your own tank by law. In the UK it's very rare to find a petrol station that will fill your tank for you. Self-service is the norm and it doesn't seem to have caused any problems. If it did, I'm sure our wonderful government would soon ban it. I've been on the road for thirty years now and can't recall ever having an attendant fill my tank.
Same here in the other 49 states. ;)
 

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Gas geyser

Happenned to me when bike was A WEEK OLD! The engine was real hot as well. Made a mess & a big gas vapor/ cloud. ANY spark in the area woulda made for a big boom! These pumps arent that precise in some stations.I look in the tank while filling & on slow. Hasnt happened since!! In NJ the law- you cant filll your ome tank, but we used to back in the days. Here its self- serve only! I wouldnt let anybody put gas in my bike- period!!
 

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Semi-unrelated, but funny and true story.....a real golden moment.

I was once at a station, filling up my Honda Cl350, when a much larger, cruiser-style bike of well known US manufacture pulled up next to me. I noticed that the large, leather-clad ape who was driving the machine made a purposeful sneer at me and then say something to the sow he was riding with, who in turn let out a large cackle, obviously at my expense. I walked in and paid for the fuel.

Upon my return the gentleman was still filling up his bike, and sneered once again as I tried several times to kick-start my machine (fouled plugs), when suddenly gas splashed out of his tank and ALL OVER his seat, pants, and also onto the large mammal passenger he was with. Profanity exploding from his mouth, he looked like he was having a heart attack, his face bright red with frustration and embarrassment.

Seriously, it could not have been any more perfect. I could not help but to produce the largest smile you could ever imagine and just two quick kicks later, my bike was started and I was off. :D
 

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its NJ law that consumers can't fuel their own vehicle, but if you're on a bike the attendant will always hand you the nozzle, they know better.
 

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Wow. In the midwest it's hard to *find* a place that pumps gas for you, and in my travels all over the US I've been in places where full-service pumps were the norm but never knew there was a place where you weren't allowed to pump your own. That's just bizarre. Has it always been that way or is it a "Billy's Law" type of case where some asshat blew himself up and his family blamed the state for letting him pump his own gas? That seems really stupid.
 

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The last time I depended on the auto shut-off was a scary one. We have vapor recovery boots that surround the nozzles. The auto shut-off failed to shut off the fuel once near the end of a fairly long ride. I stopped the fuel flow within a second of it happening, BUT, the boot was also flooded with fuel. The result was gasoline (quite a bit of gasoline actually) flowing over the tank and showering the fully heated engine and header pipes. I was enveloped in a cloud of gasoline steam hissing off of the engine and pipes.
So I just stood still for a minute, then slowly hung up the hose, slowly walked the bike over to a parking spot and took about a 10 or 15 minute break. If it HAD ignited, I would have made the evening news and may not be writing this.
I have always manually lifted up the recovery boot and have NEVER trusted the auto shut-off since then. I think I'll be strongly tempted to break the law if I ever visit a state with mandatory full service. Probably the attendant would oblige though I would think. Diplomacy is always a better starting point in situations like that.

P.S. gasoline does NOT harm the tank paint. Not on mine anyway.
 

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I've seen fuel overflows onto hot engines happen many times (used to design petrol pumps...Gilbarco) and rarely do you get that type of ignition........

Good post, thanks.
 

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Interesting thread. :) Thanks Derswede... and Geimer :D
 

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Here in the People's Republik of Kalifornia we have those wonderful EPA nozzles...

To fill a bike ya gotta skin back the recovery boot...

Usually ya get gas all over yer hand & sometimes the boot pukes out a nice dollop of gas onto the tank...:(
 
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