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post #1 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 9:28 am Thread Starter
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Unhappy I'm an idiot too!

Last night I stopped for gas. Not paying attention, apparently, I over filled and must not have had the fill pipe far enough into the tank to get a cutoff. I realized I was standing in an expanding puddle of gas. There was no fire, at this point. We put down speedy dry and then I rolled her away from the pump. Safely away I started her, it took several tries to get her going. I got her out of the way to put on the gloves but then realized the gloves had gas on them. I got off to get a spare pair when the flames came from the left side radiator vent and later from lower right side. Several of us got the flames stopped but it appears there is some paint damage to the upper tupperware and I think I see where at least the left radiator fan and all plastic parts are toast. I am waiting, as I type this, to hear from the claims adjuster.
79,000 great miles, never dropped and now I do this. If it had been the summer heat I guess she would have gone up totally.
My question now is how many of you would attempt to do the repairs? I do all my own service. My insurance has a $500 deductible and I have seen where BeemerBoneYard has the fan parts. The paint damage is in the upper flat surface of the side vent and not easily seen.
Bummed out!

Benton Blalock
"I ride.....the bike doesn't"

'18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure SportDCT
'12 Kawi KLR 650 "Dirty" - traded in
'08 LT Black "Fireball" 113,000+ miles(RIP- transmission - may be seen on the road again)
'05 LT Yeller er Gold? "Ophelia"(RIP- fire) 80,000 miles
'04 R12CLC (RIP- hurricane) 36,000 miles
230,000+ BMW miles
'Rounder'

Last edited by Steve_R; Jan 16th, 2009 at 4:48 pm.
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post #2 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 9:44 am Thread Starter
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

As an update: Just got off the phone with the dealer service guy and apparently the area of the fire is where most of the premium wiring runs. I'm now planning to do the 150 mile drive to my favorite dealer, Capitol BMW, and will let them do the diagnostics and an estimate. All of this after I hear from the claims person.
We'll see how good Progressive is. Hate to say I just moved to them 12/6/08.

Benton Blalock
"I ride.....the bike doesn't"

'18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure SportDCT
'12 Kawi KLR 650 "Dirty" - traded in
'08 LT Black "Fireball" 113,000+ miles(RIP- transmission - may be seen on the road again)
'05 LT Yeller er Gold? "Ophelia"(RIP- fire) 80,000 miles
'04 R12CLC (RIP- hurricane) 36,000 miles
230,000+ BMW miles
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post #3 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 9:46 am
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblalock
... apparently the area of the fire is where most of the premium wiring runs...
And BMW is rather proud of that wiring harness.

Dave Hoogerland

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post #4 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 10:05 am
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Personally I would wait to see what the damage is and if it's as minimal as you think consider doing the mechanical/electrical part yourself and take the tupperware to a good body shop while she's apart.


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post #5 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 10:12 am
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
and take the tupperware to a good body shop while she's apart.
Ever felt torched tuperware? It doesn't buff out.



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post #6 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 10:52 am
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
Ever felt torched tuperware? It doesn't buff out.
You are correct Sir.....

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post #7 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 11:06 am
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

I'd be bummed out also.

I had an HD chopper catch fire while I was ridding.

we'll forgive you if you paint flames over the burnt area.

Bob

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post #8 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 11:53 am
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

No, you are not an idiot. You just had a lapse of concentration at the gas pump - like me last May 5th.

I've read several posts about gas pump spillover/engine fire situations and never heard of a happy ending - except for mine. I did all repairs myself and the bike (03 LT) runs just fine.

Are you a good mechanic? Are you patient with meticulous cleaning and wiring repairs? Do you have basic metric hand tools?

If the answer is yes to all of the above, then I say fix it yourself. Otherwise, let the insurance guy & dealer handle it. Don't be surprised if they total it. I guess its a matter of how badly you want to keep the bike. And remember when you try to sell the bike, the VIN references all insurance claims, including your fire.

Check these posts:
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...134#post331134
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40125
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40127

I feel your pain, buddy! Been there!

All's not lost, OK? It's all a matter of how much effort you can put towards it.

PM me if you want more details and pictures.

Good Luck,

Dave
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post #9 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 12:14 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

I did a similar thing - but no fire.

After the gas went all over the bike and me, I rolled her away from the pump. I then wiped down all visible gas on the tupperware and rocked her back & forth and side to side to get rid of any pooling. Then I waited about 10 minutes before starting her up. Thankfully, no issues. (The funny thing is that I was in a hurry to get to a client meeting. If I hadn't been, this wouldn't have happened.)


But I have to say, I did all that thanks to this site! I had read DasBoat's story of this happening just days before my occurrence. Not that there were any directions, but I read and saw what happened to him and his bike and did not want that to happen to me!!! I thought logically and did what I could think of to prevent that.

I'm a firm believer in learning from someone else's mistakes!


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post #10 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 12:39 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

The first (and only) time I tried to use a McCuff fill-up device the pump did not shut off like it is supposed to. My GS got a nice bath in gas. After tossing the McCuff in the trash I used several paper towels soaked in water to wipe down the tank. It took several minutes to clean up me and the bike. I rolled away from the spill and geared up. It started and I had no problems. It helped the GS has minimal bodywork. I gave it a good bath when I got home.

Scott
2009 LT
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post #11 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 1:29 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Raz:
Good thing you had the presence of mind to let the gasoline evaporate before startin' it up.

It seems that the shape of the top of K1200 engine is such that a pretty good puddle of gasoline can accumulate without us realizing it when the pump handle doesn't shut off. And if the bike is on the side stand, then the puddle is centered underneath the fuel rail/clutch hose/throttle cable/fuel injection wiring bundle!!!!

Maybe it should be put in the Hall of Wisdom or List of Lessons Learned somewhere to wait 15 minutes before starting if the gas pump doesn't shut off when it should.

Do you think?
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post #12 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 2:20 pm
 
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Really sorry to hear this Benton...I always enjoy riding by your office seeing if you rode...

Good luck with the insurance company.... Will be watching to see how it turns out..............Pete
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post #13 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 2:55 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Betcha they total it....

Too bad... You always want to wait a while before starting the LT iff'n you spill on her... She can puddle up under the tupperware and then you know what happens.

Good Luck with your new bike and new insurance company...


John

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post #14 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 4:28 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

I never use the auto feature on the gas handle when filling up the bike.....



.....unless I want to light a ceegar.



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post #15 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 5:10 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

I actually wasn't using the auto feature. I just wasn't watching the tank - I had my eye on the pump totals.

I was in awe at how much gasoline was going in the tank! When I finally turned around, I realized it wasn't going in the bike!

It was like a miniature Ole' Faithful!

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1996 HD Sportster XLH883 Hugger (sold)
1986 Honda Interceptor VF500F (sold)

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"You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event - it is a habit." - Aristotle; 384-322 BC, Greek Philosopher and Scientist
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post #16 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 6:45 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblalock
Last night I stopped for gas. Not paying attention, apparently, I over filled and must not have had the fill pipe far enough into the tank to get a cutoff. I realized I was standing in an expanding puddle of gas. There was no fire, at this point. We put down speedy dry and then I rolled her away from the pump. Safely away I started her, it took several tries to get her going. I got her out of the way to put on the gloves but then realized the gloves had gas on them. I got off to get a spare pair when the flames came from the left side radiator vent and later from lower right side. Several of us got the flames stopped but it appears there is some paint damage to the upper tupperware and I think I see where at least the left radiator fan and all plastic parts are toast. I am waiting, as I type this, to hear from the claims adjuster.
79,000 great miles, never dropped and now I do this. If it had been the summer heat I guess she would have gone up totally.
My question now is how many of you would attempt to do the repairs? I do all my own service. My insurance has a $500 deductible and I have seen where BeemerBoneYard has the fan parts. The paint damage is in the upper flat surface of the side vent and not easily seen.
Bummed out!
I won't comment on the idiot part, but I hope you and others learn two lessons from this:

1. Pay attention when fueling! I don't think it takes me much more than a minute to fill my LT. How hard is it to pay attention for one minute?

2. Don't start a bike that has been doused in gas!

Good luck getting it fixed and go forth a wiser rider.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
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1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #17 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 9:22 pm Thread Starter
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Smile Re: I'm and idiot too!

Here is the update to this saga:
She is totaled. There is a large puddle area under the tank and apparently that was burning before I knew there was a fire. $10,000 in parts(all wiring) plus $2,000 labor. I was not using the auto fill, just not watching as I filled. Also, there was so much spill I probably would have had to let her sit overnight before starting. That puddle area under the gas tank can hold a lot, really. The techs said they have not seen one burn like it.
Now I am waiting to see what I will get from the insurance so I can decide what I do next. Bad news is black is the color. I'm starting to like black though. There are blue ones around. I really liked yeller.
Also my wrench just returned from Vegas(BMW NA meetings) and it looks like at least a year for a new LT, if then. The current supply has to be sold, so let's all go out there and get those black LTs.

Benton Blalock
"I ride.....the bike doesn't"

'18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure SportDCT
'12 Kawi KLR 650 "Dirty" - traded in
'08 LT Black "Fireball" 113,000+ miles(RIP- transmission - may be seen on the road again)
'05 LT Yeller er Gold? "Ophelia"(RIP- fire) 80,000 miles
'04 R12CLC (RIP- hurricane) 36,000 miles
230,000+ BMW miles
'Rounder'
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post #18 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 10:39 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Ah man, I really feel for Ophelia.

I heard that if a repair bill is within 70% of the actual value, then it's totaled. And supposedly your gap insurance pays the 30% difference? Yeah, right.

My parts bill was around $500 - elbow grease and patience are free, of course.

Like I said, it depends on how bad you want to keep her.

Let us know if you keep the old gal or if you get seduced by some young thing down at the dealer...

Dave
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post #19 of 30 Old Jan 15th, 2009, 10:40 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Not sure how your US pumps work, since its been a while since I visited, but in Oz there are no lock-open devices on the pumps, and (almost) as soon as the nozzle can't "breathe" cause the petrol has filled up, it cuts the flow.
Worst I ever get is a minor spray while holding the nozzle up from the throat a bit to speed up the delivery of the last litre or 3.

Hope you you can get it fixed without getting "burnt"... woops... just read the "totalled part" ouch!

cheers

Chris
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post #20 of 30 Old Jan 16th, 2009, 8:40 am
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cws
Not sure how your US pumps work, since its been a while since I visited, but in Oz there are no lock-open devices on the pumps, and (almost) as soon as the nozzle can't "breathe" cause the petrol has filled up, it cuts the flow.
Worst I ever get is a minor spray while holding the nozzle up from the throat a bit to speed up the delivery of the last litre or 3.

Hope you you can get it fixed without getting "burnt"... woops... just read the "totalled part" ouch!

cheers
Same system here in the US, but sometimes it just doesn't work! That's why I wasn't paying attention. I was expecting it to "click" off.

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post #21 of 30 Old Jan 16th, 2009, 2:54 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Benton, You are not the Lone Ranger! Many have done the same thing. I wasn't paying attention last year and simply holding the filler in the tank, it started to overflow. The gas auto shut off was not working and it just kept filling while I held it. Not too much spilled out, but I pushed it away from the puddle and then with a hose (after moping the puddle up) washed the bike down for about 5 minutes. Really rinsed her down and then just rode off. It was a hot summer day and I figured if it caught fire I'd just jump!

Sorry for the total as the insurance companies will always come out ahead. Time to go shopping.....

Dano
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post #22 of 30 Old Jan 16th, 2009, 5:49 pm Thread Starter
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Cool Re: I'm and idiot too!

Back home now and without a bike. That should change once the insurance declares the total, which they will. After seeing the damage I do not want anything to do with it.
Black is now my favorite color.
It is a bit of guessing but the wrenches think the unprotected relay switch for the PIAAs gave the spark that ignited the fumes.
Here is what I learned:
1. Watch the gas go in while filling. Do not use auto fill(I didn't this time), it doesn't take long anyway.
2. If you do spill more than a little(I must have been 1/2 - 1 gal) then you need to push away from the spill and do as DanDiver did and hose her off, up and under the gas tank plus let her sit a bit.
So far I am pleased with Progressive and my dealer, Capitol BMW in Raleigh, NC.
When I woke up this morning I thought I should demo a Wing but then reality hit and I do not want to go there.
I think my next LT will be named "Fireball" and I hope to ride her home by Saturday 1/24/09. Nothing like breaking in a new LT.

Benton Blalock
"I ride.....the bike doesn't"

'18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure SportDCT
'12 Kawi KLR 650 "Dirty" - traded in
'08 LT Black "Fireball" 113,000+ miles(RIP- transmission - may be seen on the road again)
'05 LT Yeller er Gold? "Ophelia"(RIP- fire) 80,000 miles
'04 R12CLC (RIP- hurricane) 36,000 miles
230,000+ BMW miles
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post #23 of 30 Old Jan 16th, 2009, 6:21 pm
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Unhappy Re: I'm and idiot too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
I won't comment on the idiot part, but I hope you and others learn two lessons from this:

1. Pay attention when fueling! I don't think it takes me much more than a minute to fill my LT. How hard is it to pay attention for one minute?

2. Don't start a bike that has been doused in gas!

Good luck getting it fixed and go forth a wiser rider.

not always the case..yesterday i was filling up... the pump was running extremely slow...took about 6 min. to fill 5.6 gal... running that slow... the pump didn't shut off... slight over fill ...just ended up in the area by the cap.. no problems luckly... sh..t happens...
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post #24 of 30 Old Jan 16th, 2009, 8:05 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Well shoot Benton, sorry to hear about this misfortune. I am proud to have met Ophelia, she was a good runner. Looks like you are well on your way to getting over her and move on to the next steed.

Take care.

P.S.

I may be picking your insurance brain again before too long.

John

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post #25 of 30 Old Jan 16th, 2009, 8:41 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cws
Not sure how your US pumps work, since its been a while since I visited, but in Oz there are no lock-open devices on the pumps, and (almost) as soon as the nozzle can't "breathe" cause the petrol has filled up, it cuts the flow.
Worst I ever get is a minor spray while holding the nozzle up from the throat a bit to speed up the delivery of the last litre or 3.

Hope you you can get it fixed without getting "burnt"... woops... just read the "totalled part" ouch!

cheers
The pumps vary a lot from station to station and state to state. Some states require a vapor recovery shroud around the nozzle which is a real PITA for a motorcycle. I fuel mostly in PA and NY and we don't have that requirement yet. I watch very closely when fueling and when the tank is a gallon or so from full, I will see a few drops of fuel begin to spritze lightly up around the nozzle. At that point I begin to slowlhy release the "throttle" and raise the nozzle until I see the fuel coming up to the bottom of the fuel filler. Quick and pretty easy. I can't imagine fueling while looking somewhere else ... unless she is REALLY cute!

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #26 of 30 Old Jan 16th, 2009, 9:35 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

I had experience with Progressive claims when my Sportster was stolen 5 yrs ago. They were fair and no problems at all. Hope your experience is likewise.

Dave
2001 K1200LTC, "Mollie"
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post #27 of 30 Old Jan 17th, 2009, 10:45 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Benton,

Just got your e-mail, then read the thread. Sorry to hear about all this, glad you're okay. Count us in to help you break in the new one. Looking forward to many more rides, I'm guessing the moose made it unscathed.

John Bower

2007 K1200LT Silver



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post #28 of 30 Old Jan 18th, 2009, 6:21 pm
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Re: I'm and idiot too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by razman10
Same system here in the US, but sometimes it just doesn't work! That's why I wasn't paying attention. I was expecting it to "click" off.
From the number of cases of "over fill" that I read only in this forum, I assume that you DON'T have the same system of Europe and Australia (from my experience down-under).

I've been driving for 25 years and NEVER managed to over fill, unless I raised the nozzle too much. Very often, on the contrary, the pump stops too early and you have to restart the flow 2 or 3 times, very slowly, to fill the tank properly.

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post #29 of 30 Old Jan 24th, 2009, 5:14 pm Thread Starter
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Red face Re: I'm and idiot too!

I want to add now that Progressive Insurance did as they said they would so my experience with them is nothing but positive. Mine was declared a total loss.

I have learned however that items we add beyond what the mfg installed may or may not be covered to our satisfaction. In my case the Progressive policy has $1,000 for these extras. The VOICEII is about $1,500 by itself. Check your policy to make sure you have enough coverage. I will be adding more than the $1,000 amount once my replacement is in my name. I was lucky that the fire did not consume the bike, just mostly wiring.

Benton Blalock
"I ride.....the bike doesn't"

'18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure SportDCT
'12 Kawi KLR 650 "Dirty" - traded in
'08 LT Black "Fireball" 113,000+ miles(RIP- transmission - may be seen on the road again)
'05 LT Yeller er Gold? "Ophelia"(RIP- fire) 80,000 miles
'04 R12CLC (RIP- hurricane) 36,000 miles
230,000+ BMW miles
'Rounder'
bblalock is offline  
post #30 of 30 Old Jan 24th, 2009, 5:47 pm
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 275
Re: I'm and idiot too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by boxerdad
The first (and only) time I tried to use a McCuff fill-up device the pump did not shut off like it is supposed to. My GS got a nice bath in gas. After tossing the McCuff in the trash I used several paper towels soaked in water to wipe down the tank. It took several minutes to clean up me and the bike. I rolled away from the spill and geared up. It started and I had no problems. It helped the GS has minimal bodywork. I gave it a good bath when I got home.
same experience with McCuff device..never again..fortunately no fire..started uup with no problems after several minutes of wiping it clean..
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