My Rocket in Flames on the Launchpad!!

Phenix3939

.020 Over
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Orlando, FL
Ride
2020 Rocket 3
Hey everyone,

Long post, but I wanted to make a separate post about about my latest tragedy so everyone can get the details and warnings. This past Sunday my bike went up in flames at a gas station. I was 3 miles from my house meeting some friends for a ride to put me over my first service mileage. I had about a quarter tank left and thought I'd top off for the ride. I usually go to Wawa's because they've got a quality facility and I can pay with my smartwatch so I don't have to take me gear off. Little did I know, that's what most likely saved me from more injuries and possibly my life that day.

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I paid and had the nozzle to the bottom of the plate in the tank, which I think we've all noticed is quite shallow, and began to fill. I gave a quick wave to my buddies who were hanging out at some of the outdoor tables and continued to pump. After another 10 seconds I wondered how much I was putting in and looked up at the pump then back down to the bike to notice that fuel was just flooding out all over the tank. I freaked out cause I never saw that much of a spill before. Usually it's just a few drops that I wipe up or try to catch with my gloved hands. Then whoosh! The whole bike went up in flames from the fuel hitting the headers.

I was engulfed in the flames for a second as I was running to where my friends were. I gave a quick glance to see if I was on fire which fortunately I wasn't but I noticed that my shirt was tattered and my arms were on burnt and the pain was coming through. My buddies swung into action by hitting the fuel cutoff sitting me down and getting me some water. Luckily, there was a police officer that was getting a car wash at the building next door and within 5 minutes fire rescue was there to put the bike out and get me help.

I've got 2nd degree burns on my right arm and 1st degree on my left and face through the open visor. The doctors said that had I not been wearing my gloves I would have probably had 3rd or 4th degree burns and permanent damage. My helmet prevented more severe damage to my face, eyes, throat, lungs and possibly death.

The skin on my arms had to be literally wiped off after some heavy drugs. I've got a full month of treatment and physical therapy to do and around a year before my skin heals completely. God willing as close to normal as possible.

Insurance (Gieco) is covering the bike completely, my health insurance has me covered. I'm on disability from now through the end of the year and I've secured legal council for the accident. Wawa corporate and the investigators who saw the video don't see any negligence on my part, for example topping off, being on my phone, leaving the bike running or smoking.

In addition to the accident here's a quick rundown of all that was supposed to happen in the coming days and weeks. The very next day I was supposed to drop off the bike to get wrapped to change the color and design. Saturday was the 1st service. I had a hotel booked and trailer rented to a guy's vacation to ride the Tail of the Dragon mid-month.

Lessons learned:

1. Never take your eye off the tank when filling up. Things you trust when driving cannot be when your riding.
2. If you can, keep your helmet and gloves on while refueling. It clearly saved my life.
3. Wear a jacket. Had I been wearing a jacket instead of a t-shirt because it was 90 degrees out I most likely wouldn't have been injured to this extent.

What sucks is that I had ordered a summer jacket the night before for my upcoming trip. It should be here any now and now I've got no bike and no trip.

Sorry for the long vent.

I'll be back on a Rocket real soon, definitely not a red one next time. :)

Be safe out here everyone.
 

Phenix3939

.020 Over
Thread starter
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Orlando, FL
Ride
2020 Rocket 3
Wow! Glad you survived, too bad the bike didn't.

Thanks for sharing your Lessons Learned, you never know who you may have helped going forward but know that you have helped nonetheless.

Good luck with the next one!!

Safe travels!

Thanks! Life's about learning through experience. Hopefully, everyone can learn from what happened and my mistakes.
 

Phenix3939

.020 Over
Thread starter
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Orlando, FL
Ride
2020 Rocket 3
Have you reported your findings to your dealer or Triumph directly?? This is not the first thread on the subject of an overflowing fuel tank on this forum alone.

This could be disastrous for many a rider. Something to consider...

I think I will. They should be aware to keep track of issues.
 

Phenix3939

.020 Over
Thread starter
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
29
Location
Orlando, FL
Ride
2020 Rocket 3
Burns have a very long and painful recovery period. Please take the advise of your Dr.s and physical therapists! We're all hoping for your complete recovery.

Absolutely, I'm a pretty vain MF'er! I'll be going above and beyond to look as good as I did before. 😄

Hopefully with no noticeable scars.
 
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