My Rocket in Flames on the Launchpad!!

foxviewnet

With foxes we must play the fox!
Joined
Mar 18, 2017
Messages
356
Location
Huntsville, AL (The Rocket City)
Ride
2007 Rocket iii Classic 2006 Yamaha Vmax
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.

H6VpScTl.jpg


FJiLiLUl.jpg

9jwrRwel.jpg


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.
Glad you are okay Phenix. That was a harrowing experience for sure. Thank you for sharing and keeping us aware of safety and smart riding practices. It can happen so quickly without warning. Hope you heal up quickly and have no permanent injuries. Stay safe my friend!🙂
 

foxviewnet

With foxes we must play the fox!
Joined
Mar 18, 2017
Messages
356
Location
Huntsville, AL (The Rocket City)
Ride
2007 Rocket iii Classic 2006 Yamaha Vmax
I was wondering when this was going to happen when filling the new R3, a very poor design with the way the baffle plate is positioned.

I hope you have a speedy recovery, sad to hear you were injured from such a bad set of circumstances.
Hey John, I just noticed when I purchased my 2014 R3T a few weeks ago that the tank fill is much more shallow than my 07 Classic. I have to pay close attention when filling not to over fill the tank.
 

Boog

Traveling Story Teller
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
7,849
Location
Dumfries, Virginia
Ride
2014 R3T, RAMAIR, Full Viking Dual exhaust
Hey John, I just noticed when I purchased my 2014 R3T a few weeks ago that the tank fill is much more shallow than my 07 Classic. I have to pay close attention when filling not to over fill the tank.
I have the 2014 R3T as well and have not had an overfill situation yet. The nozzles, over the years since new, have always shut off for me when the tank is full. I wonder what the malfunction is that causes the overfill.
 

foxviewnet

With foxes we must play the fox!
Joined
Mar 18, 2017
Messages
356
Location
Huntsville, AL (The Rocket City)
Ride
2007 Rocket iii Classic 2006 Yamaha Vmax
I have the 2014 R3T as well and have not had an overfill situation yet. The nozzles, over the years since new, have always shut off for me when the tank is full. I wonder what the malfunction is that causes the overfill.
One thing that I have noticed is that if you have a slow stream of fuel coming out the pump does not always sense the lower pressure for auto shut off. Could be the same issue with that shallow tank guard, not sure. 🤔 I had a super slow diesel pump that I was using to fuel my truck the other day. Fuel started running over when it was full instead of shutting off. Very slow pump and pressure for sure.
 

TTOTAL

Triumph ADDICT 😎
Joined
Jul 3, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Beaulieu
Ride
R3R Black / Thruxton R / Bonneville T120 Black
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.

H6VpScTl.jpg


FJiLiLUl.jpg

9jwrRwel.jpg


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.
Jeepers! Amazing tale, glad you’re not too badly hurt. Guess you can get yourself a new one from your pay off?
 

FLACKIT

.020 Over
Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Messages
14
Location
95403
Ride
Triumph Rocket 3R Black
This just happened to me over the weekend, minus the fire, but seeing this made me realize how close I came to a similar disaster. In California you have to actually defeat the safety auto shut-off by pulling the sleeve up that is meant to seal against the exterior of the gas tank to "trick" the pump into thinking it's sealed, because the nozzle can't get far enough into a motorcycle tank to create the seal. I did the same thing and glanced up at the pump, and when I looked back down it was coming over the top. Slapped the gas cap "cover" shut, minus the gas cap, went straight to the bottom of the tank with paper towels to try to keep it from the headers, and then pulled the seat off to make sure I didn't have a battery compartment full of gas. Luckily I had just started my ride so my headers weren't as hot as they could have been. Embarrassing, but lesson learned minus the bonfire or trip to the ER.
 

albertaduke

former airline pilot without the big bucks
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
4,236
Location
kaleden
Ride
2021 rocket3 GT
I can relate to the situation as well I had a malfunctioning nozzle from a pump a while ago whereas the nozzle tip being so close to the rim even when resting on the plate it overflowed within two seconds during a fill up and covered the engine and exhaust before i could do anything, drenching the engine luckily I had ridden just a mile or so and the engine was mildly warm so the spill did not ignite . made me think that the plate is way too close to the opening edge really .in my case I reacted within a second yet about half a liter spilled out scary! . I can see the reason why it is so close to the edge . there is so much crap hidden under that tank that triumph had to balance quantity vs size of tank and compromise by cheating wherever possible still it is a potential danger one must never be casual with this bike design when refueling
take a look a that tank underside someday you will be surprised how much space is used by stuff other than fuel no wonder it is truly too small for such a large engine..
 
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