Senior Mem & Story Teller
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St, Francisville, Illinois, USA
Model: 2010 GL 1800 comfort (buried after fire)
Plastic gas containers are highly subject to static electricity generation by the simple fact of gasoline sloshing around. Look at the warnings on most gasoline stations telling you to set plastic gas containers on the ground when fueling. In our case, I had put a metal funnel into the fill neck of the 1800 and then walked to the gas container and in the process of carrying it 12+ ft. it started storing static electricity. When I raised the full 5-gallon container up over the funnel and started pouring fuel into the funnel it gained more static electricity. The gas going into the tank caused vapors to exit back up thru the funnel and when I got the gas flowing I let the container down onto the metal funnel and BOOM. Thank goodness I had my safety gear on so only my face, beard, eyebrows got burned. The front of my safety coat melted and my leather gloves were not usable again.
The insurance company for the farm building near the exploding motorcycle sent a cause investigation team and it was determined it was static electricity.
When the vapors exploded I ended up about 12' away and the 5-gallon gas container was between the bike and building spewing burning gasoline onto the wooden building.
Static wires that are secured around something like the gas container neck or handle with a clip to attach it to what is being fueled are not uncommon. Especially in aircraft fueling which is very common today as most light aircraft can burn automobile pump gas.
If you notice today's plastic gas containers have that crazy filler neck that you have to place on the being fueled tank and then push to release the gas to flow. That is simply to make sure the gas tank and the gasoline container are both at the same electrical potential and that removes the chances of vapors being ignited like it did on me.
One should set the gas container on the ground for an instant to bleed off the static or touch the outside of the container to the object being fueled.
It only takes one explosion of gasoline vapors in your face to understand that plastic gas containers are dangerous. I would have argued it would not happen before August 19, 2018 but now tell everyone I see using them to be careful.
BTW, living out in the country it took 30 minutes for fire departments to get here. I sat on a pipe rack, with my face hurting like ###, crying at our beautiful Goldwing burning to the ground and also the building that had at least 20 NOS truck tires that my Father in Law brought home when he sold his gas station. He always figured to sell them but never did. Tons of antiques in the building, including Estella's Grandmothers wood beam plow she broke ground with outside Harden, MT when she was just 18 and homesteading land. Insurance Co. refuses to agree on the value of a family heirloom like that. They depreciated almost everything at 75%. We have replacement value insurance but trying to find places to buy many of the items lost is impossible.
Life is a collection of stories we old people tell and hope a few will listen and carry them into the future.
There is a story to everything we have, everyone we have met and everything we have done or we will do or dream about doing.
We sometimes ride to forget, but hopefully we never forget to ride.
Illinois Patriot Guard
Honda SL 175
Honda XL 350
Honda CB 750 X 2
Honda GL 1200 Interstate
Honda GL 1800 (my last and one of the last made in the USA)