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Offline Jubeeprince

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Motorcycles CAN run on Diesel....change my mind!
« on: May 22, 2020, 02:33:15 PM »
Albeit, not well, but they CAN run!

Decided to ride out to WV on the modern Tiger, as my '77 Jubilee is still one the center stand in the middle of a swingarm overhaul. Swingarm is done, but now I need to rebuild the rear disc brake caliper and master cylinder as they've seen better days....

Got together with three friends and with full-face helmet on (see: motorcycling mask) we headed out. A quick overnight in a cabin near the Monongahela National Forest, found us waking up to a cloudy but dry Saturday. One of the guys had an excellent road map, b/c unless you have a satellite GPS, the cell service is non-existent and spotty at best. We pulled into a gas station late in the morning and decided to fuel up and stretch the legs.

As we prepared to continue our ride up a mountain stretch of US 33, we pulled out of the gas station. My bike stalled. Huh. Thinking nothing of it, hit the start button and off I went in the sweeper position (see: last). As we began our ascent up 33, I noticed the bike felt dodgy, lacked power and seemed to want to stall as I rolled off the throttle to change gears. After about eight miles of this, I started to get worried. Bike was NOT running well at all. Hairpin turns, coming out of the turn, I'd give it the throttle and it bogged, smoke would start billowing out the exhaust. Giving it full throttle, it bogged at 4K RPM and wouldn't go...(think: riding with the choke on).  :148:

At this point, I knew SOMEthing was going on. My first thought was bad gas at the last fuel stop b/c it had been running flawlessly up until that point. I pulled off at a turnabout as the others continued on at which point the bike just dies.... A few minutes later, my friend Dave who was right in front of me circled back and found me staring the bike in puzzlement. He was happy to see me as he half-expected to find me and the bike off a hairpin in the ditch.

Told him what was happening, we both suspected bad gas and for some reason he said, "you didn't put diesel in it, did you?" I scoffed. "Nope, no way, no how, only an idiot would do that, yadda yada"....as my other two friends figured out they lost two of their group, they were pulling in as I pulled out my wallet. I ALWAYS get receipts for my purchases so I can reconcile my bill at the end of the month. I look at the receipt and see that I pumped about 2.5 gallons of DIESEL in a 5.3 gallon tank! How in the F**K did that happen?!?!   :172:

We began to formulate a plan. Not having any hose or tubing amongst us to siphon the fuel out, I began to get ready to start removing the plastic bits and try to reach the fuel line itself. Suddenly 100 yards ahead coming down a sharp turn, a semi pulls off to cool his brakes. Maybe HE has some tubing I could borrow? I jog up to his truck and sure enough, he has a four-foot section of fuel hose WITH a one-way, marble check valve. Talk about the right tools! After an initial mouthful of diesel and gas, were drained off all five gallons of fuel on the side of the road (sorry Mother Nature, no where else to put it), then I siphon off about a gallon of fresh fuel from two of my friend's bikes using a 20L water bottle. After cycling the starter about 20 times, she finally caught and fired up!  :047:

I returned the hose to the trucker, offered him money, he declined. Thanked him profusely, back the way we came to the to another gas station so I could refuel AGAIN. Only lost about an hour of riding due to this debacle. It could have always been worse I suppose.

The nagging question is HOW did I mistake a diesel pump for gas? When I'm riding, a split second of inattention can be the difference between staying safe and ending up off the road. How did I have so much inattention at the pump? We actually went to that same gas station the next day and it started to make sense. They had two pump hoses/spouts attached to one pump. All the diesel handles were BLACK plastic and the gas handles were bright BLUE. Where I come from, the diesel hose is (almost always) denoted by the handle color (green or blue) and gas is black. Not paying enough attention, I just naturally grabbed the hose with the BLACK handle thinking it was gas. Even pressed the 87 octane button. The diesel pumps in the towns do not have a larger spigot like the commercial places do for the semis. A large portion of the trucks(see: pickups) in WV are diesel-engined, so the diesel spigot has the same bore as the gas spigots...   :087:

So let this be a lesson to y'all (see: ME!). Pay attention, even when you're NOT riding....especially at the pumps!   :031:

Footnote: for some reason, my riding friends have begun to call me "Diesel", which made me think......the '77 Bonneville is named "Jubee", so it makes sense: my Tiger, unnamed heretofore, will now be known as "Diesel". Or "Lady Die" for short!!  :008:

Thanks for letting me rant,

Steve
The PAYING customer is always right!

Offline Bruce Wayne

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Re: Motorcycles CAN run on Diesel....change my mind!
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2020, 06:44:37 PM »
A lesson never to forget. :430: :430:

Offline XCaTel

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Re: Motorcycles CAN run on Diesel....change my mind!
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2020, 07:23:12 PM »
Done it myself in the car, that dawing realisation of what you have done is the worst thng.  :138:

Offline Britjunkie

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Re: Motorcycles CAN run on Diesel....change my mind!
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2020, 10:32:28 PM »
I worked in a Yamaha shop in high school. I filled up a new 305 with kerosene [parrafin]. We always had a few 5 gal cans around with gas and kerosene around and of course I wasn't paying any attention as I fueled it. Damn thing ran fine until I came to a stop and heard it pinging away at idle :430:

Offline Regi T

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Re: Motorcycles CAN run on Diesel....change my mind!
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2020, 05:08:03 AM »
*Originally Posted by Jubeeprince [+]
a four-foot section of fuel hose WITH a one-way, marble check valve. Talk about the right tools! After an initial mouthful of diesel and gas, were drained off all five gallons of fuel on the side of
How did you get a mouthful if the hose had the 1 way valve? Don't you just jiggle it in the tank and keep the outlet lower than the fuel?

Offline Nutter

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Re: Motorcycles CAN run on Diesel....change my mind!
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2020, 10:26:46 AM »
I can understand how easily it happened. Glad it worked out in the end!

Here in the UK it's normal for a pump to have several hoses and handles/nozzles, but diesel is usually black and petrol is usually green (you have to look at the labels for different octane levels though). The diesel nozzles are slightly larger than the petrol nozzles so that they don't fit easily into petrol car fillers, but I suspect you'd still be able to fit a diesel nozzle in a motorbike tank filler. When I travel abroad, and different colours are used, it sometimes takes me a while to be sure in my own mind that I definitely have the right one, especially if I the language doesn't help either. So far I haven't made that mistake whilst travelling, but it could happen so easily.

Online CaptainTrips

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Re: Motorcycles CAN run on Diesel....change my mind!
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2020, 06:48:42 PM »
*Originally Posted by Nutter [+]
I can understand how easily it happened. Glad it worked out in the end!

Here in the UK it's normal for a pump to have several hoses and handles/nozzles, but diesel is usually black and petrol is usually green
It is exactly the opposite here.  :003:
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

Offline ijinak

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Re: Motorcycles CAN run on Diesel....change my mind!
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2020, 05:22:33 PM »
 :745: I did exactly the same thing. It was right after I moved to Americaland, and I'd just recently bought my Tiger 955. I filled up my almost empty tank at a gas station, and it ran for about 40 miles until I came to town. It was happy on a steady throttle but didn't like to rev, which I thought was odd.........it stalled a couple of times at lights too, and was a bit hard to start again. Oh, well. Rode it another 40 miles home, and had a thought.....what if I filled it with diesel? Opened the gas cap and sniffed. DOH! Drained and refilled (with gas this time!) and it ran happily for the next 60K miles until I sold it. In my defence, the unleaded pump handles in the UK are green, the diesel ones in the USA are green, so I'd just grabbed the green handle.  :138:

Online CaptainTrips

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Re: Motorcycles CAN run on Diesel....change my mind!
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 06:49:16 PM »
Diesel in a gas engine is much less destructive than gas in a diesel engine.  :006:
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

Online Tianmck

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Re: Motorcycles CAN run on Diesel....change my mind!
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2020, 08:27:15 PM »
In Ontario, Canada diesel hadles are yellow and gas seems to be black ,blue or red. Have caught myself reaching for the yellow in a brain fart moment.  Luckily never used it.
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