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Discussion Starter #1
Well it's warmed up a little and the street sweepers have been through doing their thing where I live. I've been out getting in some riding. I'm 100% brand new to riding a motorcycle, this is my first bike. (except a dirt bike for a while when I was a teenager)

So I've spent tons of time over the winter reading up and watching videos on the do's and don'ts of riding a motorcycle. The one thing I don't recall ever seeing is any tips on filling up the gas tank. The first tank I put in this thing was in my garage out of a portable can.

I feel like an idiot, seems like such a simple thing. But inside the gas tank, there's this metal thing that makes it so you can only stick the gas pump nozzle a couple inches into the tank. I tried to squeeze the handle super slow, but it still sprayed up out of the top of my gas tank all over me and completely covered my gas tank and speedo, etc...

Is there some trick to getting this, or do I just need to pump it even slower?

Thanks for any tips. :)
 

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When I’m gassing up my 950, I squeeze the pump handle very gently so as not to spill all over my tank as you described. Whenever, I can, I pour from one of my gas cans at home so I can control the flow so to speak. Don’t feel bad about asking things like this, we we’re all newbies at one time or another.


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There should be an extension of the lip of the opening that goes down about 2 inches, like a short tube. A couple inches below that is the bottom of the tank. You cannot push the nozzle all the way in the tank like you can on a car, you have to hold it so the gas can flow in and watch the level.

When the gas gets to the bottom of that tube you have to stop. Its there to keep some air space on the top of the tank. Do not fill it up all the way to the brim of the opening, because when the gas warms up in the tank it will expand and overflow out of the gas cap.

You normally cannot fill a motorcycle tank with the nozzle pulled on full blast, it will splash back up. As it gets near the top slow it down as much as you can, or bump the lever click click click to get the last bit.

Couple other things - always put the bike on the kick stand and always get off the bike. If anything should happen, some gas splashes down on the hot engine and flashes and the tank catches fire, you do not want to be sitting there with a fireball between your legs holding the bike up with your feet.

Also if you are wearing leather gloves keep them on while filling the bike. If the tank does catch fire you might be able to put it out by putting your gloved hand over the filler opening pressing it air tight, and smothering it out. The liquid gas does not burn, the vapor just above the tank opening is what burns - so If you cover the opening you cut off the vapor, unless there is gas all over the outside of the tank - then just get away.

Filling a motorcycle at a gas station is different from filling a car, because the hot engine is right under the gas tank.

Take your time and respect the amount of energy stored in a gallon of gasoline.

Also some gas stations have crazy fast pumps that seem to have no ability to pump slower. Find a gas station you like, and go to that station, or that company. I have good results at Sunoco and Mobil, and where I live Kwik Fill / Red Apple sells gasoline from wells in Pennsylvania and NY state.

If you get a pump that is just stupid fast and it keeps spraying up out of the tank, put a rag or paper towel over it, put in a gallon or two, then go somewhere else to fill it up all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tips. :)

Also some gas stations have crazy fast pumps that seem to have no ability to pump slower.

^^^This^^^ I think this is what the deal was for me. You couldn't even get it to the very first click on the little things that hold the pump on. I'll have to start looking around for good gas stations. Sometimes they have a more analog feel to them. This one was like off/fast/crazy fast. (it was a holiday gas station)

On a side note. I can't believe I didn't get motorcycle years earlier. I have about 100 miles on my new bike now, 50 of them just today. What an awesome feeling! Next weekend I have my msf class, will be cool to get in some more practice, get some feedback on things I can improve on and be able to get my license. (have a permit now)
 

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if your using an unfamiliar nozzle go easy at first to get a feel for it, if it's one those nozzles that's just too touchy to control the flow rate wrap a rag around the nozzle when pumping then don't use that nozzle again even if it's the only one open after a while you'll know which nozzles at the stations in your area are best, by knowing your mpg you should be able to to use the pump meter to know when your getting close to a full tank, i average 50 mpg and i normally fill it after 150 miles so i know it will take near 3 gallons so when the pump meter hits 2.7 gallons i slow down and lean the nozzle so i can get a good look into the tank and of course i always have a rag handy for the occasional spill, you don't want to looking for a rag with fuel dripping off your tank so try to be ready for it
 

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if your using an unfamiliar nozzle go easy at first to get a feel for it, if it's one those nozzles that's just too touchy to control the flow rate wrap a rag around the nozzle when pumping then don't use that nozzle again even if it's the only one open after a while you'll know which nozzles at the stations in your area are best, by knowing your mpg you should be able to to use the pump meter to know when your getting close to a full tank, i average 50 mpg and i normally fill it after 150 miles so i know it will take near 3 gallons so when the pump meter hits 2.7 gallons i slow down and lean the nozzle so i can get a good look into the tank and of course i always have a rag handy for the occasional spill, you don't want to looking for a rag with fuel dripping off your tank so try to be ready for it
And reset trip meter each time you fill up. After a while you will know within a mile or two when you need gas.
 

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...I can't believe I didn't get motorcycle years earlier. I have about 100 miles on my new bike now, 50 of them just today. What an awesome feeling! Next weekend I have my msf class, will be cool to get in some more practice, get some feedback on things I can improve on and be able to get my license. (have a permit now)
Testify Brother!

I had an enduro bike for most of my adult life, that I mostly rode on trails thru the woods.

When I was 55 I was spending the week with my older cousin at a cabin in a state park. He had his '56 Harley, and him and his wife were loving the riding thru the national forest nearby every day.

He offered to let me take a ride on his Harley. I would have loved to, but with no license if anything happened, no matter who's fault it was, I would be screwed. When I was driving my car back home I started thinking "why don't I have a motorcycle license?! What am I waiting for?!"

Took the MSF beginners class the next spring, got my VStar 650 a few weeks later. That was 5 years ago.

And ditto I have thought many times "I can't believe I didn't get a street motorcycle years earlier".

I love the simplicity of these two wheel vehicles, the magic like quality of the gyroscopic forces that make them self balancing, and the response of countersteering, like playing with a giant gyroscope: you push the grips with just a little force and that makes the bike lean and turn in that direction. You push on the right grip, the bike leans to the right, and turns to the right... its so subtle and so precise.

Riding down a long empty road with no centerline out in the middle of nowhere borders on being a mystical experience. Of all the people who have lived on Earth in the last 300,000 years, we get to ride.
 

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i don't know if i'm misinterpreting what you're saying, but it sounds like you're talking about the metal cup with holes in it that sits down in the opening of the tank? and your nozzle is stopping when it hits the side of it a couple inches down? there's a larger hole in the center where you can put the nozzle in further than a couple inches from the opening of the tank, about as far as you would stick it in when filling a car. and if you do this, then it will pump gas until you have about 3 gallons in it, then you have to lift the nozzle up to where it's just an inch or so inside the tank to fill up the rest until you see gas start bubbling towards the bottom of that metal cup. at least this is my method.
 

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...the metal cup with holes in it that sits down in the opening of the tank..

is that standard on a 950 and other Vstar bikes?

My '05 650 only has the metal tube, about 2" wide and 2" deep - nothing with a hole in the center.
 

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Yeah the pumps at the ethanol free station here suck. You barely squeeze it to get a slow flow and all it does is pulsate splashing gas out of the tank. I have splashed my fair share all over the bike.
First thing I do when I go to a station is grab some paper towels.
Last station I went to, the owner did not even bother to stock paper towels and had fuel again splash out.
Good thing I carry rags in my fork bag.
 

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Something I started doing years ago when I travel, and now I do it everyday: when you eat breakfast in the morning fold up a paper towel about the size of your wallet, and put it in your left back pocket.

It comes in handy so many days for things just like this, and if you dont use it today put it on your dresser at night next to your wallet.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well it was time to gas up again today and I feel like a huge dummy now. This time I was able to fit the end of the nozzle down through one of the holes down inside the tank opening to get the nozzle way down in there. I don't know how I failed on this before, but glad I've got it worked out. I did grab some paper towels before I started this time just in case, but didn't really need them.
 

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...the metal cup with holes in it that sits down in the opening of the tank..

is that standard on a 950 and other Vstar bikes?
Yes it's on all the 950's atleast. once the gas hits that level, it adds backpressure to the pump and causes it to shutoff. Or however that actually works. Also makes it very very annoying to overfill it, cause if you attempt to go anymore, you have to go extreemly slow, and most pumps do not go that slow, and it jets back straight up.
 

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Yes it's on all the 950's atleast. once the gas hits that level, it adds backpressure to the pump and causes it to shutoff. Or however that actually works. Also makes it very very annoying to overfill it, cause if you attempt to go anymore, you have to go extreemly slow, and most pumps do not go that slow, and it jets back straight up.
My 1100 is the same way. There is a "cup" the same size at the tank opening that extends down about 2-3 inches. It has a hole in the bottom of it the size of the pump nozzle. I put the nozzle down in it and fill it like any other vehicle. Once it clicks I lift it out and fill it slowly until it reaches the bottom of the cup. If I getting ready to ride any distance I'll keep filling until the cup is about 1/2 fill itself.
And FYI, don't rely on the pump to always auto shut off. Was refueling one day and started talking with a guy at the next pump. Turned around and gas was pouring down the front of my tank, engine and hot exhaust. Guess I got lucky that day.
 

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...Was refueling one day and started talking with a guy at the next pump. Turned around and gas was pouring down the front of my tank, engine and hot exhaust....

Me too! Lets call it that. How did you flood your bike with gas.... Uhmm... I was talking with a guy..... :^O
 

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one of my local gas stations has those pump nozzles with that california style corrugated rubber hose fume catcher things. I won't go there anymore because I can't see what's going on with that damn thing.

I also managed to overflow my 650 once. Not a lot but it didn't auto shut off. Spooky on a hot bike. And irritating as hell.

My 650 also has that cup arrangement.
 

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one of my local gas stations has those pump nozzles with that california style corrugated rubber hose fume catcher things. I won't go there anymore because I can't see what's going on with that damn thing.

I also managed to overflow my 650 once. Not a lot but it didn't auto shut off. Spooky on a hot bike. And irritating as hell.

My 650 also has that cup arrangement.
On those bellow pumps you have to hold it up with 2 fingers as far up it will go and it won't shut off. You can actually see the fuel going in the tank so you won't overflow.
 

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reminds me of that military joke about 2 soldiers at the urinals, one washes his hands afterwards and the other says they were taught to not pee on them in the first place. i don't know how pouring gas works everywhere, but i've never been at a pump wishing i had a cup i always carry around with me to assist in the process.
 

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reminds me of that military joke about 2 soldiers at the urinals, one washes his hands afterwards and the other says they were taught to not pee on them in the first place. i don't know how pouring gas works everywhere, but i've never been at a pump wishing i had a cup i always carry around with me to assist in the process.
Haha. That reminds me of this video!
https://youtu.be/1_BstJzcQNA
 
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