Why do I need to get off my bike when refuelling?

You are asked to get off the bike at fuelling stations because there is always a risk of a fire breaking out in various ways. Unlike passengers in a car, you are sitting right behind the fuel tank and completely exposed. Standing next to the bike makes it much safer as you can get away from a fire much quicker.


In this short article, we discuss why you are asked to disembark from your motorcycle when refuelling and also what you need to keep in mind around fueling stations.

We will look at the following:

  • Why you need to disembark from your bike at fuelling stations
  • What you need to keep in mind around fuelling stations
  • When can it become extremely dangerous?

Why you need to disembark from your bike at fuelling stations

It depends on what county or state you are in but usually, as I’ve experienced, they will ask you to get off the bike when refuelling. This is because there is always a risk of a fire breaking out.

How could a fire break out? There are a few ways in which this could possibly happen:

  • Static electricity – According to a source, 176 static fires were reported to the Petroleum Equipment Institute from 2000 to 2010.
  • Someone smoking nearby – with a light breeze, a small piece of burning tobacco from a cigarette can cause a huge catastrophe.
  • Cellphones – As unlikely as it may seem, mobile devices could cause a fire at fueling stations.

What you need to keep in mind around fuelling stations

When refuelling your motorcycle, be sure to observe what is going on around you. Is someone smoking nearby? Are there people around you that aren’t paying attention to what they are doing?

Other than just observing your surroundings there’s not much you can do. I mean, how do you know that you are statically charged? Should you try touching stuff to discharge? You could probably tap the nozzle of the fuel pipe against the fuel cap on your bike before you start refuelling but in most cases, we don’t really know how fires start at fueling stations.

So the best way to go about this is to get off the bike so you can get away from everything if something goes wrong. I think something that might be concerning are the new airbag vests that are attached with a cable to the bike. Imagine a fire breaks out and you can’t get off the bike because you’re still attached.

When can it become extremely dangerous?

Alright, it’s not that dangerous when you look at the stats but when it does happen, people can die. But there is something different I think I should mention now that we are on the topic of fuel. Aircraft fuel! You won’t be able to buy this from a regular fuelling station but that’s not the most dangerous part anyways.

You should really think twice about using aircraft fuel in your motorcycle. It’s probably fine when you are on the track or on a drag strip but riding around town on this stuff isn’t the best idea. One of my friends was hit by a car at an intersection while he had half a tank of aircraft fuel in his bike. I don’t know, normally a bike doesn’t just explode in your face, even when you are hit by a car.

Final words

I’ve never seen a fuel station burn before so I guess it doesn’t happen too often. I think this is why people are too comfortable doing things around a fuelling station that they aren’t supposed to.

Featured image by czexio on Instagram

I always try to keep my articles interesting and informative. And I’m always thankful when they are shared on social media platforms or Pinterest.

Two Motion

I don’t see myself as an expert in every topic of motorcycling but my articles usually relate to new experiences that are relevant at the time of writing.

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