Every time that a gallon of gasoline starts to approach or break the $4 a gallon mark, you see an increase in the number of news stories about people running out of gas.
I’m not sure why that is, but the device that most of us interact with every few days was first unveiled this week in 1905 — the gas pump. Sylvanus Bowser of Fort Wayne, Indiana made the pump for a customer, basing it on an earlier design for pumping kerosene. And according to the Census Bureau, in 1997 there were about 127,000 gas stations in the U.S. and that dropped to 121,000 in 2002, and to 114,000 by 2008 of which the majority now also have convenience stores.
But, if you’re like me, you hate to admit that you’ve ever run out of gas on a motorcycle ride, right?
Well my time occurred last year in route to the Laughlin River Run. The posse had a fun night in Las Vegas and the next day we had a leisurely mid-day departure heading toward Laughlin on Hwy 95. At the Boulder City/Laughlin exit we did a quick inventory of fuel at the stop sign thinking we could make Searchlight without any issues. What we hadn’t planned on was the fierce and gusting headwind which resulted in the ‘ol Road King running out of fuel about 7 miles to soon!
There we were… the posse was pulled over on the shoulder of the road. We removed a siphon tube from one of the tool kits, sucked the air out of the tube and nearly choked on a mouthful of fuel. Finally with the gas flowing into a small water bottle we transferred some fuel from one of the newer bikes which had 6+ gallon fuel tank. Not a great experience! You can read a full accounting of that road trip HERE.
However, the point of this post is to inform you about a device called the Fuel Tool (MSRP: $99.99) which takes all the pain out of this type issue. One of the riding buddies purchased a Fuel Tool before our epic summer ride this year and was telling us how handy the device seemed to be. Then when we were in Sturgis we received a personal demo from the company owner and got a chance to use it on the demo tanks.
The tool is one of those products that when you see it in action you go why didn’t I think of that? It’s designed to work with all fuel-injected Harley-Davidson motorcycles that come with a quick-connect check valve at the bottom of the tank. With the exception of the V-Rod, most made after 2001 have this type check valve. You connect it to the host motorcycle (the one that has the most fuel!) then you use the nozzle to pour fuel into the empty bike. It’s a one piece design that features an aluminum/brass constructed fuel nozzle wrapped in rubber. It has 54 inches of high-pressure chemical-resistance fuel line and a nickel-plated, solid brass fuel line adapter and fuel release tool. All of it coils up inside the included pouch and can easily store in a saddlebag using very little space.
Not only is the device great for helping stranded bikers, but it’s useful if you plan to winterize your motorcycle and drain the fuel tank.
Fuel pump photo taken by author on Arizona – Route 66. Fuel Tool photo courtesy of company web site.