The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Bikes, Pictures, Stories & more => Chat, Offtopic, Meetings & Everything Else => Topic started by: LJ. on 28.08. 2008 11:04

Post by: LJ. on 28.08. 2008 11:04
On another forum I participate in, the risk of fires was a 'blazing' topic discussed! and made me think again carefully at what I should do in the event of fire. I know i'd be gutted if I should lose any of my bikes to something that could so easily be prevented.

How many times have we seen petrol pouring out of an over tickled tickler when distracted or over enthusiatic to get bike running? How many times have we wrongly advanced or retarded the ignition? How many times have we seen that manificent and entertaining blue flash shoot back through the carb and not igniting that pool of petrol? Phew!

Have I aroused thoughts of the possibliltites of what can happen? I hope so cos its been something heavily on my mind recently, In fact yesterday I went along to see our fire prevention officer at a local Fire Station. I'd like to share what we discussed.

I put to him the scenario of my BSA M21 (My two A10s being auto advance and with air filters might be at less risk than the open bell mouth carb with manual ignition)

The military M20's had a brass extinguisher issued because of a number of fires occuring (on the firing line?) and these contained Argon which is now banned because of atmospheric preservation. Remember them?

Ideally for us to use and carry an extinguisher, foam would be the most recomended for petrol fires but because such a large container is needed for sufficient quantity to use, it would be impractical. Carbon Dioxide and water would also be impractical because of container size. He had no alternative but to reccomend dry powder which is I believe is bicarbonate soda use in baking. Powder is not nice because of the mess it makes but it doe's not make as much of a mess as a completely burn out motorcycle. At lease you will be able to stand up the bike and ride home shortly afterwards.

So I made my purchase, and for £12.99 for a small 1kg cartridge I now feel safer.

I also asked him what I should do in the event of a bike fire and if no extinguisher was around. His answer was, along with ensuring people were made aware of such situation and evacuated, the bike should then be put on its side on the ground so that flames would burn upwards and NOT onto the tank. Taps should be switched off as soon as its safe to do so to prevent flow of petrol out of carb. Sand or earth or even a coat should then be used to smother the fire, but of course not taking any such risks to yourself.

I think that a good idea, outside in the open! is to try this WITHOUT the fire and see just what the behaviour of the carb is when bike is on its side. This is ensuring we are at the ready for when your or a fellas bike is ablaze.

Take care out there!
Title: Re: **FIRE HAZARDS**
Post by: flatdeck on 28.08. 2008 22:07
LJ, you are not wrong at all to worry. During the last few months of rebuilding carbs and retiming the A7 the exuberant tickling led to a number of "puddles" and the carb spat back a few times. Needless to say we had a plan, keep the barn door open and roll her out in the event of fire. Amusingly (at the time) when she did burst into flames (carb) both of us were on our knees blowing it out. We were lucky, no damage, but we did look at each other and say "What were we thinking?"
Title: Re: **FIRE HAZARDS**
Post by: a10gf on 29.08. 2008 21:37
Very good post, LJ.
Title: Re: **FIRE HAZARDS**
Post by: RichardL on 29.08. 2008 23:16

Do you mount your fire extinguisher to the bike or carry it in a saddle bag? It seems a bit big to mount (around 11" x 3-1/2", if I am correct). Your post sent me looking for one that could be mounted and looked good. Found the one shown in the attached picture at, but can't find where to buy it here in the U.S.

Title: Re: **FIRE HAZARDS**
Post by: A10Boy on 12.09. 2008 13:48
When I was a lad we used to ride old bikes on the tractor roads in the fields at the back of our house. I was on a "Victoria" three speeder which burst into falmes as I was riding it - that was interseting, the rubber petrol pipe had split and caught fire I jumped off and me and my mate pete beat the flames out with my coat and his school scarf, both ruined..Ahh those were the days ...
Title: Re: **FIRE HAZARDS**
Post by: tombeau on 12.09. 2008 14:23
That is a great looking extinguisher.
I'd always be happier carrying one with me.
Have been involved in a couple of incidents over the years.

Whilst we're on the subject. I trust everyone here has a carb drip tray?
I've personally known of 2 nice A10s that have gone up in flames for lack of having one fitted.
Title: Re: **FIRE HAZARDS**
Post by: LJ. on 17.10. 2008 15:00
Richard... Sorry about my late reply... I only carry the Extinguisher on my M21. The Two A10s both having air filters, are not so much at risk I don't think. I must admit the Extinguisher is a bit cumbersome and just a little more bigger than the measurements you state.

I haven't mounted it onto the bike at all as I have attached some very useful 'Bren gun magazine pouches' onto the girder forks and the Ex fits into one just nicely. Just got to remember that its there!

If this particular model tickles your fancy then it would be no problem for me to send one out to you.
Title: Re: **FIRE HAZARDS**
Post by: snowbeard on 20.10. 2008 04:28
a second on the drip tray, mine is a terrible example of my first real try on a wire welder, but it has already once saved the day when a particle made it thru the ripped inlet screen and lodged the float needle open...

my poor bike had had the dreaded fire itself already when I got 'er so that was one of the first thing I made.  the fire wasn't terrible, and I was able to just refit new wires, hoses and cables and it ran again, but I totally agree with you on having something on hand just in case.

is that your M20 on the pic?  I know I've seen posts of it before, but I like the full kit  *beer*