Q How can I get un­wanted wa­ter out of my system?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

I think I’ve got wa­ter in the fuel tank of my Du­cati 899 Pani­gale be­cause it’s started to spit and splut­ter now and again when the fuel level is re­ally low.

I know that wa­ter and fuel do not mix and any wa­ter ends up at the low­est point in the fuel tank, so I’m wor­ried that it could also be cor­rod­ing the in­sides of my fuel tank. Is there any way I can get the wa­ter out with­out strip­ping the bike down? Will Bar­nett, Ash

An­swered by Chris Dabbs, MCN Mois­ture can ac­cu­mu­late through con­den­sa­tion that builds up over time when the en­ginewarmed air in the tank cools down rapidly af­ter each ride. It’s worse if the bike is idle for ex­tended pe­ri­ods, but brim­ming

Athe tank at the end of a ride lessens this. Con­tam­i­nated sup­plies from petrol sta­tions can be a fac­tor too. If you ever go to a petrol sta­tion and a cou­ple of min­utes later your bike feels a bit ‘off’ there’s a good chance you got a bad batch of fuel from the bot­tom of the tank.

If the wa­ter has been loi­ter­ing in your tank for some time then it will need clean­ing out prop­erly by re­mov­ing and up­end­ing the tank and dry­ing it out in a warm room. But if it’s re­cent, a quick fix is to put a lit­tle methy­lated spirit in with the fuel, about 100ml to 10 litres, be­fore shak­ing the bike from side to side be­fore each ride.

The meths mixes read­ily with both fuel and wa­ter, so any con­tam­i­na­tion will be di­luted and sus­pended in the fuel and get burnt off with­out any ill-ef­fects.


I bought a 21-year-old Honda CBR600 as a hack for £900, but three days later the coolant started bub­bling up as the ra­di­a­tor fan wasn’t kick­ing in. For­tu­nately the engine didn’t over­heat and it was only three miles from the dealer, so I parked it out­side their premises and sent them an email that night stat­ing in de­tail what I be­lieved are my rights un­der the Sale and Sup­ply of Goods and Ser­vices Act.

They are try­ing to say that be­cause the in­voice was for a ‘trade sale’ and has a clause about ex­am­in­ing the ve­hi­cle be­fore­hand they are not li­able, and the age and mileage of the bike means it’s ‘un­for­tu­nate’, but down to me. Chris Coates, email A Did you ever hold your­self out to be in the trade? I imag­ine that you did not and that you are a “con­sumer”. It’s your sta­tus that de­ter­mines whether the Con­sumer Rights Act ap­plies (which re­placed the Sale of Goods Act and the Sup­ply of Goods and Ser­vices Act in Oct 2015), not how they chose to mark up the in­voice.

Their age and mileage ar­gu­ment would have a bit more merit, although given that if failed within three days I’d have thought you have rea­son­able grounds to ar­gue your case. How­ever, I would say it’s a bor­der­line case that could go ei­ther way if it ever got be­fore a court, so if you can get an of­fer of a rea­son­able re­pair I’d take it.

‘I would say it’s a bor­der­line case, so if you get an of­fer of a rea­son­able re­pair, I’d take it’

If you sus­pect wa­ter ingress into your fuel, meths or tank re­moval are your two op­tions

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