Massive fuel leak with driving (very hot engine) on my MV Agusta

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I think the title conveys the severity of the situation! On Saturday, I visited a local Ducati dealer (not MV dealer). Before I left a notice a faint smell of fuel. Not thinking twice, I drove home (about 20 minutes ride). Keep in mind it was about 105 degree and the bikes temps were hitting 212. I get home and notice a very strong smell of fuel. I go to open the garage and then notice drops of fuel on the ground. When I check the bike, I can see a steady stream of fuel leaking for a the top of a fuel line onto the engine. Of course, I quickly shut off the bike. After the bike cooled off, I took of the paneling, and every time I turn on the ďengine runĒ switch, a strong mist of fuel is sprayed from the right side of the bike. Needless to say, Iím going to have to tow the bike down to Renaissance Motorcycle in Tucson (about 90 miles away).

Iím grateful and somewhat surprised that the bike did not catch on fire or just explode while I was on it! I was actually witnessing the fuel drip onto a very hot engine! This is the first problem Iíve had with this 2002 MV, but it does remind me of the ruptured fuel line one on the motorcycle magazines had with during a 2000 test ride. Thank God no real harm was done. However, I find the severity of the problem inexcusable! I could have died in a blaze of molten plastic and metal!!!!

PS: I donít suspect sabotage from the Ducati dealer. One a few occasion, Iíve smelled a very slight smell of fuel, and when the bike is hot, Iíd sometimes hear a whistling noise. I believe the fuel tank was venting excess pressure.

-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (Agibbs996@aol.com), September 03, 2002

Answers

The fuel line incident on that 2000 F4 test bike was due to improper assembly. They took off parts for a naked photo shoot and did not reassemble it properly.

-- mod (mvf4s@excite.com), September 03, 2002.

Allan, you had asked me if I have the manual, yeah I do, it's at:

http://acruhl.freeshell.org/superbike/andys_mv/manuals/

(I hope that works)

Fuel injection uses very high fuel pressure to do what it does. Fuel lines need to be very strong for this to work. You could have a broken hose. This is obviously bad!

Did you call Steve? Did he say anything?

My bike vents off fuel and smells very strongly of fuel. This is why have to leave it outside for a few minutes before I bring it in the living room (hee hee).

I sincerely hope you get the help you need from Renaissance. I think he'll fix you up.

-- Andy Ruhl (quadreverb@yahoo.com), September 03, 2002.


I did call Steve and will try to take the bike down either on Friday or Saturday. Because of the distance, I'd like to get the bike back in one day.

I'm a bit upset, however, I'm more amazed way did the fuel burn? Hmmm, that what I get for using 91 octane. Anyone know where I can get aviation fuel? I hear that's about 105 to 155 octane! :)

PS: Andy, thanks for the manual.

-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (Agibbs996@aol.com), September 03, 2002.


you mentioned a ducati dealer, were they doing work on the bike? I'm not sure how similar they are (but since so much else is between the two bikes who knows) if the tank was removed and not replaced correctly or correctly that could have torn the hose. When my Senna broke down while i was in VA and we were trying to get the battery out I had to remove the tank and the hoses can easily get pinched in they aren't routed correctly when the tank is put back on. just a thought.

-- TP (tpoole@xnet.com), September 03, 2002.

I was just visiting the dealer, since the owner is an old friend. They have done work on Agusta in the past, however, the local MV dealer in Tucson will be doing the work on my MV.

I do know that the Ducati computer can be used to make mixture adjustments on the MV. However, I would hardly consider an MV and a 996 similar, since they have totally different engine configuration. On my deceased 2000 MV (which I bought used from the Ducati dealer), a lot of the service work was by trial and error. Hey, 90 miles is very, very far when it's 105 to 110 degrees! :) But this time, the '02 will be in tow.

-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (Agibbs996@aol.com), September 03, 2002.



Allan, I wonder if the problem is located at the end of the fuel line where it snaps/connects to a "coupling" which threads into the bottom of the fuel tank. Assuming it has this type of design, if the fittings are plastic, it's possible the connections cracked during riding (possibly riding over rough terrain, railroad tracks, things of that nature)causing the leak. I'm not sure but i believe the fuel pump activates when the key is turned which may explain the spraying of fuel. The spraying goes away after a second or two? You're right, at least there wasn't a fire. Be interesting to hear what the dealer thinks the problem is. Keep us posted. Regards.

jm martin

-- jm martin (jmmartin155@aol.com), September 03, 2002.


Hi Jim. Does this mean I can't use the MV for off roading anymore? ;)

Seriously, I do recall hearing some vibration sounds a few days and minutes before the leak. It was like the sound of a screw and metallic washer coming loose. With hind sight being 20/20, yes, I do recall hearing some warning sights.

I plan on bringing the bike down to the dealer on Saturday (although I have a strong urge to go tomorrow). I'll let everyone know what the culprit was!

-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (agibbs996@aol.com), September 04, 2002.


Yikes! Sounds very scary. I wonder what temperature the engine exterior would have to be to ignite gasoline (?). In city traffic, during summer, the temperature readout on my 2000 is usually at least 212 and more often than not, 215. Once, while stuck in traffic in a tunnel it read 219 and then started blinking!! Thank goodness you're O.K.. You haven't lost faith, have you?

-- Chris Eden (biospeck@mindspring.com), September 04, 2002.

Hi Chris. I think one possible explaination for the fuel not igniting was the bike was in motion (air cooling and drying the fuel) and I turned the fuel off very quickly after I had stopped. Had the bike been runing for 5 minutes at stand still, I would have expected to see a ball of fire engulphing part of my garage. I think 212 degree under most conditions would be enough to ignite gasoline.

As far as lossing faith, I'm not sure. I suffered pretty much every reported problem with the first MV (except exploding batteries). So right now, I'm wondering why so many parts on the MV crack, break, leak, or explode. Needless to say, I don't have 80% confidence (never had more than 80% before) in the bike anymore. I'll be bring it to the shop on Saturday to have it fixed. For now, I'll consider it strike one. Hopefully, if there's a strike two and three, I'll live through the experience. :)

-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (Agibbs996@aol.com), September 04, 2002.


Alan...

This just happened to me today! Damn it..... I think the little white plastic fuel connector that connects the line to the tank broke. Man I rode about 25 miles and am not sure when it broke. Good thing I stopped at a friends to go ride with him to Barlet Lake. Same thing, smelt the fuel and it was every where and driping on the engine. Man this is scary man! Wheeeeeewwwwww....... that is a lot of money and on top of that it is playing with fire! I stopped the bike and let it cool down and it was dripping very slightly and then if you turn the ignition to the on position fuel just sprays out. I am not sure if the Phoenix heat is causing that plastic to fail. I don't ride the bike so much and it is always garaged so it is strange if it is heat induced.

OK. Let me know what you find out. Is it OK if I email you to see how you are handling this, so that it will help me. My machine only has 2800 miles. It is a 02.

- Asok

-- Asok Boopathy (aboopa@netscape.net), August 29, 2004.



Hi. Sorry about the fuel leak. Did you or someone else recently remove the gas tank? What I've found out is that if the gas tank is not installed properly, it can crush the fuel coupling. That's what caused my original fuel leak. Steve at Renaissance Motorcycles said it really takes two people to put the tank back on (one person acts as a spotter).

Oh, if you take the right small side fairing (the section underneath the gas tank and to the top left of the mid-fairing), you can see the plastic fuel coupling. Steve said it should normally be white. If it start to turn brown, it could indicate a leak may begin. Hope that helps. Are you going to tow it down to Tucson? On several occasions, I've just rented a U-Haul motorcycle trailer ($12 to $17 per day) and towed it down. I figure it's cheaper to have Renaissance do it (tech manuals and parts) than let Cyclemoto try to figure out how to remove, order parts, etc. Good luck Allan Gibbs

-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, Arizona) (agibbs996@aol.com), August 29, 2004.


The fuel line coupling is of a QD design. The same as used on Ducati, they use the same fual pumps. On the male part of the coupling there is a small O ring which can be easily damaged on connecting the pipe. 'ANY' damage to this will result in a leak. The UK importers didn't have any when I called them, but I got one from my local HONDA dealer. It's just a STD rubber O ring and you should be able to get one from any bike shop.

-- Mark m (m.magenis@btinternet.com), September 01, 2004.

GREAT!!! No sooner did I read this thread than I'm riding home yesterday and smell gasoline. Sure enough, I look down and there is fuel leaking onto the bottom of the engine and onto the road. Unreal!

My bike is a Brutale but I'm sure all the engine and fuel delivery parts are the same. Has anyone pnpointed the exact cause of the fuel leaks yet?

Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated as the closest MV dealer is 200 miles away. I'm hoping this is something simple and just about any certified bike mechanic can fix.

Thanks

-- Tom Solimine (Tsolimine@amph.com), September 04, 2004.


Tom, did you by chance take off the fuel tank? Improper re-assembly is usually the culprit of the fuel leaks.

If you're 200 miles for the dealer, you may just want to order a fuel coupling and have a local Ducati dealer install it. Good luck.

-- Allan Gibbs (Phoenix, AZ) (Agibbs996@aol.com), September 04, 2004.


I had my dealer install metal fittings that I bought. My plastic ones cracked. They were about $48 for a complete set so don't pay outrageous delar prices. The parts are made by Colder Products Corp Base Ė fits into tank LCD10004 Insert Ė fits on hose LCD23006 Ryan Herco is a source

The o-ring is another item that gets damaged during assembly so if your fitting isn't cracked check the o-ring I bought 100 of them when I got the fittings I could probably get rid of 80 or so...

-- Bill (wbmac@yahoo.com), September 04, 2004.



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