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Fuel Tap...switch to off?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by alleyway, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Just wondering when you're meant to switch the fuel tap to "off"? Should I be switching the tap to "off" if I don't ride for say, a week?

  2. Switch it to off when the bike isn't running. It stopps fuel running into the carbs. Not usually necessary all the time but probably should do it over night. :)
  3. I am in the habit of doing it whenever I know the bike is going to sit for more than a few hours. Don't know if it's warranted but it sure as hell won't hurt to do it
  4. Probably a good idea, as stated by others here .. BUT I've never done it & never had a problem :?
  5. I thought that turning the tap to OFF was only for working on the bike...
  6. Seriously, I owned 6 bikes back in the 70s - 80s, and the Hornet now, and I have NEVER, ever turned off the fuel tap unless I was going to remove the tank; where did this crazy idea come from?
  7. Horny, it's not a crazy idea. But it's also not a procedure that needs to be done, either.

    Most bikes these days have vacuum operated fuel taps. So, when the engine's not running they're effectively turned off anyway. The exception are EFI bikes which probably don't have a tap arrangement anyway.

    One reason to turn it off - if you have a needle and seat that is worn then the float bowl will overflow. But then you'll have poor performance, overly rich combustion, etc. if this is the case.

    Otherwise, leave it on. If it does start dripping fuel then you definately know that there is a problem and one that should be tended to ASAP.
  8. wow. the only time ive ever turned the fuel tap to off, is putting my bike into storage for a suspension period, or on a mate's bike, during a stop on a ride. good for a laugh, bike begins to warm up, then dies. takes a while to figure it out :LOL:
  9. If everything is in good nick it shouldn't make any difference. But if you have a worn needle valve or a slight fuel leak turning to off is good incurance.

    But surely the most important reason to turn taps to off is so that your bike can start to splutter at the most critical time when you forget to turn them back on again.
  10. In my experience having grown up with carby bikes and continuing with mostly carby bikes now.... Number of bikes that needed fuel tap turning off: 0. Number of accidents caused by fuel cutting out: heaps. :LOL:
  11. Olde-style fuel taps had/have ON, OFF and RES positions. Apart from being useful when removing the tank, the OFF position was there as a precaution against fuel leaks. As bikes generally had gravity fed carbs, if there was a leak, the fuel would just continue to pour out of the bike, unlike cars where it's pumped to the carbie. You needed some way of isolating the fuel flow.

    Modern bikes generally have vacuum taps fitted and only have ON, PRI and RES as no fuel will flow without assistance from the engine.

    Many modern bikes now don't even have gravity fed carbs, or carbs at all for that matter.

    How big a problem was it, well I for one did it without thinking after a while. It became instinctive, as all bikes of the time had the same tap design. Fuel On, Switches On, Contact....
  12. I am with the others here, I never turned off my taps on any bikes I owned that had them.

    One advantage that having a fuel tap is in using the reserve setting to drain the lowest point of your tank and getting rid of the nice, birds and spiders that get into your tank and clog up your lines (not to mention the water that forms from condensation)

    Petrol in your lines and carbys stops them from drying up and floats from getting stiff.

    AND as previously stated, it prevents the sudden sinking feeling that you get when your motor cuts out from petrol starvation as you are going around a corner shortly after leaving home. :grin: