The word “fire” alone is enough to grab the attention of anyone, and it should. When confronted with a fire, you have seconds to react. In too many cases, you have to turn to common sense when a fire extinguisher is not available. Fire should in the forefront of your mind before you take to your next ride, especially with a group of other riders.
Three months ago, several members of the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America were out for an early morning ride. The four riders had stopped for gas and were separated by several minutes as they got back on the road. Blue Ridge Chapter member Larry Offill was following 84-year-old Fred Obst, who was riding a 1975 R75/5 BMW Toaster Tank. Fred’s son, Steve, was the last to leave the gas station and was several minutes back.
As Fred — followed by Larry — entered a sharp 10 mph righthander, the frontend washed out from under him. In horror, Larry helplessly watched as the BMW hit the ground forcing the gas cap open saturating Fred with fuel which simultaneously ignited.
As the bike burned, Fred was trapped underneath it. Larry had to run into the burning pile and pull Fred out of the fire. Larry tried rolling Fred in the gravel and grass but could not put him out. Steve came along a minute later and the two finally got him out. Fred suffered third degree burns on 18% of his body. Larry suffered first-degree burns on his arms for his rescue efforts.
With a story like this, the bike is completely insignificant, but to say it was a total loss would be an understatement. There was no saving the bike because all the attention was dedicated to the rider.
After spending three weeks at Wake Forest Hospital, Fred was transferred to his son’s house for continued therapy.
This scene was the worst-case scenario for any motorcyclist. Saving a fellow rider is more important than a motorcycle. We want to make you aware of an amazing new fire extinguisher that could have certainly minimized injury and damages.
Fellow AMCA member Bill Kitchen and his brother Eric are the U.S. distributors of the Element Fire Extinguisher, as seen on Jay Leno and other shows. Branded as the world’s smallest, longest-lasting fire extinguisher, it’s a valuable accessory to have on your motorcycle. Element Fire Extinguishers are 80% smaller, one-tenth the weight, five times longer discharge and never expire. It’s also non-toxic and makes no mess.
If I sound like a commercial, it’s intentional. As the executive director of the AMCA, I personally want to see one of these on every motorcycle participating on AMCA National Road Runs and at all chapter rides. At the very least, make sure one motorcycle in your group has one.
How many times have you heard of someone reaching for a standard fire extinguisher only for it not to work or run out of propellent after 10 seconds? The Element fire extinguisher has a full 50-second discharge.
For more information and to purchase an Element Fire Extinguisher, visit elementfire.com .
Keith S. Kizer is the executive director of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America. He lives in Huntsville, Alabama.