Also a review of the Guglatech fuel filters
No not the filter, the dirt and rubbish the fuel filters must keep out of your bike, you do not need that kind of negativity in your life.
You would think in this day and age with millions of vehicles and trillion dollar fuel industries it would be stupid to worry that you would still get bad, dirty fuel from fuel stations. Unfortunately in this big world and the need to supply fuel to almost every corner of the globe, even to remote locations, the way fuel is stored and sold means contamination is a real issue.
We were under the impression that fuel should generally be of good, clean quality wherever you buy it and so when we set off on our RTW trip in 2010 through Africa we quickly got lessons handed to us about not to assume that clean fuel will be the norm.
One of the worst things is to troubleshoot a stranded bike and one of the items to troubleshoot is whether you got clean fuel. It is far better to try and eliminate that possibility all together and spend the time troubleshooting what really got the motorcycle to give up the ghost.
Our first real issues were in Ethiopia when another overlander warned us to check the fuel as it’s dirty and will clog our fuel filters. On older carburettor bikes it is easy to replace fuel filters and filters cost very little. On new Fuel Injection bikes the filters sometimes also have a fuel regulator built in and those units are expensive and not so easy to source from car part shops.
Our friends Peter and Leonie from AmsterdamtoAnywhere also had issues with dirty fuel and stuff clogging their Fi Honda CRF fuel pump inlet and filters. They were on a 3 year round the world motorcycle odyssey.
We started using coffee drip filters in a cut off Coke bottle while filling. Low and behold every time we filled up the filters were dirty. It was evident many of the filling stations’ underground tanks were leaking water and corroded. That stuff ended up in our tanks. Soon afterwards one of the BMW Dakar’s fuel-pump quit on us. In the end it cost us 3 weeks of sitting in Addis Ababa and 400 usd to get a 200 usd pump to us.
As we started our new trip in the USA we sourced filters from an Australian company but for some unforeseen reason they never made it to South Africa. In the search for new in-tank filters I stumbled upon Guglatech who just about started to manufacture in-tank filters. Guglielmo Ferrazzani is an Italian dude who had issues with his new KTM on a trip to France. As he is in the industry he started to produce filters for motorcycles.
“First I developed the most advanced fuel pre-pump filter and then the neck filters. We are the only ones who developed and created EFI Total protection.” says Guglielmo.
We bought two neck in-tank filters from him which, in addition to just filtering rubbish, also can filter some water contamination. It is a two stage filter. These filters have been in our bikes for the last 52000km (32000 miles). In that time we had two incidents that we know of where we got water from filling up, and by the brown colour of the inner filter some fuel was not as good/clean.
We use the neck filler filter that is generic for most aftermarket fuel tanks like Acerbis / IMS / Clark / Safari
Product description from the filters we use:
“INNOVATIVE WELDED FILTER EDGES FOR THE BEST DIRT/WATER SEGREGATION HUGE XL+ SURFACE COMBINED WITH THE HDM3D X-GEN 3D MEDIA The combination HDM3D media and HDM3D X-GEN 3D MEDIA, is unique and exclusive, it derives from the Aviation fuel high flow filter systems, multistage, and it’s the only filter in the WORLD to adopt a dual stage technology.
HDM3D media Acquastop media will pre-filter and separate fuel/water at refueling, the new and innovative HDM3D X-GEN 3D MEDIA with its’ exceptional filtering efficiency. Thanks to its design and the wide adapter opening, refueling is fast, filter is very effective and long lasting.”
Guglatech also offers an Adventure Kit :
“-one Expedition “Adventure” HDM3D filter with water separation, for any kind of fuel, -one 0 micron deep 3D matrix NEXT HBR “funnel filter”, Inserting the “HDM3D” filter into the “Next” filter will create the famous KK dual stage extreme filter, the most advanced fuel filter for vehicle in the world. Working together while refuelling from nasty bottles, jerry cans, suspicious tank stations or highly contaminated fuel, both petrol and diesel, will form the best barrier against any kind of contaminants.”
Guiglielmo mentioned that our filters are not washable but will last for quite a long time. Well if we can double the kilometres we got so far I would say it was a great investment. It all depends on how much dirty fuel we get doing the next 50 000km.
All in all, when prepping a bike for a long trip or even just weekend rides and using your bike as a commuter, the filters will prolong and extend the life of stock inline fuel filters and FI components in modern motorcycles.
There is also a very small noticeable speed difference filling the bikes with and without the filters. It takes marginally longer as I have to lift it out to check if the tank is full. But then we fill the tanks to the max when we can.
If I have to say which is one of the best ‘must haves’ when prepping a motorcycle for trips, it will be an in-tank fuel filter. Leave the rim-tape and other bling and rather invest in something that can potentially avoid costly repairs and keep the stuff your bike gets drunk on as clean as possible.
As for service, our friends Suzie and Kelvin from Avvida had one of the Guglatech filters separate from the ring. It is obviously the bonding between the ring and filter came loose. They contacted Guglatech and they sent new filters to them in Colombia with in days. That kind of service is more than we can say from many other brands of products we use.
PS: We are not sponsored by Guglatech