Motorcycle Gas Tank: Everything You Should Know

Motorcycle Gas Tank

A study shows that 3% of all registered vehicles are motorcycles in the United States. Motorcycles are the most popular and common type of on-road vehicle globally because of their small size, low cost, and lightweight. However, the motorcycle gas tank is crucial for determining how long you can use it.

That’s why it is necessary to maintain the motorcycle gas tank properly to get the best performance from it. Throughout this article, I am going to give you a complete guideline on how to care for your bike’s fuel tank. In addition, I will provide you with some safety information regarding this topic.

Aren’t you excited to know more details about the gas tank of your motorcycle? So, don’t go anywhere without finishing my well-written article. 

How To Fill A Motorcycle Gas Tank? (4 Simple Steps) 

Owning a vehicle requires regular taking care of it and maintenance. It is not an exception for motorcycles. If you are a motorcycle owner, you can relate to it. One of the most prominent tasks is to refuel your gas tank. 

Now that you have understood the importance of knowing the proper filling of a motorcycle gas tank, let’s look at the steps:

Step- 1: Do Some Planning

Getting your motorcycle next to the pump, the first thing you need to do is get off your bike. Yes, it might seem not worth mentioning, but it’s better to remind people of that. Accidents could happen while filling a motorcycle gas tank.

If a fire breaks out while filling, you will be burnt, not having enough time to get off the motorcycle. So, it’s always better to get off the vehicle while refueling, be it in the case of cylinder cars or motorcycles.

Step- 2: Take Off Your Helmet

You might want to take off your helmet now and rest the motorcycle on the side stand. Taking off the helmet is not necessary, but it has benefits. The extent to which your tank has been filled can be realized by careful observation of the gurgling sound of the fuel inside the tank.

If you take off your helmet, you may be able to observe the level to which the fuel has been filled and prevent spillage. You can avoid placing the motorcycle on the side stand and holding it while refilling. It will help you keep the fuel tank at the correct level and position for filling.

Step- 3: Stand In A Safe Place With Your Motorcycle

Stand in between the pump and your motorcycle for a safe place. A gas station is a place where vehicles roll infrequently. It is hard to keep track of the vehicles while filling the gas tank. So, stand in the safe place between the pump and your motorcycle.

Step- 4: Fill Your Gas Tank

Now, you have to insert the filling nozzle inside your trunk. While inserting, make sure you have inserted the nozzle all the way, or at least more than halfway. In the case of cars, you generally do not need to do that. Longer filler necks allow bubbles while filling, which restricts the filler nozzles. So, it is easy to know and control the filling process. 

Motorcycles have tiny filler necks. Some motorcycles even do not have them. So, it’s harder to guess the level up to which the tank has been filled in an instant. It runs the risk of unwanted spillage of the fuel. Also, a small amount of air is needed to be kept in the fuel tank. You might have already known, the fuel used in the motorcycle is exceptionally conducive to heat. It expands to heat very quickly. 

In the tank, the air space will allow the fuel to expand. The fuel will not overflow through the breather hose as you are riding. If you have an idea of how much fuel was left on your tank before filling, you may be able to guess the right time to stop the fill by taking a look at the numbers on the filling machine. 

Also, use your hearing to understand the level of the fuel. If you do not get it right away, do not worry. You will learn to guess correctly over time.

How To Clean Rust And Seal A Motorcycle Gas Tank? (7 Steps)

Isn’t it a simple matter to clean rust and seal the gas tank of a motorcycle? In the end, the answer is both “yes” and “no.” To understand this paradox, read the following steps:

Step-1: Remove A Few  Accessories

The process will start by removing the seat of your motorcycle. After that, loosen off the back gas tank bolt. The tank can be a little bit dirtier most of the time than your usual prediction. It is because your tank is empty for a while. Before you give it an acid wash, you should add a little gas to your gas tank if it’s empty.   

Step-2: Remove The Petcock

After you have sloshed a little bit of gas around in your gas tank , now it’s time to locate your petcock. Don’t try to drain the gas out through your petcock because there is a ton of crap in it. As a consequence, your petcock will just get clogged. 

So, remove your petcock first, even if it’s an old one. You might be able to reuse it. Then keep rinsing the tank out until the gas comes out clean.

Step-3: Seal Off The Petcock Hole

Now, you need to seal off the petcock hole. Use a black rubber hose that fits loosely over the post. Cut it down a little bit if required, then find some sort of a bolt that also loosely fits in the hose. You will need a couple of hose clamps too.

First, clamp the bolt into the hose as tight as you can get it. Toss another clamp on there, get it on the post, and tighten it down. Now the petcock is sealed off.

Step- 4: Use Acid To Remove Rust

Make sure you have a large plastic container, wear rubber gloves, and goggles to cover your eyes. Because now we are going to give it an acid wash. If the acid somehow gets into your eyes, you might lose sight. So, be careful while cleaning the motorcycle gas tank.

Cover the paint with some plastics. Use a funnel to pour the acid into the tank. When rust is really bad, you should completely fill up your gas tank and let it sit for a few days until it starts looking better. The acid will break up the rust inside the tank.

Step-5: Drain The Acid

Next, you need to drain this stuff back into the container to reuse them again. The hose with the bolt and clamp trick actually works on the bottom and never leaks or anything. Now the acid is outside the gas tank, and the metal should be etched.

That means you’re done with the cleaning of your gas tank. Prepare a little bit of solution by mixing baking soda with water. Use this solution to neutralize the acid, and then it will no longer be bad for the earth or human beings.

Step- 6: Clean The Motorcycle Gas Tank 

Plug the petcock back up once you have gotten all the acid out of the tank. Rinse the tank out with any type of solvent that is paint friendly, such as paint thinner, mineral spirits, or rubbing alcohol. As part of that process, the inside of the gas tank will be cleaned to remove that acid from the metal. You may know that acid is not good at all for the sealer.

After you have gotten all of that crap out of the motorcycle gas tank, give the tank a good clean before sloshing around all over it. Take a heat gun or a blow dryer and stick it in the neck of the tank. Turn it on low and wait till dry. 

Do this part with the petcock open so that whatever’s in there can drain out through it. The process can take 10-15 minutes. When it is done, take the tank around, and you will hear no liquid sounds. Shine a flashlight inside the tank to look around and make sure it’s dry and cool.

Step-7: Seal Your Gas Tank:

Once you are sure your gas tank is cooled down and dry, plug up the petcock hole, but you need to use tape this time. After that, take a gas tank sealer and give it a good shake. Pour the whole bottle of sealer into the gas tank.

Next, put the gas cap back on and wash it around. Make sure you cover the whole surface of the inside of the gas tank with the sealer. Hopefully, if you tape over the pinholes, the sealer will come through and seal them up. 

Once you’re sure you have covered the whole inside of the gas tank with the sealer, then pull that tape off and drain the stuff back into the bottle. That’s it. With that, you are successfully able to clean rust and seal the motorcycle gas tank.

5 Tips That Will Help You Manage A Motorcycle Gas Tank Safely:

Even though you might assume managing a motorcycle gas tank is simple, you may encounter some challenges. Moreover, you may not be aware of some safety precautions that can turn this easy task into a problem to the point of disaster.

Anyway, follow my simple tips that will help you to manage your motorcycle  gas tank safely:

Tips 1- Basic Guidelines:

These are some essential tips for your personal safety:

  • While the tank is almost full, pull off or let the lever go allowing the air to pass. By squeezing the lever, you may control the flow of the fuel and slow it down according to requirement. 
  • While taking out the nozzle, make sure you keep the mouth of the nozzle facing down towards the tank so that the fuel cannot drip all over the body of your motorcycle.
  • Do not forget to get the tank cap on again before leaving the station.

Tips 2- Accidents While Filling Gas Tanks On Motorcycles:

It was mentioned earlier to keep in mind that the fuel does not overflow the tank. Overflowing the tank will not only mess up the paint of your motorcycle but can also cause accidents. The spilled fuel can very well catch on fire if proper steps are not taken.

The engine of your motorcycle remains adjacent to your fuel tank. Any spillover to the hot engine can be lethal. It may ignite fire almost immediately without giving you the chance to react correctly to the situation. 

Be sure you or anyone near you is not smoking in a gas station while you are filling gas. This can be very lethal. It applies to bringing any type of explosive body near the gas station. Sometimes, there can be some sort of leak from the gas station or your fuel tank.

In that case, a flame that is as small as a cigarette can cause a fire. The fire will spread just like you will not get the time to react due to flammable fuel.

Tips 3- Maintaining Proper Balance In Filling Tank:

Maintaining proper balance in your motorcycle’s fuel tank while pumping fuel into it is crucial. There should be air left on the upper part of the tank to facilitate the expansion of the fuel. Otherwise, as mentioned earlier, it may cause accidents. Here, the air is not necessary. It is just referred to as air to mean vacant space. But in reality, it is not vacant.

When fuel remains in the tank, the air contains fuel vapor along with some air. This is referred to as ullage. If continuous heat is produced, the vapor expands, and if the vapor has nowhere to go, it will burst open the container it is in, in this case, the fuel tank causes an explosion.

Theoretically, the explosion is possible if fuel is filled to the fullest of the brim, it is less likely to happen in real life. That is because there is always some sort of ventilation for the vapor to pass.

The excess vapor that is created due to the petrol is soon ventilated through it, and will not cause any trouble. But it is always better and safer to keep a gap that does not create any type of unnecessary pressure inside your fuel tank.

Tips 4- Covering Up The Overflowed Gas:

Sometimes due to carelessness or lack of experience, the gas may overflow. In this case, you must quickly respond to this situation. It is always better to keep some sort of towel with you if this situation arises. You must make sure the fuel does not all get to the engine of your motorcycle. If it does, it can ignite a fire and cause an explosion.

So, immediately rub off the gas as much as possible. Your engine also must be off. Though you should always turn your engine off before filling a motorcycle tank, it becomes a must if the fuel spills all over the bike.

After making sure that minimum fuel goes to the engine, take care of the other parts of the body of your motorcycle. It’s harder to take off a greasy substance like fuel out of the body of your bike. 

Tips 5- Filling the Gas Tank With Care:

Now that you know what can cause mishaps, you can be conscious of it in the future. Make sure you keep some space above the gas tank’s fuel. Turn the engine off before filling your tank, which will be much safer for you and your motorbike.

Never smoke or bring any inflamed object to the gas station. If you manually pour fuel into the gas tank, it can also be applied. A small flame can bring devastating consequences. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Happens When You Get Water In Your Gas Tank?

Injectors and fuel systems can become corroded because of water and may not monitor fuel delivery correctly. Your motorcycle can eventually fail to start if your injectors are left too long. To avoid these issues, do not add water to your gas tank.

What Happens If You Pee In A Motorcycle Gas Tank?

It’s never a good idea to pee in the motorcycle gas tank, it can cause major engine damage. Pee will clog the carburetor or injector and cause the engine to shut down. This is similar to pouring water into it.

Additionally, the pistons would also be badly damaged, and you might need to disassemble and rebuild your motorcycle engine again. So, think twice before peeing in your motorcycle gas tank.

How Much Does A Motorcycle Gas Tank Hold?

A typical motorcycle gas tank can hold up to 3-6 gallons of fuel in it. From entering the gas station to leaving it depending on the queue, it can take an average of 8 minutes- 10 minutes. All you need is to find a gas station with a fuel hose that can pump into your motorcycle. You can also keep a towel near you for precaution from over-spillage.

Compared to cars, the most common mode of transportation, the motorcycle’s fuel tank, is smaller. Depending on the model and brand of motorcycle, the capacity of gas tanks can vary.

How Much Does A New Motorcycle Tank Cost?

It costs approximately $1,200 to $1,400 to replace a motorcycle gas tank. Parts and labor are priced between $1,000 and $1,100, while labor costs are between $250 and $320. There are no taxes or fees included in this range, nor is it influenced by your specific vehicle or location. Additionally, related repairs may be needed.

How Long Does It Take To Replace A Motorcycle Gas Tank?

Changing a motorcycle gas tank may take you up to 2 days. Anyway, it would take about a day to complete most of the time. The time range may be extended if you have other issues with your motorcycle gas tank. 

Don’t attempt a gas tank replacement by yourself if you’re not sure how to do it. It can cause severe damage to your machine. Therefore, replacing your motorcycle gas tank with a professional mechanic is ideal to avoid lifelong regrets.

Final Verdict:

Throughout this article, I explained various aspects of motorcycle gas tanks. The process of regularly filling up your motorcycle with gas and cleaning it is quite simple. It seems right to do some research before starting anything new, which is totally fine.

Hence, keep in mind some points mentioned here, especially the precautions. After doing this process yourself a couple of times, you will get comfortable with it, and you can maintain your gas tank on your own.

Read this article:

What Happens If You Put Wrong Gas In A Dirt Bike?

Md. Saifur Rahman

Dirt bike riding was a fascination for Saifur since he was a child. Later that fascination turned into a passion and his profession. Apparently, it may seem that tips and tricks are useless for bike riding sometimes, but you may find them really useful after reading his blogs. Saifur is a regular rider.

Recent Posts