Staying Fueled: How to Carry Extra Fuel on a Motorcycle

Having a motorcycle enables you to hit the open road and explore almost anywhere you like, but you're going to need gas to get you there. When traveling through areas with many gas stations, this isn't a tall order to fill. However, heading out into more rural areas can mean that you run the risk of the tank going empty before you get the chance to refuel.

If traveling with other motorcycle enthusiasts, you can siphon gas from one bike to another. But what about situations where you're going on your own, or you don't have the necessary equipment to pull gas? What can you do to lower your chances of having to trek to the nearest gas station on foot instead of rolling in on your loyal bike?

The simple solution to this issue is to carry extra fuel on your motorcycle with you. We've got plenty of creative solutions at the ready so that you can find the approach and option that works best for you!

Option One: Stackable Liquid Storage Containers

Durable liquid storage containers are one obvious option for carrying fuel along with you for the ride. The stackable iterations of these containers are excellent when it comes to space efficiency, allowing you to fit more than one in a small area without getting too much in the way. To make use of these containers effectively, you'll need to install a rack on your bike to hold them, though.

Liquid storage containers that have durable plastic will be suitable for holding onto spare gas. They're also durable enough that they can withstand many impacts that could happen as a result of a crash. Using stackable containers also allows you to set things up so that you can carry more than gas alongside you. Drinking water is another option suitable for a long drive.

Option Two: Gas Bags

While heavy-duty plastic containers may be what most of us think of whenever we consider carrying fuel, they aren't available options. A gas bag, as the name implies, still takes fuel along with you, but it's in a more flexible, lightweight form. These reinforced containers are easy to pack and store away whenever empty, and they can unfurl in very little time when you need them.

Since a gas bag will stay connected to your motorcycle via multiple straps, you can contour it to almost any other part of your bike without needing to install any additional hardware. For all the levels of convenience, though, they can be more expensive. The more flexible design also means that you might have a slight learning curve when it comes to transferring fuel into your gas tank.

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Option Three: Aluminum Fuel Bottles

While both of the options that we've mentioned above are suitable for carrying more substantial amounts of gas, you may not need to haul around that much fuel with you. Specifically designed gasoline capable aluminum bottles can give you a smaller amount of fuel for shorter trips—often reaching up to thirty ounces in capacity.

Because of their potentially much smaller sizes, you can much more easily carry one along in a backpack without any hassle. However, if you'd rather not rely on a bag, there's no shortage of mounting options out there that will let your fuel bottle stay on your bike at all times. Adjustable clamps are also an option, but they don't provide as much protection from the dangers of the road as full holsters do.

Regardless of how you connect the bottle to your bike, you need to make sure that it is suitable for gasoline storage. Similar looking water and drink bottles can spring leaks.

Option Four: Attachable Side Mount Fuel Canisters

Another option for those who need a smaller amount of fuel at their disposal is portable gas canisters. While no doubt on the less substantial side, this option works very well for bikers who don't travel extensive distances and have side mounts already on their bikes. The canister is attachable to a hard side bag, meaning that it has a far less complicated installation process than adding a whole additional rack.

These options are very straightforward to use, and they won't grab too much attention connected to an existing mount. Depending on whichever brand you choose, you may need to do some work with the baseplate and adding a little bit more to keep the canister secure. Without the extra caution, you may find yourself without your backup fuel, especially when biking in off-road territories.

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Option Five: Saddle Bag Plastic Gas Cans

While the stackable fuel containers we mentioned earlier are similar, regular plastic gas cans don't all come with the same stacking capability. The typical image of a gas can that may pop into your mind likely isn't suitable for motorcycle use, either, since the size and shape don't get along well with the tolls of biking. That's where the saddlebag designed options come in.

With the shape geared toward saddlebags, you can integrate these plastic gas cans into an existing setup or partner it with a new purpose. You will have to keep an eye out for potential static buildup, which can cause a risk of igniting gasoline. Though the material is resistant to this sort of accumulation, it's not a wholly foolproof position.

Option Six: Auxiliary Tanks

If you're worried about running out of gas in your tank, then you can always add another tank! With a second available fuel source at the ready, you have even more miles ahead of you before it's necessary to take a pit stop. For the most part, you'll install the mounting kit along with the tank, giving you a sturdy and reliable option for all your gasoline needs.

In most cases, these tanks can fit into place alongside the luggage rack or rear fender on your bike. Installing them also takes time in comparison to some of our other options. You'll even be sacrificing some storage space to make the whole process work. But you won't have to pour gas into your tank when you need it—flip the valve, and you're ready to go.

Tips for Carrying Fuel on Your Motorcycle

With so many options available to you, you have free reign over selecting which fuel transportation method will be the best choice for your bike and riding needs. However, no matter which one you pick, there are still some best practices to keep in mind for transporting extra gasoline along with you.

Know What You Need

Two major factors determine the size of your gas container: your bike's gas mileage and how much extra fuel you'll want to have on hand. The better miles per tank you have, a smaller container will likely serve you well—so long as you're also calculating the potential gap between gas stations whenever you head out on a trip.

Plan Your Mounting Well

Aside from having the space to attach your fuel tank to your bike, location also matters. For starters, if you can, keep your gasoline stores away from the exhaust system. Resting the fuel towards the center of the bike and towards the center of the ground will help prevent its additional weight from causing significant issues. Also, poor mounting may impact the prices of motorcycles when trying to sell.

Consider What Could Go Wrong

We already mentioned that some types of plastic used in fuel containers have the potential to build up static electricity, which is dangerous. Keeping the canister out in the sun is, too, since it makes the gas more volatile from the higher temperature. When storing the container in a bag, wrap it in a trash bag to circumvent leaks. For bike-mounted ones, consider how it could become damaged while riding.