Many people fear running out of gas on a highway, especially on a deserted one. You’d better understand the headaches if you’ve ever had such an experience. This happens when a motorcycle owner doesn’t know how much gas their motorcycle can contain.
Knowledge of how much gas your motorcycle can contain will help you avoid unpleasant experiences such as this one. So, how many gallons does a motorcycle hold? The gas storage capacity of motorcycles varies with different motorcycles, typically ranging from 3 to 6 gallons. Keep reading to learn more on this.
How Many Gallons Does a Motorcycle Hold?
Motorcycles have gas tanks whose gas capacity varies with different bikes. Generally, you’ll find motorcycle gas tanks with capacity ranging between 2 to 10 gallons of gas. However, the most common motorcycles have gas tanks that can carry between 3 to 6 gallons of gas.
Some motorcycles have tanks that hold as little as 1.5 – 4 gallons of gas. These are the smaller 50cc to 250cc motorcycles. The motorcycles with the biggest gas tank capacity are the bigger heavy-duty cruiser and adventure motorcycles, commonly used for sports. These motorcycles can contain alarming gas volumes ranging between 5 and 8.5 gallons.
Moreover, note that not all the gas stays in the main tank of your motorcycle. Some of the gas goes to the reserve tank. Don’t get confused; the reserve tank is still in your motorcycle’s main tank. It’s just a threshold that tells you your gas needs to be refilled as soon as possible. Most times, the reserve tank contains 0.25 – 0.90 gallons of gas.
We’ve reviewed several different motorcycles ranging from the small 50cc to the heavy-duty cruisers. The chart below briefly tells how much fuel motorcycles in each category contain.
|Motorcycle Category (cc)||Average gas tank capacity (Gallons)|
|1000||4.5 – 8.5|
|700 – 950||4 – 7|
|600||4 – 6|
|300 – 500||3 – 5|
|250||2 – 4|
|125||2 – 4|
|50||1.5 – 3|
However, note that you may find motorcycles whose tank capacity varies from the values mentioned in the chart above. Some may have smaller gas tanks, and others, bigger gas tanks. This is mainly because there are many different models from different brands and companies.
Gas Tank Capacity According to Motorcycle Weight
Your motorcycle weight is also a major determinant of the size of the gas tank installed in it by its manufacturers. We have considered motorcycles under 3 different categories in the following headings: light-weight, middle-weight, and heavy-weight motorcycles.
Light-Weight Motorcycles Tank Capacities
Some popular motorcycles that fall under this category include the small Honda Grom, Aprilia SX50, and the Kawasaki KLX250S. Generally, 50 – 400cc engine motorcycles are considered light-weights.
Most light-weight motorcycles have gas tanks with capacities as low as 1-3 gallons. Bigger bikes in this category, such as the BMW F750GS, can hold up to 4 gallons of gas. Furthermore, the bigger bikes in this category consume gas within the 3-5 MPG range. At the top in this category are the bikes running on 300-400cc engines.
Middle-Weight Motorcycle Tank Capacities
Speaking of middle-weight motorcycles, they come with gas tanks that can contain as much as 3 to 7 gallons of gas. Most sportbikes that run on 600cc to 950cc engines fall under this category. These sportbikes can contain 5 to 8 gallons of gas.
If you’re looking for a middle-weight motorcycle with a bigger gas tank, then you should consider touring and adventure bikes. Many of these bikes are meant to travel far distances and are equipped with bigger thanks that can hold as much as 5-8 gallons of gas.
Heavy-Weight Motorcycle Tank Capacities
Motorcycles with the biggest gas tanks come in this category. These heavy bikes run on 1000 to 2000cc engines, capable of generating as much as 300 HP. Considering the engine and the power they can produce, you wouldn’t expect these motorcycles to carry small tanks.
Just as you rightly guessed, these motorcycles have tanks that can contain a whopping 8.5 gallons. However, heavy motorcycles can be a big worry in sports. As a result, sports motorcycles run on lighter engines with smaller tank capacities of 4-5 gallons.
Can You Overfill a Motorcycle Gas Tank?
Perhaps you bought gas from a station where the auto shut-off of the gas pump is faulty. If it doesn’t engage after your gas tank has been filled, be ready to get some extra. You can overfill a motorcycle gas tank, especially when you’re manually filling the tank.
Common Causes of Overfilling Your Motorcycle Gas Tank
Overfilling your motorcycle gas tank is as common as doing anything wrongly. You probably never knew you put more fuel in the tank than is recommended. Below are some common factors that can result in you overfilling your gas tank.
Bad Fueling Practices
A common poor practice with fuel attendants at stations is completely inserting the gas pump’s nozzle in the tank. The pump nozzle should go just a few inches into the tank to avoid an untimely automatic shutdown. This can make you overfill your tank and cause spillages.
Incorrect Readings on The Gas Pump
Overfilling your motorcycle gas tank due to inaccurate gas pump reading is not so common but can happen. This is mostly because many riders trust the pump’s reading and keep their eyes on it all the time.
Faulty Gas Pumps
Gas pumps are designed to shut off on their own as soon as gas gets in contact with the tiny holes at the pump’s nozzle. This is supposed to help prevent gas spilling and overfilling tanks. A faulty gas pump may not be able to automatically shut off – you know the expected result.
Disadvantages of Overfilling Your Motorcycle Gas Tank
- Gas has a caustic property, which makes it important not to let gas spillages dry on their own. If allowed, it can have unfavorable effects on the finish and paint on your gas tank. It can also cause slight damage to any leather parts it comes in contact with.
- You don’t need a reminder that gas is highly flammable and may result in a fire hazard under certain conditions.
- Overfilling your gas tank can leave spillages on the tank. These spillages emit gas vapors that are harmful when inhaled.
- Overfilling your motorcycle gas tank can give you a hard time starting your motorcycle. In some cases, it can cause stalling.
What Is the Right Filling Level of My Motorcycle?
Don’t run on reserve for fear of overfilling your gas tank – nobody said you should do that. First off, how many gallons does a motorcycle tank hold? That’s a question you should directly answer for your bike.
If you don’t have access to such detail, here’s a simple tip: gas shouldn’t go above 1 inch from the filler neck. This should help avoid overfilling and spillage.
How to Carry Extra Fuel on A Motorcycle?
If you’re going to be traveling across jungles or deserts, then you’re most certainly going to see the need for an extra gas container. A very common way to make provisions for this is by filling up gallons and strapping them on your motorcycle. We’ve added two more options you might consider. Consider the below.
Additional Fuel Cans
This is the commonest and easiest way. Foremost, you need to get a stackable motorcycle fuel can. You can still use normal cans as they can serve in emergency situations, but they aren’t good choices for far travel. This is because they can easily slip if not properly strapped, resulting in a likely dangerous situation.
Stackable cans are the best as they can be firmly fitted onto your motorcycle’s rear racks. These cans come in varying sizes and can contain between 1-4 gallons of extra gas each can. Since you can attach 1 can on each side of the motorcycle, you can have extra 8 gallons (for 4 gallons capacity cans) of gas on your bike.
Extra-Large Motorcycle Tanks
This is a very ready solution, especially if you’re living in an underdeveloped country or region where gas stations are not so common. You can get any of these oversized tanks installed on your bike to replace the original one.
Luckily, these monster tanks can be made to contain as much as 11 gallons of gas. However, there’s a disadvantage – they can make your motorcycle very heavy. You don’t have to worry about this since you can choose from different tank sizes; you have the final say.
Auxiliary Motorcycle Gas Tanks
As the last on our list of suggestions, you can use an auxiliary gas tank to take some extra gas. These tanks are small tanks that can be installed on your motorcycle’s gas tank. They are then connected to your motorcycle’s fuel supply using a tiny pipe. You can either turn them on or off using a tap. Their capacity ranges from 1-5 liters.
How Far Can a Motorcycle Go on A Tank of Gas?
How far your motorcycle goes on a full tank of gas depends on the gas capacity of your motorcycle. Also, how far you go with your filled tank depends on your motorcycle’s mpg (miles per gallon). Typically, most motorcycles run at around 56.7 mpg.
A simple way to determine this is by knowing your gas tank’s maximum capacity. You should then multiply your tank’s capacity (in gallons) by the gas mileage. In addition to this, other factors can affect how far your motorcycle can go on a full tank. Consider the below.
- The nature of the terrain you’re riding on.
- How much weight your motorcycle is carrying.
- How hot or cold the weather is.
- Proper care and adequate maintenance.
- Your style of riding
- Type of bike
How many gallons does a motorcycle hold? Gas holding capacity differs with different motorcycles as they all come with varying tank sizes. Most motorcycles come with tanks that can hold between 3-6 gallons of gas.
However, some smaller bike models come with 1.5 to 2-gallon capacity tanks. Equally, bigger motorcycles have larger capacities to hold up to 10 gallons of gas. If you need extra gas storage, you’ll also find some recommendations we’ve mentioned in this article.