Motorcycle Gas Cans: What Size, Best Options & Safety


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Motorcycle gas cans are a necessity for any motorcycle rider who needs to carry more fuel than their tank can hold. There are many different types of gas cans, all of which are mounted in different ways onto your bike, and they come in a variety of sizes for different needs.

If this is your first article about gas cans on our site it might be worth checking out the 5 best ways to carry motorcycle gas cans and then come back to read the remainder of this article.

In this article, we will break down the basics of what to look for when purchasing a motorcycle gas can and how your unique riding situations might affect your purchasing decision. We will cover how to know how much gas will cover your needs. We will also share out recommended gas cans.

What are the different sizes of motorcycle gas & our top recommendations:

Motorcycle gas cans come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and sizes but below are the most common sizes & our top recommendations when it comes to carrying extra gas on your motorcycle:

Recommended Gas CansGas Sizes Available
Rotopax Fuel Pack (Stackable gas cans) [Click to see current Price]1 Gallon
1.75 Gallons
2 Gallons
3 Gallons
4 Gallons
DESERT FOX (Flexible Fuel Bladder) ]Click to see current pricing]0.8 Gallon
1.5 Gallons
5.3 Gallons
MSR Liquid Fuel Bottle (Aluminum Fuel Bottles) [Click to see current price]0.08 Gallon
0.15 Gallon
0.23 Gallon

How to calculate what size gas can I need for my situation?

When planning a large ride you need to determine how many gas stops there are on your route.

To do so follow the below steps:

  1. Open Google Maps
  2. Enter your route and click start
  3. Click the search button and enter ‘petrol stations’
  4. Measure (roughly) the longest distances between each stop

The below example used a Honda CBR 500R (2015) @ 80.2 MPG for reference

So for example, you’ve got a leg of a trip with 400 miles between 2 gas stops and your fuel tank takes 4.1 Gallons, which @ 80.2 MPG will give you 336 Miles.

You will need an additional 0.8 Gallon to go the extra 63 miles.

PLUS add an additional 1 gallon for ‘contingency’. No one wants to be stranded out in the middle of nowhere, so however much gas it is you need to add an additional 1 gallon for safety.

Gallons to Miles Table below (assuming you’re running a CBR 500R (2015) @ 80.2 MPG:

Gas Can Capacity Measured in GallonsExpected Milage @ 80.2 MPG
0.086.4
0.1512
0.2318.5
0.864
180.2
1.75140.4
2160.4
3240.6
4320.8
5401
5.3425.1
6481.2
How Much Extra Gas you will Need on your Touring Trip

*This is a rough estimate based on averages in the motorcycle industry, your individual mileage will vary depending on specific bike and rider conditions. Please consult your owner’s manual for information provided by the manufacturer regarding fuel capacities for your exact model.

Common Mistakes & Misconceptions about motorcycle Gas Cans

Purchase Bigger “Just in Case”

There are many misconceptions about motorcycle gas cans, especially when it comes to how much they can hold. Many people purchase a larger can than they need because they think having more capacity means that it will last longer between fill-ups. However, carry stupid amounts more gas than you need is not only inconvenient but can be dangerous.

Heavier containers are safer than lighter ones

NOPE! When in motion, heavier objects create an unstable ride for your motorcycle. Not only are heavier gas cans more of a liability when riding they also add a heap of weight to your bike which you won’t be used to when mounting and dismounting your bike. This could result in tipping over in that cafe car park. Not cool.

I should be able to use any sturdy Plastic Containers

The containers I’ve mentioned above are all Plastic containers are all EPA and CARB compliant fuel containers. Please don’t use a random plastic container.

Don’t Store Gasoline in your garage for a prolonged period of time

Many people don’t consider the effect of storing gasoline for long periods of time, but it’s important to know that gasoline will evaporate after about 2 or 3 months when stored outside. The longer it’s stored, the more water and other impurities which collect in gas during evaporation which makes it extremely dangerous as this creates a highly flammable mixture. So after that long ride, empty the remainder of that gas can into your bike.

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