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Where Is the Gas and the Gas Tank on a Motorcycle?

If you are here, you are probably quite new to the world of motorcycles. And just like anyone new, you have a whole myriad of questions about motorcycles and how they work.

Knowing where the gas is stored in the motorcycle is mandatory for any motorcycle owner. This will allow them to easily check how much fuel they have, refuel their motorcycle when it gets low on fuel, and overall stay safe while riding.

If you are wondering about where gas is stored in motorcycles or where the gas tank is found on motorcycles, you are in the right place. I will go over everything you need to know as well as cover a few interesting bits of information that may be of interest to you.

Where Is the Gas and the Gas Tank on a Motorcycle?

Where is the gas on a motorcycle?

Gas is commonly found and stored in the motorcycle’s gas tank. The gas remains in the gas tank until the motorcycle is switched on, at which point it flows through the fuel system and reaches the motorcycle’s engine, where it is compressed and ignited.

That being said, there are a few extra details that are worth mentioning. Gas can be found in other places on a motorcycle. Although gas can be found in the fuel system and the engine, it is also worth noting that some riders will carry extra gas. They do that because they may be traveling long distances often and do not want to risk running out of fuel on their motorcycle.

There are a few different ways motorcyclists can carry extra fuel on their motorcycle using durable fuel storage containers, small fuel cans, aluminum fuel bottles, fuel bladder, or auxiliary fuel tanks.

Since fuel is a fire hazard, it should be stored in a safe and secure way. Some riders may store extra fuel in plastic water bottles, however, this may not always be the safest option, and, in fact, in some areas, it is even considered illegal due to safety reasons.

See article: Can a motorcycle gas tank explode?

The container carrying the extra fuel can be carried in a tail bag or a pannier bag, for example, or sometimes even found in the storage space underneath the seat.

Where Is the Gas and the Gas Tank on a Motorcycle?

Where is the gas tank on a motorcycle?

The motorcycle gas tanks are easy to spot as they are not hidden in any way and are fairly large. A good giveaway is that there will be a distinct fuel cap at the top of the gas tank that can be opened to refuel the fuel tank.

A motorcycle gas tank is a container designed to hold gas that is then used by the motorcycle’s engine in order to make the motorcycle move. The motorcycle’s gas tank is located above the engine between the seat and the dashboard of the motorcycle.

Often when talking about motorcycle gas tanks, people may talk about the motorcycle’s main gas tank and the reserve [gas] tank. However, motorcycles do not have two different gas tanks. Both the main and the reserve gas tanks share the same tank.

This may be very confusing at first to beginner riders. So let’s take a more in-depth look.

A motorcycle's fuel tank being filled up with gas.

Where is the reserve tank on a motorcycle?

The reserve tank on a motorcycle is found in the main fuel tank of the motorcycle. Both the main fuel tank and the reserve fuel tank share the same container.

The reason why such a differentiation is made is that the reserve gas tank is used as a safety net or a reminder that the rider is running low on gas and needs to look for a gas station.

See article: Can you run a motorcycle on reserve all the time?

There are two feeder metal tubes in the fuel tank through which fuel flows from the tank to the engine. One of the tubes is longer (about 3 inches off the bottom of the tank), and the other is shorter (about 0.5 inches off the bottom of the tank).

The longer metal tube is the one associated with the main fuel tank. The fuel that is found between the long and the short metal tubes is called reserve. In other words, the reserve is represented by the gas found at the bottom of the gas tank. Or, typically, the bottom 0.25 to 0.9 gallons of fuel are considered the reserve fuel tank on a motorcycle.

Normally the reserve holds enough fuel for the rider to reach a gas station where they can refuel.

See articles: How far can a motorcycle go on reserve?

How much gas can be found in a motorcycle?

That being said, another question begs an answer. Namely, how much gas you can find in a motorcycle.

The capacity of the fuel tank is, of course, important as it affects how far you can go with your motorcycle. All else being equal, a motorcycle with a bigger gas tank will hold more gas and thus be able to travel further before needing to refuel.

Since you already know that the fuel tank can also be separated into two parts: (1) the main fuel tank and (2) the reserve fuel tank, I will go over both of these.

Motorcycle gas tanks normally can hold between 2 to 10 gallons of gas, with 3 to 6-gallon fuel tanks being the most commonly found.

This is not a huge capacity compared to other motor vehicles. 

For example, cars have an average fuel capacity of 10.5 to 18.5 gallons, and trucks can hold between 120 to 150 gallons of fuel. 

However, we are also talking about motorcycles, which are not designed to do the same things cars and big rigs do, so it is normal for them to have smaller fuel tanks in general. Because of that, you can also expect to have to refuel more often.

Now let’s take a look at the reserve fuel tank.

You should find all the information about the main fuel tank and the reserve gas tank in the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual will typically state the capacity of the main fuel tank and the reserve fuel tank.

However, the reserve is part of the main fuel tank. So if the owner’s manual states that your motorcycle has a main fuel tank of 10 gallons and a reserve of 0.9 gallons, this does not mean your fuel tank is 10.9 gallons, but rather that 0.9 gallons out of these 10 are the reserve, which leaves us with 9.1 gallons for the main fuel tank. 

Typically motorcycles will have a reserve fuel capacity between 0.25 to 0.9 gallons, which is not a lot but enough to allow riders to get to a gas station in the majority of cases.

So, generally speaking, you will find between 2 to 10 gallons of gas on a typical motorcycle. Since motorcyclists can also carry extra gas, this means that there might be another 1 to 3 gallons of fuel stored somewhere on the motorcycle.


  • Where is the gas stored in a motorcycle?
    • This question provides crucial information for new motorcycle owners by explaining the storage of gas in a motorcycle. It emphasizes the role of the gas tank in holding and supplying fuel to the engine and clarifies that extra fuel might be carried by riders for longer trips.

  • How does the reserve gas tank work on a motorcycle?
    • This question addresses the common confusion around the reserve gas tank in motorcycles. It explains that motorcycles don’t have two separate tanks but rather a shared main and reserve fuel tank. It clarifies the purpose of the reserve tank as a safety net and details the mechanics of the two feeder tubes in the tank.

  • How much gas can a motorcycle hold, including the reserve tank?
    • This question provides readers with insights into the capacity of motorcycle fuel tanks, both main and reserve. It explains the significance of fuel tank size for a motorcycle’s range and compares motorcycle fuel tank capacities with those of other vehicles. It also clarifies how the reserve capacity is part of the main tank’s total capacity.

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