How To Carry Extra Gas on a Motorcycle (and Dirt Bike) – Portable Tanks

How many times your fuel light came on when you were miles away from a gas station? The situation can sometimes be an adventure, but it’s usually just stressful. For this reason, some riders opt for carrying extra fuel on their motorcycles.

However, this can be dangerous at times so you should only carry it in specialized bottles and cans. Carrying fuel in simple plastic bottles isn’t such a good idea due to safety reasons above all.

Continue reading as we discuss several options regarding carrying extra fuel on your motorcycle. Make sure also to read the safety considerations below.

When You Might Need It

It’s mostly up to you to decide when you want to take extra fuel with you. Whether you’d need it or not also depends on your bike and the road you’re on.

It’s recommended you take some when going long-distance. You might struggle with finding a station, or you might forget to stop at one. It’s funny, but the sense of adventure can sometimes take you far before you realize you won’t make it until the next station.

Ideas For Carrying Extra Fuel

Use an Auxiliary Gas Tank

An Auxiliary gas tank is a popular solution due to its overall simplicity since you can put the tank in front of your numbers plate. However, be cautious with the tank out in the open like that. It’s easier to get damaged or punctured. It also might spoil the overall look of your bike. 

Front Auxiliary Fuel Tank

MSR Bottles

MSR Bottles are easy to find and are among the best choices for safe carrying. It’s a safe and easy method that most serious bikers opt for. The bottles are specifically made and intended for carrying fuel for camping, so they’re safe. These are made from metal and are leak-proof.

Additional reading:

Store in a Saddle Bag

If you opt for an MSR bottle, you should also have a quality saddle bag for it. These come in many shapes, forms, styles, and colors so you can choose them to match your overall style and bike. Still, make sure the bottles can fit the saddle bag of your choice. 

Stansport Saddle Bag

Store in a Holster

If you want a cheaper option, you can just get a holster for the MSR bottles. Just pay attention that they can fit the bottles well. Also, look for a holster that has straps and attachments, so it’s not complicated to use. You can choose where to put them as long as they’re not in your way.

Use a Desert Gas Tank

Most tanks that come from the factory have a capacity of 2 gallons or less. The factories do that to reduce the weight and bulk of the bike, although it’s too little for most bikers. 

Desert tanks are larger and store over 4 gallons which gives you a bit more freedom and time to reach the next gas station.

Consider Fuel Substitutes

This substitute is a great invention that eliminates most of the danger that comes with carrying fuel on a motorcycle. These usually come in sealed tanks and can even be delivered to your home by FedEx and UPS. They’re not that large, so you easily carry them in your saddlebag. 

Read More: Find out if synthetic or regular oil is better.

Safety Considerations

The first most important thing is to avoid carrying fuel on your body. This means no hip packs, jackets, vests, waist packs, and even great backpacks. It’s extremely dangerous since the gas can spill, catch a spark and light up while you’re “wearing” it.

Plus, carry only as much as you think you’ll need. Carrying gas comes at a risk, so the more you have on you, the riskier your adventure is.

Even if you buy a brand new bottle and bags, always make sure to check if everything is sealed and tightly packed. Use only fully sealed containers so nothing can leak out.

As we already mentioned, avoid using containers that aren’t designed for a specific purpose. Using soda bottles or bleach bottles seems like a simple method but is incredibly dangerous and can lead to a catastrophe. 

Another thing you want to keep in mind is that your fuel can go bad. For this reason, don’t ever leave it in the container between rides. For this reason, it’s important that you only bring as much as you think you’ll use. Everything else will go bad unless you use it fairly quickly. 

Make maintenance a priority. Find out how often that oil needs changed.


Carrying extra fuel is convenient especially if you’re going on an off-road adventure for a few days. If you think about going where gas stations are a rare sight, it’s probably a good idea to carry some gas with you.

However, be smart about how you do this. This is no joke, and improper storing can have serious consequences. 

Luckily, the few safe methods we discussed are easy to apply. Think about your bike and the quantity you’d like to bring along. This will help you opt for one of these methods if you’re unsure which to choose.

Additional Resources

The team at Road Racerz aims to be a source of knowledge for all riders, whether they are beginners, intermediate, or have been riding for 20+ years. We want everyone to enjoy safer rides and have access to rider-specific content to get the most out of every mile.

      Road Racerz