How to Remove a Locking Gas Cap

Locking gas caps are a great idea that prevents people from tampering with your fuel or maybe stealing it. However, if you happen to lose your keys or possibly forget them somewhere, you’ll hate not being able to open the gas cap.

Trying to open it can be quite annoying, frustrating, and time-consuming. Luckily, there are other ways to get the locked gas cap off a motorcycle, though they might not be as simple.

If you failed to make a spare key in time, use some of the methods below.

Why Do Gas Caps Lock?

It’s a great idea to have a locking gas cap for several reasons. They come with quite a few benefits which make them a popular choice.

Some gas caps lock in place to protect your fuel from being messed with. A locking cap is also a great way to prevent possible theft. It’s one of the best ways to prevent the cap from coming off or shifting while you drive as well.

They lock to enhance safety in several ways, but this can become a problem if you don’t have your keys on you for whatever reason. It’s crucial to note that locking caps aren’t the same on all bikes. They might differ in several ways.

Can You Remove It Without a Key?

Some can be opened without a key while others cannot, and it all depends on the actual gas cap you have. Still, there are several methods you can use to at least try and remove the lid without a key.

Ways to Get the Cap Off

Make a New Key

Making a new key is probably the easiest and most logical solution to fixing this issue. In most cases, you should be able to take it to a local locksmith who will most likely be able to make a new key for you.

This solution allows you to open the tank with ease and without possibly damaging any parts. Still, while this is a simple solution, it might take some time. It will also cost some money, so be ready for some additional expenses.

It’s probably the most logical way to go about the problem, but it’s the least popular since it’s also time-consuming.

One thing you should pay attention to is if the mechanism is broken. If it is, the method won’t work, and you’ll need to replace the gas cap lock.

Try to Pick the Lock

If you don’t have time to wait for a new key, you can try and pick the lock. The process might not be as simple as getting a new key made, but it’s quicker. It requires some finesse and the right tools.

What you’ll need is a small metal tool for tension and a small metal pick. Wiggle the pick around as you place pressure on the locking system with the other tool you have.

Wiggle it until you see that you can turn the lock with the tension tool and unlock the cap. You might also be able to do this with a pocketknife or another small tool as long as the size is appropriate. Different small tools can work as long as they can fit and turn the lock.

If the method doesn’t work or it’s taking too much time, you might want to try something else. This should be a gentle process, so if you notice that you have to jam and push too hard, you might break the lock.

remove the whole cap image

Remove the Whole Cap

If the methods above don’t work, you’ll have to remove the gas cap from the motorcycle. This might be a bit tricky and will require some prying. The way to do this differs from bike to bike, so make sure to think about whether or not it will work.

If the cap is screwed down, you want to unscrew it before prying it using a flat screwdriver. If there are no screws, you can go straight to prying it with a screwdriver.

Though this might take you some time, it’s an efficient method that’s especially useful if your lock is broken and simple turning it doesn’t work. It’s a good way to open the system if you plan on replacing it altogether.

Grab a Drill

If you don’t plan on making a new key, you can use a small 1/8 drill to drill a hole where you’d otherwise insert a key. Drill and bore it out to give yourself enough room to fit a screwdriver into it.

Though this is a simple method, you have to be especially careful with it. Drilling too far down can get a spark into the gas tank, causing it to ignite.

To avoid this, drill only as far as your key would go. Then, use a flathead screwdriver to turn the lock, opening the cap. This should be too hard, but it will destroy the lock beyond repair so apply it only if you plan on replacing it.

Pro Tip: Make a Spare Key

An excellent way to prevent all of this hassle is to make a spare key in time. If you didn’t already receive one, have it made at a local locksmith as soon as possible.

gas cap keys image

Conclusion

Getting a locked gas cap off a motorcycle shouldn’t be as tricky depending on the mechanism you have. The easiest way is to use your spare key or have one made if you have time and some money.

If not, use some of the other methods we mentioned above. Make sure to approach each technique with care and preciseness in order to prevent complications.

Luckily, most mechanisms aren’t as complicated and are relatively simple to pick even if you don’t have much experience. Though not being able to unlock the gas cap is an unfortunate event, it might also be an excellent opportunity to practice your lock-picking skills.

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.