How To Remove a Motorcycle’s Gas Tank

When attempting to resolve a fuel issue on a car, removing the gas tank is looked at as a last resort. It’s not altogether difficult, but it’s an annoyance that takes ages. Its location, usually underneath the rear seats and/or trunk, complicates the service process and demands plentiful patience and, sometimes, circus-like contortion. Award a point for motorcycles, then, because a motorcycle gas tank essentially sits on top of everything and is fairly easy to remove.

There are numerous reasons somebody would need to, or want to, remove the gas tank from a motorcycle. It could be that the bike needs a complete cleaning, a hard-to-access part of the engine might need servicing, the tank itself could need refurbishing, or it might need to be replaced altogether. Regardless of the end goal, if it requires removing the gas tank, there are safety concerns and proper steps to know and take.

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

With riding season gracing much of the United States, the Guides & Gear editors at The Drive want to make sure that not only is your car in good shape, but that your motorcycle is ready to go, as well. Grab the service manual for your specific bike and follow along below, as we discuss what you need to know to remove your motorcycle’s gas tank.  

The Basics of Removing a Motorcycle’s Gas Tank

Estimated Time Needed: 1-2 Hours

Skill Level: Beginner

Vehicle System: Fuel

Motorcycle Wrenching Safety

Working on your motorcycle can be dangerous and messy, so here’s exactly what you’ll need to ensure you don’t die, get maimed, or lose a finger, and that you keep your jeans, shirt, and skin spotless—hopefully.

  • Safety glasses
  • Mechanic gloves
  • Gas can, if necessary

Everything You’ll Need To Remove a Motorcycle Gas Tank

We’re not psychic, nor are we snooping through your toolbox or garage, so here’s exactly what you’ll need to get the job done.

Tool List

  • Wrench and Socket Set
  • Screwdriver set
  • Shop rags and/or towels
  • Siphon pump
  • Needle nose pliers and/or hose clamp pliers

Organizing your tools and gear so everything is easily reachable will save precious minutes waiting for your handy-dandy child or four-legged helper to bring you whatever’s required. You’ll also need a flat workspace, such as a garage floor, driveway, or street parking that’s also well-ventilated. Check your local laws to make sure you’re not violating any codes when using the street because we aren’t getting your ride out of the clink.

Many motorcycles require removing the seat to access bolts for the gas tank.

Here’s How To Remove a Motorcycle Gas Tank

The steps detailed below are a general guide for removing a motorcycle’s gas tank. However, each motorcycle is slightly different and might require different steps or will have parts in different positions. Be sure to have a service manual for your specific motorcycle ready, because you’ll need it for any tricks or steps that only apply to your bike. Let’s do this! 

Some tanks will have built-in consoles that require attention to extra connectors and bolts for removal.

Congrats, now you can get to the real reason you needed to remove the tank.

How Is the Process Different on Old Motorcycles With Carburetors? 

The process described above is for a motorcycle with a modern electronic fuel injection (EFI) system. On older motorcycles, you will be dealing with a slightly different setup. Look out for a fuel petcock that you might need to remove or disconnect, look for connections to the carburetor, and look out for fuel tubes that connect both sides of the tank for fuel balance.

Many motorcycle gas tanks are designed with a hinge at the front for easy lifting.

FAQs about Removing a Motorcycle Gas Tank

You’ve got questions, The Drive has answers!

Q. Can you remove a motorcycle gas tank with gas in it?

A. It’s possible, but it will likely be more difficult and you have a higher risk of spilling gas everywhere. You’ll need to make sure all of your hoses, connections, and output holes are plugged.

Q. How can you tell if gas is bad?

A. The easiest and quickest way to tell if gas is bad is a visual inspection. When new and fresh, gas should be slightly yellowish or clear. When gas sits for extended periods of time, it starts to break down and degrade, which turns it to a darker tinted yellow, brown, or blackish color. You might also see that the gas turns hazy, has dirt particles in it, starts to separate, or starts to thicken up.

New gas is clear or slightly yellow. If your gas is a darker yellow, brown-tinted, or black-tinted, it needs to be replaced. Other signs of bad gas include haziness, dark particles and other dirt, noticeable liquid separation, or a higher viscosity. You can read more about it in our handy guide on how long gas lasts.

Q. Can you dump old gas on the ground?

A. Absolutely not. Dumping gas on the ground is bad for the environment and bad for humans, so you need to take it to a proper gasoline dump station. For more information, check out our guide on how to dispose of old gas.

Learn More With This Video on Motorcycle Tank Removal

To better understand the process of removing the gas tank from a motorcycle, check out this video tutorial that shows the steps on a Harley-Davidson.

Let’s Talk: Comment Below and Reach out to the Guides & Gear Editors!

We’re here to be expert guides in everything How To related. Use us, compliment us, yell at us. Comment below, and let’s talk! You can also shout at us on Twitter or Instagram, or reach us all here: [email protected]

  • Jonathon Klein: Twitter | Instagram
  • Tony Markovich: Twitter | Instagram
  • Chris Teague: Twitter | Instagram
  • Hank O’Hop: Twitter | Instagram

    No Trailer, No Problem: Here's How to Properly Carry Your Motorcycle in Your Truck Bed
    A secure bike is a happy bike.



    Here's the Simple Hack for Turning Your Motorcycle in Tight Spaces
    A Guides & Gear quick tip!



    Here's How You Can Get Into Riding Motorcycles—Safely
    Ready to ride into the great unknown? This is everything you need to know to get started.


Source: Read Full Article