Here’s How To Properly Fill A Motorcycle Gas Tank


Getting gas can sound like a pretty basic and simple concept. The truth is that it should be. Not knowing how to properly put gas into your motorcycle can cause you big problems down the road.

Depending on how often you drive your own motorcycle, you may find yourself frequently filling up. Regardless of how often you need to fill up, it is still important that you understand how to properly fill up your motorcycle to protect those around you and yourself from harm.

So, how do you properly fill a motorcycle gas tank? To properly fill a motorcycle gas tank, you need to first make sure you are off of it and have the motorcycle turned completely off. Insert the nozzle as far down into the tank as it will go. You will need to watch the level of the gas carefully and stop the flow yourself since sometime the automatic stopper won’t stop in time.

By taking these steps, you will ensure that you, your motorcycle, and those around you are safe. Many myths are floating around about what is and isn’t true when it comes to getting gas. Some believe that they can leave their engine running while they fuel up (which they shouldn’t).

Others think that their vehicle will explode if they do this. Some people always want to top off their fuel tank to the very brim. Others stop when the fuel pump kicks off. With all of these differing opinions, what is the correct way to get gas? The goal of this article is to help you know all that you can about the proper way to fuel up your bike.

The Proper Way To Fill A Motorcycle Gas Tank

So what is the step by step correct way to fill your motorcycle gas tank? First and foremost, you’ll need to get off your bike. This may seem like a “duh” factor, but you’d be surprised at how often people try to fill up while still sitting on their motorcycle.

You should never fill up your bike while sitting on it. If there were to be a fire or anything unexpected, it becomes impossible to react quickly enough while sitting on your motorcycle. So make sure to always fill it up while standing next to it.

Make sure that your motorcycle is resting on the side stand. Afterwards, make sure that you take your helmet off. I know that this can be a pain as you are just going to put it back on in a few seconds. The truth is that by taking your helmet off you are able to hear the gurgling of the fuel. If you have a helmet on, it becomes difficult to hear these sounds and you are much more likely to overfill your motorcycle.

The next important step is to make sure that you fully insert the filler nozzle. When filling up your car, this isn’t a concern at all. Your car will have a really long neck that leads to the tank. This way it is extremely difficult to overfill a car’s gas tank. The bubbles will start to climb up the neck as the tank gets full and this will shut off the filler nozzle. The location where the gas cap is on a car is also a much safer location than a motorcycle.

If you were to overfill your gas tank, the gas would only spill onto the body of the car whereas on a motorcycle, it can spill onto the hot engine and risk starting a fire. Motorcycles may have no filler neck at all or a very short one leading to the gas tank. So make sure to always fully insert the filler nozzle to ensure that it shuts off as the tank starts to get full. Do not worry about trying to completely top off a motorcycle gas tank as this will greatly increase your chances of fuel spilling out and starting a fire.

It is also important to remember that your motorcycle has what are known as filler recesses. These are essentially gaps of air in the tank that will allow for the fuel to expand as it heats up. If you completely top off your tank, you will have fuel spilling out of your breather hose as you ride around.

That is why it is important that you stop filling up your motorcycle once the gas pump stops. If the pump does not automatically stop, make sure to leave a little bit of air space at the top of the inside of your tank to allow this expansion.

If you’re interested in knowing the right type of gas to put into your motorcycle, see our other article here for a helpful guide.

How Will I Know The Tank Is Full?

So how exactly do you know when your tank is getting full and when to stop pumping gas? Most of your worries will be resolved as you make sure that the filler nozzle is fully inserted into the gas tank. This will make sure that the pump is shut off automatically as the fuel level increases. You likely will not be able to fill up the entire tank but it is always better to be safe than sorry. This is the best way to know when your tank is getting full.

Again, it is also important that you have your helmet off while filling up your tank. This will allow you to actually hear the fuel as it goes into the tank. As you listen and observe more and more, you will be able to distinguish when the tank is getting full by the sound.

There will be a gurgle of fuel as the tank fills up. The sound will continue to change in pitch as it gets fuller and fuller and will then start to change rapidly as it gets completely full. By listening closely to your motorcycle while filling it up, you will be able to know about how full your tank is.

Another thing to watch while filling up your tank is the amount of fuel that you have put into it. If you know that you are going to need a certain amount of gallons of gas to fill the tank up, keep an eye on how much gas you have put in by eyeing the liquid itself and observing the numbers on the pump. This will give you an approximate idea of when the tank should be getting full.

What To Do When The Tank Overflows

If you accidentally overfill your tank, what should you do? The first step is to immediately stop pumping gas. The more gas pouring over your motorcycle, the higher the chances that something bad like a fire happens. So you should make sure that the spillage is as minimal as possible. 

From there, you want to make sure that as little gas as possible gets onto your hot engine. This is extremely hard on a motorcycle as a result of the location of the filler nozzle. When filling up a motorcycle, always choose a pump beforehand that has paper towels available in case you need them. If you overfill your tank, you’ll want to immediately use these paper towels to wipe up the gas and prevent it from getting onto the engine.

Be aware that if your gas tank overfills, there is still likely gas at the very brim that can spill out very easily. If you move your motorcycle around from side to side, you will likely continue to spill more gas. Be aware of that when trying to keep gas from getting onto the hot engine. If it anytime you think that the bike may be catching fire, get away from it immediately and look for a fire extinguisher.

Recap On Safety Tips To Remember When Filling Up Your Motorcycle

When it comes to filling up your motorcycle, there are a lot of important safety facts to remember. First of all, and as I have mentioned before, make sure that you always get off your motorcycle while fueling up and take your helmet off. This is the biggest thing that you can do for your own safety while filling up your bike. This will give you the ability to react much more quickly than if you were sitting on the bike and will allow you to hear the fuel level. 

The next safety tip is to always make sure that you fully insert the filler nozzle and pay close attention to the level of the gas inside the tank. Be sure not to overfill it. Even with a mostly full tank, you can generally ride for 150-200 miles.

Generally, after this far people want off of their motorcycles anyways so they can fill up while taking a break. That extra little bit of gas to top off your gas tank really won’t benefit you much at all but will introduce several other big risks. Also, be sure to not rely fully on the gas pump itself to stop the flow of gas when the tank is full. You should be aware of when it should stop as well.

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