5 Secure Methods for Carrying Extra Fuel on a Motorcycle

Motorcycle carrying extra fuel

For long long motorcycle rides, carrying extra gas as backup becomes a necessity.

At the same time, you want to store the fuel safely without any risks.

So, here are the storage options to carry extra fuel on your motorcycle:

  • Jerry cans
  • Fuel bottles
  • Fuel bladder bags
  • Canisters
  • Auxiliary gas tank

These are the available options.

If you ask me, I would pick jerry cans for long off-grid rides.

And for small-time storage, 2 fuel bottles are more than enough.

Still, it’s better to pick knowing all the alternatives you can go for.

So without further ado, let’s dive right in.

#1. Jerry cans

2 jerry cans - one black and one red

Jerry cans are large rectangular containers usually made from HDPE to store flammable liquids.

Since they can store pretty large amounts of fuel in them, they are the perfect container to carry your fuel during a long motorcycle ride.

Motorcycle parked on the woods - carrying luggage and extra fuel in a can

You can easily store 5 gallons (18 liters) of fuel in a jerry can. 20-liter jerry cans have become popular in recent times.

If you are going for a long motorcycle ride where finding gas stations can be difficult, having a jerry can is the best option.

Blue jerry can

You can store quite a good amount of fuel in the jerry can and start your ride. Without worrying about an empty gas tank.


  • Can carry large amounts of fuel
  • Since they are rectangle in shape, they stack neatly on the motorcycle
  • The best option for long off-grid bike rides


  • It’s a large container – not suitable for short ride carrying
  • The jerry cans are costly
  • They take up space – doesn’t matter if they are full or empty

Who is it for

Riders going for long off-grid motorcycle trips. Especially where finding a gas tank is a headache.

For cross-country road trips, jerry cans can be quite handy.

#2. Fuel bottles

Fuel bottle fitted on a motorcycle

If you only need small amounts of extra fuel as backup, then fuel bottles (preferably in metal canisters) are a good option.

Of course, the volume of fuel that you can carry is rather limited.

But there is no headache of storing and carrying.

Many motorcycles have provisions to fit a bottle.

One fuel bottle of 750mL to 1Litre (25 to 33 oz) capacity works the best.

Fuel bottle to store extra gas

It makes sense to use them if you need only small amounts of fuel as a backup.

Most riders I know carry 2 fuel bottles.

1 is too low, and 3 is dumb (you can carry a gas bag or a jerry can rather). 2 fuel bottles are the sweet spot.


  • Easy to store and carry
  • Cheap cost
  • Highly convenient storage and less hassles while riding


  • Carries only a short volume of fuel
  • Doesn’t work on long off-grid rides
  • (On a personal note) I always spill and waste some fuel while pouring into the gas tank. That sucks since the bottle has only a small amount of gas.

Who is it for

If you are going for a long ride but only need small amounts of fuel to carry. As a backup in case you run out of gas before reaching the gas station.

#3. Fuel bladder bags

Fuel bladder gas bag

Fuel bladders are collapsible storage bags that you can fold and keep when not filled with fuel.

The storage capacities of fuel bladder gas bags are usually around 1 to 1.5 gallons (3.5 to 6 Liters).

This storage volume puts the fuel bladders between the fuel bottles and the jerry cans.

Fuel bladder gas bag

It’s neither too small like bottles and nor too big like the jerry cans.

Plus, once you have emptied the gasoline from the bag, you can collapse it!

That’s a great positive which is missing from other forms of storage.


  • Storage capacity is neither too low nor too high
  • Collapsible bag – useful once you empty out the fuel
  • Easy to store and carry during a ride


  • A bit expensive for its storage capacity
  • If not maintained well, the bag starts to smell
  • The spout can get damaged or lost pretty easily

Who is it for

When you want to store more fuel than 2 fuel bottles, but don’t want to go for a jerry can – the fuel bladder comes in handy.

#4. Rotopax canisters

Red Rotopax can fitted on a motorcycle to store extra gasoline

Canisters are similar to jerry cans, except they usually have smaller capacities.

Oftentimes, canisters are simply referred to any and all containers used for storage.

For simplicity’s sake, the canisters we are referring here are mountable fuel canisters usually coming in rectangular shapes.

Rotopax can fitted on a motorcycle to store extra gasoline

In that sense, canisters are mini jerry cans.

Typically, a fuel canister (like RotopaX) can contain around 2 gallons (7.5 liters) of fuel.

The only downside is they need a separate mounting kit.

Rotopax can on the ground along with mouting kit

Still, these canisters are a great choice if you are looking for a durable gasoline storage container. But around the capacity of 2-3 gallons.


  • Durable and leakproof
  • Since they are rectangle in shape, they stack neatly on the motorcycle
  • Can be locked – so they are theft-proof


  • If you don’t have the mounting kit, you have to buy one separately
  • It’s heavy
  • Requires too much maintenance

Who is it for

Frankly, I am not a fan. Mainly because the mounting kit and the canister combined become too much expensive.

But if you want to look loaded and cool, go for it.

#5. Auxiliary gas tank

Auxiliary fuel tank for motorcycles

One last option to carry extra fuel is to fit an auxiliary gas tank on your motorcycle.

But this ain’t cheap.

Of course, depending on the bike and the tank volume – the purchase and fitting cost varies.

But compared to the other alternatives mentioned in this post, an auxiliary fuel tank is a costly affair.

Keep in mind that once you install the auxiliary tank, you might have to connect a fuel pipe so that the fuel can flow from this tank to the carb, and then to the engine.

It’s worth it to consider if you go for rides to unexplored places frequently.


  • Acts as a secondary gas tank
  • Fits neatly and gives a clean look to the bike
  • More permanent; virtually your motorcycle tank capacity increased


  • Too expensive
  • Added weight
  • No point if you don’t go for off-grid rides frequently

Who is it for

An adventure rider. Someone who loves going for impromptu rides. Long off-grid rides. And to unexplored locations a lot.

Do’s and Don’ts while carrying extra fuel

Gasoline in plastic bottle pouring into gas tank

Here are the dumb things you shouldn’t do and some precautions you must take while carrying extra fuel on your motorcycle:

  • Don’t use plastic bottles or Coke bottles to store the gas.
  • Whatever storage container you choose, do not fill the fuel to its brim. No matter how tight the cap is, there are chances of leaks.
  • Be aware of the extra fuel you are carrying. It’s easy to forget. And yes, keep lighters and any flammable substance away from the fuel.
  • Don’t go overboard with extra fuel. Carry only as much as you need. Just because you are carrying a 5-gallon jerry can, you don’t have to carry 5-gallon extra gasoline.
  • Don’t let the extra fuel sit for long. Gasoline can’t sit idle for too long. Make sure the gas doesn’t sit longer than 6 months.
  • Avoid mixing different gasoline as much as possible. Since it is storage, it’s better to use the same gas type.

Final words

There are several options to carry extra fuel on a motorcycle.

For long off-grid rides, I would pick jerry cans.

And for small-time storage, 2 fuel bottles are more than enough if you ask me.

That’s my pick.

If you have a suitable mounting bracket, you can choose accordingly.

Before you go…

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