How Many Gallons Does A Motorcycle Hold

Motorcycles have become an increasingly popular mode of transportation, offering a thrilling ride and a sense of freedom on the open road. While the sleek design and impressive speed of motorcycles often steal the spotlight, one vital aspect that riders need to consider is fuel capacity. 

Knowing how many gallons your motorcycle can hold is essential for planning long rides, understanding its range, and ensuring you have enough fuel in the middle of nowhere.

So, how many gallons does a motorcycle hold? On average, most motorcycles have a capacity of 1.5 to 6 gallons, depending on the make, model, and intended usage. However, it’s important to note that this can vary significantly between motorcycles, such as sport bikes, cruisers, touring bikes, and off-road motorcycles.

Here’s a chart showcasing different motorcycles arranged by engine displacement (CC) along with their corresponding fuel tank capacity:

BrandMotorcycleCC RangeFuel Tank Capacity Range (Gallons)
Harley DavidsonSportster Iron 8838833.3
Street Bob4.7
Fat Boy5.0
Road King6.0
Electra Glide19236.0
HondaRebel 3003003.4
Shadow Phantom7453.7
Gold Wing18335.5
Africa Twin5.1
KawasakiZ125 Pro1252.0
Ninja 4003993.7
Vulcan S6495.3
Ninja H29984.5
V Star 130013044.9
BMWG 310 R3132.9
S 1000 RR9994.4
R 1250 GS12545.3
K 1600 GTL16497.9
S 1000 XR9995.3
DucatiMonster 7978033.8
Scrambler Desert Sled8033.6
Multistrada 9509375.3
Panigale V29554.5
Diavel 126012624.5

The fuel tank capacity can vary within a specific range for each CC category, as different motorcycle models within the same CC range may have slightly different fuel tank sizes.

How To Find Out The Fuel Capacity Of Your Motorcycle Fuel Tank

To find out the fuel capacity of your motorcycle’s fuel tank, you can follow these steps:

  1. Consult the owner’s manual: The owner’s manual for your motorcycle typically provides detailed information about various specifications, including the fuel tank capacity. Look for a section dedicated explicitly to specifications or fuel-related information.
  2. Manufacturer’s website: Visit the official website of the motorcycle manufacturer. They often provide comprehensive details about their models, including fuel tank capacities. Navigate to the specific model of your motorcycle and search for specifications or technical information.
  3. Online motorcycle forums or communities: Join online forums or communities where motorcycle enthusiasts discuss various aspects of motorcycles. You can ask fellow riders with the same or similar model about the fuel tank capacity or search through existing discussions to find the necessary information.
  4. Contact the dealership: Reach out to the authorized dealership or service center of your motorcycle’s brand. They should provide accurate information about your specific model’s fuel tank capacity.
  5. Measure it manually: If you cannot find the information through the methods above, you can measure the fuel capacity manually. Start by ensuring the fuel tank is empty. Then, using a measuring container suitable for fuel, carefully fill up the tank, noting the volume of energy you add until it reaches its maximum capacity. Be cautious and ensure safety measures while handling fuel.

Why do different motorcycles have different fuel tank capacities?

Motorcycles have different fuel tank capacities due to a variety of factors. Firstly, the type and intended use of the motorcycle play a role. Sport bikes prioritize weight reduction and aerodynamics, leading to smaller fuel tanks, while touring bikes feature larger tanks to support long-distance riding. Secondly, design and styling considerations come into play.

The fuel tank’s shape, size, and position are influenced by aesthetics, frame geometry, and rider ergonomics, impacting the available space and, thus the tank’s capacity. Other factors include range requirements, optimal balance weight distribution, and local regulations and standards compliance.

Ultimately, fuel tank capacity is a crucial consideration for riders regarding range, riding needs, and overall bike performance.

What is Reserve Fuel Capacity in Motorcycles?

Reserve fuel capacity in motorcycles refers to a portion of the fuel tank intended for emergency use when the main fuel supply runs low. Motorcycles have a reserve fuel switch or valve allowing riders to access this fuel when needed.

When a motorcycle’s main fuel level drops to a certain point, riders can switch to the reserve fuel setting. This activates a reserve fuel line that draws fuel from the reserve portion of the tank, extending the riding range for a limited distance. The reserve fuel capacity is typically smaller than the total fuel tank capacity. It is a safety measure to provide riders with enough fuel to reach a nearby gas station.

The reserve fuel capacity’s purpose is to warn riders that they need to refuel soon. It allows them to continue riding for a short period to find a fuel station without being stranded on the road due to fuel depletion. Riders should be familiar with their motorcycle’s reserve fuel capacity and monitor their fuel levels to ensure a safe and uninterrupted ride.

Do all Motorcycles Have a Reserve Tank?

No, not all motorcycles have a dedicated reserve fuel tank. While many older motorcycles and some modern motorcycles still feature a reserve fuel system, it is not a standard feature on all bikes. The presence of a reserve fuel tank depends on the specific design and manufacturer’s decision for each motorcycle model.

Fuel injection systems and advanced fuel level sensors have become more common in modern motorcycles. These systems provide accurate fuel level readings and eliminate the need for a separate reserve tank. Instead, riders rely on the fuel gauge or warning light to monitor their fuel levels and plan their refueling stops accordingly.



The fuel tank capacity of a motorcycle can vary depending on factors such as the make, model, and intended use. While smaller motorcycles may have tanks as small as 1-2 gallons, larger touring or cruiser bikes can have tanks ranging from 4-6 gallons or more. It’s important for riders to be aware of their motorcycle’s fuel tank capacity to plan their rides and refueling stops accordingly.

About David Riedel

I am David Riedel founder of Bikerwhizz, I'm a technician at Keystone Harley Davidson with more than 10 years of industry experience. I’m here to help you solve motorbike problems, customizations, tweaks, and easy fixes to enjoy your rides more.

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