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How to Prevent Rust in a Motorcycle Gas Tank

by Chris Gilliland

A quick peek into the motorcycle's fuel tank, specifically at the tank's inner metal lining, can reveal problems that may be hidden beneath an otherwise perfect exterior. A common symptom of a neglected motorcycle appears in the form of a rusted fuel tank, corroding from the inside out as trapped condensation begins to oxidize and erode the metal tank. Sadly, rust can build up without the motorcycle's owner ever noticing, even as they tend to other maintenance items. Luckily, preventing condensation and rust is simple enough for anyone to do.

Step 1

Keep your fuel tank filled with high-octane gas. This works in several ways:1) a full tank leaves little room for condensation to form, and 2) lower octane fuels contain higher levels of alcohol that promote rust by attracting water.

Step 2

Add a fuel stabilizer during periods of inactivity. The fuel stabilizer will prevent the gas from breaking down during storage and will prevent condensation from building up.

Remove the fuel tank completely if the motorcycle will be stored for long periods of time. Drain the fuel completely and allow the tank to air-dry. Place moisture-absorbing silica packets into the fuel tank and seal the tank completely. This will prevent any moisture from entering or forming in the fuel tank.

Tip

  • If you plan on storing your motorcycle for more than three months, periodically drain a small amount of gas from the tank and top off with fresh gas. This will drain any water that may have formed.

Items you will need

  • Gas
  • Fuel stabilizer
  • Silica packets

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