Getting Rid of Water in a Motorcycle Gas Tank

by Josh Baum

Water can get into your motorcycle's gas tank in a number of ways, but the most common means is by condensation. If you've allowed your motorcycle to sit for an extended period of time in cold or cooler weather with a half-full or nearly empty gas tank, you've created optimal conditions for condensation to form and accumulate inside the tank. Depending on the severity of the water problem, you may be able to control it yourself with simple, affordable and easy to find products.

Try to start your motorcycle. If there is water in the gas tank, it creates the possibility of the engine misfiring. This does not, however, mean that the engine won't run at all. Whether or not your motorcycle will start up will dictate your first course of action. If it starts, proceed to the next step. If not, proceed to step 4.

Drive the motorcycle to a filling station, preferably one that sells automotive supplies like motor oil and fuel treatments. Look for a bottle of HEET or another dry gas solution. Read the label carefully to make sure that the solution you find is appropriate for your motorcycle, then purchase it.

Dump the entire contents of the dry gas solution into the gas tank, then top off the tank with a fresh load of fuel. The alcohol in the dry gas will help to burn the water out of the system, and it will fully correct any non-severe water problems.

Have your motorcycle towed to an authorized mechanic if it will not start at all or if misfires persist days after adding dry gas to the system. Request that the gas tank be drained, flushed and re-filled, if possible. This job may require roughly an hour of labor. This may cost well over a hundred dollars, but it will save you a lot if the problem can be quickly fixed. If your water problem is severe enough to require this, it's worth every penny.

Tip

  • check Stop water problems before they start by keeping your gas tank at least half full throughout the entire cold weather season. If your gas tank is prone to these problems, add a new bottle of dry gas to the tank when you fill up if you expect to go more than a couple of weeks before refueling. There is no real need to add this solution to a tank you plan to burn up immediately, unless of course, there is already water in the system.

About the Author

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