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Motorcycle fuel bladders are useful if not critical to off-road and off-track riders…
I could have even found one useful on a European trip last year when, full of vim and vigor, I turned my Sat Nav off and hooned around Germany’s Black Forest for too long… I made a fuel station with a guessimated 3 miles of fuel left!
But if you are a rider with real long distance leanings or so far off the grid that there’s the possibility of running out of fuel then carrying extra is the way forward.
Now then… The debate! Hard or soft containers? Well in the UK you wouldn’t if you wanted to remain legal, have an option – hard it is. Indeed, the container has to be certified as capable of carrying volatile liquids such as petrol. But if you’re off-grid, or away from the law then the possibilities of flexible/foldable fuel bladders is an option.
There are two contenders that we’d like you to consider: The Giant Loop “Gas Bag” and Desert Fox’s “Fuel Cell”.
Giant Loop Gas Bag:
Giant Loop is fairly well known in ADV circles for their products that are not only well made but also keenly priced. Their ‘Gas Bag’ is a 3.8L (1 US Gallon) collapsible bag made from welded film and ballistic Nylon.
With daisy-chain webbing for strapping points, it was recently awarded a Powersports Business “Nifty 50″ award in 2016.
Individually pressure tested for production flaws it weighs a mere 11.5oz (330 grams) and compacts into a (LxWxH) 19.5″x9.5″x4” roll which is easy to store.
Made in the USA, there are various outlets (including Giant Loop’s own online store) that sell it at an approximate price of $99 (£70).
Desert Fox Fuel Cell:
Looking a little more rugged, the Fuel Cell is a clear plastic liner encapsulated by a tough canvas bag. With many hook points, it will hold up to 5L (1.3 US Gallon) and weighs 400 grams when empty.
Annoyingly, I’ve struggled to find the rolled up sizes (or indeed the official Desert Fox website), but it is easily available in both Australia and the US retailing at the same price as the Giant Loop of $99 (£70 / AU$130).
Collapsible fuel bladders are not strictly a must have. You can indeed buy cheaper ones that have a larger capacity – but they do tend to be ‘simple’ welded plastic bags – so take your chances with those if you feel really brave.
You should also remember that petrol evaporates rapidly, particularly in high heat, so any bag will swell to possibly bursting point if you do not allow some ‘breathing room’ for the resultant vapors.
All told, be careful where you pack them when full; just in case of an accident and please do not consider them for long term fuel storage; but having an extra gallon of fuel at the right time could make or break your day!