Monday, April 20, 2009

Long Distance Farkle: Kolpin Gas Can + Bracket

One of the things that my 2004 R1150Rt, Maria, does well is eat up miles and miles with apparently little effort and at the same time providing me with a comfortable ride.

There's been times though when the gas station I expected to be there was closed, or out of business and then it was some nervous riding on my part till I got to the next gas station. I've only run out of gas one time, and that was on Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Beemer. She was quite the pain to push the last 200 feet or so to the gas station. I can't imagine what fun it'd be to push Maria, who weighs at least 200 lbs more!

I know what you're thinking, why doesn't he just stop each time the odometer or fuel gauge indicates you're at half tank? Yeah, I could do that, but then you lose valuable riding time! That, or there's no gas station at this magical half tank mark or you just don't want to stop since the highway sign says the next one is just x number of miles away and you know you can make it!

Whatever the reason, I tend to tank up closer to the 170-180 mile mark. I know that Maria will go 200 miles no sweat without the "low fuel" warning light coming on. I also know that when the "low fuel" light comes on, I've less than a 1/2 gallon (if that) of gas left.

Yesterday, the final pieces from Kolpin came for the external plastic gas can mounting bracket that I'd bought via Ebay. The kit I bought was the wrong one for the can I already had you see, but the good folks at Kolpin comp'ed me the required pieces. Great service on their part!

A little drilling, the use of a tire iron as a support bar for now until I figure out something else and voila the gas can and bracket were mounted.

The mounting screws you see ended up being one inch further to the front of the motorcycle

I took Maria out for a test ride of about 12 miles and everything stayed in place just fine. I carried water instead of gas for this trial run and there was evidence of a few drops of water on the side of the can and on the pillion seat when I got home.

I think getting a suitable sized O-ring and really tightening the cap should do the trick in terms of keeping stuff inside. I plan to, when carrying gasoline to only carry a bit over 1 gallon even though the capacity is 1.5 gallons. This to allow for expansion and avoid spillage.

I plan to ride with the gas can mounted for the next hundred miles or so, just to make sure things are secure. Then I'll carry gas and ride Maria till the "low fuel" warning light comes on to see how far I can go before she runs out of gas.


Derek said...

That's nice. I'm going to have to look into one of those myself. I've not run out of fuel while riding my current machine, but I've done it in the past. How about filling up and riding until you feel that familiar hitch of an emptying tank and reaching down to make the switch to reserve only to find that the petcock's already there. Damn.

Dave Morrell said...

Right above the hot exhaust??? Dont take the turns too quickly or else we'll be seeing you on the news.

Unknown said...

Why oh why are gas containers always red. On my last 2 trips I was worried about running out of gas. It's not a case of stopping at a gas station, it's more about no gas stations in the interior of BC. I carried a 1-gallon "red" container which is nearly square so it is hard to pack. I like your flat slim model. and I bungied it onto my rear seat and disguised it in a garbage bag. Although I had extra fuel I never had to use it
I was thinking that you should really fill your container closer to the brim to avoid all that sloshing around.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

redlegsrides said...

Derek, on my r80, I leave the right side petcock on reserve, that way, when the bike says I am running low, I reach down safely to the left side petcock and know that I am on last reserver, time to start finding a gas station.

Dave, the spout is shown over right side of bike, exhaust on Maria is on left.

yeah, the red kinda "clashes". Then again it may catch some tailgating cager's eye and cause him to back off. : )

re filling it all the way up, you have to leave room for expansion. Also, the leakage I was experiencing was just me not securely tightening the cap, it's not fool-proof or leak-tight by just twisting the cap on.....

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

What a cool idea, provided the red plastic container does not leak! If I were taking a log distance drive across the counry, anticipating very long stretches with only one or tw gas stations's enroute, I'd get one of these things. But I would also get a blue cotainer -- if they are available -- for carrying drinking water.

Bob: Containers for carrying fuel are not always red... Only gasoline containers are. Kerosine containers are blue -- so you can't make a tragic mistake.

Fondest regards,
Jack Riepe
Twisted Roads

redlegsrides said...


I didn't know there was a standard color for kerosene, good to know. Of course, if you're going to get a blue one to match fireball's color....

Kolpin makes a opaque/white version of this can for water storage, mounts the same way.

I suppose I could paint this red can black using that krylon stuff for plastic which "etches" itself onto the surface.....perhaps masking off an area that clearly labels it as a gasoline container...

Jack Riepe said...

Dar Charlie6 (Dom):

LOL... Fire Balls is red! I used to heat my house with kerosine and was introduced to the blue colored cans down at Abouchon Harware in AuSable Forks, New York. Red is for gasoline. Blue is for kerosine. This is so you can never get them mixed up if you live in an environment where kerosine is occasionally used for lighting, and heating all the time.

I never bought kerosine in 5 gallon lots to heat the house. A truck would come and deliver 200 gallons of kero at a clip to feel the Monitor furnace. But living in the rugged mountains of upstate New York, poower failures in the winter were not uncommon as heavy snows would collapse trees on the wires. I had three Alladin Lamps, which burned kero through a mantle arrangement over a week. The result was 75 watts of light, generated silently (without the hiss of gas coming from a cyclinder), for a duration of 5 to 8 hours on a quart of kero.

The drawbacks to this system were safety. Knocking one of these things over could start a hell of a fire. The Alladin lamp has been around for years. New ones start at $99 (USD). They are highly collectible and can go for several thousand dollars.

Fondes regards,
Jack Riepe
Twisted Roads

Unknown said...

My first time here (at Riepe's suggestion). I see you're a rounder! Not much activity on that list, eh? I suppose that's what happens when winter doesn't keep you off the bike...

redlegsrides said...

Hello Rogers and thanks for visiting...yep, fulltime rounder, I've not posted much lately there, no pictures worth posting really.....

Learning to Golf said...

Have you ever heard of the RCI fuel cell safety foam to get rid of any possibility of fuel slosh? Here is a link,, and this is probably the wrong size, but should be able to be cut down.

redlegsrides said...

AZ Harley Dude, I've seen mention of that stuff, thanks.

Turns out you just have to be careful screwing on the cap, done right, it does not leak.

Anonymous said...

I feel myself in the company of far sighted men, gas cans, foam, brackets, maps. My, my..... In my family, all licensed drivers (we don't really care how many wheels they drive) carry a small toolbox where they can find a brass mallet and a pint of bourbon. If things can't be fixed with the mallet, you start working on the bourbon until somebody finds you. It's a tradition started in the late 1800's and we haven't lost a relative, yet.