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Thread: Fuel Bladders instead of MSR bottles?

  1. #1
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
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    Question Fuel Bladders instead of MSR bottles?

    So I'm looking for a safe way to carry gas on a trip we are planning up into some rural areas in Canada. 2 bikes (NC700x + NC750x), looking to carry roughly 1 to 2 gallons of fuel total.

    For the sake of discussion, all costs are "new" items. I realize savings may be found on used goods.

    MSR Bottles: 4 bottle set up = $160 to carry 1 gallon of fuel
    • MSR 1-liter bottles, roughly $25/bottle x 4 bottles = $100
    • Harness, tube, etc to hold them on bike. Prices vary, but assume $15 each = $60 (some options are much more expensive, some less expensive, picked $15 as an "average" cost)
    • Fuel capacity = 1 gallon.


    If "Endurostan" brand bottle harnesses are used, then 1.5 liter bottles can be used, cost goes up to $120 for harnesses, total cost = $220, but capacity of 4 bottles = 2 gallons

    Clearly neither of those are inexpensive ways to carry 1 or 2 gallons of gas.

    I also am not thrilled with the fact that these solutions take up permanent space on the motorcycles. I don't see the need to carry extra fuel every day. Mounting a couple TOOL TUBES to each bike just adds something else that needs to come off the bike if there is a maintenance issue. Not looking to keep those on the bike 24/7/365 days a year. Just not desired for my personal purposes, we each are different, I understand some choose to keep them 24/7, I simply choose not to do that at this time. I am actually more attracted to the fabric holsters/harnesses that came easily be taken off the bikes at the end of a trip. Prices of those range from $5 up to about $30. Those are a great choice if you don't want permanent fuel bottles but expose the bottles, which might not always be desirable. Still, for a trip they might be great.

    Looking for other alternatives.

    GIANT LOOP FUEL BLADDER, eBay has a 2 gallon bladder for $195

    Still seems pretty darned expensive to carry 2 gallons of gas, but I like the fact it can rolled up and stowed away for the 95% of the time it will not be needed. Even on a trip into rural Canada the fuel back up will likely only be wanted (and hopefully never actually needed) for 5 days out of a 20 day trip.


    In the Australia/New Zealand I see a brand called LIQUID CONTAINMENT that makes a 10 liter bladder. Can't find a North American source for that product. Not sure the cost to get one shipped to the US. Its a very basic bladder. Priced at $AD125 down there. 10 Litre Touring Bladder - Liquid Containment Bladders & Liners – Fuel, Water, Petrol, Diesel, Water Storage

    Also down under is a brand called DESERT FOX that makes fuel bladders for motorcycles. They have a 6 liter size. Again, can't find a North American source and no clue what the cost is, but it might be in the same category as the Giant Loop based on its features. Desert Fox Fuel Cells, Jerry Cans and Fuel Bladders – Desert Fox Professional Riding Gear



    Certainly there must be more options? Any advice, help on this? Again, looking for a SAFE way to carry, that is compact for TRAVEL, and still won't break the bank.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by melensdad; 25th October 2018 at 07:02.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Fuel Bladders instead of MSR bottles? 670cc's Avatar
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    I have no experience with the fuel bladders. You didn’t mention Rotopax containers, so I’ll mention them. I typically carry a 1 gallon Rotopax on trips. It’s mounted on the rack that’s substituted for my rear seat, and a dry bag goes on top of the Rotopax, so it’s not in the way at all. They mount on brackets for easy removal when not needed, but the bracket is still in the way even if the container is removed. There are locking options if you’re concerned about theft of the container. The advantage is you can carry larger amounts of fuel safely (one of mine is 1 3/4 gallon), but the disadvantage is they take up space and add weight whether you have fuel in them or not.

    MSR bottles are nice for small emergency amounts, but at only 30 ounces a pop, they don’t go very far.
    Last edited by 670cc; 25th October 2018 at 07:21.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
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    I didn't mention Rotopax

    Swapping out the rear seat for a rack is about $250 so you can fuel through the bracket. I like the rack idea a lot. But adding the rack dramatically raises the total cost to haul fuel because you still have to add the cost of the Rotopax bracket and the cost of the container.

    Now I could mount a Rotopax bracket to one of my side boxes, but its still the cost of the bracket + the container. That is roughly $65 for a 1 gallon can + roughly $40 for a mount. $105 for 1 gallon of fuel. Or about $125 for 1.75 gallons of fuel with the next larger container.

    It might be a reasonable choice given its size. The bracket itself could be left on the side case 24/7/365 and it is not particularly obtrusive. It would put the weight of 1 gallon of fuel low if mounted on a side case, but also would put all the fuel weight on 1 side of the bike. I'm going to have to take a bunch of measurements and see where I can fit a Rotopax. If I can fit one in the space between my side case bracket and the wheel it might be a really good option?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Fuel Bladders instead of MSR bottles? 670cc's Avatar
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    Googling images of Rotopax mounts on motorcycles shows many creative methods.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 670cc View Post
    Googling images of Rotopax mounts on motorcycles shows many creative methods.
    The 1 gallon container is only 3" thick in depth. 1.75 gallon is 3.5" That opens up some mounting options that could work really well.
    1 Gallon - 9.5"L x 13.5"W x 3"H
    1.75 Gallon - 14"L x 15"W x 3.5"H

    Obviously there are a lot of people using Rotopax. It is less expensive than the other options but certainly not economical.


    Amazon has some Chinese knock off containers that are much less expensive. Perhaps not expedition grade. But possibly a viable option if I can figure out a space to fit it that is not obtrusive. LINK => Amazon.com: YOUNGFLY Gas Can 1.3 Gallon Portable Fuel Oil Petrol Diesel Storage Gas Tank Emergency Backup for Motorcycle Car SUV ATV with Lock Oil Pack Fuel Cans Fuel(5L,Red): Automotive

    Downside to the Chinese knock off is the blocky/chunky size of the container that might make mounting harder in an unobtrusive spot.
    1.3 Gallon - 11.4" x 9.8" x 4.7"

    Does anyone have any experience with these? Under $35 for the container + mount for 1.3 gallons is a bargain IF IT WORKS
    Last edited by melensdad; 25th October 2018 at 08:57.

  6. #6
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    I had been contemplating one of the knockoffs. This conversation finally got me off the mark and I ordered one. It is scheduled to arrive mid Nov, so it will be a while before I know whether or not it will work. My plan is to mount it on the exposed frame tube above the passenger footpeg. Hopefully that will clear the Givi side cases and my legs..... I will report back with pictures and impressions once it arrives.

  7. #7
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoChris View Post
    I had been contemplating one of the knockoffs. This conversation finally got me off the mark and I ordered one. It is scheduled to arrive mid Nov, so it will be a while before I know whether or not it will work. My plan is to mount it on the exposed frame tube above the passenger footpeg. Hopefully that will clear the Givi side cases and my legs..... I will report back with pictures and impressions once it arrives.
    THANK YOU

    After going out to the garage and taking some measurements, I do not have enough room in between my side cases and the rear wheel to mount any of the above "roto" style cases in that wasted space. Looks like I'm going to need inspiration from your project to see if that is a workable solution for me but it sure sounds like it might be a good spot.

    Another option (since I have rectangular side cases) might be to simply mount to the front side of the case.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Fuel Bladders instead of MSR bottles? 670cc's Avatar
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    Fuel Bladders instead of MSR bottles?-ce190657-e6f0-41be-a68d-a8cded578e33-jpg

    Fuel Bladders instead of MSR bottles?-a6738562-4511-4f7c-86f3-dc7e26d6fa38-jpg

    On one of my bikes I have Pelican cases, which are pretty strong. I have a Rotopax mount on, in this case, the top box. I put an aluminum plate on the back side to spread out the load
    Last edited by 670cc; 25th October 2018 at 10:47.
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    One of my "ideas" is to find a trashed monokey bag and cut away all I don't need to have it clip on and mount a rotopax mount to it. That would let me mix and match bags and fuel mount locations as needed.

  10. #10
    Senior Member HarveyM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoChris View Post
    I had been contemplating one of the knockoffs. This conversation finally got me off the mark and I ordered one. It is scheduled to arrive mid Nov, so it will be a while before I know whether or not it will work. My plan is to mount it on the exposed frame tube above the passenger footpeg. Hopefully that will clear the Givi side cases and my legs..... I will report back with pictures and impressions once it arrives.
    I played with this idea- with 1 gallon rotopax mounted using the passenger peg through the bottom handle & a mount on the frame tube. I wasn't happy with the outcome.
    1) The frame tube where I wanted to attach the rotopax mount is covered by the plastic shroud covering the gas tank. There's no space to slip a clamp on one side of the mounting plate.
    2) Even with my delicate size 8 1/2s I wasn't happy with my heel clearance. I worried about trapping my leg.

    So I went back to a 1 liter MSR bottle on my recent trip. If I were really worried about needing extra fuel I'd follow 670's advice.

    2017: What did you do to/with your NC700 today?-rotopax-mount-1st-try-jpg
    Last edited by HarveyM; 25th October 2018 at 11:51.

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