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How to Siphon a Motorcycle Gas Tank – Kawasaki Ninja 650R Rebuild Series Episode 3

Here’s a quick video on how to siphon a motorcycle tank. It’s Episode 3 of my Kawasaki Ninja 650R Rebuild Series (more like a restoration series, but whatever…).


Do you have a motorcycle that’s been sitting for a long time? If so, you should probably drain the gas, rather than run old gas through your tank. But removing a gas tank to drain it can be messy to do yourself, or costly to have a dealer do for you. So there’s a third option: You can siphon that old gas out. It’s an easy way to get old gas out of your gas tank, without having to disconnect fuel lines, lift up heavy gas tanks, or risk making a huge mess or damaging your tank.


As you ladies and gents who regularly check out the site already know, I bought a 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 650R with only 200 miles, for only $1,000. An absolute steal of a deal. The bike had been sitting for over a decade, so I knew I was going to be putting a little work into it. In previous episodes of the Kawasaki Ninja 650R rebuild series, I brought home the bike and got her running, but just because she can run, doesn’t mean she should run. The gas is old, the oil is old. It’s time to get some fresh fluids in there.

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What am I up to today?

Today I’m going to be getting the old gas out of the bike, and then putting some fresh gas in. The downside of siphoning out gas rather than actually draining the tank from the bottom, is your risk leaving anything at the bottom of your tank down in there. However, once I determined that the tank had previously been drained, that stopped being a concern. To make life easy, I’m using the following:

1) Fuel transfer pump
2) Empty juice boxes (to drain the gas into)
3) Rags (to clean up any gas spills)
3) Black Widow motorcycle table lift from DiscountRamps (full review here)

Fuel Transfer Pump - $9 for easy gas siphoning

The fuel transfer pump is a breeze to use

Once set up, fuel transfer pump is pretty easy to use: There are a couple adapters for the hoses to keep them in place. Make sure to use the smallest tube in your kit for siphoning fuel out of your motorcycle gas tank.

How to Siphon a Motorcycle Gas Tank

Within seconds of when I started pumping, the gas just starting flowing out all by itself. In fact, it came out in a huge gush of gas at first that I had to clean up. If you’re trying this at home, have some rags on hand.

Siphoning gas out of the Kawasaki Ninja 650 rebuild bike

When you’re done, I recommend putting all the gas pump thingy bits in a big freezer bag so you’re not going to lose any of the pieces. Next, grab a Jerry can that’s rated to transport gas (you can buy some at most gas stations), fill up your tank, and make sure the bike runs.

What’s next?

I didn’t run the Ninja 650 for too long because I know that the oil in it is still a couple years old. Instead I’ll wait until I do the oil change tomorrow, and then let it idle longer and rev it up. Expect a “how to do an oil change on a Kawasaki Ninja 650R post” to come out soon!

COMMENTS: Have you ever gotten a bad taste in your mouth from siphoning gas without a pump? Would you have drained the tank instead?

UPDATE: If you missed the previous episode of the series, you can check it out here, or skip ahead to Episode 4 where I change the oil and the (stuck on) filter.

About Adrian from YouMotorcycle

I started riding motorcycles in 2007, founded YouMotorcycle in 2009, and was working in the motorcycle industry by 2011. I've worked for some of the biggest companies in motorcycling, before going full-time self-employed in the motorcycle business in 2019. I love sharing his knowledge and passion of motorcycling with other riders to help you as best I can.


  1. Fantastic video, mate. Coincidentally, I’m picking up a Ninja 250 tomorrow, and get this, for exactly $250. Gotta do the same thing as you though; it’s been gathering dust in the garage for a solid 2 years.

  2. Thanks for the video! I’m dealing with the same situation, and let me tell you, trying to siphon with fish tank tubing wasn’t cutting it. Followed your lead and got the exact pump you used from Amazon. Planning to siphon, dump some fresh gas, siphon again, more fresh gas, and another round of siphoning. I’ve learned the hard way that taking the tank off and flipping it doesn’t get all the bad gas out. Kinda vibing with your budget-friendly, lazy approach. Thanks again!

  3. I was scratching my head on how to get the gas out of my tank. Thanks for the idea! Heading straight to Amazon to grab that thing right now. 👍

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