When I decided to start doing multi-day adventure rides with my KTM 350 XCF-W, it soon became apparent that I needed to increase my fuel range. Since we have three bikes in the family, we have been able to try a variety of fuel tank options. This report is specifically for KTM four-stroke bikes with fuel injection, but the concepts apply to any bike. In a previous report, I discuss some of the other modifications I have done to my bike to get it ‘adventure’ ready.
Acerbis makes a variety of fuel tank options, including the two KTM Powerparts fuel tank options. There are also other sizes available from other suppliers, but I will not cover those in this report.
On a dual-sport ride, I usually get about 56 mpg with 14:50T sprockets. But to be safe, I usually assume that I will only get 50 mpg. That gives me a little margin in case things go wrong. Your mileage will probably differ from mine – it is a function of your gearing, the type of terrain, and how much you twist the throttle.
Here is a table that estimates my fuel range for some of the common fuel tank sizes:
KTM 2.25 Gallon Tank (stock)
I use the stock tank for trail riding and get roughly 100 miles of range. For adventure rides, I use a larger tank. One disadvantage of fuel injected bikes is that there is a fuel pump assembly inside the tank. This means you either need to buy a second fuel pump (at roughly $350), or take the time to swap the assembly to the other tank. The stock fuel pump assembly fits in any of the tanks listed above.
Acerbis 3.0 Gallon Tank
Both of my children have the Acerbis 3.0 gallon tank, giving them a range of about 150 miles. The tank uses the stock shrouds, so it maintains the basic look of the stock tank. The tank is slightly wider, but not much. It is a really good choice if you need just a little more range than stock. It is small and light enough that you don’t need to swap it out with the stock tank.
KTM 13L Gallon Tank
The next size up is the 13 liter KTM Powerparts tank (made by Acerbis). This tank uses the stock low-profile fuel cap and only comes in orange. I have used this tank for about two years for both trail riding and adventure rides. It gives me a range of roughly 175 miles. It is a little wider than the stock tank, but at 6’2″ tall, the width hasn’t bothered me. It also offers better protection for the radiators than the stock shrouds.
This tank came with some rubber bumpers that mount to the radiators to prevent puncturing a hole in the tank.
Acerbis 4.1 & 5.3 Gallon Tanks
Acerbis makes a 4.1 gallon tank, which is quite popular. I personally have not used this tank, but I suspect it is a great choice if you want a 200 mile range. I was actually considering buying this tank when I happened to find a good deal on a lightly used 5.0 gallon tank with a fuel pump. They also make a 5.3 gallon tank.
KTM 5.0 Gallon Tank
When I bought the used KTM Powerparts 5.0 gallon tank I assumed it was the same as the Acerbis 5.3 gallon tank. I knew it had a KTM logo, but thought it was otherwise the same tank. It turns out it really is a 5.0 gallon tank. I suspect the difference is that this tank will fit with the EXC emissions canister whereas the 5.3 gallon tank will not. This tank is certainly wider than the others, but when you need a 250 mile range, it is a really good option. It carries the weight up front and low, which is good when you have all of your camping gear loaded on the back of the bike.
Here is a comparison photo showing the width of each tank.
If the tank you have doesn’t give you the range you need, check out my post about carrying extra fuel on your bike.