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motorcycle gas tanks obsession featured

Motorcycle Gas Tanks: My Secret Obsession

Motorcycle gas tanks are the first thing you notice on a bike, right?

Of course, there are already plenty of other cool features on a motorcycle.
You want to check out the motor, the exhaust system, the shocks, the bars…

There’s a lot going on.

And because I’ve been riding on the back of bikes for 30 years, I always take a second look at a motorcycle’s passenger seat, too.

There’s wonderful distraction everywhere.
But I have to say for me, motorcycle tanks are the Main Event.

Motorcycle gas tanks are often the focal point of a bike.
They’re the boldest statement of a motorcycle’s identity, and unique style.
When sunlight bounces off a chrome motorcycle tank, you squint happily.
The strong colors are a work of art on two wheels.
And some tank badges are as beautiful as a piece of jewellery.

Maybe I should go see a therapist about my obsession with motorcycle gas tanks.
Come to think about it, talking about them for hours in group therapy would be a lot of fun.

But in the meantime, here’s a peek at some of my favorite motorcycle gas tanks.

Hope you like them as much as I do.
And if you do, I might see you in my next motorcycle therapy session…

10 of My Favorite Motorcycle Gas Tanks

Why don’t we kick off with the show stopper?
Why pussyfoot around?

1.  Vincent

It just doesn’t get any cooler than a Vincent motorbike tank, does it?
The distinctive curling gold ribbon on the tank is a clear statement about it’s prestige.

And note the lettering on the logo.
It says: THE Vincent.

Yep, it’s not just another bike.

It’s The Vincent.

Who could even argue?


Vincent motorbike tank

2.  Matchless

This Matchless tank is one of my all time favorites, I have to say.

It takes the perfection of a shiny chrome tank one step further, by stamping it with a distinctive personality.

The red and gold background for the “M” is backed up by a red streak down the center of the tank behind the petrol cap.

And the “M” is silver to match the tank – but it has wings!
It’s a seductive promise that you truly can fly on this bike.

Those heavy industrial bolts that hold the “M” to the tank are also part of the charm.

What’s not to love?


Matchless motorcycle tank

3.  BSA

Men always laugh at me when I use girly words to describe bikes.

But just look at this BSA motorcycle tank – it’s simply so pretty!
What else could you call it?

The gold star behind the logo is old-school, and that luscious red is delicious.
This is a candy apple on wheels.


BSA motorbike tank

4.  Norton

How about this funky Norton paint scheme?

This is really channelling the bell bottoms of the 70s!
It reminds me of those striped jackets that used to be normal – remember Mork and Mindy?

But of course, this is a Norton.
So it’s automatically cool.

Norton motorbike tank

5.  Norton again!

While we’re on the subject of super cool Nortons, here’s another one.

It’s unusual to see a chrome tank with a white flash like this, but it works so well.
The tw0-color pinstripes around the edge of the flash don’t hurt, either!


Norton bike tank 2

6.  Velocette

This Velocette has an unusual combination of black and a surprising nature-based green.
Swooping gold flourishes remind you of a bird’s wing in flight.

And that “V” looks like it was hand drawn with a calligraphy pen and gold ink, doesn’t it?


Velocette motorbike tank

7.  Royal Enfield

Uh, oh, chrome strikes again!

I just can’t go past this beautiful shiny finish without drooling.
The use of the red and gold and the very elegant logo really underlines the regal quality of the motorcycle.

And as an added bonus with chrome tanks – they reflect any other motorcycles around!


Royal Enfield motorbike tank

8.  Thor

Ah, the Thor.

We “Thor” (hehe) this amazing contraption at the motorcycle museum down at the bottom of New Zealand.
(I talk about the crazy machines they have on display here, including the FIVE Brough Superiors they have lined up in a mouth-watering row.)

But the Thor is such an unusual blue, isn’t it?
And just look at that lightning bolt on the logo!

Honestly, the whole package is even hotter than the hunk who plays Thor in the movies!


Thor motorbike tank

9.  MotoGuzzi

No-one does red quite like MotoGuzzi, do they?

(Well, except for Ducatis, I guess…, but that’s a different vibe again…)

It’s that wonderful Italian styling that’s just so confident, so sure of itself.
And we’ve all had moments where we feel like we might lift off into the sky just like the golden bird on this motorcycle tank!


Moto Guzzi motorbike tank

10.  Harley

This tank captures the pioneering, early Harley era.
Everything about this tank shouts “We’re here!” – from the strong red lettering that’s just starting to include some movement in the letters, to the unusual bright yellow of the tank.

This is a history lesson, right here.


Harley motorbike tank

Well, this tour of my favorite motorcycle tanks hasn’t done much to cure my obsession.

In fact, it just makes me want to go out and find more beautiful machines to marvel at!

Which one is your favorite?

Like this article?

Then you may just love this one!

Visiting a Motorcycle Museum? Read This First!



    Know many ladies who love motorcycles … Uhmm … my sister; a friend of mine … anyway, Madam, I had a Matchless G3L 350 and now at Royal Enfield Classic 500 Chrome Black. Nice site, regards,

      That’s great to hear, and thanks for your kind feedback.

    I find it strange that you didn`t include the BSA Gold Star or RGS tank or even the original Road Rocket tank.!!! Like yourself I am a Triumph fan and think the “garden gate-cattle grid” tank badge is the best ever. Great interesting post. Thankyou.

      Hi Bob, hehe, yes, the problem is there are so many beautiful tanks out there! I have a couple of BSA pics I will post soon in a new article, and I might also have one or two Triumph garden gate ones in the works too. It all comes down to what I spot when I’m out and about at bike shows etc. really. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

    A woman who sees the intricacies of motorcycles?!?……impossible.

      Haha, it’s all true, Joe! 😉

    Useful post; many thanks. Doing a custom build and this kind of info on tanks useful.

      Glad it helped, Sean, and good luck with the build!

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