How Do I Clean My Motorcycle’s Rusty Fuel Tank?

A rusted fuel tank can create all kinds of chaos within a motorcycle’s fuel system. Cleaning out rust from a motorcycle's fuel tank can be done in several ways, and you'll get varying opinions on which way is the best.

Partzilla’s expert motorcycle mechanic John Talley does weekly live Q&A sessions every Friday at 3PM Eastern on our YouTube channel. In this session, John gives one of our viewers tips on how to remove rust from a Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle’s fuel tank.  

Rusty motorcycle fuel tank cleaning tips

Rusty Motorcycle Fuel Tank Cleaning Tips

How do I clean out a rusted Suzuki GSXR1000 motorcycle fuel tank?

John Talley: There are a couple of companies that make different cleaners. It’s actually a system where you have a cleaner and then it neutralizes it. And then they have a filler that you put back in there, but I don’t really recommend that filler because invariably it pulls away this white viscous-looking stuff and eventually it gets sucked into your fuel system, so you really haven’t accomplished anything. But the cleaning aspects of it, the first two parts of it work pretty well. What I’ve always used in the past is just acetone, and then a bunch of nuts and bolts in the tank as an abrasive to knock it all out of there. Now, if it’s really rusted, there’s no way to get around that. I mean, if it’s going through the tank itself, there’s no real way to fix that, but just to get out a fair amount of sludge and rust, acetone is the way to go. Shake it up, and go through the process like two or three times without some bolts in there, and you should be good to go. The best way to keep a tank from rusting, especially if your machine is going to be put up for a while, is to fill it all the way up. That way, well, what does rust need to have? It needs to have moisture and oxygen, and if it can’t get to any oxygen, it’s not going to rust, so fill it all the way up.

Star Brite ultimate corrosion blocker

Motorex anti-rust spray

Watch the video below to see how to prevent rust on a motorcycle.

Watch the video below to see how to remove the fuel tank from a Suzuki GSXR1000 motorcycle.

Want to see more live repair questions answered? See more motorcycle and ATV repair questions answered here.



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