R1200GS: Extra gas storage

I’ve not run out of gas, but have cut it close a time or two on various bikes. The GS has a wide range of gas mileage depending upon the environment and the amount of wrist twisting. I’ve been surprised by the count-down-to-empty coming on at 140 miles into a tank saying I had 30 miles to go and the next gas station 40 miles away. Slowing down increased that 30 miles by over 50%. Normally the count-down-to-empty doesn’t come on until 180-200 miles into a tank.
Anyway, I thought I’d add a little extra storage space for gas by copying something I saw done on http://www.advrider.com/.

MSR Gas bottles

MSR Gas bottles

MSR Gas bottles
ISO 400   f/8.0   1/100   0 ev   33.0mm

The large, 33 oz MSR gas bottles, if filled to the “fill line”, hold 30 oz each. Two of them will give me close to 1/2 gallon of spare fuel. Or a quart of fuel and a quart of oil. The holders are adjustable bicycle water bottle holders. I got adjustable holders because I might want to run different size bottles – say storage for a bottle of wine on the way to the camp site after a food run! These are from Topeak. Bottles and bottle cages purchased from REI. I took the bottles over to the bicycle section to pick the cages that fit best.

About here

About here

About here
ISO 800   f/8.0   1/10   0 ev   24.0mm
Approx mount with bottle

Approx mount with bottle

Approx mount with bottle
ISO 800   f/8.0   1/8   0 ev   24.0mm

I took the right case off the bike and positioned the holders to their approximate location. After deciding where I wanted them I found that the centerline for the holders were perfect when 2” from the edge of the case. The mounting holes were fine at 2 1/4” and 4 3/4” from the bottom. They could have been 1/4” to 1/2” lower, but this is where I wanted them.

Mounting hardware

Mounting hardware

Mounting hardware
ISO 400   f/5.6   1/40   0 ev   75.0mm

I had this stainless steel hardware on hand. The M5x14 is OK, an M5x12 might have been better. The bolts are mounted with the nuts on the outside of the case. I used clear RTV around the bolt heads and inner threads to keep water out of the case. I used blue loctite on the outer threads/nut to keep the hardware from vibrating loose.

First hole

First hole

First hole
ISO 400   f/5.6   1/15   0 ev   85.0mm
All four holes

All four holes

All four holes
ISO 400   f/5.6   1/80   0 ev   35.0mm

5 mm is just over 3/16”. I dimpled the drill points with a center punch then drilled 3/16” holes with a hand drill. I used a reamer and a file to clean up the rough edges both inside and outside of the cases. The brackets easily went on with the above hardware.

Close up on bike

Close up on bike

Close up on bike
ISO 200   f/8.0   1/400   0 ev   50.0mm

After the brackets were mounted I added a little more RTV silicone around the exterior threads using a toothpick to get between the back of the holder and the case. Probably not necessary, but it can’t hurt. I put the case back on the bike, the bottle in the racks, and added a mini-bungi through the holes in the bottle tops to keep them from bouncing out. They’re ready for use this weekend ride to Gardnerville, Nevada.

better strap

better strap

better strap
ISO 400   f/8.0   1/1250   0 ev   44.0mm

The thin-as-a-thread bungy was replaced with a strap from REI. Idea shamelessly stolen from this post on Adventure Rider. I like that the strap was available in MSR red!