There are a couple of good reasons you might want to fit a tank protector to your bike’s fuel tank, both cosmetic and practical.
On the first hand, one on the very rear of the tank will help protect it from scratches in the paint (whether metal or plastic) from zips on your trousers or jacket as you move around, particular if you’re riding quickly and sliding back and forth on the seat, or are on a sportsbike where you lean forward much of the time.
Secondly, pads on the side can help you grip the tank with your knees when you’re riding or cornering and prevent the same sort of damage from the edges of your trousers seams or inside of your leathers.
Finally, if you use a tank bag, they can help protect your bike from the rigours of fitting and removing it whether magnetic, strap-on or if it uses a locking ring, as well as helping stop any damage due to movement while you’re riding or during fuelling.
Related: Best motorcycle crash protection
Fitting tank protection takes moments but can have a much longer benefit and can be as visible or invisible as you want. Some people may use the opportunity to add a little modern tech with a carbon-fibre finish.
You may also want to add some manufacturer branding or be more subtle and use clear protection that can barely be noticed.
The choice is yours and here are a few examples of how to keep your tank sweet.
This non-model-specific tank pad is Amazonu2019s Choice and itu2019s not hard to see why; a high-tech-looking carbon-fibre effect spine pad that fits to the upright rear section of the tank to prevent damage from clothing zips.
Its standard ‘spine’ design means it should fit well to tanks that use a compound (two-directional) curve on the back of the tank and it’s self-adhesive, meaning fitting should take just moments.
Self-adhesive, so fitting easy
Protect tank from clothing damage
High-tech carbon-fibre look
Only 1mm thick, so some damage may still occur
Filler Cap Ring
A variation on a theme, this set of self-adhesive carbon-fibre-look vinyl is designed to fit to u2013 and around u2013 the fuel filler cap on a range of Honda motorcycles, and protect the top of the tank and the filler cap from damage.
There are a selection of pieces to stick to the outer rim of the mounting assembly, as well as one to fit to the cap and one to the opening tab, for near-complete coverage.
Protect fuel filler from damage
Designed specifically for key models
Should offer full coverage
May have an effect on functionality
Kawasaki Ninja 400 Set
This set of graphics is designed for the Kawasaki Ninja 400 though other models are available. In the trademark green on top of base carbon fibre, it comprises a set of branded vinyl to protect the rear of the tank, the sides where the knees may contact and a full set of stickers to protect the fuel filler cap atop the tank. A nice idea that seems reasonably well made.
Complete package of protection
Designed specifically for one bike
Trademark Kawasaki green
Might be a bit full-on for some
Rubber Knee Pads
Aimed more at owners of retro or classic machines, perhaps to replace originals or give a retro a more authentic feel while protecting its paint, these simple rubber pads will help the rider grip the tank with their knees as well as prevent it getting damaged in use. According to the manufacturer, they will provide better bike control and save your pants (trousers) and boots u2013 an impressive claim!
Protect retro or classic fuel tanks
Rubber compound help insulate vibrations
Improve grip on tank with knees
Does not say whether self-adhesive or separate method required
Moto Screenies Aprilia Tuono
This set of clear vinyl from manufacturer Moto Screenies comprises a rear tank protector and two side pieces, to protect the bike from scratches from zips and from the knees, as well as potentially help improve knee grip.
Being clear, they won’t affect the overall look and feel of the bike but give invisible protection. The company has protection for a range of bikes, as well as screen covers for the new generation of TFT dashboard displays.
Invisible so won’t spoil look of bike
UV protection to prevent sun damage to paint
Made from stone-chip protection film
None we can think of
This spine-type protector from kit and accessory giant Oxford is a full 2.5mm think and made from flexible silicone so will offer excellent protection from scratches in use.
It is fitted with 3M self-adhesive backing to make sure it stays in place once fitted and can be trimmed to size if necessary. It is, of course, weather resistant as well as to oil and chemicals including, one would imagine, petrol in case of minor spills.
Thick to offer good protection
Easy to trim to fit
With 3M adhesive, you may not be able to remove and reposition if you fit it wrong
Gear Gremlin Pads
These pads from Gear Gremlin are shaped like normal, full tank pads but the side cuts mean they should fit as many tank curves as possible and be easy to tease around compound curves.
Available either in black or with a Union Jack design, they are self-adhesive and are finished with a gloss top coat. They get good reviews online.
Should fit a wide range of motorcycles
Two colours options available
Good reviews online
Gloss finish may not be to all tastes
Oxford Knee Pads
These clear knee pads from Oxford are designed to sit on the side of the tank and protect from damage from the knees rubbing during the course of riding. Their clear finish means they wonu2019t interfere with the look and feel of the bike, so should be good for all styles including retro and modern and they are self-adhesive for a quick and easy fit.
Allow paint and graphics to show through
Prevent knee damage to tank
Quick and easy to fit
Could be a bit larger