Gas Tank Removal For F.I. Vulcans

Fuel Tank Removal For Nomad, Classic & Drifter Fuel Injected Bikes

Note: The Mean Streak has a different setup, jump to the instructions here.

This applies to '99 and later FI models. Note, Removal for Carbed Bikes is simpler only needing the fuel line removed from the petcock plus a vent line or two.

It will be make things much easier if you drain the fuel tank if you're doing this by yourself. Otherwise you'll probably need a helper to hold the tank while you disconnect hoses from the bottom. You'll probably be working on the left side, so just keep the tank from falling to the left if the bike is on the sidestand.

To remove gas, all you need is a siphon hose (and what teenager has never used one of those on dad's car eh?). If a piece of 1/2" garden hose isn't handy visit your auto supply store and pick up three or four feet of clear (so you can see the gas coming toward your mouth) 1/2" id (or close) plastic fuel line. Sometimes it's sold off a big spool sometimes pre-packaged hanging on a peg. You can also find clear hose at many hardware stores (even Home Depot & Lowes).

Follow the instructions below up to #8 (so the tank is loose) and put a block of wood under the rear of the tank so it's tilted forward slightly. Put your hose in the tank, apply suction (hopefully without getting a mouth full of hydrocarbon) and transfer fuel to another container.

Special Caution: Do NOT remove the pressurized hose if the engine has just been running or even if you've had the key on in the past few minutes. If the hose is removed before pressure has a chance to bleed off you WILL spray gasoline all over your bike and maybe yourself.

  1. Remove the seat
  2. Remove the chrome instrument surround (take out bolt and slide the surround forward)
  3. Slide the speedometer assembly forward and off (if digital), lift out and disconnect speedometer cable if analog.
  4. Disconnect wires from speedometer assembly and set assembly aside in a safe place
  5. Disconnect the other 2 wire connectors. It'll be handy to have a small flat blade screwdriver for this so you can push down on the catches while pulling the connectors apart
  6. Remove front cap nut and rear tank bolt. Both are 12 mm.
  7. Remove the one or two vent hoses you can see at the rear of the tank. California bikes have two vents, most others use one.
  8. Lift the front of the tank and put a folded shop towel on top of the engine right under the fuel lines. You'll get a few drops out of the lines when they're unplugged. At this point a helper will be real handy to hold the tank up while you disconnect the fuel and vent lines especially if there's any fuel in the tank.
  9. Remove the the fuel return hose (the one with the metal clamp). A little gas might come out.
  10. Remove the pressurized fuel hose; this one has a "squeeze" fitting. You just squeeze on each side of it with your fingers, push the fitting up toward the tank just a little then (while holding the 'buttons' in wiggle side to side to release it. A few drops of fuel might drip but the rag should take care of it.
  11. Remove the square plastic piece and vent hose on the right side of the tank. It's next to the fuel line you just removed and covers some electrical connections.
  12. Remove the vent line toward the rear of the tank. This line runs to the collection of vent hoses near the rear of the engine.
  13. Finally, Remove the gas tank.


Steps for the Mean Streak

The Mean Streak has a different type of fuel tank and instrumentation. The steps are similar, but just a bit different:

  1. Remove the seat
  2. Remove the button-head bolt at the rear of the chrome dash. Slide the dash it to the rear and lift off. Put a rag under it to protect the tank and hang it off to the right. You may want to unplug the two electrical connections and get the dash out of the way completely.
  3. Remove the three 8mm bolts holding the ignition switch to the tank.
  4. Now, remove the connector that's attached to the bracket and unplug the instrument lights and ignition switch. Set them aside.
  5. Remove the 12mm bolt at the rear of the tank, along with the one (or two for California) vent lines.
  6. Unplug the wire bundle coming from the tank to the connector at the front of the battery compartment, and free the bundle from the plastic holder. (Astute readers will notice in the pic that I did not follow this step here.)
  7. lg tankremove1
    Lift the rear of the tank and prop it up against the rear fender bracket with a piece of wood, or have someone hold it up for you.
  8. Disconnect the fuel vent, fuel return, and fuel supply lines underneath the tank. The fuel supply line has a square squeeze-type connector. Press both sides of the connector and wiggle it off but don't force it. A little bit of gas will probably come out of the supply and return lines so put a rag around the line and over the engine. It should be a very small amount.
  9. Lift off the fuel tank.


It probably took you longer to read all that than to actually do it and once you've removed the tank you won't hesitate to do it again for general maintenance especially if there's any chance you could drop something on it. You'll also want to put down a large towel or piece of cardboard to set the tank on to prevent scratching it.

Re-assembly is in reverse order.

Caution!!!!! The hose with the 45 degree angle plastic connection with squeeze sides must snap into place when it's re-attached to the tank. If you don't hear it snap then you are at very high risk of having the hose slip off the tank fitting when the line pressurizes or maybe as you're rolling down the street. When that happens you will be pumping gasoline directly onto the top of your rear cylinder. A decidedly bad thing. Be Certain It Snaps!!!!

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These instructions are a life saver! Thanks so much!!
I followed all steps and had no problems removing the gas tank on my 2003 Vulcan Nomad 1500 fi but after putting the tank back on I have an FI light on. bike is running rough AT IDLE AND DIES WHEN I APPLY THROTTLE. HELP!!!
It's hard to say as I haven't seen this symptom from just removing and replacing the tank. Just lifting the tank a little and peeking under it might show the issue if one of the lines isn't connected properly or is kinked. The fuel supply line is a likely suspect as it can be hard to completely attach it, there should be a positive "click" when it snaps into place.