A few weeks before heading out to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway for this year’s literbike comparison, Test Fleet Manager Michael Candreia put in a call to Matrix Concepts and ordered a surplus of the company’s M3 Utility Cans. Keeping eight bikes fully fueled for two days straight wasn’t going to be an easy feat, and we needed to be prepared for whatever the fuel pump threw our way.
The M3 isn’t your average fuel container. Yes, it’s constructed from your typical high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic and designed for one simple task, but the resemblance to your standard fuel jug ends right about there. The can is designed with a unique three-ridge bottom that doubles as a second grab handle for easy one-man filling, and the jug features “name and number” panels that can be personalized for that full-factory look. Up top, the M3 is fitted with a three-inch spin-on cap equipped with a screw-in vent plug good for controlling fuel flow from jug to tank. The M3 also ships with a five-inch-long hose, one-inch fill reducer to regulate fuel flow and high-quality hose clamps at all hose/plastic interfaces; sometimes it’s the small things that set a product apart from the competition.
Important to mention is that the M3 has a four-gallon capacity (as marked on the leading edge of the can) rather than your usual five. Matrix claims that the one-gallon-less capacity makes the M3 easier to tote around the pits and less cumbersome when filling bikes. The jug’s unique shape and smaller size make it easier to store inside your trailer or garage too, an aspect we found accommodating when stuffing the Sport Rider van to its gills — think of it as having a handicap in a game of Tetris.
The M3 Utility Can worked as we’d hoped at the racetrack, making for quick and easy between-session fill-ups. Gaskets at each plastic joint kept our costly petrol investment from spilling to the tarmac, and the flow through the wide-diameter hose was superb. Another feature we appreciated when using the M3 at the track was the air vent on the cap. A lot of our older jugs have separate vents down on the handle, all of which typically manage to tear off and walk away, but the M3’s has a more solid feel and only needs to be loosened a small amount before allowing fuel to flow. We’re fairly confident we won’t be losing this one anytime soon, if ever.
Complaints were few and far between when it came to the M3, but we did agree that the hose spout could be a few inches longer. The five-inch piece worked, but a little extra length would’ve made sportbike fill-ups a bit easier. Daily abuse at the track also led to the M3’s decals getting separated from the plastic, which would’ve concerned us more had we invested in the custom graphics.
California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations currently prevent Matrix Concepts from selling the M3 in California, but the company is rumored to already be working on a solution. U.S. citizens outside the sunny state can pick up an M3 with much less hassle, in multiple colors and all for the price of $59.95.