aux fuel tank maker

andcam

Premier Member
#1
hi all - does anybody know if a company thank makes aux fuel tanks in the UK? specifically, for my st1300. I imagine it'd have to be a custom job.
 

andcam

Premier Member
#3

EricV

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#4
What are you looking for? Design wise? Flat bed, pillion seat, top box or tail dragger? The more specific you can be, the more likely someone can share where they got theirs made, and perhaps the reasons they choose a custom fabrication over the much less costly off the shelf unit with a custom mounting solution.
 

andcam

Premier Member
#5
I'm thinking pillion seat tank, flat, so the weight is lower and I can still use a top box.

What are you looking for? Design wise? Flat bed, pillion seat, top box or tail dragger? The more specific you can be, the more likely someone can share where they got theirs made, and perhaps the reasons they choose a custom fabrication over the much less costly off the shelf unit with a custom mounting solution.
 

EricV

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#6
Something like this?


Or flat, covering both the pillion seat area and rear rack area with a top box mounted on top? Like this.

 

andcam

Premier Member
#7
I'm fairly open to ideas, I do like that idea of it sitting under the top box and moving that combined weight forward a little. That would probably more permanent than I'd prefer.

The nearest I've seen on an ST is this, though perhaps without the enormous spout. This looks like I could viably remove the tank and carry a pillion occasionally:

Gateman_DSC03569_zps858fa98f.jpg


Something like this?


Or flat, covering both the pillion seat area and rear rack area with a top box mounted on top? Like this.

 

EricV

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#8
Considering you only have about 14.35L before going over IBR max, (if you need/want to stay under that), then just fabbing a plate bolted in lieu of the pillion seat, (which you could remove for pillion use), and mounting something like this generic 10L aux tank would be very cost effective and still allow top box use.
£70.00 10L aux tank. This tank is only a touch over 25 cm high. And would be sitting lower than the stock pillion seat.

FWIW, the "enormous spout" makes it much easier to fill at stops w/o leaving the saddle.
 
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andcam

Premier Member
#9
Thanks, that looks along the right lines, though i'd prefer wider than tall. I have enough basic metalwork skill to fab a frame (but not enough to tig aluminium like that!).

I hadn't done the capacity maths yet but certainly want to stay under the IBA limit. So 11.5 US gallons = 43.53L. The Pan is 29L so that's 14.53L I can have in aux? Call it 14L

I always get off the bike to fuel (Both for safety and to stretch legs) but it occurs to me that the spout also make the top of the tank more practical for storage. Could probably get a nice Peli rally admin situation going on top there.

Considering you only have about 14.35L before going over IBA max, (if you need/want to stay under that), then just fabbing a plate bolted in lieu of the pillion seat, (which you could remove for pillion use), and mounting something like this generic 10L aux tank would be very cost effective and still allow top box use.
£70.00 10L aux tank. This tank is only a touch over 25 cm high. And would be sitting lower than the stock pillion seat.

FWIW, the "enormous spout" makes it much easier to fill at stops w/o leaving the saddle.
 

JON12A

IBAUK's new Shop Keeper
IBA Member
#10
Looks a well finished product but the postage is more than the tank itself .
Plus it doesn't mention the thickness of the aluminium and it being from Hong Kong you might want to check.
Loosing roughly 40+ miles per fill up will add up on a multi day rally. As Eric says it is more cost effective as a custom one will be much more . Good luck with your pick.
 

EricV

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#11
Remember that for total capacity lines and filters are taken into account as well, so it's best not to aim for the exact maximum. I agree that 14L would be a good practical limit to aim for. Sadly, that's an odd size for off the shelf tanks and just under the some what common 15L size.

Just for reference, my first custom Aux tank cost me $1100 USD and was a small production batch by another LD rider. (Dean Tanji flatbed 4.8 Gal unit for the Yamaha FJR1300). My second custom fuel cell would have cost me $800 usd, (another 4.8 Gal flatbed design for a Yamaha Super Ten that I rode in the '13 IBR), but a friend offered to make me one and used that as a basis for creating new designs that he sold to others. Being the prototype bike was both lucky for me, and I'm lucky to have such a good friend. We worked together on the design and fabrication as time allowed over a week or so to get it done. My third custom fuel project was an expanded main tank, taking a 6.2 Gal tank to 8.2 gal using a local to me welding shop that was willing to take on the job. That cost me $600 for the welding work and a total of just over $1000 usd for the finished tank.

So $70 GBP + delivery cost and some frame work is incredibly cheaper, if not as large and as ideal a shape. (perhaps check with some local race shops to see if there are local sources for that tank. Certainly there are other vendors online. You can get different filler necks that bolt to the flat tank, but it would still come out the top in the same place. A taller neck helps avoid spillage during riding and gives you a bit more air gap for expansion. Most of these off the shelf tanks do not have baffles inside, so to meet IBR rules you would have to add fuel foam. In actual function you will not notice any slosh of fuel while riding with that size tank. One of the off the shelf tanks I used was 16L in a plain square form mounted to the pillion area and I never felt it sloshing.

I would still measure your area and draw up a simple idea of the shape and dimensions of a tank you would like. Then hunt through the offerings from the large manufacturers and see if they don't have something close that could possibly be modified. The less change from a stock design will be the easiest for them to do. Then give a few a call and see what they will quote you. Sometimes you get lucky and it's quite reasonable.

You already know the target capacity to aim for. Internal baffles and a side fuel neck, a top vent that will accept a line that can be plumbed down to the rear of the bike and some form of roll over block are also required. Print out the IBR Aux fuel rules from 2019 and read through them, as well as giving a copy to anyone that makes a tank for you, should you end up going down that road.

Basic info HERE I could not find a active link to the current IBR Aux Fuel tank rules. I did find this copy, which I believe is functionally current for fuel cells. Pages 16-19 are most of what applies to fuel cell use and design. LINK This article is worth a read though, as it covers much good info and has an excerpt from Tom Austin, who was the final word on fuel cells for many years in regards to the IBR. LINK

Good luck with your project. I've plumbed in about 5 different bikes, but there are a lot of others here with even more experience if you have specific questions. Don't be shy about asking them. Hopefully someone in the UK will come forth with a specific vendor that has made them a custom fuel cell for the Pan.
 

andcam

Premier Member
#12
They're actually available for about £60 inc P&P (here), which makes it very do-able, though good point about the thickness.

I'm going to look into custom fab before I decide.

Looks a well finished product but the postage is more than the tank itself .
Plus it doesn't mention the thickness of the aluminium and it being from Hong Kong you might want to check.
Loosing roughly 40+ miles per fill up will add up on a multi day rally. As Eric says it is more cost effective as a custom one will be much more . Good luck with your pick.
 

EricV

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#13
I imagine the seller can tell you the thickness used. I'd be surprised if it was less than 3mm, which is pretty standard for fuel cells. It's actually harder to weld thinner material, so it would cost more, (more labor time), to make one from thinner material than that, imho.

We use fuel cells so we can get fuel when we want to, not when we need to, (and less often). Sometimes we know where fuel is ahead and can get full range from our bikes. Other times it just means we can ride all night or not worry about a stretch of our route that has little fuel options or only during normal business hours.

This is in the US and they don't ship outside the US, but may give you an idea of another tank shape you could use. Boyd 3 Gal
 

OX-34

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#14
.....I hadn't done the capacity maths yet but certainly want to stay under the IBA limit. So 11.5 US gallons = 43.53L. The Pan is 29L so that's 14.53L I can have in aux? Call it 14L........
"IBA limit"? I'm reading this as Iron Butt Association limit. There is no IBA "limit".

Or are you guys specifically aiming for the Iron Butt Rally (IBR) volume limit (43.5 or so litres)?

Andcam is the plan for you to fly or ship your bike from the UK to the USA for a future IBR?


That pic of the ST with custom tank looks like Gatey's work here in Oz. Maybe even Wombattle's bike before he hit the kangaroo....
 

EricV

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#15
"IBA limit"? I'm reading this as Iron Butt Association limit. There is no IBA "limit".

Or are you guys specifically aiming for the Iron Butt Rally (IBR) volume limit (43.5 or so litres)?

Andcam is the plan for you to fly or ship your bike from the UK to the USA for a future IBR?


That pic of the ST with custom tank looks like Gatey's work here in Oz. Maybe even Wombattle's bike before he hit the kangaroo....
Just sloppy on my part. I meant the IBR limit, which many other rallies also subscribe to. For cert rides there is no limit on fuel capacity, as you correctly mention. IBA UK also uses the 11.5 gallon limit, as I understand, for their rallies, not for certs. Thus my comments on if he needed/wanted to stay under the limit. I typo'd the IBR to IBA, but have corrected it. Thanks for catching that as it may be a factor for the OP.

I've only seen a few people set up for over the 43.5L IBR limit, and that was usually well over for specific needs. If andcam is not concerned about rally riding, and decides to go with an off the shelf fuel cell, he certainly could use any size that fit his needs/bike for certificate rides.
 

GSears

Premier Member
#16
UK rally limit is 41.6 litres. So if doing UK Rallies you need to bear this in mind. You should be OK if your just adding a 10 Litre auxiliary tank.

B2 point 6

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