How I ended up with an aux fuel cell on my BMW S1000XR

#1
Today I finally finished installing my aux fuel cell on the BMW S1000XR I use for long-distance rides. I started this project a couple of months ago after having done my first BunBurner Gold. Until about a year ago, I had never heard of the Iron Butt Association; 300 miles days were as far as I would go. All that changed when I traded in my BMW S1000R for a new 2018 model BMW S1000XR. I went in for a regular oil change at BMW of Denver for the S1000R and rode home on a brand new S1000XR, the same engine and performance I loved, just a more comfortable geometry and ride position. The most expensive oil change ever.

IMG_2435.jpg

Around the same time, I met a new riding buddy Rob. Rob rides a 2018 HD Ultra Limited. With us both being imports to Colorado (Rob moved into Colorado from Texas, I immigrated to Colorado from Singapore), we decided to start riding together during the weekends. As we explored Colorado, our rides became longer and longer. I noticed that I enjoyed the longer rides better over the quick dashes up the mountain. I started querying Google about long-distance riding topics, and I found the Iron Butt Association. The prospect of doing 1000 miles in less than 24 hours was daunting at first. Crazy even. Yet, I was intrigued.

I like endurance sports; back in the day, I used to ride my bicycle all over the world. One of the best trips on my bicycle was a three week trip from Islamabad, Pakistan, to Tashkurgan, China, via the Karakoram Highway. Fabulous scenery, challenging roads, huge elevation differences per day, camping in the rough, the occasional not-so-friendly local, the ultimate endurance ride for me. It turned out to be the last long-distance bicycle trip I did; it was the ultimate endurance event that could not be trumped, plus professional life got in the way.

Skip forward 15 years to 2019, riding with Rob. The longer and longer motorcycle rides made me remember the peace I would experience during my long-distance bicycle trips. As a veteran of war, I sometimes struggle with 'darkness in my head.' I'm mostly fine, but there are days when I'm not. Riding my bicycle long distance always helped me clear my mind, find perspective, find peace. As it turns out, long-distance riding on a motorcycle does the same thing for me: just me, the road, and my thoughts and, eventually, peace.

I completed my first ever SaddleSore 1000 on the 26th of September 2019. On Tuesday the 22nd of September 2020, I'll ride my 18th IBA ride in a year, a Fall Equinox SS1000. I have found a hobby and past time I can combine with a busy professional and family life.

I like my BMW S1000XR. It is not a typical long-distance motorcycle; the engine is potent but vibey, it likes to rev, it wants to rev. I like that; I like to twist the throttle and experience this machine's insane power. Consequently, gas mileage is not fantastic, and thus its range is limited to about 175 miles. This bike eats rear tires for breakfast. Clearly, not your typical long-distance machine. I did look at Goldwings, K1600s, Harley cruisers, and FJRs. Short of it, I like my BMW S1000XR a lot. So, I put up with the expensive running costs. I tweaked the ride set up to make it very comfortable for me. I can smoothly run a 1,000-mile day and not be broken at the end of it. The only thing that wasn't perfect yet was the fuel range. I prefer to 'just keep going'; I don't want to stop for fuel as often as I have to on the stock tank. I, however, was reluctant to look at aux fuel cells. I like to have the extra range for a long-distance ride, but I do a lot of shorter rides as well, for which I don't need an aux fuel cell. For these shorter rides, I don't want the aux fuel for multiple reasons. I'm not too fond of its look; it takes away my pillion seat; it is unnecessary weight.

But then it struck me. What if I build an aux fuel cell that is easily removable? An aux fuel cell I use for my IBA rides and remove once the ride is done. I spend some time googling around and ended up on some forum where someone had used RAM mounts to create a removable luggage platform. That's it! With RAM mounts and some half-inch aluminium plate, I could quite easily make a removable platform for a spun aluminium tank. Add a couple of Goodridge/CPC fuel quick disconnects to the mix, and Bob's your uncle.

I ordered a 9" by 12" half-inch thick aluminium plate that would serve as the removable platform for the 10" x 16" 5-gallon spun aluminium tank I had ordered online. I went to Amazon for a bunch of RAM parts; two 11mm bolt head adapter ball bases, six composite double socket arms, four 9mm angled bolt head adapter ball bases, two half-inch U-bolt bases for rails plus two quarter-inch female threaded ball adapters. The Goodridge/CPC fuel line quickly disconnects the 5/16" fuel and 1/4" vent line I ordered from Beemerboneyard.

IMG_2422.jpg

The U-bolt bases I attached to the Givi luggage-rack, one on either side of the bike. I drilled a couple of 11mm holes through the stock luggage carrier for the top-case and added the threaded ball adapters on either side. I now had a total of four very sturdy mounting points for the platform. I decided it wasn't enough; I prefer to over-engineer things. I added two more ball adapters by tapping M6 holes into the Givi top case mounting plate. I now have a total of 6 RAM double socket arms that attach the platform to the bike. It works well; the platform doesn't move the tiniest bit when I 'manhandle' the platform. The platform and aux fuel cell are also easily installed and removed. It takes me less than 5 minutes to install or remove the whole setup, including disconnected the fuel line, vent line, and grounding wire.

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The grounding wire had to be easily removable as well. I decided to use SAE Power Socket connectors for this. I installed an SAE Power Socket sidewall port I got of Amazon in one of the panels next to the pillion seat. This power socket now serves a double purpose; I use it to attach the grounding wire to the aluminium aux fuel cell but can use the same port to connect my trickle charger when it is not in use.

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The vent line is attached with a 1/4" fuel line to the vent on the center fill. I use a CPC quick disconnect hidden under the top-case to connect and disconnect the vent line easily. I routed the vent line with sturdy clips to the rear fender, where I used a filter to make sure there is no ingress of dirt through the vent line. Any fuel coming out of the vent line now exits the vent line well behind the rear tire.

IMG_2434.jpg

Now I just had to plumb the aux fuel cell into the stock fuel tank. I considered multiple options. I settled on adding a bulkhead fitting to the fuel sender plate after I figured a fuel sender plate was a lot cheaper than the $1,785 for a new tank. I wasn't too keen on drilling a large hole into an expensive plastic piece, so I decided it would be better to drill a large hole in a somewhat cheaper plastic piece. If I would mess this up, I would only need to replace the fuel sender plate. It turned out very well. I removed the fuel sender plate from the tank and located an excellent spot to fit the 3/8" brass bulkhead coupling. The fuel sender plate on the S1000XR is thick enough to tap a few 3/8" NPT threads. It won't provide a lot of structural rigidity, but it will help with sealing this fitting. A 3/8" NPT locknut, some fuel resistant thread locker, and two Viton O-rings completes the job. As said, it worked out very well. This setup is a very clean install that has proven to be leak-proof so far over 18,000 miles.

The 5/16" fuel line was easy to route on the left-hand side of the motorcycle. All electrical wiring is routed on the other side of the bike, so no risk of mishaps. I attached a couple of clips to the frame to securely attach the fuel line. I then cut a large hole in the left-hand side body panel next to the seat to route the fuel line. I added rubber padding to the edges to make sure there would be no abrasion risk.
IMG_2423.jpg

The inaugural ride for this setup was last month's SaddleSore 1000. It almost performed flawlessly. The only hiccup was an airlock in the fuel line because of the overlength I left under the stock tank. That issue was quickly and easily remedied. Once I figured out the airlock, the aux fuel cell did what it was meant to do; it extended my range to over 350 miles. I can easily reach the large handle for the shut-off valve; I open it as soon as the fuel warning light comes on. It takes about 20 minutes for gravity to do its thing.

I'm happy with the setup. The only upgrade I'm considering is adding a 3/8" NPT bung to the top of the tank so that I can install a roll-over valve. I tried adding an external roll-over valve but didn't like how it had to be mounted, so I removed it. I'm currently using the tank without a roll-over valve but think I should have one, just in case I drop the bike or worse.
 

keithu

Premier Member
#6
Nice work! I'm a big fan of touring on lighter, sportier motorcycles. I have always argued that lighter weight can reduce rider fatigue, especially when the long ride includes interesting curvy roads. Nowadays we have relatively light motorcycles like the S1000XR or my FJ-09 that offer the same comfortable, upright riding position of a touring bike without all the pork. :cool:

But of course they're lighter for a reason, and low fuel capacity is usually a drawback.

Great idea on the grounding connector/trickle charger port.
 

c10

Active Member
#7
Its tough with the heavy bikes . The FJR with 6.6 gallons could make 300 for me but average 260's . / the extra power , and reduced weight of the 1000 is nice . Although you have her quiet packed out . I built my own super tour rig , but no aux fuel cell yet . Another Hayabusa IBA member has a custom built cell in his tail section extending his range to over 450 miles . I took this 173 hp 589 pound beast to 505 lb wet with 207 hp . The Russel day long saddle / electronic cruise were the best mods for distance . Ive considered building two small tanks in the bottom of my bags about 1 gallon each with a crossover . then use a elect fuel pump to transfer into main tank .
Also do you get fuel slosh ? In my wife's Banndit it had a fuel slosh issues so I filled it with aviation grade fuel foam mesh blocks . it stopped all the slosh . They take up no room in capacity that is measurable ( a few ounces per gallon ) link here below.

https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Fuel...pXwk4mRLHSpZjpS_8NOTENi5OULlA0thoC5_AQAvD_BwE

I have alot left over , but you can not use it in the main tank due to sender unit for fuel gauge .

With you're square cases are you getting wind at speed buffet ? Since i've cut SW motech racks down 2 " , and tucked everything in the bird can fly 191 gps with bags
 

Attachments

#9
Yes, the S1000XR is quite decked out. However, plenty of power left for some decent go. When I take her up the mountains for some twisties, I leave all that stuff home and occasionally change the windshield to a smaller one as well; this is exactly why I wanted a removable aux fuel. When I'm doing an IBA ride I don't need the insane power and speed. Going up the hills for some fun: I do need it.

Fuel sloshing isn't really a problem: I ordered the tank with two baffles which helps a lot. The square cases don't create wind buffeting either; no issues at the usual interstate speeds. Once I tried these cases up to max speed; they did just fine for the short distance I went at that speed. At those speeds, you probably would not want a topcase though... I was worried that eventually, that thing would just come off... The Givi platform has stamped into it that it supports a weight of only 6 kg (that's the weight of an empty topcase more or less).
 
#11
Today I finally finished installing my aux fuel cell on the BMW S1000XR I use for long-distance rides. I started this project a couple of months ago after having done my first BunBurner Gold. Until about a year ago, I had never heard of the Iron Butt Association; 300 miles days were as far as I would go. All that changed when I traded in my BMW S1000R for a new 2018 model BMW S1000XR. I went in for a regular oil change at BMW of Denver for the S1000R and rode home on a brand new S1000XR, the same engine and performance I loved, just a more comfortable geometry and ride position. The most expensive oil change ever.

View attachment 5757

Around the same time, I met a new riding buddy Rob. Rob rides a 2018 HD Ultra Limited. With us both being imports to Colorado (Rob moved into Colorado from Texas, I immigrated to Colorado from Singapore), we decided to start riding together during the weekends. As we explored Colorado, our rides became longer and longer. I noticed that I enjoyed the longer rides better over the quick dashes up the mountain. I started querying Google about long-distance riding topics, and I found the Iron Butt Association. The prospect of doing 1000 miles in less than 24 hours was daunting at first. Crazy even. Yet, I was intrigued.

I like endurance sports; back in the day, I used to ride my bicycle all over the world. One of the best trips on my bicycle was a three week trip from Islamabad, Pakistan, to Tashkurgan, China, via the Karakoram Highway. Fabulous scenery, challenging roads, huge elevation differences per day, camping in the rough, the occasional not-so-friendly local, the ultimate endurance ride for me. It turned out to be the last long-distance bicycle trip I did; it was the ultimate endurance event that could not be trumped, plus professional life got in the way.

Skip forward 15 years to 2019, riding with Rob. The longer and longer motorcycle rides made me remember the peace I would experience during my long-distance bicycle trips. As a veteran of war, I sometimes struggle with 'darkness in my head.' I'm mostly fine, but there are days when I'm not. Riding my bicycle long distance always helped me clear my mind, find perspective, find peace. As it turns out, long-distance riding on a motorcycle does the same thing for me: just me, the road, and my thoughts and, eventually, peace.

I completed my first ever SaddleSore 1000 on the 26th of September 2019. On Tuesday the 22nd of September 2020, I'll ride my 18th IBA ride in a year, a Fall Equinox SS1000. I have found a hobby and past time I can combine with a busy professional and family life.

I like my BMW S1000XR. It is not a typical long-distance motorcycle; the engine is potent but vibey, it likes to rev, it wants to rev. I like that; I like to twist the throttle and experience this machine's insane power. Consequently, gas mileage is not fantastic, and thus its range is limited to about 175 miles. This bike eats rear tires for breakfast. Clearly, not your typical long-distance machine. I did look at Goldwings, K1600s, Harley cruisers, and FJRs. Short of it, I like my BMW S1000XR a lot. So, I put up with the expensive running costs. I tweaked the ride set up to make it very comfortable for me. I can smoothly run a 1,000-mile day and not be broken at the end of it. The only thing that wasn't perfect yet was the fuel range. I prefer to 'just keep going'; I don't want to stop for fuel as often as I have to on the stock tank. I, however, was reluctant to look at aux fuel cells. I like to have the extra range for a long-distance ride, but I do a lot of shorter rides as well, for which I don't need an aux fuel cell. For these shorter rides, I don't want the aux fuel for multiple reasons. I'm not too fond of its look; it takes away my pillion seat; it is unnecessary weight.

But then it struck me. What if I build an aux fuel cell that is easily removable? An aux fuel cell I use for my IBA rides and remove once the ride is done. I spend some time googling around and ended up on some forum where someone had used RAM mounts to create a removable luggage platform. That's it! With RAM mounts and some half-inch aluminium plate, I could quite easily make a removable platform for a spun aluminium tank. Add a couple of Goodridge/CPC fuel quick disconnects to the mix, and Bob's your uncle.

I ordered a 9" by 12" half-inch thick aluminium plate that would serve as the removable platform for the 10" x 16" 5-gallon spun aluminium tank I had ordered online. I went to Amazon for a bunch of RAM parts; two 11mm bolt head adapter ball bases, six composite double socket arms, four 9mm angled bolt head adapter ball bases, two half-inch U-bolt bases for rails plus two quarter-inch female threaded ball adapters. The Goodridge/CPC fuel line quickly disconnects the 5/16" fuel and 1/4" vent line I ordered from Beemerboneyard.

View attachment 5756

The U-bolt bases I attached to the Givi luggage-rack, one on either side of the bike. I drilled a couple of 11mm holes through the stock luggage carrier for the top-case and added the threaded ball adapters on either side. I now had a total of four very sturdy mounting points for the platform. I decided it wasn't enough; I prefer to over-engineer things. I added two more ball adapters by tapping M6 holes into the Givi top case mounting plate. I now have a total of 6 RAM double socket arms that attach the platform to the bike. It works well; the platform doesn't move the tiniest bit when I 'manhandle' the platform. The platform and aux fuel cell are also easily installed and removed. It takes me less than 5 minutes to install or remove the whole setup, including disconnected the fuel line, vent line, and grounding wire.

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The grounding wire had to be easily removable as well. I decided to use SAE Power Socket connectors for this. I installed an SAE Power Socket sidewall port I got of Amazon in one of the panels next to the pillion seat. This power socket now serves a double purpose; I use it to attach the grounding wire to the aluminium aux fuel cell but can use the same port to connect my trickle charger when it is not in use.

View attachment 5752
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The vent line is attached with a 1/4" fuel line to the vent on the center fill. I use a CPC quick disconnect hidden under the top-case to connect and disconnect the vent line easily. I routed the vent line with sturdy clips to the rear fender, where I used a filter to make sure there is no ingress of dirt through the vent line. Any fuel coming out of the vent line now exits the vent line well behind the rear tire.

View attachment 5754

Now I just had to plumb the aux fuel cell into the stock fuel tank. I considered multiple options. I settled on adding a bulkhead fitting to the fuel sender plate after I figured a fuel sender plate was a lot cheaper than the $1,785 for a new tank. I wasn't too keen on drilling a large hole into an expensive plastic piece, so I decided it would be better to drill a large hole in a somewhat cheaper plastic piece. If I would mess this up, I would only need to replace the fuel sender plate. It turned out very well. I removed the fuel sender plate from the tank and located an excellent spot to fit the 3/8" brass bulkhead coupling. The fuel sender plate on the S1000XR is thick enough to tap a few 3/8" NPT threads. It won't provide a lot of structural rigidity, but it will help with sealing this fitting. A 3/8" NPT locknut, some fuel resistant thread locker, and two Viton O-rings completes the job. As said, it worked out very well. This setup is a very clean install that has proven to be leak-proof so far over 18,000 miles.

The 5/16" fuel line was easy to route on the left-hand side of the motorcycle. All electrical wiring is routed on the other side of the bike, so no risk of mishaps. I attached a couple of clips to the frame to securely attach the fuel line. I then cut a large hole in the left-hand side body panel next to the seat to route the fuel line. I added rubber padding to the edges to make sure there would be no abrasion risk.
View attachment 5755

The inaugural ride for this setup was last month's SaddleSore 1000. It almost performed flawlessly. The only hiccup was an airlock in the fuel line because of the overlength I left under the stock tank. That issue was quickly and easily remedied. Once I figured out the airlock, the aux fuel cell did what it was meant to do; it extended my range to over 350 miles. I can easily reach the large handle for the shut-off valve; I open it as soon as the fuel warning light comes on. It takes about 20 minutes for gravity to do its thing.

I'm happy with the setup. The only upgrade I'm considering is adding a 3/8" NPT bung to the top of the tank so that I can install a roll-over valve. I tried adding an external roll-over valve but didn't like how it had to be mounted, so I removed it. I'm currently using the tank without a roll-over valve but think I should have one, just in case I drop the bike or worse.
Great story and nice aux fuel system. I felt like I was reading a book about a motorcycle enthusiasts. Then it ended. By the way . There's a English test rider for Royal Enfield Julian Amos. Has a few books around .Its called Test Rider.