Hi Guys, I have a '68 20M which I've owned since 1980 in fact the one that is pictured on the front cover of Mick Duckworth's 2004 book on the Commando. Problem is Ethanol has melted the tank. I have another fibreglass tank which has never seen Ethanol which I contemplated coating with Caswell but don't know how good that stuff and by the time it's prepped and sprayed it will be costly and I don't want to throw money away. So I need a steel replacement, preferably with the indentations for the round badges. I'm sure this subject is not new but if anyone can recommend a reliable source I would be most grateful. Has anyone had any luck with Indian made tanks that fit and are the right shape?
Appreciate any advice on this matter. Thanx
The RGM tanks are ethanol proof. Not steel, but nearer to original perhaps?
Thanks Steve, I am aware of the R.G.M offering but it's a bit on the steep side by the time you've got it painted. Was looking for a steel replacement and just threw it out there to see if anyone had any success in that regard.
If you want cheap but prepared for work then buy off eBay, Royal Choppers and pummy8081 have good reports but they still come from India so buy bare steel. Once the prep work is costed you may then in total pay the same as RGM.
Have you thought of removing the ethanol from the fuel? Not practical if you need to fill up on the road but if a tankful will take you where you want to go it's an easy option.
I've been thinking about a couple of options to preserve the original look. One would be to "bag" the tank - basically stuff a plastic bag into the tank to hold the fuel. They do something like this with rally cars. Bags are made to order. Filler and taps are attached to the bag. Don't know how practical this would be. The other idea is to make a basic aluminium tank and use the original GRP tank as a cover. The aluminium tank can be quite crude. Cut the bottom out of the original tank and drop it over, maybe put the base back too to complete the illusion. Will loose some volume but that seems entirely do-able.
Hi Stan, Thanks for your input. Interested to learn how you remove Ethanol. Can you expand on this please? I was hoping to get more responses re tanks built in India etc. Surely there must be members who have gone down that route and I would be interested in the outcomes.
Remove the ethanol by mixing the E5/E10 fuel with water. But of a faff but it does work.
Need a clear or translucent plastic 10 litre container with a tap (either seperate or in the filler). Sort of water container you'll see on any campsite. Put in 5 litres of gasoline, add a litre of water and shake vigourously. Allow to sit for a few hours with the tap at the bottom. You will see a water layer at the bottom and the gasoline on top. Almost all the ethanol is in the water. The trick now is the get the gasoline out and leave the water behind. So open the tap and run the water off until the gasoline layer is at the tap. Discard the water somewhere - it's contaminated so not a public sewer.
Trouble is that ethanol is an octane booster so you might need to add something depending on how much ethanol you've taken out. If you mark where the amount of water you add comes to on the container you will see how much ethanol has been drawn out. In the UK, premium unleaded is rated E5 but often contains little or no ethanol. E5 / E10 means it is allowed to contain up to 5 / 10% ethanol, but it doesn't have to. Shell V-Power seems to have very little so you don't waste much and most of that 98 RON is still left. Tesco Momentum is rated at 99 RON but does contain nearly 5% ethanol.
A Google search for "how to remove ethanol from petrol" will throw up lots more info.
Oh, and don't use that container for anything else.
You can add food dye to the water so you can see more clearly where the division between the petrol and the water/ethanol is.
Fascinating about ethanol removal but not practical for me on the longer runs
I have the same quandary ,though my fibreglass roadster tank seems very good on my recent US import rebuild project , I am wondering about having the tank lined and then painting versus bare indian tank and painting,
do anyone know if the ethanol linings on the F/glass are effective in the l.ong term or how much this may be if done professionally ?
Yes, the caswell lining is good but it needs to be applied correctly which is time consuming. If you ride regular then it will not be an issue. If you store the bike over winter months then do what the trial and racers do, drain the tank and leave the tank open.
It can be applied yourself, what a company would do to line a tank I would not know.