Plastic Gas Tank. (Thoughts?) - Page 2 - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 01:18 AM
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There's definitely plenty of petrol caps out there. Plastic, aluminum, any color, male or female threads.

Here's one for $17.99 : https://www.ebay.com/itm/Silver-Bill...93379faf40449b

I'd hate having to slide on top of it though.


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 02:11 AM
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Dirt bikes have had plastic tanks for a long time. My Yamaha XT225 came with a 2 gallon steel tank. I replaced it with a Clarke 4 gallon plastic tank. But it is a dual sport bike used mainly as a dirt bike. A cruiser might look a bit odd with a plastic tank. I still wax the paint on my cruisers. But a bigger concern would be ethanol. I had the oem tanks on 2 Honda dirt bikes destroyed by ethanol. It happened while they were sitting in a shed with ethanol gas in them. I went in the shed and could small gas. I looked at one of the bikes to see if there was a leak. I rolled it outside and discovered the tank had cracks all over it. I checked the other one. Same thing. Both vents were open, so it wasn't pressure. The ethanol broke down the structure of the plastic tanks. When I'm not going to use my XT for a while, I remove the tank and flush it out with water, and drain the carb. A 4 gallon Clarke tank is about $300 bucks.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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I was looking at some of them caps yesterday spockster. I no some people like locking there cap with a key but to me a screw in one would not matter. It would make the design of the mould cheaper and easier as the fittings would be standard enough and a lot easier to mould into the plastic as we do that already on some of the portabale tanks. I put a pic of one of the fittings below. This is only one type but there are many and i could use one that would fit the screw in caps.There is also a pic of the small fittings that could hold the petcock on. I would actually kind of prefer it to be honest. Vn750rider/jerry as for the plastic breaking down with the fuel, this wont happen as the plastic i work with is for this purpose with a lifetime warrenty on the tanks. As for making it a gallon bigger, im thinking if i keep the original design and just make it that extra bit bigger it shouldnt take away the look. This plan will be put in motion today when i have a chat with the design team on the quite. Might have to slip him 50 bucks to keep it low key as he has his own work to do. I shall post back later with a rough estimate on the cost.
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Last edited by Will750; 11-07-2019 at 03:42 AM.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 09:06 AM
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I tried looking at female threaded caps, as on dirtbikes, but there's just so many. Male threads on the tank means you don't need a bung insert, just mold the threads on the top of the tank. If the threads are just the right height, I don't think it would look too bad. I suppose you could mold female threads on the tank as well though?

Jerry, what year is the XT? Plastic tech has come a long way since then, and maybe ethanol wasn't even in widespread use then?

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spockster View Post
I tried looking at female threaded caps, as on dirtbikes, but there's just so many. Male threads on the tank means you don't need a bung insert, just mold the threads on the top of the tank. If the threads are just the right height, I don't think it would look too bad. I suppose you could mold female threads on the tank as well though?

Jerry, what year is the XT? Plastic tech has come a long way since then, and maybe ethanol wasn't even in widespread use then?
Yes we can do the female threads also but my only concern with that would be stripping out. We have a variety of brass fittings to be moulded so i will have a look and see what would suit
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 10:52 AM
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I'd consider using a plastic tank if the capacity is larger. My commute is 37 miles one way. If I'm light on the throttle, I can get two days on a tank (148 miles), but that rarely happens. I end up fueling up every day. I'd love an extra gallon or two!


'89 VN750 Bought stock 4/12/18 @ 17805.9 miles $800. Wrecked once. 27454.5+ miles

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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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I have the design team working on a drawing as i type this. He is doing it in his spare time but should be ready by monday. Amazing what 50 bucks can get you 😁
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Will750 View Post
Yes we can do the female threads also but my only concern with that would be stripping out. We have a variety of brass fittings to be moulded so i will have a look and see what would suit
I've never seen any strip out, the threads are really coarse. Maybe 3 threads per inch? But you know better than I about your options and costs. I think the ones with the insert, as you showed, look better than an MX cap sitting above the tank, and some of those had locks I believe.

Looks like a good project, if it succeeds you can branch out into other makes and models. If I still had the crashed tank on the bike, I'd be in line to check out one of yours.

One good thing, the tank will be a lot lighter in weight. Better, lower center of gravity, and lower shipping cost.

In making more capacity, you might check clearance between the tank and frame, see if that can be squeezed? A little here, a little there, bam, a gallon and a half.

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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will750 View Post
Yes we can do the female threads also but my only concern with that would be stripping out. We have a variety of brass fittings to be moulded so i will have a look and see what would suit
I've never seen any strip out, the threads are really coarse. Maybe 3 threads per inch? But you know better than I about your options and costs. I think the ones with the insert, as you showed, look better than an MX cap sitting above the tank, and some of those had locks I believe.

Looks like a good project, if it succeeds you can branch out into other makes and models. If I still had the crashed tank on the bike, I'd be in line to check out one of yours.

One good thing, the tank will be a lot lighter in weight. Better, lower center of gravity, and lower shipping cost.

In making more capacity, you might check clearance between the tank and frame, see if that can be squeezed? A little here, a little there, bam, a gallon and a half.
I have been checking for ways with my own tank already today to see where i could squeeze the extra from. I think i can get it to 18 litres which would be 4.7 gallons. Any more and it would just look to big. This is gonna be an interesting project thats for sure.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spockster View Post
I tried looking at female threaded caps, as on dirtbikes, but there's just so many. Male threads on the tank means you don't need a bung insert, just mold the threads on the top of the tank. If the threads are just the right height, I don't think it would look too bad. I suppose you could mold female threads on the tank as well though?

Jerry, what year is the XT? Plastic tech has come a long way since then, and maybe ethanol wasn't even in widespread use then?

My XT225 is a 2001. It is the one with the aftermarket Clarke tank on it, which has held up so far. The two oem tanks ruined by ethanol were on a 1999 XR200 and a 2002 XR250. It happened about 7 years ago. It had already destroyed the petcock on the 200, and Honda petcocks cannot be rebuilt like the ones on the Vulcan 750. They are riveted together. They cost about $60. I drilled out the rivets, fabricated a metal cover plate for the front, and put it back together with screws and nuts. It was no longer a petcock, just a fitting. I pulled the hose to the carb off when it was stored, and replaced it with a short piece of hose with a small bolt stuck in it. Dirt bikes also have a vent hose attached directly to the center of the gas cap, and stuck down behind the handlebar somewhere (or at least they did) The open ends of these hoses would just turn to mush (including the one on my XT225)But on the two bike wit the destroyed tanks, I pulled the hoses off the cap and blew through them. They were swollen, but not blocked.

I have also had damage done to petcocks and carb parts on other bikes by ethanol. I've rebuilt VN750 petcocks 5-6 times. I had to replace the coasting enricher diaphragms on the 2002. They were completely melted. Just black goo. I also noticed the end of the carb float bowl vent hose (the one that plugs into the right side air filter housing, which I still have) becomes swollen and mushy just like on the dirt bikes.

I think there is a reason they put whiskey in glass bottles. It would melt plastic bottles.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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