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Twins Technical Talk Technical Talk for Hinckley Triumph Twins: Bonneville, T100, Speedmaster, America, Thruxton, and Scrambler.

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Old 11-08-2012, 01:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Carbon fiber gas tank?

Hypothetically speaking making a.carbon fiber tank would be quite hard right? Taking it off to make a mold wouldn't be to hard, a 2 piece mold top and bottom. But the hard part would be the gas cap screw in threads and the bottom gas pump/filter/mechanism thingy on the bottom with screws to take it on and off.
So say hypothetically I wanted to try to make a carbon fiber tank this winter, would it be nearly impossible without sinking a huge budget into this? Would this be even possible? Also lining the inner tank would be hard to. Anythis im missing?

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Last edited by Burgandy25; 11-08-2012 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Its been done. Conderderate Motorcycle had them as option years ago. They were a nightmare. Ethanol fuel caused delamination and bubbling. Unless its a fake tank...I woulndtdo it
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Or you could just get one from Italy. There is a small firm, named de Caesar, that make very cool parts for the Bonnie/ Thrux. There is also a US distributor.

Here you can see their (unpainted) karbon/kevlar tank:
http://www.decaesar.it/DCS015.htm

I have their triple clamps, and they are really great!
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can get weld-in gas cap bungs that can be molded into the CF tank. There is a shop in Japan (CarbonDry) which makes a CF shell that fits over the stock tank. I've always thought that was a cool solution for those who want a high tech looking tank, but don't have very deep pockets. And you have no leak worries.

/M
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There's a small family shop in the Atlanta area which hand hammers gas tanks out of aluminum.
The goal in changing the tank is to reduce weight.

Carbon Fiber doesn't take well to holding caustic materials.
You could, however, make a CF 'container' for a bladder system - possibly.

CF is all about stronger and lighter than metal alternatives.
But not as a container for fluid (not to say it hasn't been done.)
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I made a composite tank for one of my Ducatis. It can certainly be done. Sealing the inside of the tank to prevent against ethanol exposure is easy and reliable, just use Caswell epoxy.
The thing is, if you take on this project, it should because you enjoy doing this kind of thing. It's a ton of work, and you will spend a significant amount of money for materials. Forgot about the cost of cf cloth. You'll be amazed how much you'd spend on basic materials like sandpaper.
Just going out and buying one may be the better way to go if you just want a CF tank and don't want a huge project.
If you want specifics on how I did mine and dealt with things like gas caps and fuel pump mounts send me a pm.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
There's a small family shop in the Atlanta area which hand hammers gas tanks out of aluminum.
The goal in changing the tank is to reduce weight.
A guy from 'Lanta called me some time ago to gauge my interest in having tanks made. Of course I was excited to see what he could do.

Never heard back from him.

/M
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro-Racer View Post
A guy from 'Lanta called me some time ago to gauge my interest in having tanks made. Of course I was excited to see what he could do.

Never heard back from him.

/M
This is the one major thing modern Bonnie owners are lacking...
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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After some doubts as to whether it would work or not, I'm pleased with the way mine came out. I bought it in from DeCaesar along with some alu swingarms. The before link is here and the after is here. It is technically not Carbon Fiber as one would image it. It is Kevlar layered with a carbon shell. I've only put ethanol free fuel in it so dont know about how the ethanol would affect it. I do also add a cap full of fuel stabilizer along with each fill-up. The weight is 5.5 lbs less than stock and does make the bike much more flickable.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Be careful with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) bits. The majority are just glossy vinyl prints on something cheaper. Others are a single layer of CFRP over a cheaper material. Often the resins used will turn yellow in sunlight. Buying actual CFRP parts will cost a fortune, mostly in labor at the factory.

Making your own CFRP is possible, but expensive and time consuming. You might want to use a very thin metal tank as an internal structure. As the tank itself would not be load bearing, you could make your own out of the thinnest sheet you can find.
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