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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 12-11-2012, 10:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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To pad or not to pad?

Has anyone got some good advice on fitting tank pads on a mag wheel Bonnie? I have done most of the engine, suspension, exhaust and body work I wanted to do on my 2012 but would like a bit of feedback about whether the tank pads are useful for anything or just for looks.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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On my Thruxton, they're mostly for looks w/ my 32" inseam. I'm guessing they're more useful on the Bonneville because of the different foot pegs location. If you want them only for their protection, I suggest you sit on the bike and see where your knees hit the tank.

There are definitely two schools of thought regarding their looks and seem evenly divided. I like the look and think it makes the bike look even more retro as do the fork gaitors. If you do buy them, I suggest making sure they're warm before installation (I used a hair dryer) and the tank is clean. I followed somebody's suggestion of positioning the pads where I wanted them to end up and marking that location w/ strips of masking tape. I eye-balled the bottom of the tank so the pad bottom was parallel and located the pad in the middle of the flat area. You get one shot at it, so don't remove all the backing paper at once - peel it back as you press the pad onto the tank. Take lots of time and then do some measuring to get both side the same.


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Originally Posted by mr.broad View Post
Has anyone got some good advice on fitting tank pads on a mag wheel Bonnie? I have done most of the engine, suspension, exhaust and body work I wanted to do on my 2012 but would like a bit of feedback about whether the tank pads are useful for anything or just for looks.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I put the pads on my Bonneville. They allow me to grip the tank better when stopping. This keeps some pressure off my wrists during weight transfer. Other than that, I don't grip the tank with my knees much during normal riding.

I put them on while the tank was off the bike, (after being painted.) I dare say it was a whole lot easier to line everything up with the tank in my lap, versus doing it on the bike.

The pads come with very strong glue, thus it's been mentioned that you only have one shot at getting it right, and that's no lie. Do be sure and thoroughly clean the areas on the tank. Strip off any wax that has been applied first, then finish up with some alcohol.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimravus01 View Post
I put the pads on my Bonneville. They allow me to grip the tank better when stopping. This keeps some pressure off my wrists during weight transfer. Other than that, I don't grip the tank with my knees much during normal riding.

I put them on while the tank was off the bike, (after being painted.) I dare say it was a whole lot easier to line everything up with the tank in my lap, versus doing it on the bike.

The pads come with very strong glue, thus it's been mentioned that you only have one shot at getting it right, and that's no lie. Do be sure and thoroughly clean the areas on the tank. Strip off any wax that has been applied first, then finish up with some alcohol.
Have to agree with everything above. I did manage to install mine while the tank was on the bike, but it was definitely a two-person job:
  • First, I parked the bike in the sun for a few hours to warm up the tank.
  • While this was going on I printed out a good side shot of a factory tank with pads installed.
  • With the paper backing still on the pad, I had my son position it until it looked correct.
  • Then we swapped positions and made micro-adjustments and debated until my wife said we were being idiots.
  • Then while my son held the pad on the tank I placed 5 or 6 tape strips around the outline of the pad so when I went for the final placement I'd be able to line it back up.
  • Then I cleaned the area with the denatured alcohol, took a deep breath and slowly rolled the pad into position.
  • The second pad was pretty much a duplicate procedure as the first but involved much more measuring and eye-balling to make sure the pads would end up even, as I knew if I could see a difference it would make me mental every time I rode the bike.
  • The final installation step was smuggling my wife's hair dryer out to heat the pad a little bit (most likely entirely unnecessary...), followed by vigorous squeezing of the tank pads with the knees.
  • Then of course - clean up, step back and admire, drink beer.
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Last edited by sprouty115; 12-12-2012 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I put pads on my Thruxton. I have to agree with bluesman77 though, they serve no function whatsoever as my knees never come anywhere near them. However, I also have to agree with him that they contribute to the classic look.

I do have one piece of additional advice though; you might consider getting a set that doesn't have the word Triumph on them. For my part, the gross repetition of the brand name can get a little annoying. Four Triumph logos on the gas tank alone is definately overkill.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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[/LIST]
  • The final installation step was smuggling my wife's hair dryer out to heat the pad a little bit (most likely entirely unnecessary...), followed by vigorous squeezing of the tank pads with the knees.
  • Then of course - clean up, step back and admire, drink beer.
[/QUOTE]

Great job! Did you remember to put the hair dryer back?
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Argierm View Post
[The final..step was smuggling my wife's hair dryer...followed by vigorous squeezing...with the knees. Then of course - clean up.
heeheehee

Sorry, excuse the selectively-edited quote, feeling silly tonight. Had to satisfy my inner 12 year-old.

I, too, have considered the tank pads but can't quite make up my mind. If I did not like them after they were installed, is the adhesive so strong that the paint would be ruined upon removal?

Silly thing to be indecisive about, but my bike is like one of my kids, only more important.

Also, has anyone had tank pads dealer-installed? I assume it's a pretty popular pre-delivery option, and maybe practice makes perfect.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I was in the same situation as you and after seeing the scratches on my tank pile up I bought some.

They're easy to put on, stick like hell and really help gripping the tank in turns and riding. I bought the ones from NewBonneville.

I don't notice them now. Beats looking at the scratches.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I, too, have considered the tank pads but can't quite make up my mind. If I did not like them after they were installed, is the adhesive so strong that the paint would be ruined upon removal?
When I wrecked my bike and had to replace my fuel tank, I actually took the pads off the bum tank and refitted them onto the new tank. So, I've actually fitted the knee pads twice... I guess practice does make perfect.

I took a heat gun and heated the pads, then gently worked them free one at a time. (No damage to the paint underneath, to answer your question.)

Then I stuck the onto my new tank without applying any new adhesive and they have been stuck firmly for over a year now. It's very strong glue, but, a little well placed heat makes them easy to work with.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I vote yes, but ultimately it's up to you...

I just installed a pair from MADSS the other day. I was nowhere near as thorough as sp115. Just eyeballed each side. Besides, you only really see one at a time!

I installed them for three reasons:

1. I do tend to grip the tank with my knees tightly and in these cold temps, I found that with the grips, my knees, especially the inner parts get less cops.

2. I do tend to grip the tank with my knees tightly and it does generally feel more comfortable.

3. I do like the look of them. They contribute to that traditional style.

Good luck!
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