Petrol tank blisters - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Tiger's 885i & 955i - Mods & Workshop Workshop and technical talk for the 885i & 955i Tigers

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Petrol tank blisters

Hi - I've got a 2007 Tiger 955i and have blisters (air bubbles) on the tank decals - caused by leaving petrol in it over winter! I've contacted my local dealer who inform me it is the plastic tank breaking down, that there is no known cure and Triumph don't make the tanks anymore!! Does anyone have a suggestion for what I can do to remedy the situation?

I had intended to sell the bike this year but clearly can't pass this issue on to a new owner without curing it first.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 08:42 PM
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Have the decals replaced with paint.
The bad part is those bubbled decals are under the clear coat.

One enterprising soul cut away the clear coat, removed the decals and put on fresh vinyl ones. That would require a very steady hand, though.

Or there are these Bagster covers which some people like:

https://www.motolegends.com/bagster/...-900-TIGER-955
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2019, 10:01 PM
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Take a sewing pin and pop the blister at one of the thousands of dots.
Use your fingernail to work out the air.
Problem solved.

The ride might be fun, but at the end, it really is the Destination that counts.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 06:39 AM
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I don't think it's got anything to do with leaving fuel in it over winter ??

My 2007 '955 is exactly the same, I don't worry about it. I did the old pin prick and work the air out, but they came back.

Safe riding.
Regards,
Graeme.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 01:10 PM
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I've heard of this happening before pretty regularly. There have been a few posts on the subject. Doubt it's anything to do with petrol inside the tank.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger-G View Post
I don't think it's got anything to do with leaving fuel in it over winter ??

My 2007 '955 is exactly the same, I don't worry about it. I did the old pin prick and work the air out, but they came back.
Agree. I had some blisters come back, but persistence pays. So far none have returned this summer.
Nothing to lose but a little blood if you jab your finger!

The ride might be fun, but at the end, it really is the Destination that counts.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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Petrol Tank Blisters

Thanks to everyone for the replies.

I did the pin trick, although you can see the tiny holes if you look closely - will keep it up. Tank bags look good, may go for one of those to cover up my pin prick attempts!!!
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-06-2019, 10:22 AM
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Most (if not all) plastic tanks suffer similar issues. its down to the Ethanol they put in fuel. Many years ago my Aprilia RSV tank was fine, until Ethanol was introduced in UK fuel. then the tank started to warp (as did my girlfriends Ducati Monster tank).

Fast forward to last year. My Tiger tank had the dreaded bubbles under the decals. My research suggested it was the Ethanol causing the problem. There is also evidence that it can also warp the tanks. If taken off the bike & left for a while, the bolt holes don't align the same as when it was taken off.

Since I got my Tiger last year, I've pricked the decals & 'massaged' the air out. I also only use premium fuel (BP or Shell) which until recently didn't contain Ethanol, at least in my geographical area. No returning bubbles.

Sadly, over the last 3 - 4 months, BP have started adding ethanol to their premium fuel. Bubbles are now back.

Ethanol hates plastic!

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee337 View Post
Most (if not all) plastic tanks suffer similar issues. its down to the Ethanol they put in fuel. Many years ago my Aprilia RSV tank was fine, until Ethanol was introduced in UK fuel. then the tank started to warp (as did my girlfriends Ducati Monster tank).

Fast forward to last year. My Tiger tank had the dreaded bubbles under the decals. My research suggested it was the Ethanol causing the problem. There is also evidence that it can also warp the tanks. If taken off the bike & left for a while, the bolt holes don't align the same as when it was taken off.

Since I got my Tiger last year, I've pricked the decals & 'massaged' the air out. I also only use premium fuel (BP or Shell) which until recently didn't contain Ethanol, at least in my geographical area. No returning bubbles.

Sadly, over the last 3 - 4 months, BP have started adding ethanol to their premium fuel. Bubbles are now back.

Ethanol hates plastic!

Hi,

I don't see how ethanol, or any other components of fuel, can have an effect on external blisters ?? Is the ethanol seeping through the plastic tank from the inside on a molecular level ??

Safe riding.
Regards,
Graeme.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 08:01 AM
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Not sure of the exact process, but Ethanol is corrosive to both plastic and fibreglass to the point where it's use is banned in aviation due to safety concerns (although microlights are exempt).

Ducati were sued successfully in the USA in 2010 because of this issue, where the presence of ethanol rapidly caused their plastic tanks to degrade and deform.

Ethanol is also hygroscopic, so the higher the % of ethanol present, the more likely there is water getting into the fuel system.

This article may be of interest.

https://www.bmf.co.uk/news/show/will...-my-motorcycle

If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it.
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