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Old 01-07-2014, 08:01 AM   #1
Badjuju OP
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Swelling Ducati Fuel Tanks--What years?

Not at all familiar with Ducatis, so only operating on hearsay from acquaintances with mid2000 year Ducs. I did a quick search and didn't find anything that exactly pinpointed the years that the plastic-tanked Ducs had "bloating" issues. Main thing I'm looking for is whether they had the problem fixed in the later-year MultiStrada models, specifically 2011 and later. Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:10 AM   #2
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AFAIK the later Multistradas (water cooled) had a tank setup similar to the more recent Monsters. I.E., a non-paintable tank with cosmetic panels separate from it.

The tank swelling wasn't just Ducati - Triumph and even Harley had tanks supplied by Acerbis which were spec'd to be the fuel tank as well as be the cosmetic tank. Years affected were from 2006 at least to 2009 and 2010 on some models. You can probably do a Google search as it was a court case that went the distance, though Ducati was allowed a simple bullshit fix like extra bracketry or a shorter seat if the tank swelled in length. No permanent solution was ever offered.

In all, I believe 50,000 North American bikes were affected including all S2R / S4R Monsters, SportClassics, GT1000, Streetfighter, 848 and 1098. Due to the tank issue, most of these bikes resale value has plummeted.

The recent models have a design more similar to the separate tank with cosmetic panels which makes material spec appropriate for the function. Fuel containment separate from a plastic exterior panel.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:34 AM   #3
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^^ interesting. Didn't know. Thanks. I'm picking up a 2001 M900 Saturday
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:34 AM   #4
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all plastic ducati tanks (others too) can swell. the newer ones just have covers so you can't see it.

wife has an s2r, and it's a little tight up by the key / latch.

store it in the off season either empty, or with ethanol free gas and you're fine. (when the ethanol is removed, they stop swelling. if empty, they shrink back after a few months)

don't think because it's a metal tank you're off the hook, they had a fair number with weepy seams.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:10 PM   #5
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Had an 06 Multistrada and the tank swelled, I think they all did.
Ducati NA lost a court case and was supplying new tanks for a period and I think I got one of the last. Not that it helped as it later started the gas drip from the pump area.

I think there is a company that has made new tanks of proper material for the monster, motard and now the Multistrada (or they were going to). uh, california cycleworks i think, no affiliation with them just passing on what I know.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:33 PM   #6
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I have an 08 monster and the tank has swelled, not enough to cause any issues but its a pretty snug fit, you can get the tank lined to prevent swelling and i believe Ducati offer free tank replacements for up to 5 years, your local dealer should be able to let you know pretty quickly if the bike's tank may swell and if its still covered..
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:37 PM   #7
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This has been thoroughly thrashed out at ducati.ms. We currently have a group buy going for aluminum Streetfighter tanks, and there are discussions going for all of the plastic tank models.

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/index.php
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:16 PM   #8
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2 Ducati plastic tanks - '06 & '07 - both swelled. Ducati replaced the '06 (Multistrada) one last spring. It's only a serious issue if the fuel pump mounting flanges swell and distort, causing a leak that is difficult to fix. I put some spacers onto the tank mounting pucks on the '07 Sport Classic.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbillypolack View Post
AFAIK the later Multistradas (water cooled) had a tank setup similar to the more recent Monsters. I.E., a non-paintable tank with cosmetic panels separate from it.

The tank swelling wasn't just Ducati - Triumph and even Harley had tanks supplied by Acerbis which were spec'd to be the fuel tank as well as be the cosmetic tank. Years affected were from 2006 at least to 2009 and 2010 on some models. You can probably do a Google search as it was a court case that went the distance, though Ducati was allowed a simple bullshit fix like extra bracketry or a shorter seat if the tank swelled in length. No permanent solution was ever offered.

In all, I believe 50,000 North American bikes were affected including all S2R / S4R Monsters, SportClassics, GT1000, Streetfighter, 848 and 1098. Due to the tank issue, most of these bikes resale value has plummeted.

The recent models have a design more similar to the separate tank with cosmetic panels which makes material spec appropriate for the function. Fuel containment separate from a plastic exterior panel.
Which Triumphs? Which Harley's?
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concours View Post
Which Triumphs? Which Harley's?
Ones with tanks supplied by Acerbis. Google it, I'm sure it's an easy find. AFAIK, the tank issue and spec either cause Acerbis to file bankruptcy or nearly filed for it.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:38 PM   #11
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The Acerbis tanks are molded of nylon. Nylon absorbs water and expands. Ethanol absorbs water and is in contact with nylon. Some have used Caswell epoxy to seal tanks and have had success with it.

There's no problem in Europe because they don't have ethanol in their gas and don't subsidize corn farmers to produce the damn shit. Thanks, Obama.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:12 AM   #12
hillbillypolack
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Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
There's no problem in Europe because they don't have ethanol in their gas and don't subsidize corn farmers to produce the damn shit. Thanks, Obama.
It goes back much further than Obama.

We had ethanol in our fuel mixtures in the early 90s. 10% in our area from several stations.

IMHO, since ethanol mixtures in N.A. have been in fuels since that time, ANY OEM with fuel pump, fuel tank, fuel delivery system issues is negligent and did not design their systems appropriately.

In other words, motorcycle manufacturers know their products are seasonal for most of North America. People store them in winter months. Selling cycles with bulgy / bendy / twisty, possibly leaky fuel tanks is not just irresponsible but potentially dangerous. Ducati screwed the pooch, got called on it and still hid behind legalese instead of doing what was right (replacing or offering tanks imprevious to the effects of water and ethanol).

The 848 has an aluminum tank offered through Ducati Performance. What could have been done is offer the owner a credit towards the purchase of an alloy tank, instead of the 5 year bendy tank replacement carousel we're dealing with.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:49 AM   #13
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So, to paraphrase what I've learned here:

1) Yes. All plastic tanks have dimensional issues due to EtOH fuel.

or, 2) Some of the early plastics have issues, but recently the manufacturers have changed the tank composition to adapt to EtOH fuel.

or, 3) If I have to ask such a newb question, I REALLY can't afford a Ducati.

Thx! It's all clear as mud now. So do the newer (2011 and on) MultiStradas have a 'crappy' plastic tank? 'Good' one? Metal?
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badjuju View Post
So, to paraphrase what I've learned here:

1) Yes. All plastic tanks have dimensional issues due to EtOH fuel.

or, 2) Some of the early plastics have issues, but recently the manufacturers have changed the tank composition to adapt to EtOH fuel.

or, 3) If I have to ask such a newb question, I REALLY can't afford a Ducati.

Thx! It's all clear as mud now. So do the newer (2011 and on) MultiStradas have a 'crappy' plastic tank? 'Good' one? Metal?
I have yet to see a plastic tank that's alcohol proof. All Ducati did was make the replacement tanks smaller so there would be room for them to swell.
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