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Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by Paulvt1, Sep 10, 2008.
I just noticed that my last post was my 100th. Do I get some kind of reward or anything?
what this gent said. most of the bikes in our clubhouse all use Star-Tron (same type of thing) and have all enjoyed great success with it. the bikes that have had to have their fuel tanks replaced? didn't. maybe assigned to pure randomness, but nonetheless, it's something most of my riding friends and i believe in. taking the bike in to have the tank replace/coated is a pain in the rear, so the added cost of the fluid is worth it to me.
When I bought my MTS in '12 I decided that since it was new I would use Star-Tron from the get go in ever tank full. I bought it by the gallon and also got me some small 1 oz bottles that I filled. It was very easy to take those along riding to use at every fill up. Well, less then 2 years later and around 22,000 miles my gas cap was all cockeyed and the panel gaps growing Thankfully getting a new tank was painless but I don't see that Star-Tron did anything to prevent the tank swelling. Needless to say, I haven't spent another dime on it
I have a 2011 Multi and a 2012 Hyper. Both have plastic gas tanks known to swell. The Multi just ran out of warranty and the Hyper is shortly behind it. My thoughts were to run untreated ethanol fuel through it during the warranty to see if it would warp. Neither have shown the first sign of swelling. I have 32k miles on the Multi and only 5k on the Hyper.
I have my theory as to why my tanks haven't swollen: keeping fresh gas in them. Ethanol starts to break down in ~1 month. I ride both of them enough to never let a tank of fuel stay in the bike for more than 1 month.
Now, having said that, I'll go home tonight to find both have swollen...
And one last thing- welcome back Oal!
the issue is the ethanol in the gas so we only have this issue in the US. My S2R1000 needed a new tank and my Multi 1200 is fine. to be safe when they replaced my Monster tank I lined it with Caswell, my local shop has done this to many problem tanks, (Sport classics are the worst). If you are really worried about it line the tank and forget about it.
I don't think fuel additives are the solution to this problem but I have to admit I wasn't thoroughly consistent in adding them. I ran only ethanol free gas for about six months after buying my bike but had to give that up when the only station in my area stopped carrying it. I ride all year and don't need to add products to stabilize my fuel, but used Stabil pretty regularly as a prophylactic measure. It didn't matter as my tank swelled within months of switching fuel.
Ducati replaced the tank under warranty and before installing the new one I had it coated. Six months on, so far so good. If I understand this (I think the analogy is blistering on fiberglass boat hulls), you simply have to keep water (ethanol being hydroscopic) from being absorbed by the tank, something that is very difficult to achieve unless there is a real barrier. Some folks never have the problem, others do, and I suppose it's much about conditions, but it seems to me the only relatively sure cure to the existing situation is coating.
Once manufacturers wise up and provide either metal or "osmosis resistant" tanks, the problem will not rise. Until then, all the Acerbis supplied tanks seem to be potentially susceptible to the problem and will continue to be unless Ducati makes a supplier or materials change. Having gotten the tank coated, I just don't worry about it anymore. One eighth the cost of a Termignoni system with arguably many times the real benefits. I want to keep the bike and simply didn't want to be troubled by this again, but it will weigh in my decision the next time I go out shopping.
Ducati needs to address this and make it a non-issue.
+1. Star Tron did nothing to prevent my multistrada tank from warping. If anything, it made the issue worse. My OEM tank lasted 5 years before it got too big to fit in the frame. My 2nd tank, obtained under warranty, lasted only one season using Star Tron with every fill up; it was not quite as big as the final size of the OEM tank at that point, but had started leaking instead.
In fact, even caswell coating has not prevented the current (3rd) tank from warping at the fuel pump ring. I'm fixing that with some epoxy filler until the california cycleworks tank comes out.
In short, there is no fix yet from Ducati or the aftermarket for either the aircooled or current multi when using ethanol, and who knows when another class action settlement will indemnify Ducati from having to keep replacing the tanks on the new models under warranty. Its a shame, I would probably be riding a multi12 instead of the GS if they had fixed the problem.
Did you have the Caswell coating professionally applied, or did you do it yourself?
I have been using non-ethanol exclusively. I have the list of gas stations across the state with the pure gas, and that's where I fill it up. There are plenty of those here in Oregon. The exception was when I went out of state last year. California for some reason does not have non-ethanol gas stations. My tank has not had problems yet, but it could just be too soon to tell.
Fortunately, the bottle is quite small (8 oz) and would fit in a tank bag or jacket pocket and it is just under .5oz per fill up. As I said, I don't use it when the bike isn't sitting for longer than a day or two. I only use it when the bike sits in hopes that it does what it says.
I doubt you'll ever have a problem using pure gas. Ethanol is hydroscopic, more specifically the alcohol in it. No alcohol, less water in the tank. Less water, less opportunity for it to migrate into the tank's structure
and cause expansion.
The Caswell coating itself seems like great stuff, sticks to anything and cures to a nice hard surface that looks like it could stop bullets. I have some of the excess stuff poured in the bottom of a trash can, and its never coming off as far as I can tell.
I installed mine, used 2 pints instead of the usual 1 to try and get the best coverage possible in all the little nooks and crannies in the 5.3 gallon aircooled tank. Shook that damn tank for 1/2 hour. FWIW, there are numerous reports on multistrada.net of professionally coated tanks that also failed after a few years. The problem is there is no reasonable way to make sure of a full, even coating on that tank, its too complex inside.
FWIW, I would bet the 1200 tank is easier to get good caswell coverage due to its much simpler shape. What I don't understand is why the 1200 tank is not simply made of a better material; since its covered by fairing panels they could use any of several ethanol-resistant tank materials. The aircooled multi tank has to be smooth, paintable and rigid, so material choice is much more limited.
Thanks T-Bills, nice to see you here.
PA, I believe you. It's interesting that the three bikes in the clubhouse that needed their tanks exchanged were a late model Monster and two Streetfighters. The Monster had many years and miles on it, the other two were newer, regardless, neither used a stabilizer, and their tanks all failed (one of the SFs was mine, we all had our friend Tony Markus coat our tanks). For as crazy as it may sound, some of the other Ducatis were 2010-2012 model Multistradas who did use Startron from time to time and their tanks did ok.
Is it true that they're now using a different material tank in the current model year Multis?
I'm hugely against how Ducati has handled the issue up to now (endless comments over at .MS) and I agree with Lew that they really need to resolve it and come up,with a better remedy (replacing tanks with tanks that continue to expand seems absurd, not replacing them after a certain time period even worse). Like I've said before, they just need to improve a few things from a manufacturing standpoint, I don't understand why they can't, don't, or won't.
I cant say with 100% certainty they are using a new material, but I did find out last Fall when I had my tank replaced that the part number for the tank had changed from the original. The dealer had no explanation why. In my field of work, when part numbers change it usually means something about the part itself has changed. Fingers crossed this is the case with the tanks. I believe I also heard somewhere that they changed something about the material, I just cant recall where I read that.
I know a lot of people are turned off by Ducati and how they handle this issue. My issue was cosmetic. My feeling is the bike itself and the fun I have riding far outweigh the tank swelling. Perhaps if I had an issue of a tank actually leaking or other mechanical issues my opinion would change. But for now, I wont let it stop me from owning a Ducati. Not sure what other bike out there would put a smile on my face as big as the Multi.
I recently picked up a '07 Monster S4RS and that bike also has had a new tank installed already. Knowing full well I wont ride the S4RS nearly as much as the Multi I plan to take full advantage of the 2 gas stations within 10 miles of my house that sell 100% gasoline and keep the Monster's tank filled or topped off with that at the end of every ride
Time will tell, Lew. I hope for a positive outcome for being over-zealous about the gas I feed the machine. At the same time, I have fun managing my trips around these stations, entering the pure-gas stations along my route in the GPS. It's a good thing this machine will do 200+ miles with one tank.
I have a fair amount of experience with applying the usual types of epoxies
as they are used in layup and adhesive work on boats, but didn't have any with Caswell so decided to have mine professionally applied by a guy who has made a study of it. I'm told he has a system for keying the inside of the tank and also for turning the tank as the epoxy is applied. It will be "interesting" to see if my tank withstands the rigors of ethanol because I am now taking no special measures to protect it from the ravages of whatever fuel happens to be handy.
One thing is for sure: if my tank expands again, I will definitely advertise that here and on .ms.
have i ever said how much i love how these bikes ride and feel?
there is no substitute.
Yes, you have! They are special that way. Just riding is a reward. They provide a great sense of connection to the machine, and complex as they have become they still retain a distinctly elemental feel. That's one critical thing Ducati gets right. I ride for pleasure and they deliver.
200+ ? i only get 150 at best on a tank
at an average of 72 mph
It is usually better than this (it was actually showing 15 miles to go (not 5) until I saw the gas station, slowed down and went all the way to first gear to park at the gas pump):
my rule of thumb is 20 miles per bar on the gas gauge.