KL250 Super Sherpa Tank

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by MNGeezer, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. MNGeezer

    MNGeezer n00b

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    Ok, I know this will sound nuts, but so do most of my ideas, adventures, and disasters. I have a 2000 KL250 that I want to take adventure touring. Maybe to Alaska from Minnesota. The problem is that the tank is too small for anything practical. I often get 100mpg out of the tank, but the tank (contrary to Kawi's ad) appears to only hold 1.7 gallons. I need more like 2.75-3.5 gallons for a practical trip. Are there any Super Sherpa owners out there who have experimented with a decent capacity after-market tank?

    Thomas Day
    Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly Magazine
    http://www.motorbyte.com/mmm/
    Little Canada, MN 55117-1320
    651/415-2992
    thomas@motorbyte.com:freaky
    #1
  2. Colemanfu

    Colemanfu King of all manfu

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    Sounds like you need a top box type aux fule cell? Or some bottle opposite the muffler? Go custom - swap out the tank? Tell anyone who suggests a bigger bike that your givving them the finger!


    Good Luck

    I by the way stop to get gas every 100 - on both bikes!
    #2
  3. Tupelo Honey

    Tupelo Honey Not for lack of trying...

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  4. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    right here on my thermarest
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Let's try this in Thumpers and when you have a Ride Report, come back here and tell us all about it :thumb

    Look into "Fuel Packs", they are flat and hold about a gallon each.
    #5
  6. baldrick

    baldrick Moto-Geezer

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    I have a 2000 Sherpa, and out of curiosity I tried putting a gas tank from a Yamaha RT180 on it. The mounting bolts at the rear of the tank lined right up. The bars/triple trees looked like they'd hit the tank, but a little work on the stops would probably cure this. I think this is a viable option. The RT180 tank holds 3.4 gallons, and is available from Clarke Mfg. for about $200, including their petcock.

    I posted some pictures on the Yahoo Super Sherpa users group site, in the photo album "Baldrick's Mechanical Modifications. Here's the link to the user's group:

    http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/1999-2003_SUPERSHERPA/

    There's a lot of good information to be found on this user's group. It's worth joining.
    #6
  7. milkman

    milkman can't find my screwdriver

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    Safari tanks in Aus make a large tank for teh Super Sherpa.
    It was fetured in an edition of Two Wheels magazine, a short statured couple are going around Australia on them, and they were the pick of the bikes for them.
    #7
  8. Evenflo76

    Evenflo76 Cheap and Easy

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  9. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    I contacted Safari in my search for a larger tank for my Sherpa. They are located in rural Victoria about 200km north east of Melbourne in an area I visit now and then.

    They replied as follows:

    Thank you for your enquiry, we did fit 2 sherpa's with our 30L DR650 fuel tanks. They fitted quite well and looked quite tidy with some adaptation work. Unfortunately because we thought it would be a one off thing we did not document the process, it is probably best if you give a call and talk to Robin on 03 5729 5556, he was involved in the mods and then you can work out if it is best for you to come up here with your bike or if we send you a tank you can get it fitted on your own.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Regards,<o:p></o:p>
    Nicole

    Soon afterwards I found an IMS XR650L 4 gallon tank on eBay in California for $50 and $50 shipping, so I didn't look any further into it. Fitting of my IMS tank is documented on the Yahoo Sherpa site and on this forum as soon as I can figure how to put the photos on here.

    Graham in Melbourne
    #9
  10. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    OK, I figured this out. I think. Lets see what happens.

    This should be a pair of photos of a 2003 Sherpa belonging Dennis from the Yahoo forum, with the original and the black IMS XR650L tank.

    First with the standard tank:

    [​IMG]


    And now with the IMS tank:

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    I'm going to make the rash assumptions that the images in the previous post are in fact visible to everyone and post the whole 42 images of the fitting process, as promised over in the main Sherpa thread about a week ago. I figure this thread is a more appropriate place for them, with a minor reference over in the main thread, making them easier to find.

    This is the disclaimer I included over in the Yahoo forum.

    THIS IS NOT A COMMERCIAL PRODUCT!

    SEE TURBOROB'S REPORT OF A FRONT MOUNT FAILURE LATER IN THIS THREAD AND FURTHER DOWN THIS POST

    At the time of writing (March 2010) about half a dozen Sherpas worldwide have been fitted with the IMS XR650L 4 US Gallon tank and documented on the web, in the Yahoo Super Sherpa forum, on www.ADVRider.com, on www.KLR650.net or elsewhere. At least one person has resorted to welding a rear mount to their Sherpa frame; most use a similar front mount to what is shown here.

    Having designed and built a mount kit for my own Sherpa to my own satisfaction, it only took a little more work to build several extra sets of parts. Producing the rear mount is the most time consuming pat of this task.

    While I am offering these parts to other Sherpa owners, it is very important that you understand, this is a home made kludge to fit a tank which was never designed to fit the Sherpa.

    You must satisfy yourself that the end result satisfies your expectations and requirements. If you are not happy with the result, contact me to arrange return of the parts and a refund.

    THIS IS NOT A COMMERCIAL PRODUCT.
    IT COMES WITH NO GUARANTEES.
    NO ONE HAS APPROVED IT OR CERTIFIED IT.

    USA/Canada FMVSS/CMVSS approved Sherpas:
    The front side amber reflectors fitted to North American bikes will need to be moved. These are not fitted to Australian ADR approved bikes so there are none shown on the bike in the photographs.



    The photos have their own captions, so without further ado:

    First of all, this is the complete set of parts I used on my Australian spec bike.

    Unlike the US FMVSS spec bikes, we don't have the amber reflectors on the sides of the forks, which need to be moved..

    Dennis in KS (see the previous post with the black tank) used mostly the same parts, but chose to make his own rubber flaps, supplied his own foam pad (the purple thing) and didn't need the vent tube because he had a street type cap.

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    The threaded rod shown below is reported to have failed on Turborob's bike in rough conditions in the Flinders Ranges.

    [​IMG]

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    I suggest drilling out the hole in the frame between the mounts, shown below, larger and using a larger fasterner.

    [​IMG]

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    This looks like a good place to break the post. Photos continue in the next post...
    #11
  12. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    Moving right along, now we fit the rear mount for the IMS tank:

    [​IMG]

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    Next we've got some photos of the clearance at various locations:

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    [​IMG]


    Once again, this seems like a good place to break.
    #12
  13. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    Now for the plumbing and final assembly:

    [​IMG]

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    I refitted the original tank and started with the parts shown in the first photo for this photo set. It took me about half an hour to remove the original tank and fit the IMS tank. If you've fitted a Yamaha non-vacuum tap to your Sherpa tank, you could swap tanks in about 10 minutes.


    Graham in Melbourne
    #13
  14. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    Some numbers about tanks:

    Capacity:
    The original Sherpa tank is nominally 9 litres/2.4 US Gallons divided 6 litres/1.6G main and 3 litres/0.8G reserve.

    In practice, it is about 9.6 litres/2.55G, 6.4 litres/1.7G main and 3.2 litres/0.85G reserve.

    The IMS Sherpa tank is nominally 4.0 US Gallons, or just over 15 litres.

    From bone dry, mine took 14.78 litres or 3.93 G.


    Mileage:
    We had a discussion about Sherpa mileage in the Yahoo forum. I reliably get about 24.5 to 25km per litre (59mpg), which is near the low end of the range quoted by Sherpa owners. Most people claim to be getting between 60 to 70mpg or up to 20% better than me, with a significant number claiming up to 80mpg (33% better).

    The following therefore only give you an indication of the relative mileages:

    With the original tank, I was getting 160km/100miles to reserve and a further 80km/50miles to empty (carrying spare fuel of course), total 240km/150miles.
    33% of the total capacity was in reserve.

    With the IMS tank I get:
    300km/188miles to reserve.
    345km/216miles "empty", but with fuel left on the right side of the tank.
    365km/228miles after tipping the bike over to get the dead fuel.
    378km/236miles after repeated tipping for the last dribbles.

    Remember these are at 25km/litre / 59MPG; many Sherpa owners claim to get 30km/litre / 71MPG or more.

    25% of the total capacity is in reserve, with about 15% available by turning the tap to reserve and the remaining 10% by tipping the bike over to get at it.

    Caps:
    The IMS cap has a fitting for a vent hose. If no hose is fitted, a full tank will vent fumes enough to be unpleasant when riding. I've seen a locking road type cap on the IMS tank in this photo from a 2007 post by haydenslides:

    [​IMG]

    I'll write to him and see if he knows where to get these caps.
    #14
  15. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    #15
  16. Turborob

    Turborob .

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    With sadness, I have to report my tank mount broke.

    The thin bolt which goes through the frame sheared after a rough ride in the Flinders (rocky ground).

    What I'm thinking of doing, is putting in a larger bolt and a spacer.

    My thoughts are that all the weight is on the two little bits of the bolt where it goes through the frame. I want to spread the load, so I figure a spacer will do the trick.

    Also, I think I'll drill out the frame central holes so they're the same size as the outer holes. That way, there will be 4 points of contact, and a larger bolt can be used.

    Back to the standard tank for now.....

    I'll update this thread with my progress, but it may be a while away - there's two other bikes which need more urgent attention!

    Anyway, here's a pic.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. thetroll

    thetroll Adventurer

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    I have mounted the 5.8 gal Acerbis XR650L tank. These are heavy when full so the mounting structure needs to be very robust. I have documented the mount up on the "Super Sherpa Thread" here on ADV. I will post a few pictures here when I get some time. I feel pretty sure my mounting system is strong enough as I am not relying on any of the fasteners to carry the full load of the tank.
    #17
  18. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    A couple more alternative tanks have surfaced recently.

    "thetroll" has reported fitting an Acerbis 5.8 USGallon tank from an XR650L in the main SHerpa thread here.

    (edit: Oh, yeah, that one right above this post in this very thread! Duh!)

    In the Yahoo Sherpa group, Gary has fitted a Clarke 4.1 gal tank from the Yamaha XT225.

    Gary's comments from Yahoo Sherpas:
    <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td style="font: inherit;" valign="top">
    (I wrote:) Gary, do you mind if I link to these pics in the ADVRider.com thread about Sherpa tanks? I try to keep it up to date so there is a single point of reference where you can find out everything that has been done with tanks and Sherpas.


    Graham,
    Not at all - by all means, I think its a good idea to contribute to the collective knowledge of super sherpa mods.

    The front puck mounts on the Clarke tank were the same diameter as the super sherpa, but about 5/8" narrower - so I used your idea with the threaded rod. I added some rubber chair leg tip guards found at a large home store (Lowe's) to make up the length required of the pucks. Due to the shape of the tank, the seat fitment was the big issue - I used longer tank bolts with stand up collars to mount a plate to serve as a new seat tab receiver. So it may raise the seat height in front a little. For the rear tank mount, I used a hose clamp around the frame w/rubber strips to prevent any direct contact to the frame and a 1" diameter PVC end piece w/slots near the base to accommodate the hose clamp. Because the PVC end piece is threaded to receive an end cap (although I did not use the end cap), it tapers, which allows for the right sized washer to hold a bolt to serve as the mounting post for rear of the tank. I think this will be strong enough, but I'll keep an eye on it. I can always go to a metal version.

    As mentioned - I see the advantages of the Clarke tanks as it has good clearance around the engine and petcock placement is ideal and away from the engine. The disadvantage involves seat fitment. Otherwise, it appears to be a quality built tank and we're looking forward to the extended range. Of course, we saved everything and this tank mod is entirely reversible back to stock.

    best,
    Gary


    As Gary says, the clearance around the motor with this tank is much better. To what extent that is because it is mounted higher than I chose to mount the IMS tank, I am not sure.



    Here are Gary's pics:

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    </td></tr></tbody></table>
    #18
  19. eepeqez

    eepeqez Long timer

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    I've had a failure of the through bolt for the front mount on my XR650L tank. The tank just sags slightly and sits on the foam tube on the frame spine, but obviously it needs fixing.
    #19