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Polished aluminum K75/100 tank?

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Zagando, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Zagando

    Zagando BMW uber alles!

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    Lots of polished aluminum tanks on various cafe racers here---wonder if anyone has polished out a K75 or K100 tank?

    All the early k-bikes tanks are made of aluminum and I'm toying with the idea as I'm getting ready to paint my K75S...:evil

    Would love to see a photo of one already done before I decide.
    #1
  2. supamanaint

    supamanaint when in doubt - power out

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    Hi, have a look on the flying brick web site there`s a picture of one done on it.
    #2
  3. Zagando

    Zagando BMW uber alles!

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    Thanks, I found that after a bit of searching on the flying brick site; hard to see much in their mostly-tiny gallery photos; I'm spoiled by the great big mondo photos often posted on ADV.

    Thanks for the reply, though---I'm sure there's not too many shiny K-bike tanks out there so it's good to see any examples I can find.

    The owner of that bike commented that it was a tough job to polish it (but I think it must be worth the ton of elbow grease, don't you?:1drink )
    #3
  4. wirewrkr

    wirewrkr the thread-killer

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    Chris at San Jose BMW has one on an older K100 they stripped down to the bare bones and carburated about 10 years ago.
    It is called the Street Fighter. VERY lean and mean. The tank looks awesome stripped and polished. I would do my K75, but I found too many welds and bondo on it.
    Robert
    #4
  5. Zagando

    Zagando BMW uber alles!

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    In case anyone is still following this thread, here's my ex-Dakar Yellow K75S tank recently polished:

    [​IMG]

    I also polished the rear aluminum rack the same way and it all looks awesome. Will post photos of everything back on the bike once I've painted all the plastic bits.:wink:
    #5
  6. zenben

    zenben all roads are one

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    Looks very nice.
    I think the rear rack is a zinc based alloy (pot metal). It might not look shiny for very long.
    #6
  7. C Squared

    C Squared Now with TURBO! Supporter

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    Nice:D

    Years ago there was a guy in Mpls MN who polished a K tank.

    But, he first added a bit of capacity. I think he said it held 9.8 gallons?

    He bought a junk extra tank and grafted a bit of it onto his original tank.

    Extended the internals and added maybe 2.5 inches to the height and reformed the knee area. Polished, you could not even find the welds.

    That were one pretty tank. Anyone else remember it?

    Would have been at a first Thurs. Norton Owners meeting at Dolonoes in maybe 1990:eek1
    #7
  8. Zagando

    Zagando BMW uber alles!

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    Thanks for the compliments on the tank, guys. While I don't know anything about that 9.8 gallon polished job you mentioned it sure would be great to see a photo or two. Perhaps someone else here can respond.

    The rear racks on K-bikes are powder-coated aluminum, not pot-metal. Check mine out:

    BEFORE
    [​IMG]

    AFTER (TONS OF HARD WORK WITH 7 OR 8 GRITS OF SANDPAPER AND POLISHING BY HAND)
    [​IMG]

    I also just learned that my gas cap is made of powder-coated aluminum. Once I figure out how to remove the lock cylinder without damage I will have it soda-blasted and either anodized or polished to match the tank. (That powder coating doesn't respond to aircraft remover---don't ask me how I know this:rofl )
    #8
  9. Zagando

    Zagando BMW uber alles!

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]:wink:
    #9
  10. kz1

    kz1 Been here awhile

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    Could you describe the process you went though to get those results? Pictures also help for those of use who are visual learners. Good looking women in the pictures would be a plus.
    #10
  11. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin! Supporter

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    Pretty women, visual learner, my ass! You just want to touch and feel ..... the aluminum, that is..............:wave

    That is really sharp looking... haven't seen a K done that way, and would love to see pics of the put-together....that tank and cap are awesome and gorgeous.... something about a polished aluminum tank ......:knary



    Tanksalot!
    #11
  12. Zagando

    Zagando BMW uber alles!

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    In addition to a thread I started over in the Garage Forum (Ideas on Protecting Bare Aluminum...) I have a more complete write up over in the BMW MOA Flying Brick K-bikes Forum. Here's a link to that which describes my project from the get-go. I continually update it as I slowly proceed:

    http://tinyurl.com/njaltf

    Please note: There are no pictures of good-looking women in the thread as of now but who knows what will transpire when I'm done with the project. I may have swarms of beautiful women clinging to me and the shiny bike then (if my wife isn't around!) so stay tuned.:lol3
    #12
  13. Zagando

    Zagando BMW uber alles!

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    Thanks, BPeckm, I appreciate your comments. Btw, I also have been following your thread about your very cool red-tanked airhead (hmm, makes me wonder, should you call it it a redhead?). Got some good info about painting there a while back when I was considering going the rattle-can route. Although your results were inspirational I ended up springing for a HVLP turbine setup that I will use for other projects besides my bike rennovation.

    I will also paint my 3-spoke wheels black, something I decided to do after seeing your bike.

    I suggest you check out my more detailed write-up via the link posted in the previous post above; I've been documenting my whole project with more pictures, too. I'll be sure to post photos here and there of the bike once it's all back together (and the tupperware is painted---the next big step). Thanks again for your interest---I'm truly stoked with my results so far!:clap
    #13
  14. marksbonneville

    marksbonneville Long timer

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    Lets see this pretty tank on the bike. Great Job.
    #14
  15. Zagando

    Zagando BMW uber alles!

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    Thanks, Mark. It may be a while before I get the tank back on the bike, though. I've still got a lot of plastic sanding and prepping for the new paint job happening soon.

    Coincidentally, I just went out to the bike and checked my fork brace with a magnet. Since it is not magnetic (and appears to be of the same type of material and construction as my rear rack) I'll also be stripping and polishing it next chance I get.

    Call it the final touch of bling... ...so far:rofl
    #15
  16. marksbonneville

    marksbonneville Long timer

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    {I just went out to the bike and checked my fork brace with a magnet}

    Its the beginning of a disease, do you find yourself peaking in the garage just to look at the shiny aluminium?

    It never ends:rofl But I hope I don't have to wait too long to see the finished product.
    #16
  17. Zagando

    Zagando BMW uber alles!

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    I don't even have to go outside; my tank, rack and gas cap are right here in the living room:rofl

    Maybe I should join the PBA (Polished Bits Anonymous):lol3
    #17
  18. photomd

    photomd Been here awhile

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    Beautiful tank. Are you gonna clear coat it?

    :1drink
    #18
  19. rev_eddie

    rev_eddie bike junkie.....

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    That would be me.
    The bike was an '87 K100RS that I ran in the '93 IBR.

    Using the tank, it became clear right off that polishing it was a bad idea.
    The reflection off the tank was annoyingly distracting to say the least.
    Ended up painting it after about 6 months.
    I have a photo of the painted bike framed in the living room, and I'm sure there's
    a photo or two of that tank polished in the garage somewhere, but I probably
    couldn't find it--at least not until the day I'm not looking for it...<GRIN>

    I traded for a K1100RS the next year--kept the tank to install on the new bike--
    and learned that K-bike tanks are not "all the same" d'oh!.
    Switched to a rear tank design after that for the next couple K-bikes.
    This rear tank was made of 7 pieces, with a few needing a bit of time on an english wheel.

    The plan was to run it awhile to make sure of no leakage issues--then never got
    around to polishing (or painting) it.

    Ran this set-up in the '95, '97, '99 and '05 IBR's.

    Eddie

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    Eddie wrote
    Using the tank, it became clear right off that polishing it was a bad idea.
    The reflection off the tank was annoyingly distracting to say the least.
    Ended up painting it after about 6 months."

    I always thought that a polished tank with a sodablasted top would be cool.
    You'd get the neat look of the polished tank with out the blinding reflections in your face..


    Also a trick to get rid of anodized finished.
    Use easyoff (or just Lye)
    It leaves behind a rough surface but at least you don't have to sand it off.
    #20