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Two tanks to make one?

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Andyvh1959, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,965
    Location:
    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    I have a new to me Vulcan VN1600, big ol' cruiser, first one I have ever owned. I like the character of the bike but some things could be improved. Like, fuel capacity, as I have been spoiled with six to seven gallon tanks on my BMW twins for years. The Vulcan, with all the usual exterior mods applied, it gets 38 to 41 mpg, which means the low fuel light comes on at about 175 miles, just bugs me. I'd prefer a range of about 225 miles before the low fuel light glows.

    So,....make a Vulcan fuel tank bigger? Not easily done by adding a metal "wedge" into the tank to increase the volume because the tank is compound curves all over the fuel tank. But, I can get a pair of stock VN1600 tanks really cheap. Cheap enough that I'm thinking of cutting each one in half horizontally, but with a 2" overlap in the cut area so the bottom of one tank with the top of the other results in a taller/bigger tank. Should give me at least one gallon more capacity, perhaps close to two gallons more capacity.

    I know some excellent craftsmen that can do great metal works and produce flawless welds. But, am I way out of the ballpark with this thought? The bike is massive enough that a taller fuel tank would not look out of place, especially after I add a frame mounted fairing to the bike.
    #1
    Eatmore Mudd and Richarde1605 like this.
  2. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,965
    Location:
    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    Here is a basic visual of the Big Tank versus the stock tank, done on Microsoft Paint:
    Big Tank VN1600.JPG
    Big Tank on the right, stock on the left. When I mount the fairing it will extend along the fuel tank about back to the center of the Vulcan emblem, aligned to the bottom of the tank. So the fairing will slightly block the heavy look of the front of the "big" tank.
    #2
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  3. Richarde1605

    Richarde1605 Long timer

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    Jan 1, 2015
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    NSW Australia
    Worth a try, ask those craftsmen if they think it will work JMO

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    #3
  4. Eatmore Mudd

    Eatmore Mudd Mischief on wheels.

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,090
    Location:
    Wet side of WA.
    Big tank looks better to my eye.
    #4
    XR4EVER likes this.
  5. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    Thanks. I don't see the bigger tank as being visually wrong for the lines of the bike. I got this bike real cheap (no 2nd gear right now), put on 1300 miles on it since riding it home in mid-July. So I'm into a cheap start on a project bike.

    I'll probably buy the two fuel tanks, then go to my fab contacts. If they feel it can't be done with good results I'll just resell the fuel tanks.
    #5
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  6. Richarde1605

    Richarde1605 Long timer

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    Jan 1, 2015
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    NSW Australia
    They look quite Indian in style.
    Personally I would rather have some spare in the tank than run out.
    I came to this opinion when headed to butt×#$% nowhere, and didn't notice that someone had lifted my 'extra' 5L that I was carrying. Getting a K100RS 30km into the only town was not fun, they are hard to push loaded with panniers on...

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    #6
  7. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,965
    Location:
    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    It'll be a fun project. I have the Nomad hard bags for it, that I'll design my own mount system so I can pop the bags off and not leave a bunch of ugly mounts behind. The fairing will be a frame mounted Pacifico Shadow from the late 70's (same style I mounted on my buddy's VN900). Eventually a trim looking tail trunk will be added to make it a full dress touring bike with a bit more vintage look, LED lights, stereo, GPS, USB media input, etc.
    #7
  8. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
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    2,247
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    I knew a guy who was into cross country speed records, and back in the late 90s he did this for a BMW K bike. His approach was a little different in that he cut one tank in half (left and right halves) and then cut the left and right sides off the middle of the other tank; he made the cuts to that one just before the sides started to curve down/up to make the rounded sides. Then he welded the two halves of the first tank to the middle of the second resulting in enough fuel to go way longer than I can go without a bathroom break. Like your rendering, if you didn't know the bike you wouldn't have been able to tell it from stock since from the side it looked the same -just a lot wider looking down from the top. Leaving the middle alone let him keep all the fill and pump bits stock.
    #8
    Richarde1605 likes this.
  9. Richarde1605

    Richarde1605 Long timer

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    The k's can kill miles, I have two with 200,000km, my first new one I sold regoed with 430,000km...
    Never got into the bm club, and did my own services so never knew about the milage pins, and don't care :-)
    Another 5 or so litres woud have been handy to skip towns, thats why I carried extra, could just pull up on the side of the road and dump it in without the helmet off bs at a servo...
    About 30l would have been ideal for the runs out western nsw... so overbuilt, if you could handle the vibes they never stop making them :-)

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    #9