XT225 Custom Tank Build

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by underkill, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    As many of you know, no one makes a larger gas tank for the XT225. I've found that at 60mph i'm only getting aroudn 60mpg giving me a fuel range of 120 miles. For my trip from VA to MO this winter, that's just downright pathetic, so I took matters into my own hands to make a larger fuel tank. (technically the boyfriend did all the welding; i couldnt MIG my way out of a paper bag!)

    Stock fuel tank volume is around 2.4 gallons. I'm aiming for something around 4, preferably 5. That would give me around 250 miles before I sputtered and died on the side of the road. Much preferable to 120... :rofl

    I had considered making a tank from fiberglass, since I have the most experience in carbon fiber and they're sorta similar... but the boyfriend wanted to practice welding and thought it'd be easier, so we went for it.

    the bike itself is a 2006 XT225. Already has some trick shit on it.
    build thread here:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=396200

    Started with a rusty stock silver tank off ebay
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    Marked out the cut locations and ground the paint off
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    We left the rear triangle area attached to make a smooth curve where my knees would go. we then cut the rest with a dremel type widget and pried it out.
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    keep prying until it was sufficient huge without being just retardedly huge. :eek1 it is a pretty small bike, you know.
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    now on to both sides! Thats looking better isn't it? :clap
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    the only other larger tank i'd seen for an XT was one some japanese guy made forever ago but pretty much raising the filler upwards. So we went ahead and added that in as well, seemed to help with volume a ton. I have aftermarket handlebars and risers so that allowed me to expand it a lot more than I could have with the stock bars. Something to think about if you try this at home later....
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    It's starting to show the final shape now kinda. Check out the thread up top for stock pictures to compare. The stock tank is tiny tiny... This is starting to feel more like the 6.6gal acerbis I had on my KTM.
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    #1
  2. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    We decided to start with the top piece first and get that stable before we welded up the sides. We need more metalworking tools, so the tank will end up a little angular, but whatever...

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    We then filled in the sides of the top piece
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    Now we got to work on making the pieces for the side flaps up top.

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    #2
  3. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    I guess I should mention the tools used:

    dremel/rotozip with cutting wheel
    bandsaw
    Hobart 210 MIG welder
    a variety of hammers and a vise

    Things that would have made life easier:
    anvil-we really have nowhere good to hammer the metal into shape on
    english wheel-wouldnt have had to use mostly square multiple pieces of metal


    That pretty much explains why the tank looks so angular... I know it's not the prettiest shaped tank ever, but as long as it gets the job done, its fine by me.... We're pretty anxious to see how much volume it will hold when done... It's a lot bigger than the stock tank, but will be it enough? :evil
    #3
  4. GsVs

    GsVs Goin' Somewhere

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    My guess is the modified tank will hold 5.1 gallons !
    #4
  5. Olas

    Olas the darkness

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    Cool project, but hopefully those welds are leak proof!
    #5
  6. Blinkerfluid

    Blinkerfluid Long timer

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    5.1 Gallons would be awesome.. I'm thinking it'll be more along the lines of 4 gallons though


    Don't worry, we'll fill the tank up with water to check for leaks after grinding down the welds to almost flush.. Then I can go back and fill in any leaky spots.. I'm sure there will be a couple.. I know the welds look like crap, but I can't turn the voltage down on my welder any further and I was still having issues with burn through so I turned the wire feed up a little higher than normal.. so now i get full welds with less burn through issues, but they just look bad.. Hopefully when it's all finished you won't be able to see the welds at all.
    #6
  7. ganshert

    ganshert not sleeping

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    I love threads like this :thumb

    :lurk
    #7
  8. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    Ive built similar thinkgs like that, generally with a TIG, but this trick might help you.

    a copper block, or a metal "cup" with flowing argon as a backer, will cool the backside of the weld enough to limit your burn thru.

    looks like a cool project though, Ive been hunting a cheap xt225 tank on ebay.

    I gave up and bought a bigger bike instead!

    when is your trip to MO? are you coming thru AR?

    :freaky
    #8
  9. Reposado1800

    Reposado1800 Juicy J fan!

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    After checking for leaks, you might want to use that stuff called Kreme for sealing gas tanks which would catch those super tiny pin holes you might find after its all finished.
    Too bad Acerbis, Clarke and IMS don't see the demand for a large XT225 tank.
    #9
  10. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    We had originally planned on copying the shape and location of the stock "radiator scoop" pieces and just widening them to gain more volume in the front of the tank. (very similar in design to the 6.6gal acerbis tank I had on my KTM) We tried this and it just didn't look right, too pointy in front and created a massive scoop that looked like it would blow air riiiiiight onto my helmet. So we cut the tips off the front and ended up with a more triangular design like this:

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    Made a matching piece for the inside lip and went to town with the welding!
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    This is how it looked on the bike so far. The shape looks pretty good and those front pieces look like they'll add a ton of volume
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    both sides done.
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    #10
  11. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    In response to some of the posts above:

    Thanks for the hints!
    I had wanted to seal the inside of the tank, just hadn't gotten around to finding the material to do it.

    I know some people think it's silly to mod such a small silly little trail bike, but I'm a little too short to just buy a bigger bike! My only other real option in this category is the DR650 and its a lot bigger of a bike than my XT.. and a lot less nimble and easy to throw around... I love my XT.. and I also love random projects... figure, what the hell? right? :freaky

    Anyway, got the front pieces made to box in the 'radiator scoops'
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    Forks fit pretty good!
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    Kind of an awkward picture, but see how much bigger it is?
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    Ran out of metal to finish the other side and couldnt get very good pics cause it's cold out and I didnt want to open the garage door! :D I'll get some later. Tonight we hope to finish up the right side of the tank and check for leaks and hopefully see how much volume we got out of it!!!! :clap
    #11
  12. ganshert

    ganshert not sleeping

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    I've used this product (POR15) several times and have always been pleased with the results. Works great!
    #12
  13. TomN

    TomN Long timer

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    Wow cool :clap
    #13
  14. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

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    Wow... Deje-vu all over again! Here's a KLR tank I did a couple years ago... total of 7 gal useable.

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    I cheated & used the outer skins cobbed off of an old Yammie tank as "cheek pieces" ...

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    Be sure to put in a fuel tap on the other side and POR15 ROCKS!!

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    #14
  15. BIG ED XT FAN

    BIG ED XT FAN Long timer

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    I have try klemm in my sr500, and the tank hangs on the wall:rofl !!! Try PR-15 sealer for your tank. Also, theres a place in pa that will seal your tank with plastic inside. "Elizabeth Radiator" is the name of company. My 2 cents. Are you going to put a "Big-Bore" kit in there too?:evil
    BIG ED XT&TT 600 FAN!!!:evil :clap :clap
    #15
  16. Blinkerfluid

    Blinkerfluid Long timer

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    I wish I had a TIG to do this with, but they're kind of expensive haha.. I'll have to remember hte copper block/argon tips the next time I'm trying to weld sheet metal, thanks.

    We're going from VA to MO, so we won't be going to AR unless we decide to make a detour.. Which could happen on the way back bc we'll have atleast 4 days to get back to VA, only 2 days to get to MO.
    #16
  17. YamaGeek

    YamaGeek Skeletor sparklemuffin.

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    Nice project, well done..:clap

    Some thoughts, unsolicited but offered anywhos..

    I'm wondering though whether the "cheek pieces" will cause a lot of weight shift, if you're not too far along in the project you could put in some baffles like they did in old steel aircraft tanks to keep the fuel from sloshing too much.

    I used to do MIG and TIG for a bicycle frame shop, welding thin wall tubing is an art. I'm wondering whether instead of MIG'd butt joints, that maybe making overlaps and brazing would make for less chances of leaking or maybe even doing raised butt joints and oxy-acetalene stick welding. It's a toss up because even TIG takes a modicum of skill, and you can just as easily burn through thin stock with TIG.

    My thoughts on Creme, make sure your tank is clean, clean, clean inside. If any thing do an Ospho treatment. You don't have an industrial hot dip galvinizing plater nearby? One of my bikes has a Creme'd tank and the PO left some rust inside. Our present E90 fuel carries more miosture and the Creme in that tank started to flake off the inside where there is still some rust, and it's getting to be a big hassle with the tap screen and inline filter.
    #17
  18. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    the tank has mostly surface rust inside but there was one spot with a little scale. I did actually pick up some of that Ospho stuff, but haven't used it yet. We'll see how it goes. I used a similar product on an engine block with outstanding results, so I hope it works! I have a small inline fuel filter just in case.... chunks of rust/paint/metal could make our winter journey more of an adventure than we originally intended! :rofl

    As far as the big bore kit goes.. doing a big bore on a 225 is a little silly. well not silly, just not cost/hp effective... Long term plans include full 'big bike' suspension and some sort of larger motor fabbed in there.... but that is a while away... I figure once I get 20,000 miles on the bike i'm allowed to fabricate silly things onto it with no remorse... ;) only 15,000 more miles to go.. ;)

    As far as the 'cheek pieces' causing fuel slosh... I had the big tank on my 525 and didn't really notice the fuel sloshing around.. at least enough to bother me. I figure I can always slap some fuel foam in there if it actually becomes a problem... There is still part of the stock inner structure in there that should function as a baffle of sorts.... It's mostly a touring tank though, so minimal offroad and spirited riding... I have the stock tank still for more amusing ventures... we'll see though. I actually diddn't think of the fuel slosh issue.

    I was considering the por-15 tank liner. The cycle shop up the road should have something that willl work, i'll probably end up buying whats available.

    It sucks being at work thinking of a project at home... :cry I want to finish it and see how big it is!!!!!! :freaky
    #18
  19. ganshert

    ganshert not sleeping

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    If you do end up with too much fuel slosh you could always foam it after the fact.
    #19
  20. Blinkerfluid

    Blinkerfluid Long timer

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    I don't htink we're going to have sloshing issues.. the lower part of hte tank, where the original cut along the bottom is located, is still intact.. effectiviely dividing each side of the tank in half between the new outer walls and the original inner wall nearest the frame.. Idk if that makes sense, see the picture below.. I'm talking about the vertical wall under the lower little brace piece I welded on to hold the tank open.


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    #20