Kain's 'Batwing' tank...

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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5912
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
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Kain's 'Batwing' tank...

Post by Prof » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:17 pm

Kain called up with a request to build a rather unusual tank for his VTX1800. Here's a photo off the net of a stock tank similar to his. It is enormously wide and very shallow. He had cut out and retained the bottom only and was wanting to build an unconventional top and sides...
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Well if it made of steel there's not much we won't try. Just so you know where we are going with this job, here's a photo of the completed fabrication... one fat mother if ever there was!... and yes, the top is cut from the side of a 44gallon drum!
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Kain looked through the filler options and picked a decorative screw on chrome cap for which we had threaded a filler neck. Neck was bronze welded from underneath into a hole cut with a hole saw at very slow speed... The neck protrudes a couple of inches into the tank to reduce spillage when the fuel is slopping around in the tank through the twisties. You can see a small hole drilled close to the tank top to allow air in the top of the tank to escape so the tank can fill.
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So a vacuum isn't formed as the fuel level drops, a groove has milled into the inside top of the filler cap. A 1.5mm hole is drilled into the side to match the groove. A piece of 4mm rubber is cut on the band saw to be a snug fit into the cap. Another 1.5mm hole is drilled into the centre of the rubber. The tank can now breather without petrol running out...
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Filler cap (origin swap meet) in place..
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Kain has already rounded off the edges of the tank top. He uses a dolly mounted in the anvil to smooth and even up the rounded edges. I turned couple up in the lathe and welded legs onto them the day before in anticipation.
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Rear is tack welded...
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Front height is measured and then lined up using a parallel ruler...
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A couple of pieces of steel welding rod are used to space it correctly and a cardboard pattern made. A piece of metal (1.2mm) is cut to match
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Here's what it looks like from the side...
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A piece of metal (1.2mm) is cut to match the pattern and welded and shaped. Although he some experience welding with gas, this is the first time Kain has used the Cobra welder or welded sheet metal this thin. It took some getting used to, but once he got the flame size right things began to flow. This was a big job and he did very well. I could have welded the tank, but as he had some welding experience, I'd rather he had the satisfaction of building his own tank with only the assistance he needed.
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Welded up... using steel filler rod where needed... Pieces of wire now removed...
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...and tank is rolled across some aluminium to make side patterns...
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Bottom edges needed some more work to keep nice flowing curves. Flap discs good for a job like this...
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The new side is cut from a piece of Paseo roof I had lying around! Just the right thickness! We match up the first 6" and tack weld. Then progressively match the edges each way all along the top side. While doing this, we need to keep an eye on things in case we go a bit off line and end up with a gap along the bottom edges...
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Once the top edge is tacked, we use a 1mm cutting disc and flap disc alternately to get the bottom edges matching; once again taking it a bit at a time...
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Kain periodically requires a third hand or two to puch the two edges together...
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First side welded...
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Tack welding and doing only 3/4" runs of final weld at a time results in no buckling. Cobra welder provides a very focussed heat, making it easy to weld with out buckling. Painted surface was stripped back along welding edges using a heat gun... easy to burn fingers using it too!
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Using first pattern works for second side. Texta lines and numbers are where we have to add extra metal...
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Second side a repeat of the first...
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Finished tank...
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Kain will take it home and clean up the welded edges a little then finish the tank with body filler. We could have pressure tested the tank, but Kain will use a tank sealer before painting.

He's chuffed with the resulting tank and reckons it turned out better than he expected. It is something he has built having learned some new skills along the way... and that is what chopping a bike is all about...
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

Youngblood
Posts: 383
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:48 pm
Location: North-Eastern suburbs- Adelaide

Re: Cain's 'Batwing' tank...

Post by Youngblood » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:10 am

Very cool and unique.

8) 8) 8)
Youngblood

Bearcx
Posts: 1894
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:31 am
Location: Gawler, Sth Aust
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Re: Cain's 'Batwing' tank...

Post by Bearcx » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:49 am

Awesome.! Definitely not for everyone, but, congrats on doing it yourself (with a little help) and building something no-one else has got. Very unique, and can't wait to see it painted. :D
The brave may not live long, but, the cautious do not live at all.

Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5912
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Re: Cain's 'Batwing' tank...

Post by Prof » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:44 pm

Kain sent through some pics of the finished tank. Says he's really pleased with the end result...

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Chopit'nrideit... Prof

Youngblood
Posts: 383
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:48 pm
Location: North-Eastern suburbs- Adelaide

Re: Kain's 'Batwing' tank...

Post by Youngblood » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:17 am

Yeah it does look pretty good. Well done
:D 8)
Youngblood

eddiehob
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Location: Melbourne
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Re: Kain's 'Batwing' tank...

Post by eddiehob » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:12 pm

Nice job looks good

Bearcx
Posts: 1894
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:31 am
Location: Gawler, Sth Aust
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Re: Kain's 'Batwing' tank...

Post by Bearcx » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:08 pm

It's not for everyone, but, came up a treat.!! Well done Kain. Great results. Paint looks perfect. :D
The brave may not live long, but, the cautious do not live at all.

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