Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Fibregalss fuel tanks?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by jimmy_g, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Hey Netriders,
    I was wondering if anyone has info relating to legality fibreglass fuel tanks on road registered bikes? Google inst being very helpful! Based in Victoria too.
    Thanks in advance


     
     Top
  2. Not illegal as far as I'm aware. Be aware there are two types of fibreglass resin. Polyester and epoxy. Polyester is the one that has the bad rep for bike tanks, but epoxy is basically hard plastic and is fine.
     
     Top
  3. Whilst there is, AFAIK, no prohibition on plastic tanks of any description, I do know that you'd have had a hard time getting anything amateur made past WA's licensing authorities if you were daft enough to tell them.

    That said, I never saw anyone actually look into a tank during a roadworthiness inspection, so if it's nicely made and finished, nobody is likely to notice.
     
     Top
  4. You missed one. Vinylester.

    Polyester is cheap and easy to work with but has very little chemical resistance. Epoxy is very strong, has reasonable chemical resistance and sticks to almost anything (metal, wood etc. Araldite is essentially epoxy resin) but is more difficult to work with (there are also many different types of expoxy). Vinylester has the best chemical resistance and is similar to work with to Polyester, but has downsides in strength and "sticky-ness".

    I would speak to a company that used to be called "RF Services", not sure what they are now (RF Saint Gobain maybe?), they're at 635 Queensberry St in North Melbourne. The guys in the retail shop should be able to point you in the right direction and be able to sell you all the appropriate bits and pieces (glass fibre, resin etc). They can even sell you carbon fibre or kevlar cloth if you want something fancy. ;)
     
     Top
  5. I've seen vinylester resin recommended for homebuilt aircraft fuel tanks so I'd tend to concur with Dionikon.

    Or, if chemical and mechanical compatibility allows it, maybe a vynilester layer on the inside and an epoxy layer on the outside.

    Personally, I can't see too many reasons for using polyester resin on anything smaller than a boat hull or a swimming pool these days.
     
     Top
  6.  Top
  7. Are the polyster ones that used to split and send fuel everywhere?
     
     Top
  8. Yep, the resin gets soft when exposed to petrol and even if they don't split, they weep.
     
     Top
  9. Ah. I've read about older 70's Ducati's weeping and blistering from the newer additives in fuel as well.
     
     Top
  10. Much of what I've read on fuel tanks has come from the US and I gather they have all sorts of problems with some of the witch's brews sold as petrol there, many aviation specific tank sealants not being alcohol safe for instance.
     
     Top
  11. Some great tips and info thanks guys. Im looking at a Benjies Cafe Racer Tank for a 1980 CB250. He is doing a custom order for me which is great!
     
     Top
  12.  Top
  13. What were the tanks of the old 750SS green frame Ducati made from? I LOVE that clear section where fuel level is instantly visible, and wonder if it would be possible to build such a feature into a modern tank of some sort.
     
     Top
  14. There was some talk re a carbon fibre tank for a Laverda being made as we speak,he would like a clear strip but its not posible with carbon and bonding in some other material to do it was not smart either.The space frame Laverda racing out of The Ozlaverda Team has a glass tank with the clear strip and it needed and got the Caswell sealer .That tank is a couple of years old.The Caswell sealer seems to be the way to go,wish we had known before the TT2 glass tank melted on my Pantah
     
     Top