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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my 2010 SF-S new in November 2011 and it's been wonderful. Love the bike and just about everything about it. Last week, like many of you, I realized that despite using copious amounts of ethanol neutralizers, my fuel tank has expanded to the point where the ignition guard is rubbed raw by the forks, the forks hit the DP air intakes, and after removing the ignition guard, it will not fit back. The local dealership has been great about ordering me a new tank under warrantee along with the ignition guard. I'll have to pay for a new DP tank guard evidently but whatever.

My question is, how effective is the Caswell coating? Does anyone have any experience with it so far? Has anyone had bad luck with it being ineffective? The Streetfighter is my dream bike and I'd really planned on keeping it forever if possible but it appears Ducati didn't sell enough of them to justify creating a metal replacement tank. Am I going to be stuck buying a $600 fuel tank every year or two for forever? It makes me sick to think I'll have to get rid of the bike because I will have to keep throwing new tanks on it due to a manufacturing oversight.

I'm also wondering (daydreaming) if the new version of the SF would have a metal tank like the Panigale. But we are probably a few years away from that bike coming out, I imagine. There really aren't many other bikes out that get my blood going like the SF. Maybe the RSV-4 but that has the same tank expansion issue. Crapola!
 

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I had three replacement tanks before I went with the Caswell coating...that was 3 1/2 months and 3k miles ago, so far so good. According to my dealer, a replacement tank is going to cost you at least double your $600...
 

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There is a thread on here referencing haveing a metal tank fabricated for the SF. I will see if I can find it. That may be the way to go. I am in the process of replacing my 4th tank and am getting this one Caswell Coated. Not sure if it will withstand the Ethanol but my last tank only lasted 3 months and expanded so fast it broke my key guard and rubbed a spot on the iginition switch.

Here is the link to the Alloy Tank Thread.

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/138-streetfighter/125760-alloy-tanks-india.html
 

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The self-applied Caswell coating on my tank has held up well for about a year now. I'm not sure if it will last forever, but so far so good.

One interesting side note about these tanks is that they will actually shrink back at least close to the original shape if left empty and open to vent for about the same amount of time it took for them to warp (i.e. - a couple months at least). If you catch the warping very early the tank can be salvaged (I would leave it dry and vented for a few months, then coat it.). If significant waves have formed and it's breaking the key guard it's probably ruined.

I'm watching the aluminum tank efforts closely, but I don't have a lot of hope for them. Until somebody invests in a hydroformed or stamped/welded process, the resulting shape will likely not be exactly like the stock plactic ones. The SF tanks are probably the most complex shape Ducati has made.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There is a thread on here referencing haveing a metal tank fabricated for the SF. I will see if I can find it. That may be the way to go. I am in the process of replacing my 4th tank and am getting this one Caswell Coated. Not sure if it will withstand the Ethanol but my last tank only lasted 3 months and expanded so fast it broke my key guard and rubbed a spot on the iginition switch.

Here is the link to the Alloy Tank Thread.

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/138-streetfighter/125760-alloy-tanks-india.html
Thanks DucDuck and everyone else. Doesn't sound too promising. I might trade it in on the BMW S1000rr this weekend. If not, I'll ride out the new tank till it's deformed and make a decision at that point. I had no idea the tanks were going to cost $1200. That's just insane.
 

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Yep, unfortunately there really is no getting around the expanding tanks. They now make them smaller so they won't expand into the forks, radiator cap & key guard (in theory). And they now give a 6 year warranty on them too (I think, based on the lawsuit paperwork that got mailed to me).

But I was just disgusted that Ducati stayed with the same plastic formula that they knew expanded. The risk is that your dealer may support your caswell coated tank, or they may be a dick and decide to void your warranty. Hard to say, but I'd be hard-pressed to pony up $1,200 on a tank that's guaranteed to expand. But it's not like you can just not replace it....

I seriously have to wonder about the long term value of these bikes becaue there is no way in hell I woud buy one used based on the tank. It's going to expand when the ethanol gets to it at some point.

It's a damn shame because the Streetfighter is an amazing bike. Probably the most comfortable sportbike I've ever owned.
 

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I seriously have to wonder about the long term value of these bikes becaue there is no way in hell I woud buy one used based on the tank. It's going to expand when the ethanol gets to it at some point.
I bought two used 2k10 SF's, both with tanks so badly expanded that they needed replacing. The first (SF-S) had zero warranty of any form. I took it over to my local dealer, they took pictures and submitted a claim with Ducati North America (DNA). DNA approved it's replacement in a few days and shipped all the parts. The MORNING AFTER I totaled that bike, the dealer calls me to inform me that all the parts are in. fvck. :mad:

A week later I replace it with another 2k10 SF (base) and again call up the same dealer complaining about the same problem. Rinse & repeat, DNA approves the tank swap and are allowing me to use the parts intended for my original SF-S, on the new bike.

They did not open the tank, nor did they ask whether or not any coatings had been applied. They said the only way the tank warranty may be void, is if it has some unrelated, significant pre-existing damage and they suspect you are just trying to fix it using a free warranty tank.

Also, while the tank is free, the labor to swap them is not. So that sucks.

Point being, there should be absolutely no fear of buying a used SF because of tank issues. In fact, since you aren't spending on sticker shock, that alone should offset any labor costs involved.
 

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To everyone that had the tank replaced.....
Is it true that the replacement tank is actually smaller so when it expands it will have no rubbing points or it's just a rumor?

I have the Caswell on mine for almost 2 years and glad I did it, the end product is clear just like the inside of the tank before getting coated so I doubt very much they could even tell it was coated if it was to be looked at.
I was so happy I also did it to my multi!
 

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Caswell coated by Motowheels...

2nd tank, They lightly tinted the caswell coating so they could be sure that it covered completely. 90days or so of service and so far so good. My MV 1090RR is doing the same thing now at a rapid pace. The second tank from MV will be immediately coated as well. I hope this stuff (Caswell) lasts. If applied properly, its supposed to withstand permanent immersion in gasoline... Fingers crossed.
 

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The tank expansion problem will not deter me from getting a SF848. While I do find it strange that Ducati went forward with plastic design on the SF given the history and lawsuits, what's done is done.

I Caswell coated my (2nd) Multistrada tank earlier this summer. Full write up can be found here: Multistrada.net :: Log in

Executive summary: I dried the tank for over a month, using a fan to circulate the air. The tank shrank back to a size that enabled me to refit it without too much struggle. If you know the 1st gen Multi, you know the tank is a real pain to get on and off even in the best of circumstances. And the shape is very complicated. I have no idea if I got the entire inside surface coated as it is very difficult to see inside the tank. But, so far, so good. The tank is not showing any signs of its former expansive tendencies two months after reinstalling.

There are a lot of theories on what the ethanol does to the tank plastic to make it expand. Motorcycle Consumer News did a nice write up on the problem in the Sept 2012 issue (If you would like a copy of this MCN article, send me a pm and I will email it to you.). The bottom line: avoid ethanol fuels when possible. If that is not possible, use fuel stabilizer additives and keep the tank topped off if the bike is going to sit for any length of time. This prevents atmospheric moisture in the air in the tank from being absorbed by the alcohol in the gas. This also has the added benefit of preventing the air in the tank from expanding when heated, which causes the tank to bulge and allows moisture to be absorbed into the tank material. Not an ideal solution, but I believe that if properly cared for, a Caswell coated tank should last for a good long while.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the help so far. I have a new tank and ignition guard ordered and covered by warrantee by the local Duc dealer, they've been great. I think I'll Caswell coat the tank when it's installed just to be safe. I rode the BMW S1000rr today at the local BMW shop and while it actually seems much better than the SF in braking, acceleration, and handling, it just has NO character. It's fast, don't get me wrong, but it feels just like a Honda CBR 1000rr, which is to say boring. Or maybe I'm spoiled after riding Triumph triples and Duc v-twins.
 

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I agree dieselquads. The s1000 is a very good bike and while it may outperform the 1199, its styling does nothing for me. If the BMW folks ever decide to get someone to really improve the styling I'll consider one.
 

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just clear coat it with a Caswell product man...

i honestly dont know why these clowns dont do that for US models and also i honestly dont understand how all of you people spend SO MUCH MONEY MODDING your ducati and dont just inner coat your tanks so that they dont get the expansion issue...

anyone that desides to just wait for it to expand just to get a new replacement tank is not thinking straight IMO...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
just clear coat it with a Caswell product man...

i honestly dont know why these clowns dont do that for US models and also i honestly dont understand how all of you people spend SO MUCH MONEY MODDING your ducati and dont just inner coat your tanks so that they dont get the expansion issue...

anyone that desides to just wait for it to expand just to get a new replacement tank is not thinking straight IMO...
Thanks. I'll do that since the new tank is on order. I just didn't know if the Caswell stuff actually worked or if it was snake oil.
 

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They did not open the tank, nor did they ask whether or not any coatings had been applied. They said the only way the tank warranty may be void, is if it has some unrelated, significant pre-existing damage and they suspect you are just trying to fix it using a free warranty tank.

Also, while the tank is free, the labor to swap them is not. So that sucks.

Point being, there should be absolutely no fear of buying a used SF because of tank issues. In fact, since you aren't spending on sticker shock, that alone should offset any labor costs involved.
This is where it's good to have a strong relationship with your dealer/shop. If they know you're going to be straight-up with them and not going to sell them out, I think most of the good ones will help you out quite a bit.
 

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To everyone that had the tank replaced.....
Is it true that the replacement tank is actually smaller so when it expands it will have no rubbing points or it's just a rumor?

I have the Caswell on mine for almost 2 years and glad I did it, the end product is clear just like the inside of the tank before getting coated so I doubt very much they could even tell it was coated if it was to be looked at.
I was so happy I also did it to my multi!
Yes, the new tanks are smaller. If you look closely at a new SF 848 or 2012 SF-S you can see that they basically just pulled the front of the tank back from the handlebars an inch or two. It leaves the headstock exposed and unshrouds the ignition switch a little. The original tanks definitely look better. It changes nothing for us, but it allows Ducati to deny future tank claims since there will be almost no chance that the tank can expand enough to hit the controls. By the time all our warranties expire and we find ourselves SOL with warped tanks, Ducati will have moved on to a different model revision and new customers. All about the $$$.
 

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Thanks. I'll do that since the new tank is on order. I just didn't know if the Caswell stuff actually worked or if it was snake oil.
Oh it most definitely works. The key is using the full Caswell kit (directions say one kit is good for 2 tanks, but our tank has enough surface area to require the whole kit).

The problem is if just a tiny bit of it chips and gas gets behind it, it will eventually cause enough warping to delaminate the coating from the tank. Maybe that won't ever happen, or maybe it happens to some of us in just a few years, we'll see.

I want an aluminum tank.
 

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Well, after 3 years, my tank has expanded. Not sure what changed, but it happened fairly quickly. Bulges out the front and side, key gaurd up against the steering damper. Brought it to the shop and they took pictures and started the paperwork. They said Ducati only replaces it once? They said they will coat it for $250 and have had good results on tanks which have been coated for almost five years. We all know who made out good on the tank lawsuit and it wasn't the customers.
 
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