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Sport Classic Aluminum Tank R&D Thread

89936 Views 404 Replies 76 Participants Last post by  gusman77
This thread separated from the discussion about a limited number of custom Sport Classic gas tanks, as started by brooksie.

The purpose of this thread is to keep track of ideas, and to solicit donations for the R&D and prototyping of a production aluminum alloy replacement gas tank for the various Sport Classic models.

The goal of this project is simple: To develop a solution and a product that will replace the problematic plastic tank on Sport Classic motorcycles with a high-quality aluminum alloy tank, suitable for polishing or painting. We are trying to keep the cost down, while providing a high-quality solution that uses stock parts for ease of use. That is why it is necessary to have everyone's help.

To achieve this goal, several steps need to be taken:

* Obtain high-quality "virgin" Sport Classic tanks that will be used to do the initial scanning in order to make the mechanical drawings. We have had offers from other members to use their warranty replacement tanks for this process. This is the desired route, as it utilizes existing "free" parts as opposed to purchasing new ones. Should we not have enough "virgin" tanks from forum members, we should purchase that model's tank from Ducati in order to scan.

The objective of using "virgin" tanks (tanks that have never held gas) is to create the master designs from parts that have no verifiable spread to them. Ideally, the fitment of any tank that will be used for modeling will be verified before scanning to ensure that we have the best starting point for that piece.

If the need arises to purchase tanks for the purposes of modeling, I have set up a Paypal donation pool for the forum members (see below), so that we can purchase the tanks from Ducati. Use the link below to contribute to the "Save the Tank" fund. Suggested donation is $40 (US), based on responses, and the cost of the tanks. If you can't swing $40, then any amount will help.

Each model tank should be about $1878, and we have guesstimated about 150 people interested. Once we reach the magical amount, I will purchase and verify the fitment, for the necessary remaining parts, and then send the tanks to the scanner as chosen by the group.

At the end of the modeling, if tanks were purchased, they will be sold here or on eBay, and the proceeds used to either repay the people that donated, or to roll back into product development.

* Product development. From the discussion in the previous thread, there are a few steps that come between the initial scanning and the resulting production. They include CAD time, and some testing to verify the model and molds are stable. The donation pool will also be used to fund this stage of the process, with either existing funds, fresh donations, or the money from the tank sale.

So far, consensus has been to keep the overall exterior shape the same as the original model, but undoubtedly there will be other design choices that should be put to a vote. I will post various polls for these, and keep track of them here.

* Production. Forum member Hardball has expressed interest in producing the tanks when the designs are complete. Any funds that have not already been allocated to obtaining tanks, or R&D will be used as necessary to help set up production.

* Refund policy:

If the whole deal should fall apart before the tanks are completed, or you are not interested in participating after you have donated, I will refund the donations where possible. If for some reason Paypal is unable to refund the donation, or I can't refund it to you directly, it will be forwarded to the AMA or Abate.

I want to personally also take the opportunity to say a few words. I, like you, really love my Sport Classic, and although Ducati is rumored to be working on a replacement tank for the failed plastic parts, I think this option of an alloy tank is too attractive to pass up. It really is with all of your help that this project will succeed, and I want to thank you all in advance for helping make it a reality.

I can think of nothing better, than to have a group come together and come up with a solution that will please all of us, and really enhance the beauty and reliability of our bikes.

Thank you.


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1 - 6 of 405 Posts
thanks for taking the time to open this thread and
getting the first poll started.

hi there.

the stock "udder" is ugly, cleaning that area up
would help a lot.
i wonder if the stock sport classic fuel pump assembly
could be dis-assembled, that it could be used with a standard
supersport set up.

this is what a 1990 supersport gas tank looks like:

the pump on SE84's picture looks quite similar
to the supersport ones, they seem to be mounted
in a different way only.

see this picture with supersport fuel pumps,
with the i.e. EFI type pump to the left, and
standard carb type pump to the right.
the fuel filter is located behind the pump, only
a net will filter the fuel at first.

the clip that holds the pump and the vent lines
could be fabricated, i'd like to see better pictures
of the sport classic pump and gauge set up.

cheers. :)
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Thanks Muschi for the insight. I'm assuming that in your diagram that the pump and associated parts sits at the bottom of the tank on the outside.

take a second look...picture shows the inner side
of the tank bottom, the supersport pump and the
rest of its assembly is located inside the tank.

only downside with this is the need for a mid
90's style round gas cap, as it needs to be big
enough to get your hand through...

thanks for the tank pics, first time for me to see
the sport classic tank details.

cheers. :)

p.s. i can understand nimi's and everybody else's
wish to get the tank as stock as possible.
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He's always chopping things apart! :p I think he still has all his fingers.
all 10 are still there. :)

it's a chopper baby. :cool:

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i think this is the point where the standard shape has to be altered
to get a reasonable quote from the manufacturer.
i suggest do get rid of the kanister in the back which holds the fuel
pump assembly, and have a simple supersport pump put inside the

that will not only clean up that area of the bike, but will be a lot
cheaper too.

you could not get these tanks road legal in germany by the way, as
they have got no Tüv certificate.

i want to break free. :)
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ethanol will melt the polyster resin, but not the epoxy resin,
carbon fibre can be used with both of them, but is usually
used with the ladder.

there are no issues to fear with a correct made and correct
rubber mounted aluminum tank.
1 - 6 of 405 Posts
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