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.