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Discussion Starter #1
You may be aware of the large number of Sport Classics, primarily in the United States, that are having extreme deformation of the fuel tank. While this is being attributed to US fuel using ethanol, I was wanting to ask the group if they are having similar problems with their Ducati's past or present and what, if any, solution was used. I think most Ducati motorcycles use plastic tanks of one type/manufacture or another and am curious. Thanks!
 

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Thats strange..
Fuel in Sweden and most EU countries also have a 5-7% ethanol mix to reduce emissions.
I haven´t heard of any problems with the Sportsclassic tanks.

I know there where issues with the "new" SS. The fuelpump was so strong that when the underpressre airline was clogged, the fuelpump created such a stron vacuum that parts of the top of the tank imploded.

//amullo
 

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You may be aware of the large number of Sport Classics, primarily in the United States, that are having extreme deformation of the fuel tank. While this is being attributed to US fuel using ethanol, I was wanting to ask the group if they are having similar problems with their Ducati's past or present and what, if any, solution was used. I think most Ducati motorcycles use plastic tanks of one type/manufacture or another and am curious. Thanks!
I never heard of this problem before the Sport Classics appeared but I assume Ducati has used plastic tanks on other models for years (isn't there a plastic tank with a translucent strip on the mid-70's 750SS used for viewing the fuel level? - or was that on race bikes only) In any case, no problem with my 96 900SS but I am pretty sure it is a steel tank.
 

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I never heard of this problem before the Sport Classics appeared but I assume Ducati has used plastic tanks on other models for years (isn't there a plastic tank with a translucent strip on the mid-70's 750SS used for viewing the fuel level? - or was that on race bikes only) In any case, no problem with my 96 900SS but I am pretty sure it is a steel tank.
That was a fiberglass tank, and the current swill that passes for gasoline these days dissolves it without the use of some type of tank sealer. The current swill may also be the problem with the tank spreading. I believe the Sport Classics represent the first real use of plastic as a tank material.
 

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I've had the problem on a 1098 tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've had the problem on a 1098 tank.
Sorry to hear that. Is Ducati going to warranty it? I bought my GT used and it was fairly spread out then. I have shimmed it and it hold, but exterior paint is bubbling in spots and the deformation on the top is a little worse. I suppose it's my fault for living in the US and buying a Sport Classic.
 

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What about Moto Guzzi v-11 models, and most BMW newer bikes, and most "dirt" bikes? They have plastic tanks too, and doesn't the Mulit have one as well? I don't think I've heard about tanks deforming on any of those models.
 

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I was told that one of the reasons why that happens is the fuel canister that we have on our bikes vs the European version that doesn't have them. Apparently is very easy to clog and create a vacuum to the point that the tank implode, I don't know if this is true but my canister is coming off shortly before is too late!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What about Moto Guzzi v-11 models, and most BMW newer bikes, and most "dirt" bikes? They have plastic tanks too, and doesn't the Mulit have one as well? I don't think I've heard about tanks deforming on any of those models.
The dealer where I got the Ducati also sells Moto Guzzi and said that they used to have terrible problems with older models with tanks spreading. Not the newer ones. He also had BMW for a long time and they never had the issue. Triumph had problems with the first batch of the latest generation Sprint ST and went to a metal tank. They use a similar fuel pump to the SC.
I was told that one of the reasons why that happens is the fuel canister that we have on our bikes vs the European version that doesn't have them. Apparently is very easy to clog and create a vacuum to the point that the tank implode, I don't know if this is true but my canister is coming off shortly before is too late!
Thank is VERY interesting. What is the fuel canister you mention? The fuel Filter?
 

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I was told that one of the reasons why that happens is the fuel canister that we have on our bikes vs the European version that doesn't have them. Apparently is very easy to clog and create a vacuum to the point that the tank implode, I don't know if this is true but my canister is coming off shortly before is too late!
nothing to do with it
 

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The dealer where I got the Ducati also sells Moto Guzzi and said that they used to have terrible problems with older models with tanks spreading. Not the newer ones. He also had BMW for a long time and they never had the issue. Triumph had problems with the first batch of the latest generation Sprint ST and went to a metal tank. They use a similar fuel pump to the SC.

Thank is VERY interesting. What is the fuel canister you mention? The fuel Filter?
No, I'm talking about the vapor canister located behind the horn on the L/side.
I was also getting a weird noise every time I opened the fuel cap, I have the keyless one on it. I havn't ridden the bike yet and not even built any pressure inside the tank yet, so I'll find out soon enough if that helps at all.
Thinking about it tho, if the canister was to clog, the tank would build pressure and blow the sides out not in, does it make any sense?
 

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to be honest... if it wasn't for this issue, i think i would own one already. i see the classic as a beautiful bike, but the "tubed" tires got to go... and after the other mods?... i guess there's a part of me that won't sink that much cash into something that seems like it should be fixed.

and when i ask about this issue at dealerships?... i feel bad... they act like there's no issue... i mean.. a custom paint job would be on my list of mods... and would the new paint on the new (replacement) tank be covered?.... doubt it...
 

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There are MANY instances of tanks on multis warping and several of the plastic monster tanks as well. The affected units are made by Acerbis which now say they've reformulated/recoated the inside of their plastic tanks. Many suspect the ethanol fuel because this has been a significant problem in the recreational boating industry, particularly in areas where boats have to be stored for much of the year. I think there is a new(ish) Stabil product that is supposed to help, but most of the time its too late. The evap canister stuff is bunk. This is a fuel/plastic (resin) reaction issue.
 

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seems like the plastic that was used during the roto=casting was not tested enough... i realize that roto-casting is easier and cheaper than hand lay ups... and that the ways of injection molding would be expensive as well...

but this sucks... two years of oops, we're sorry. i don't know... i expected this to be done and in the past by now... too bad... when it gets solved... i'll consider owning an SC...
 

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nothing to do with it
Dave,

Can you elaborate at all on this? It seems to be a fairly widespread issue that affects multiple models and it has to be costing Ducati a fortune to continue to warranty all these tanks, not to mention creating a lot of grief for you as a dealer who has to answer to your customers that suffer with it. Do you have any internal communications that indicate that there has been or will be an update in the design to correct it?
 

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I E-mailed Shell Canada about Ethanol content in their gas, Regular = 10%....Mid grade=5%...and Permium has no ethanol I was told by an official looking reply..

I talked to an Owner of a Shell gas station ,( The station is less than 2 miles from the refinery,,) and he replied that this area, Sarnia Ontario, has no ethanol at all in their gas he said there is not enough ethanol produced around here ,There is an Ethanol plant less than 10 miles away..
My point being ,Where you live, determines if you get ethanol or not...I wonder if it is avaliable in your area ,you get it sometimes and sometimes not?
Seems like they blend it however it suits them at the moment....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There are MANY instances of tanks on multis warping and several of the plastic monster tanks as well. The affected units are made by Acerbis which now say they've reformulated/recoated the inside of their plastic tanks. Many suspect the ethanol fuel because this has been a significant problem in the recreational boating industry, particularly in areas where boats have to be stored for much of the year. I think there is a new(ish) Stabil product that is supposed to help, but most of the time its too late. The evap canister stuff is bunk. This is a fuel/plastic (resin) reaction issue.
I have heard the same about current (March/April 2009) SC tanks being made differently to combat this issue. We'll see. I would never run Stabil in a motorcycle with fuel injection. I have had very bad results from trying it.
seems like the plastic that was used during the roto=casting was not tested enough... i realize that roto-casting is easier and cheaper than hand lay ups... and that the ways of injection molding would be expensive as well...

but this sucks... two years of oops, we're sorry. i don't know... i expected this to be done and in the past by now... too bad... when it gets solved... i'll consider owning an SC...
Yeah, this is why I am trying to see what the scope of this problem may be. I am thinking about the next bike this winter/spring and I am very skeptical of DNA and how they stand behind their product. I would hate to shell out 15k plus on another Ducati to have a similar idiotic issue being written off to the exotic exclusivity of owning the bike.
 

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I know some folks have gotten bad tanks replaced under the emissions warranty, which would run longer (5yrs?) than the standard factory warranty. At least another way to pursue the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I know some folks have gotten bad tanks replaced under the emissions warranty, which would run longer (5yrs?) than the standard factory warranty. At least another way to pursue the problem.
This is true and much depends upon the dealer. I bought mine used and when brought up to the dealer who sold the bike originally, they pretty much blew me off. Plus, Ducati has had four years of documented problems with Sport Classics and still no public word on what is being done, if anything. If so many other bikes are having this problem, it is not going to help Ducati in the sale of the second bike to the customer.
 
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