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Are you having problems with your tank?

  • Yes, I am having problems with my tank.

    Votes: 368 66.7%
  • No, I am not having problems with my tank.

    Votes: 184 33.3%

Tank Problems - Yes or No

171791 Views 1137 Replies 254 Participants Last post by  mopgcw
Let us know if you are having tank problems.

I voted already. I have not had any tank problems so far. For the record, my Paul Smart does not have many miles on it and it stays in a heated garage. I don't know if that makes any difference.
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Maybe we need one more choice for those of us that are not having problems with our current tank, but had our original replaced (under warranty or otherwise) due to the bulging - deformation issues.
I understand what you are saying but the main reason for this thread is to get a count of those who have or have not had problems.
Just how many of these bikes are here in the states?
There are supposed to be 200 Paul Smarts in the US. I have no idea how many Sport Classics there are.

Other thing do the bikes in Europe have this damned emissions canister. For crying out load the same canister that caused vacuum lock on fuel injected SS bikes and caved them in!
We have quite a few threads about removing the canister. Do a search. My dealer took my canister off before I picked up my bike. :D
I have also been told that the further away from the batch mixing you are the less ethanol in your fuel.....bleed off...and that those close by may be getting more than 10%..fuel in my area smells like cheap rum sometimes.
That sounds reasonable.

I have a nephew who drives a fuel tanker. I think I remember him saying that ethanol and additives are mixed into the tank at the filling point.

As an aside, I was at the dealership yesterday getting my annual inspection. I asked the service manager if any Sport Classic thanks had been replaced in his shop. None so far . . . but he's relatively new. (Charlotte, N.C.)
I wonder if this could be a regional or state thing? My dealer (and good friend so he's not going to BS me) has never heard of tanks spreading. As far as he knows it is not a problem in North or South Carolina. (He sells a lot of bikes to people in both states.) In other words, could our fuel be different? :confused: A different formulation for S.C. and N.C.? :confused: Fewer additives? :confused: Less ethanol? :confused:
Don't you think Ducati should cover it, warranty or not?
I am sure someone has mentioned this before but it is worth repeating. In some states the fuel tank falls under emission laws/regulations and the warranty period for emissions related parts is extended past the normal Ducati 2-year warranty.
I took a cursory look at the home states of those who have submitted a written post. It looks like most problems are in:

1. California
2. Oregon

3. Colorado
4. Arizona

5. Illinois
6. Indiana
7. Kentucky

8. New Jersey
9. New York

10. Virginia

It appears that the problem is in four general areas with Virginia being an anomaly.

I don’t see anything in the South or South East. (NC, SC, Georgia, Florida, etc.)

What do you all think? Is there anything special about the fuel in those regions?? Chime in if I missed your state/region.
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The amount of ethanol in gas not only varies seasonally and regionally, you may not be able to tell when you are buying it.

Very interesting! Thanks.

I found this most interesting . . .

Caution - Warning:​
The percent of ethanol may be incorrectly added by the local fuel distributor. In most areas ethanol is added to the tanks by the delivery truck drivers, (local distributor); And, very few gas stations monitor or check ethanol content (% added) of fuel delivered and contained in the gas pump.

My nephew drives a fuel delivery truck in Indiana. He says that they add about 10% ethanol when they load.
It looks as if you forgot about me. I have posted my thoughts and tribulations o this issue. It is still at the dealer as I refuse to accept it until it is fixed.
Sorry, 3-D. I missed your post. You must be one of the first cases in NC/SC. What dealer are you using?? :confused:
I was at the dealership (Ducati NY) a month ago, and showed them the disformation. luckily, there was a technician from DNA there that day, and said that it's common for these tanks to get deformed due to misplacement on the chassis... ~k
I've never heard that explanation before. I wonder who you misplace/misalign the tank? :confused:
You can find upwards of 10% ethanol in all grades of fuel.
Actually, you can find even more than 10% in fuel. Most companies use what is called "splash blending". A tanker truck pulls into a terminal and fills up with fuel. Then ethanol is then added to the tank. (Or it could be ethanol first and then fuel.) The gasoline and ethanol are supposed to mix as the tanker rolls down the road. It isn't a very scientific/accurate method. There have been checks at various service stations and fuel has been found with as much as 20% ethanol! :eek:
When I first purchased my SC in July '07, I noticed a very slight imperfection in the tank when the light hit it right. It's steadily grown and is now a dime sized pimple (you can see it in the picture directly over the gold stripe). Five other very slight imperfections have also recently appeared in close proximity to the first one.
Is that the same imperfection that the rest of you who have tank problems are seeing?

I looked at my tank last night and it appears fine. I don't see any pimples or bubbles and the tank fits tight. There is no spreading.

I think Ducati might be trouble if they refuse to swap tanks. In many states the tank and the rest of the fuel system is covered a lot longer than two years.

By the way, didn't the marine industry faced the same kind of problems with plastic tanks?
Just a thought . . . I wonder if the bubbles are caused when fuel seeps through the plastic tank and pushes the paint out away from the tank? :confused: I was looking at the paint around the fuel opening and the paint seems to be pretty thick and pliable/elastic.

I have no idea what would cause the tank to spread.
Once upon a time, I was chief mechanic for an EBC Endurance AMA Yamaha racing team (Team Magic/Anderson Racing). The owner, and main rider was a fellow by the name of Jan Svensson. He is an engineer and has worked with a lot of materials related to motorcycles. He now races a Ducati in AHRMA's Battle of the Twins. Jan makes his own fuel tanks out of carbon fibre. I talked to him today about the possibility of ethanol causing problems with our tanks. He seems to think this is a possibility as he uses Kreem in his carbon fibre tanks due to additives in the fuel such as ethanol making his carbon fibre tanks "soft". It is his recommendation that I Kreem my new tank before I install it.

Thought you might like to know.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Ride Safe.
Thanks for the input. Maybe if all of us pool our knowledge and opinions we will come up with an answer.
According to what I could find on the Internet, North Carolina does not have very many brands of fuel that contain ethanol. The Pantry, a state wide chain of convenience stores that sells cheaper fuel, does put ethanol in their fuel. (I don't buy fuel at The Pantry. Maybe that's why my tank is still okay.) The bad news is that North Carolina is considering more ethanol in fuel.
2006 black sport classic purchased march 2006. over 2+ years, tank has spread, plus several pimples. local dealer was contacted this nov 2008, their story was they had never heard of such a thing and to bring the bike by.
Give your dealer a link to this web site.
i guess i just thought it was a bad batch in the beginning and was sorted by now.
My bike is an 06. I guess you could say that it was one of the early batches. I haven't had any tank problems.
Good going, don! I hope someone at Ducati is listening.
Sorry, I'm new here...

Did Ducati ever share their thoughts on the cause of the problem? Is there any correlation between the tank issue and the presence of the evap canister (it doesn't seem to be affecting bikes outside of the US, correct?)
Most of us in the U.S. have taken our canisters off so I don't think that the evaporation canister has much effect one way of the other. It could. But I don't think so.
Out of warrranty, out of luck.
I'm not so sure about that. The fuel tank is part of the fuel system and therefore might be part of some kind of extended warranty. Besides, Ducati does not want a tank to dump fuel all over a hot engine. Can you imagine the kind of publicity that would generate?
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