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Just a feeler: who would actually pay for a carbon fiber gas tank?

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So I have been toying with the idea of making a carbon fiber gas tank for a long time. The problem is, if I decide to do it, it is going to cost me some money and a lot of time to make the molds I need. I don't feel it is worth it for me to do it just to have one or two, especially if I will never be able to sell them after I use them. If I make some, I want to know that there are people out there willing to pay for them so I will not loose too much money. I would probably make one for each of my bikes, and then sell them when I am done using them. I may also make a couple others just to sell if I get time. I figure it will cost a couple hundred dollars for me to make the molds, and probably another hundred dollars in materials for each tank. It would probably take a couple months to accomplish this, if I even do it.

Part of me feels like if I made one and threw it on ebay someone would pay a lot for it, but part of me also sees it selling really cheap b/c nobody wanted it. So I want to hear what people would be willing to pay if you saw one.

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will fuel break down the resin used to make the carbon fiber?

Nope. Race cars, airplanes, and most of the European and Japanese motocross teams use carbon fiber tanks. You can buy them for some streetbikes, but the price is normally over $1000.

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I think it would be cool to have for the bling factor and stuff. But I wouldn't personally pay money for one... unless I wrecked my stock tank and needed a new one and the carbon fiber one would be really close to the price of stock. Or I just had an excess of $'s (not going to happen, lol)

But I'm sure that there are people out there that would pay money for CF tanks. Just look at some of the money people spend on just bling... And not things to make the bike actually better for themselves, suspension, fresh engine, good tires, etc...

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i think i would rather have an aluminum one cause they are cool. IMO. but i bet CF is cool too but it would just look like the light speed carbon gas tank tape that you can put on one.

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whats the diff in weight? from stock?

I can't really tell you without having it built to weigh it. I should be able to make one that is lighter than stock, but a stock tank doesn't weigh much, so the weight difference will most likely be small. However, you will be losing weight off of a high point in the chassis, thus lowering the center of gravity, and the carbon tank would be much much stronger than the stock one.

I think it would be cool to have for the bling factor and stuff. But I wouldn't personally pay money for one... unless I wrecked my stock tank and needed a new one and the carbon fiber one would be really close to the price of stock. Or I just had an excess of $'s (not going to happen, lol)

But I'm sure that there are people out there that would pay money for CF tanks. Just look at some of the money people spend on just bling... And not things to make the bike actually better for themselves, suspension, fresh engine, good tires, etc...

That is exactly my feeling, and that is the type of feedback what I'm looking for. I want to see if everyone feels like we do, or if there are some people that would be willing to spend money on them even though they don't offer much other than slight weight savings (minor), great strength (minor, not too many people break gas tanks), and bling (really its biggest asset). I myself would not pay a lot for one, I'm only considering this b/c i have the ability and resources to do it for the cost of set up, materials, and loads of my time.

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theres a comapny called clockwork orange that was doing them for ktm's they seemed to have trouble coming up with a good cap device

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theres a comapny called clockwork orange that was doing them for ktm's they seemed to have trouble coming up with a good cap device

That brings up a good question. What are you going to use for a cap?

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A "homebrew" job, the fuel would be a problem.

Pro parts (that are $1000+) use special resin impregnated CF sheets that are activated by extreme heat and pressure... same as aircraft parts.

There's a big difference between an aircraft control surface and a vacuum-bagged hood scoop.

Weight is another problem. The tank could be made to survive a drop, but it would have to be heavier (by weight) than a comparable plastic tank.

A carbon/kevlar blend could be used to reduce the weight a bit, but even then, penetration from rocks would be a problem.

My streetbike helmet is a carbon/kevlar blend. Very light... and it fails the DOT penetration test.

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What if you lay the bike over? How strong is carbon fiber?

Very strong. If done correctly it can be stronger than steel while remaining lighter than plastic. I would put a couple layers of kevlar in for added impact protection. Basically this tank would be like a thicker version of the shell of your helmet. Much stronger than the plastic of a stock tank.

That brings up a good question. What are you going to use for a cap?

I was thinking about that. I have a few options. The sure fire way to make it work would be to cut the neck off of a stock tank and just bond that into the carbon tank. This way it would be guaranteed to seal like the stock one. The downside is I would have to destroy a stock tank for each tank I make. Another option is to make a smooth neck on the tank the same size as the stock neck minus the threads. Then take a piece of wire and wrap it the same number of times and for the same length of the neck as the stock threads (this would emulate the threads). Glue the wire in place, then cover it with one layer of thin carbon fiber to take the form of the neck plus the wire, giving it threads that a stock cap would screw onto. In theory if the top of the neck is smooth, the cap should seal fine.

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A "homebrew" job, the fuel would be a problem.

Pro parts (that are $1000+) use special resin impregnated CF sheets that are activated by extreme heat and pressure... same as aircraft parts.

There's a big difference between an aircraft control surface and a vacuum-bagged hood scoop.

Weight is another problem. The tank could be made to survive a drop, but it would have to be heavier (by weight) than a comparable plastic tank.

A carbon/kevlar blend could be used to reduce the weight a bit, but even then, penetration from rocks would be a problem.

My streetbike helmet is a carbon/kevlar blend. Very light... and it fails the DOT penetration test.

Only some of this is true. Using heat to make carbon fiber is a kind of myth. While it is true that some resins require elevated heat during a period of their curing, these are primarily resins that resist high temps, and to cure properly must be heated. Most epoxy resins do not require heating to cure, in fact most epoxy resins have poor resistance to high temperature and break down when heated. Heating them during curing weakens them incredibly. Pressure is used during curing to squeeze out excess resin between layers. This guarantees the lightest possible part.

As for breaking, I'm sure your helmet holds up a lot better than the plastic gas tank that came on your bike. I made a skidplate for one of my bikes three years ago. I only used three layers of carbon to make it very light. Today it only has a couple surface scratches, and I'm sure it sees more rocks than my gas tank ever will. For the tank I was planning on 4 layers of carbon with 2 layers of kevlar in the middle, so it should be almost twice as strong as the skidplate I made.

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That would be cool KJ, but IMHO i think it's not going to be worth the time, effort, and money. More power to you if you actually go through with it.

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Nope. Race cars, airplanes, and most of the European and Japanese motocross teams use carbon fiber tanks. You can buy them for some streetbikes, but the price is normally over $1000.

Don't race cars and airplanes also use some type of bladder inside of the tank to actually house the gas?

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Its a good Idea KJ, just not sure how many people would pony up for it.

I would make a few for your bike, show them around at the track and see if you have any takers there.

If the price wasn't super expensive, I would probably be interested in one

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I would love to have an aluminum or carbon gas tank made for my bike. The problem with my bike is that when I made it a hybrid I had to cut the tank and plastic weld it back together for clearance. No matter how many times I have tried to fix it, I have always had a bit of gas seep through at the seems. It's really slow, and it would take several months for all the gas to leak out, but it is annoying as hell. The premix attracts dirt, and the top of my engine gets dirty really quick. I need to learn how to do Carbon Fiber or aluminum welding:bonk:

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Honestly, waste of money for the average enthusiast. I wouldn't buy one, even if it was fairly inexpensive. Outside of "oooooh" I have a CF tank, I can't think of much else in terms of real value for the typical rider.

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