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Safari Tank for WR250R - Review & Install Photos

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*** Update: The advertised capacity of the Safari tank has been reduced from 4 Gallons to 3.5 ***

*** Another update - Measured range about 175 miles to empty. Details page 8 of this thread ***

The following is review and photo installation of the new Safari tank for the WR250R.

Preliminary Observations:

The good: The tank construction is good and mounting is very solid. Much better mounting than the Safari tank on my DRZ400. Since the WR is a fuel injected bike, the fuel pump must be removed from the stock tank and reinstalled in the Safari tank. The fuel pump mounting plate and seal area are substantially rigid.

The bad: Safari tank capacity is only 3.35 gallons, which is a mere 1.25 gallon improvement over the stock capacity of 2.1 gallons. This is a significant departure from the 4 Gallons advertised. All my other Safari tanks have been spot-on with advertised capacity. This difference is more than rounding error……

The so-so: The fuel pick-up points reach deep into both (right and left) lobes, but they are not direct-pickup. Instead a pressure system redistributes fuel to the mid-tank mounted fuel pump, which is sitting in a mid-level “pool” of fuel. The stock fuel pump remains unmodified and uses its fuel pickup located at the base of the fuel pump sitting in this mid-level “pool” of fuel. *** Update - works perfectly - see ride report page 8 this thread ***

Since my experience with the range of the WR250R is only 85 to 90 miles before reserve, I had been following the development of after-market tanks with enthusiasm. I placed an order in December, 2008. However, with additional engineering delays, the tank was not received until mid-June 2009.

1Safari1.jpg

The tank arrived well-packaged and in excellent condition. Included in the box: Tank, Instructions, a pre-cut shroud cover, Fuel cap, vacuum tube & tee fitting, a couple of zip-ties, and a metal baffle cover for the fuel pump. The blue is not a perfect match to Yamaha blue, but it’s certainly close enough given the fact that this bike stays dirty.

2Safari2.jpg

Shot of the bottom of the tank. This is the mounting plate for the fuel pump. Fuel pump mounting hardware is reused from the stock tank. Note how the fuel pump is located at mid-level of the tank – well above the lower ends of the fuel lobes. This photo also shows the indent of the “pool” of fuel surrounding the base of the fuel pump.

3LobeFeeders.jpg

The Safari has two pick-ups which reach deep into the left and right fuel lobes. These are connected back to a vacuum manifold mounted inside the tank and a single “dump” hose is directed down towards the fuel pump.

4BikeBefore.jpg

A “before” shot of the bike with the stock tank. (Seat shown is a Corbin).

5OldTank.jpg

The stock WR250R rank. 2.1 Gallon capacity. Pardon the dirt. If you want clean, go browse a Harley forum.

6DiscoOldTank.jpg

Disconnecting the tank is easy. Yamaha thoughtfully provided quick disconnects for the fuel line and the electrical is a standard clip-lock plug.

7HardwareXfer.jpg

Tank mounting hardware is reused from the stock tank. Top/front and rear brackets are fitted to the Safari tank. The tank is very securely mounted in this configuration. The WR250R tank is substantially more secure than my previous experience with a Safari tank on a DRZ400.

8FuelPumpTieWrap.jpg

The stock fuel pump is removed from the stock tank and reinstalled into the Safari tank. Per Safari’s instructions, the dump tube from the Safari fuel pick-up system is cable-tied to the frame of the fuel pump. The end of the dump tube distributes fuel to the base of the fuel pump which is sitting in a “pool” of fuel located at mid-level in the tank).

VacuumT2.jpg

Safari’s fuel redistribution system requires a new vacuum attachment to the Safari gas tank. This line is tapped off of an existing line. This is a shot of the completed tap. Safari provides a “T” and length of vacuum line.

9InstalledTank.jpg

Picture of the mounted tank. Note vacuum line attachment.

10NewShroud.jpg

Safari includes a new Yamaha factory shroud cover for the left side that has been pre-trimmed to fit the lines of the new tank. Nice touch. In this photo, the pre-trimmed shroud is shown on top of the original shroud.

11ShroudLeft.jpg

Photo of the left side shroud cover after the Safari tank has been mounted.

12ShroudRight.jpg

Photo of the right side shroud. The Force radiator guard was previously installed.

13Aftershot.jpg

New Safari tank mounting complete. The seat shown is a Corbin and required a bit of modification for the top tank mount to mate properly with the seat. This was just an inconvenience and not a major issue.

14Filled.jpg

Tank capacity filled from bone dry to the level shown in the photo was 3.35 gallons.

Additional observations:

In order to test the fuel pick-up system at low levels, I measured and filled the left and right lobes with one pint of fuel each. After sealing the gas cap, I turned the ignition to on and the fuel pump whined just a few seconds longer than it normally does, then shut off just as it did with the stock tank. I started the bike and it fired right up. I shut it down and removed the gas cap. Sure enough, the fuel pump was sitting in a pool of fuel about 1” deep. I then rode around the block to make sure the fuel distribution system was functioning at low fuel levels. No issues.

I am a bit concerned about the fuel distribution system. I am not a mechanic, but I can’t help but wonder how healthy it is for the fuel pump to be sitting above fuel level. During rough riding conditions at low fuel level, it seems as if this would result in the fuel pump sucking quite a bit of air.

Filling the tank from bone dry to full is an opportunity to accurately measure total fuel capacity. I used a graduated cylinder to carefully measure the remaining tank capacity after the two pints to test the distribution system. Final measured total capacity was a major disappointment at 3.35 gallons. This is <84% of advertised capacity.

Based on a worst-case measured MPG of 60(a), the Safari tank will increase my miles to reserve from 96 to 171 and total range from 126 to 201. While this is a nice improvement, it is much less than expected based on the advertised capacity of 4 gallons.

(a) my average observed MPG on the WR250R is 64.

Summary: Good construction. Great mounting. Jury is still out on the fuel distribution system. Capacity advertisements of 4 gallons are inaccurate.

See you out there.

-Ix

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FWIW the tanks are now being advertised as 3.5 gallons. Maybe one day I'll have the $450 to lay out for the bigger thank, but for now I'll stick with jerry cans (or wait for a used one to pop up :worthy: ).

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Very nice post thanks for that. I gave you some gas:cheers:

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Great Post! Thanks for taking the time to share with us still waiting on our tank. Fantastic pictures, really appreciate it.

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Yes, thank you for the EXCELLENT and flat out professional info and photos!:lol:

Regarding the potential issue with low fuel in the "pool" / rough riding with low amounts in the tank: I don't think I understand. Is it that the stock tank does not use a "pool" around the pump or that the pump's position in the stock tank is lower?

And so is your concern mostly that:

1-there might be interruption of fuel delivery,

2-that the pump might be damaged or wear out prematurely if it draws in air very often or,

3- if the pump is lubricated by fuel, that it might overheat?

Any one or more of those three seems like a valid concern to me!

About the capacity:

I just ordered the tank a couple of days ago. Can't decide whether to cancel and go with some other solution because I am irritated that the tank was first advertised (by Aqualine, I think) as a 4 gal tank, then 3.67 (was it?) now 3.5, and you say even a little less than that. Meanwhile, the price has gone up 40 or 50 smackers. :worthy:

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I have the Rotopax mount which is the only real more elegant solution. In general a 150 mile range would cover most my rides so the 3.5 gallons works but I am disappointed also. I don't regret going ahead and trying the Rotopax mount while I was debating on the Safari tank

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I have the Rotopax mount which is the only real more elegant solution. In general a 150 mile range would cover most my rides so the 3.5 gallons works but I am disappointed also. I don't regret going ahead and trying the Rotopax mount while I was debating on the Safari tank

I went with the EB Rotopax mount also, Jaynen. I thought I could always use it for water or other solutions if I got a Safari tank down the road. Now I'm not sure if I will get the Safari--I think I'll wait for some long-term reports before dropping the coinage. I'll just stick with the +2Gal of the Roto solution for now.:worthy:

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Yes, thank you for the EXCELLENT and flat out professional info and photos!:lol:

Regarding the potential issue with low fuel in the "pool" / rough riding with low amounts in the tank: I don't think I understand. Is it that the stock tank does not use a "pool" around the pump or that the pump's position in the stock tank is lower?

And so is your concern mostly that:

1-there might be interruption of fuel delivery,

2-that the pump might be damaged or wear out prematurely if it draws in air very often or,

3- if the pump is lubricated by fuel, that it might overheat?

Any one or more of those three seems like a valid concern to me!

About the capacity:

I just ordered the tank a couple of days ago. Can't decide whether to cancel and go with some other solution because I am irritated that the tank was first advertised (by Aqualine, I think) as a 4 gal tank, then 3.67 (was it?) now 3.5, and you say even a little less than that. Meanwhile, the price has gone up 40 or 50 smackers. :worthy:

Thanks for the feedback!

I've found a lot of useful information in this forum and just wanted to reciprocate.

I am not a professional mechanic. I'm just an old guy who has spent a bit of time troubleshooting bike problems out in the boonies.

In the stock tank, the fuel pump is located at the lowest point in the tank. So, the only way for it to suck air is to run the tank dry.

I am mostly concerned with point #2 - that the fuel pump might be damaged by sucking air since it is not at the bottom of the tank. It seems that sitting mid-level in the tank an about 1" of pooled fuel, the fuel pump would occasionally suck air during low fuel conditions as the fuel sloshed around. Anyone with Yamaha fuel pump experience, your feedback would be appreciated!

Next weekend, time permitting, I'll try to run the tank down and listen for pump whining.

I've been carrying spare fuel in 1.5 liter aluminum fuel bottles. Each bottle gives me about 23 miles. However, there are some runs in through the desert in Northern Mexico which are 350+ miles between fuel stops and I just didn't fancy carrying a cluster of bottles. I can carry four of these bottles in DirtBagz along with spares and tools necessary for a long run through an isolated area.

Regards,

-Ix

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Great post Ixta, :worthy:

Unfortunately, Safari has been telling me all along that they were struggling to get a 14 liter design out. (I was pushing for 20... :lol: ) Knowing the layout of the bike, I think their solution is a good one, hopefully it won't cause any problems.

I'll probably still invest in the tank as I'm particularly tired or having to fill up in the middle of my weekly 120 mi commute... just knowing that I might be able to pull off a two hour scramble without refueling would be very cool. :lol: Let's face it, for a plug and play option (the rotopax is cool too) going from 7.9l to 12.6 is a nice bump... And as I recall no one else is even considering making one.

Ixta, how are the ergonomics? Obviously the tank is taller, but any problems on width? I'm looking into the Corbin seat as well, so I was wondering if that was part of the issue.

Just for the sake of curiousity, could you post another photo of the completed bike at the same angle as your first photo for a 'before and after?'

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I ordered one and while the pump placement seems a valid concern, I am somewhat confident that it will be okay.

Remember that part of the hold up was tha Yamaha Australia had to approve the design for sale there. And from what I remember, over there customers have to buy the tank from a yami dealer.

One reason the price went up some could be that they added the pre-cut OEM shroud in the kit. Also maybe when they added the fuel redistribution system that added some cost?

I wonder how much capacity is lost to the redistribution block, lines and filters? Even if it is minimal, they displace something.

It also dawned on me that someone at aqualine may have forgotten about the fuel pump being inside of the "4 gallon" tank when they started advertising capacity.

In other words, if you gutted the tank I wonder if it holds 4 gallons but then with the pump and tubes it is down to 3.5 or even 3.35?

Same end result but it just makes me wonder.

Guy sitting at CAD machine, "yeah, the tank is a four gallon capacity....oh, you meant with the pump in and ready to go? Lemme do some calculations and get back to you."

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Anyone going to use a tank bag with the new tank? Looks like most will interfere with the cap vent on the stock cap. I do understand in talking to Justgastanks that the "large' Acerbis locking cap does self vent without the vent being in the center of the cap. Might work, but looks like my Wolfman bag will no longer be level due to the much steeper up sweep of the top of the tank?? Any ideas on that?

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Anyone going to use a tank bag with the new tank? Looks like most will interfere with the cap vent on the stock cap. I do understand in talking to Justgastanks that the "large' Acerbis locking cap does self vent without the vent being in the center of the cap. Might work, but looks like my Wolfman bag will no longer be level due to the much steeper up sweep of the top of the tank?? Any ideas on that?

Yeah, I wondering about that exact same thing. Also, looks like the tank bag's rear strap might be more of a challenge to attach with the Safari. I'm sure it can be done somehow, though.

Or maybe tank panniers instead and just a map pocket attached to the handlebars?

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my #1 consern is how the tank will hold up under a drop or crash. Instead of the shrouds taking the hit the gastank is now. Just wondering if it could crack, twist, get punctured, ripped of the mounts etc.

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my #1 consern is how the tank will hold up under a drop or crash. Instead of the shrouds taking the hit the gastank is now. Just wondering if it could crack, twist, get punctured, ripped of the mounts etc.

Proly all of the above..........until crash bars are put on when and if available. I think though as light as this little bike is it wouldn't be as much of a problem as it would be on a 650 for example.

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After reading your post I'm guessing I'll need to reinstall

the vacuum pump that drove the airbox flapper valve...

My airbox is modified and the flapper is disabled so the pump can

deal with the fuel pickups exclusively.

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Now as far as a proper crash I don't know, but I've heard that the safari tanks can take quite a bit of abuse where falls are concerned. Better than the aluminum or steel tanks because they have a little give to them. Punctures, well that's another thought.

Unfortunately the 'berm flop king' here will probably find out when he gets one. You should see my shrouds now... :worthy:

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I ordered one and while the pump placement seems a valid concern, I am somewhat confident that it will be okay.

Remember that part of the hold up was tha Yamaha Australia had to approve the design for sale there. And from what I remember, over there customers have to buy the tank from a yami dealer.

One reason the price went up some could be that they added the pre-cut OEM shroud in the kit. Also maybe when they added the fuel redistribution system that added some cost?

I wonder how much capacity is lost to the redistribution block, lines and filters? Even if it is minimal, they displace something.

It also dawned on me that someone at aqualine may have forgotten about the fuel pump being inside of the "4 gallon" tank when they started advertising capacity.

In other words, if you gutted the tank I wonder if it holds 4 gallons but then with the pump and tubes it is down to 3.5 or even 3.35?

Same end result but it just makes me wonder.

Guy sitting at CAD machine, "yeah, the tank is a four gallon capacity....oh, you meant with the pump in and ready to go? Lemme do some calculations and get back to you."

Surprised they did not make it a little bit wider then to get the volume back? 1.3 gallons more than stock, seems like allot of work to design and build for that little bit extra...:worthy:

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