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IMS Large Capacity Gas Tank Reviews

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  • Price Range $274.95 ~ $287.95 Shop Now
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Hans Schmid

  • 4
  

With a newly minted 2017 KTM 350XCF in my possession, I was looking to go as far as possible between fuels stops, yet still manage to hammer through the tightest single track. After some research, I zero'd in on a 4.5 gallon (g) fuel tank from IMS Products. They describe it as "slim and sleek" despite its larger capacity, so I reached out to see if they'd send one over for review by the TT Review Crew. After a few miles under my belt, let's talk about what's what...

Product Overview

In 1976, IMS was founded on the unmet need for extended capacity dirt bike fuel tanks , high quality performance footpegs (review pending), and more durable shift levers. Using Polyethylene Crosslink for extra strength and durability, IMS makes a large capacity fuel tank for just about every dirt bike made. More specifically for the KTM 350, the IMS 4.5 adds nearly 2 gallons of extra fuel capacity over the stock 2.6. The tanks comes in your choice of black or natural (translucent) and either a screw cap or dry break for racing applications. I choice natural for quick visual access to my fuel level.

Installation

Anyone who knows how to change their oil will have little issue mounting this IMS fuel tank. First and foremost, makes sure the tank is clean. When the holes are drilled, some shavings can be left behind. I used fuel and compressed air to get the job done. Swapping over the fuel pump assembly (FPA) to the new tank is the most difficult part. I attached a wire to the FPA to fish it into place where I could thread the fittings. The final part is just swapping radiator shrouds using the supplied 8mm bolts and mounting the tank. IMS does supply EZ to read instructions and helpful tips, but they are a phone call away if you get lost. I bought a 2nd FPA so I could swap from my IMS 2.8g race tank to the 4.5g in minutes.

Fit and Finish

Finish wise, the IMS 4.5g is spot on. The screw style fuel cap fits nice and doesn't leak. The fuel pump fittings thread on well and show no signs of leaking. Once mounted, the tank fits on the bike perfectly. It wraps around the radiators nicely, but since I don't run aftermarket radiator guards , I can't confirm any particular compatibility. But, there does appear to be plenty of room for such. Most dual sport riders will opt for an aftermarket radiator fan such as one from Trail Tech. I have one installed and encountered no interference with the IMS 4.5g.

The triple clamps do not bump or rub when at full lock, something that I've experienced with other tanks. I run a Scotts Steering Stablizer and there is no interference with the frame mounting bracket.

Because the IMS designed the tank to fit the stock radiator shrouds, there is no need to purchase new graphics. There are no gaps in the plastics and the tank allows the seat to sit properly, not having the 'horn' effect that can put your boys in jeopardy. Is the tank wider? Yes, but not uncomfortably so. Keep in mind that those extra 2 gallons have to go somewhere.

Performance

The adventures on my 350XCF are about as well rounded as you can get. Anything from highway, dirt roads, quad trails, single track, hard enduro, and the MX track (yes the MX track!) allow me to put products through a wide variety of challenges. Just sitting on the bike ,you can feel that the tank is slightly wider, but your knees don't rest in a awkward or uncomfortable. 

Starting with a few shorter rides with the tank less than half full, I was checking to make sure nothing was rubbing or leaking and to get a good feel for the tank. After this and with a full tank full, I set off one of my 100 mile loops. Whether you are sitting or standing in terrain that is fairly flowy/fast and not too rough, the tank isn't noticeable. The additional 12lbs. of fuel doesn't seem to affect the suspension or handling in these conditions. The fuel is distributed well and remains low on the bike. When the tank is full and you get into some real rough terrain, tight, tight single track or deep, roughed out whooped sections, the extra weight starts to become noticeable. The fuel doesn't slosh, but the extra weight does make for the forks to drop a little faster and deeper during hard braking. As the fuel level drops, the handling characteristics moves back to normal. I would recommend a spring rate change if you plan on mounting more gear or if you're doing more desert style terrain simply to preserve the balance of the bike.

On one trip, I recorded 86 miles (via GPS ) using a total of 1.92g (7.25l) of fuel. Based on a simple calculation, you should be able to get 200+ miles per tank. I consider that extremely good considering that the 350XCF has a close ratio gear box. This particular ride included about 30% highway, 30% dirt road, 20% single track, 10% quad trails, and 10% MX track. During the ride, the ability to meter fuel just by looking down is welcomed. The gas cap stayed tight and nothing leaked from the pump connections. Even though I don't run aftermarket radiator guards, the increased size of the IMS 4.5 does offer some side protection. I did lay the bike down once, but no no damage occurred. Not that the tank is a substitute for purpose built radiator protection.

Pros :thumbsup:

  • 200+ miles of range.
  • Minimal handling penalty.
  • Natural color offers quick visual of fuel level.
  • Easy & accurate mounting.
  • Some radiator protection from side impact.

Cons :thumbsdn:

  • Slightly wider at radiators.

Monk's Closing Thoughts :prof:

The IMS 4.5g tank for the KTM 350XCF is the largest available on the market and with an estimated 200+miles out of a single tank, the stock KTM seat will wear you down long before you run out of fuel. Having used multiple IMS tanks on all my bikes, I think that the IMS 4.5g for the KTM is their best design to date.

______________________________________________________________________

 

This is a prior review I wrote about an IMS larger capacity gas tank on a previous bike:

Moving from my trusty '07 YZ250 to my new 2015 YZ450F, additional mods had to be made to make it more off-road worthy. Along with the usual items such as handguards, skidplate, and rad guards, a larger fuel tank was a must. The extra fuel capacity equals less stops and more range, whether I'm racing or just enjoying myself riding with family & friends. I have had excellent results with IMS fuel tanks in the past and more recently, the IMS "Zip Ty" spec'd unit currently on my YZ250. With Yamaha at the forefront of weight centralization on their current YZF motocross platforms and as of late, their off-road models, IMS had their work cut out for them in finding more room to add fuel capacity without messing up these dynamics. Let's see if they succeeded and what the results were.

Product Overview
IMS fuel tanks are made from crosslinked Polyethylene plastic for extra strength and durability. This particular IMS tank model offers increased fuel capacity of 2.9 gallons (3.78 liter) vs. the stock 2.0, yet it maintains a very slim and sleek profile. IMS offfers their tank in two configurations: the standard setup that uses the stock flip-top ''door" and a drybreak/quick-fill set-up in which you have to remove the flip-top "door" and modify the seat. For most of us the standard version makes the most sense and that is what I tested. In terms of color, options include black or natural (translucent). I chose the natural because I like to see my fuel level. This is a welcomed benefit as Yamaha's new design doesn't make visual fuel checks easy at all.

Installation
At no fault of the guys over at IMS, this tank was a bit difficult to install. Yamaha has put a lot of effort into their weight centralization campaign and has put the fuel tank where more commonly the airbox is located. Adding nearly one gallon of extra of fuel, IMS had to get creative! The tank molds around the bike's sub-frame and shock, but still allows for easy access to the shock for adjustment. Starting with a clean bike, I had to remove the radiator shrouds, seat, side number plates, sub-frame, and a multitude of nuts/bolts to gain access to the stock unit and replace it with the IMS unit. A few of the stock fasteners, fuel cap, and fuel pump are used in the new tank and are a fairly easy swap over. Installation instructions are included and pretty basic. My best advice is to take your time and pay attention. The entire process took me about 40 minutes.

Note: Make sure to clean your new fuel tank thoroughly before installation. There may be plastic shavings still inside.

Performance
My first impression when sitting on the bike is that the IMS tank isn't any more noticeable than the stock tank. IMS managed to add nearly a extra gallon of fuel without making the bike wider or sacrificing the overall feel of the motorcycle. The extra gallon of fuel sits lower still in the bike, so you don't pay a up high weight penalty in the process. The natural color allows for quick/easy fuel level checks, something that I really appreciate.

The fit and finish is excellent. No leaks found, cap fits well and threads on straight, as does the seat and flip-top "door". Everything lined up exactly as the stock unit does. As for the bike, no other adjustments were made outside of mounting the tank. On other bikes that I've added larger fuel tanks to, I have added a click or two of compression to compensate for the added weight up front and I have even heard of people going up a spring rate on the forks.

The terrain where I did my testing was as good as it gets. Nothing is over 2nd gear with constant back and forth, side-to-side movements. McNutt is known to be extremely difficult to ride, let alone doing it on a heavier 450cc thumper. Oversized fuel tanks in a standard configuration can add a considerable amount of weight up high, making the bike feel sluggish when turning, so McNutt was perfect. After a quick check to make sure that nothing was rubbing and everything was tight and connected, I headed out to the trails. Trying to test something that you cannot notice is difficult! As mentioned before, IMS did a fantastic job of keeping the width of the tank the same as stock and because the fuel sits even lower than the stock unit, you don't feel the added weight when riding. Unlike every oversized tank that I have used, the IMS unit for the YZF isn't noticeable. If I didn't tell others that the bike has a oversized tank, they'd likely never know.

Pros :thumbsup:

  • 50% more fuel capacity over stock.
  • Not noticeable when riding.
  • Retains stock fuel door.
  • No up-high weight penalty.
  • More fuel means more riding!

Cons :thumbsdn:

  • Installation is a challenge.

Bottom-line :prof:
IMS was put to the challenge when building a larger fuel tank for the YZF and the result exceeded my expectations. The fit & finish is excellent, the added range is welcomed, all without adding additional width to the bike or degrading the bike's handing characteristics.

In my book, whether you race or play ride, anytime that you can add extra riding time to your day will always be a plus. Buy the tank and enjoy the extra ride time! :ride:

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AlreadyReadyAlready

  • 4
   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

Keeps the fun going longer

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Dezertdirt

  • 5
  

Makes a big difference in range.  Tank fits nice with shrouds, integrates with overall look of bike.

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