Why are Cafe tanks so small?
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Why are Cafe tanks so small?

This is a discussion on Why are Cafe tanks so small? within the Project Builds forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Hi, been given a Xj900f pre diversion that I want to cafe racer. Tank on it holds 22 litres, everywhere I search (in UK) biggest ...

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Thread: Why are Cafe tanks so small?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Steve_B's Avatar
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    Why are Cafe tanks so small?

    Hi, been given a Xj900f pre diversion that I want to cafe racer. Tank on it holds 22 litres, everywhere I search (in UK) biggest I see is 10 litres. I’m not near enough any supplier to go and view. Seems small to me. Anyone worked on the same bike and if so, what tank did you use?
    Cheers, Steve

  2. #2
    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    Norton Interstate.

    ... easy easy to recognize because it looks like a Norton Commando but with a way bigger tank.
    Steve_B likes this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    so you bought a bike that there really isn't a lot of aftermarket support for and you are complaining that the "universal" parts you are finding for the bike aren't really a good fit for the giant 500+ lb 1980's superbike you bought. I mean, are you really surprised? most "cafe racer" parts are made for tiny 1960's british bikes, and some of the stuff out there for later japanese bikes like xs650s and cb750s aren't much bigger because...well...those bikes aren't as big as the bikes that came in during the late 1970's through mid 1980's superbike era.

    Still, most endurance racing tanks, and IOM TT racing tanks are usually closer to 5 US gallons (which is huge, in case you are used to those imperial gallons that are really just 3 pint glasses stacked on top of each other), so I feel like you aren't looking that hard.

    Let's start with some basic facts: nothing is going to be "bolt on" for your bike. Well...maybe not nothing, but very little and certainly not tanks and seats. You are going to have to modify anything you get to fit.

    your pre diversion XJ900 has a lot of DNA from the era of superbike racing, - you aren't going to make it look like a 1960's brit twin very easily, so you should forget that hot mess, and focus more on what road racing looked like in that time period.
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...tjuic_1983.JPG

    There are lots of tank suppliers in the US, and some of them do ship overseas to the UK. I have to imagine given how prevalent racing is there that there are also tank and bodywork suppliers in the UK, but I'm not going to do that research for you, just make sure you are searching for racing tanks.
    https://airtech-streamlining.com/vin...ntagetanks.htm
    Tannermatic
    Home of Glass from the Past

    FWIW, the two XJ "scramblers" that I have seen on the internet that I think are pretty used 1970's kawasaki kz650 tanks. I can't tell you how much work was needed to make it fit, just that that is what the spec sheet said it was. From what I remember of the KZ650, the tunnel is pretty wide under them. They also used custom seats and had extensive metalwork to the frame which sounds like is our of your league.

    https://thebikeshed.cc/tcmc-xj900/
    http://www.inazumacafe.com/2014/10/x...cafe-twin.html

    Personally, I kinda like this more:
    http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NDgwWDY0MA...cDX58/$_86.JPG

    It looks like a stock diversion, but with a round headlight, some really low clipons, and some paint work and a reshaped stock seat. If I could change one thing it's to put rearsets on it but really...build this.

    seriously...copy this guy (except for the shitty pod filters)

    Last edited by Geeto67; 10-18-2019 at 10:38 AM.
    CaTacL1sm likes this.
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  5. #4
    Junior Member Steve_B's Avatar
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    Thanks for your lengthy input but I’d like to point out a couple of things...
    1. I was GIVEN the bike, didn’t buy it
    2. I’m building the bike I want, not one to impress you or anyone else.
    Cheers anyway.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_B View Post
    Thanks for your lengthy input but I’d like to point out a couple of things...
    1. I was GIVEN the bike, didn’t buy it
    don't care. you own it, it's your problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_B View Post
    2. I’m building the bike I want, not one to impress you or anyone else.
    trust me, nothing about an xj900 is going to impress anyone. In fact the only person it should impress is you when you ride it. Not when you stare at it, not when you park it in front of the chippie, when you are on it making it work. That's the core of this hobby - build a performance bike that works and organically it will look the way it ought to - try to force a look on something and you'll compromise yourself right out of motorcycles altogether. Often the bike you think you want isn't really the bike you want or even need.

    based on how you are talking about it and parts its pretty obvious you don't have an appreciation as to how much work goes into a really custom vintage motorcycle. If you can't weld, build fiberglass parts, rebuild an engine, own a set of tools, have a lot of money to spend on the bike, and have a place to keep it that is indoors - then your ambition outstrips your skills when it comes to this project, and it might be time to have a come to jesus talk with yourself about how realistic you are being.

    the reason I pointed out those other two bikes is they are examples of working with what you have and the limitations of your platform and budget. They both look great, can be replicated fairly easy, require minimal investment, will still deliver a solid riding experience, and there is plenty to learn in just getting to that stage. Its more inline with what most people can do.

    but please, by all means if you think you can be the one guy who can build a kick ass custom motorcycle without talent, experience, money, time, etc...then by all means go for it. I mean, nobody ever has so you'll be the first, but good for you cupcake - reach for those stars with your homebuilt rocket.
    CaTacL1sm likes this.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_B View Post
    ...
    1. I was GIVEN the bike, didn’t buy it
    ....
    That's good because I have a feeling a nice Norton Interstate fuel tank is going to be expensive.

  8. #7
    Senior Member o1marc's Avatar
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    Why are cafe tanks so small? Because it's not that far between pubs.
    www.CreativeCandy.org

    I carry a gun because I'm too young to die, too old to take an ass whooping, and a cop is too heavy.

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    Senior Member brad black's Avatar
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    so you have a reason to get off it often and go uuuuuuugghh?

    is there a 70's yamaha frame that looks the same under the tank? ask on do the ton.
    Last edited by brad black; 10-20-2019 at 02:26 AM.

  10. #9
    Senior Member raven's Avatar
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    because most people who build "cafe racers" build them in such a way that in about fifteen minutes your ass will be burning from a crappy seat, your back will be aching from the dog taking a poop riding position, your wrists will be cramping from ill fitting clubman bars and you will just be ready to stop and have a drink anyway.
    Bike:
    Buell X1
    Honda S90 (box of parts)
    Honda CB750C (runs)
    The Others (mostly rolling wounded)

    My collar may be a little frayed, and maybe I need a shoeshine. But nobody\'s got a mortgage on my soul. I own it. Free and clear. -Phil Lovecraft

  11. #10
    Senior Member CaTacL1sm's Avatar
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    and here I am trying to figure out how to fit a bigger tank on my Z
    Quote Originally Posted by alwhite00 View Post
    Fuck all of you guys. Get into your little circle jerk and have fun. Thought this may be a pretty cool message board but damn, you guys are assholes.

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