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Gas Tank Fitting for a Complete Novice

2611 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  jaguar
Im the new guy.
Not just new to the site, but new to the cafe dream. New to mechanic work, and new to tools that aren't shaping and joining wood. Please forgive me.

I received a project bike for Christmas and need some advice and help.

Its a 1974 Honda XL350 and runs well. Carb rebuilt and engine revamped. What doesn't suffice is the rusted out gas tank. Its a teardrop and is not at all the style i am looking for; and this is where I need help!
The Xl350 has a very v-shaped frame, given that its part dirtbike, which I need to compensate for with the seat and tank given that any serious welding and frame reconstruction is out of the question. How do I know that a tank will fit if I am buying it online? Is there a system in place for the type of mounting or size or distance between the front holding rubber mounts and the screw mount in the back I should be looking for, or should I just be realizing that I will need to get some help and some machine work to get a new tank to fit?

Any help would be much appreciated, any at all regarding my bike, given that I want a cafe/brat style and all I have seen conversion wise is more of a bobber.

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Thanks for the help.*

As I have stated, I'm a novice. I'm a college student in fact. I have to start somewhere. I am actually quite familiar with how to ride a motorcycle. That aside, I was wondering if you would be able to let me know where you started in the realm of riding. I understand that there is a desire to protect your precious sub-culture, and being a dick to people online is how you get those kicks, and the Braveheart mentality. I'm just trying, that is all. I truly do appreciate your assistance, the little that was there. Let me know if there is some type of initiation I have to do before the entirety of the message can be assistance. On a final note, if the post says novice in the title, assume that its not for you; seems cleaner that way. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day.
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Okay. So I think I get the general idea of this site and I have more respect than I originally did. I read pages and pages of the most senior members posts and comments and I think I know what to ask and how to ask it.

First things first, I want to be clear that I did not want to rush the bike in any way. I thought that an intro as necessary, but I couldnt have been more wrong. I have a 1974 Honda XL350 that runs. Now, the tank is rusted out (like holes at the base, by the petcock. Very bad shape. The reason I even know that the bike runs is a makeshift bottle fed gas line. So I guess my original question should have been "I have no tank, and really need a tank to ride this bike at all."

Im not into the image. Im a mechanical engineering student and have always been project driven. I dont pass time any other way. And when I said that I do woodworking, I meant that that should be a slight indicator of my technical ability and comfort in the shop and solving problems in the same way that a motorcycle hobby will require of me.

I ride mountain bikes all the time, but my dad does the work and I have never lived with him so I do not have the experience that he does with maintenance and such.

Now on for my original question with all of this stuff out of the way, im not looking for image, except in the long run I know what I like and what I dont like. Im planning on working on this bike for years, but if I need to buy a tank now, to make the thing even operable, I should buy the tank that I will want in the long run. So thats my original motivation, I need a tank to ride.

I have tools, and know how to use them, just cant tune a bike or adjust the moving parts. I can also weld. No impact driver, but everything else mentioned.

I have done days of research and googling my particular bike, and have found projects alike mine, and they have been helpful.

Finally, I have no motorcycle graveyards in my general area and thus must resort to craigslist and eBay for a tank (I assume.)

Truly, thank you all for your variety of responses, and I apologize if my first post seemed hipster or poser. Of those I am definitely not.

Last but not least, I did not just post to the first forum I found on a Google search. I did my research and thought then, and still now, that this is the best place for educated answers. I do want a good looking bike in the long run but I want a more reliable bike most importantly.
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