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hey Bret with all these new cafe "streeters" (and Im not talking about anyone here as they are highly knowledgeable or are on the path to be very knowledgable, but the general public.No one is selling a fiberglass shell cover,what Im proposing is a tank shell that slips over a stock steel tank so you can achieve the look with the street safety of the steel stock tank still in place...oh its does sound silly but when you look at the street car market the fiberglass stuff actually ruins the aero dynamics, but didnt stop the after market glass guys, that turn out all that, fast and furious crap they call style.JUST a huge market!

Now Im serious about this tank cover idea (truefully) they would sell on eabay you could open a ebay virtual store! Just think a norton tank on a honda and all the other possibilities.

On a sillier then that idea(which I think is grounded in a lot of thought)they would help the tattoo sleeve guys(see The present Christmas thread) really stand out!

Ah It just seemed to tie in with the faux tank Idea,more people are into the looks, and dont really know or care to know ,the real purpose behind things, hence the aftermarket compac car body kit explosion ...I still think it would sell especially on ebay you just would have to ship alot to uk!



Edited by - LiLBull on Nov 18 2005 07:30:44 AM
 

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I think it would sell as well. A cosmetic kit to turn your old Jap bike into a classic looker. Good idea.

A lot of streeters ride in town or out and about on the weekend but don't really need all the performance mods of a racer. Not to mention that they probably don't have the time, expertise or shop/garage to make those mods. A simple way to get the cafe look is what's needed. If it was a simple, good looking, bolt/slip-on part I think quite a few people would be interested.

Folks here at Caferacer.net have talked about trying to get people interested in cafe racers, but for a lot riders the major mods required are simply out of reach so something easy and affordable might be just the thing.

Stattz
 

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quote:
hey Bret with all these new cafe "streeters" (and Im not talking about anyone here as they are highly knowledgeable or are on the path to be very knowledgable, but the general public.No one is selling a fiberglass shell cover,what Im proposing is a tank shell that slips over a stock steel tank so you can achieve the look with the street safety of the steel stock tank still in place...oh its does sound silly but when you look at the street car market the fiberglass stuff actually ruins the aero dynamics, but didnt stop the after market glass guys, that turn out all that, fast and furious crap they call style.JUST a huge market!

Now Im serious about this tank cover idea (truefully) they would sell on eabay you could open a ebay virtual store! Just think a norton tank on a honda and all the other possibilities.

On a sillier then that idea(which I think is grounded in a lot of thought)they would help the tattoo sleeve guys(see The present Christmas thread) really stand out!

Ah It just seemed to tie in with the faux tank Idea,more people are into the looks, and dont really know or care to know ,the real purpose behind things, hence the aftermarket compac car body kit explosion ...I still think it would sell especially on ebay you just would have to ship alot to uk!



Edited by - LiLBull on Nov 18 2005 07:30:44 AM
Tanks covers have been around since the 1960s. If you look in some of the english cafe racer parts catalogs you will see people still produce and sell them. They are not as popular as the real thing because you get all the detrements of a big tank (less seat room, longer reach to the bars, etc) with out the benefits, plus the added detriment of fragility. The reason you don't see them as often today is very few survived the 1970s and they don't sell as well as real fiberglass tanks. The onyl advantage a tank cover has is it gaurantees you won't be covered in fuel should you have an accident (unless you own a 1970-1974 kawasaki which have the lids that pop open upon impact). I haven't seen tank covers for jap bikes being produced recently so there may be a market there if you could make them cheap enough.

Incidently most of the tracy knock off bodies are actually just covers. Tracy bodies had integrated tanks on most of their one piece body kits, but a lot of the knockoffs couldn't get the tanks to seal right so they just made covers.

If you wanted to make some good money, reproduce the old tracy bodys for cb750s and kawasaki h2s and z1s, they are going for close to a grand used on ebay in nice shape. If you could bring them to market for $500 a pop you'd clean up as it takes care of the tank, seat, and tail section, where as a cafe racer will spend the same amount on seperate pieces and still have to figure out mounting. I know where there is a chopper/flat track style one (has a sportster shaped gas tank) for a cb450 if you need one to make a mold.
 

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england was good for producing all that fare in the day.For sports cars they ran the gamit from fglass hard tops to fast back conversions to lemans coupe conversions to fast back incorporating trunk lid...hey they hav done it all so If im told they made them I would believe you with out a doubt.

Such fertile minds those brits ,I not only get a kick out of their accents,but there wit and humour, is always highly entertaining.

Just nobody makes them now and since he already had the top part of the tank molds built, it maybe a worth will thing to do even if its cheap chopper gun layup,its about the looks for alot of people.

See again and time again Ideas are easy its putting them into motion thats the hard part. George
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Guys,
Tank covers, as far as I've been able to determine, were a stop-gap measure to answer the British and United States government's decision to prohibit the sale of motorcycles with fiberglass tanks installed. I don't know this for sure but the timing seems to coincide with the government's motorcycle standardization process in 1972 or 73. (all bikes will shift on the left, have turn signals, etc.) Rickman, Dunstall and even the Norton John Player Special all used fiberglass covers over steel tanks during the mid 70's.
I think that while the tank cover idea may SEEM like a good one, and it may be for someone, I wouldn't touch it for a number of reasons. First, most of the tanks that I make have a recessed area around the cap. The likelyhood that this location will match up properly to a customer's tank is slim. Also, the size of the cover will need to be larger than the actual tank. How big do you want your CB750 tank to look? Next is securing the cover to the tank. The tank and tank cover will need to be secured together around the filler neck area. Typically the covers have small holes around the filler neck area that match up with studs welded to the tank. The tank and cover are mated together and nuts secure them. Who's going to weld the necessary studs to a used fuel tank? Not the guy that wanted the quick and cheap "Cafe look". If not studs what then, double backed tape? Bubblegum? A guy told me years ago "Cool aint ever easy, and it usually aint cheap neither!" In my opinion a cheap faux tank will look just that, cheap. My recommendation for someone that wants a new look but can't or dosen't want to afford the cost of a Cafe/roadrace tank is to dig through the bike boneyards. A wide variety of tanks will fit or can be modified to fit almost any bike. Many times I've drug out the model of bike I was working on to try on different parts right there in the wrecking yard.
For the first few years of my driving life my Triumph Bonneville was my only transportation, so I know what it's like being a newbie and trying to repair, or modify a bike that has to get you to work the next day. While it is sometimes difficult/interesting/humorous, I'm all for helping out guys new to Cafe Racers, or motorcycles in general, and do my best to answer thier questions and/or make suggestions. But sometimes I have a hard time answering questions politely when I receive strange phone calls or e-mails. For example, and I'm not making these up, "Which of your full race fairings would best fit my Suzuki DR650 dual sport?" or, with no year, make or model info provided "Which of your seats will fit my bike?" and one of my favorites "Can you custom build me an NHRA Super Stock style hood scoop that will house my computer's monitor, tower and keyboard?" Before taking my fiberglass business full time I spent 22 years as an auto repair technician. The last 5 years were spent as the lead tech and shop foreman at an independent BMW shop. There I had my fill of kids armed with daddy's credit card wanting a "bitchen air dam and rear wing". Never mind that the cars suspension was trashed from driving over curbs or that the engine barely ran. Somehow I think that if I offered faux Cafe/roadrace parts, I would be dealing with some of these same people. I can only imagine what those e-mails and phone conversations would be like. I think I'll leave that to the people at J.C. Whitney or anyone else that thinks there is easy money to made.
Bret @ Glass from the Past
 

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hey Bret ...I understand all points covered...even the sport compact market I tryed to cash in on but ..like you said, I couldnt deal with the kids with their pants, half assed and asking for the money back on a part they ordered because they found it 5dollars cheaper online. And asking to put a cam in there car which was for the track...it was the over whelming influx of ,I really dont understand a thing about mechanics but "I saw it in a magazine..and I want it on my car"

Put if it was me ..Id design them so they come in two halfs a right and a left they would attach to themselves,thru a number of ways off the top of my head I can think off and a strip left open down the center so filler neck wasnt an issue .they could do any form of filling they want to or left un finnished and paintjob could accent or hide it.

or a single mouldin tank with said lenth wise cut out open to slip over a variaty of tanks.
 
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