|We took it upon ourselves to investigate the possibility of a tank
alternative for the late model injected Moto Guzzi California family of
motorcycles. We were driven to accomplish two goals with one fell swoop...
1) to produce a design which reflects a heritage dating back to the original
V700, and 2) to increase the capacity of the tank.
There was a school of thought that considered the California tanks a little too derivative of the generic cruiser vernacular. But they were a popular model, and while their capacity was over six gallons, some folks really liked this tank. With the introduction of the California 1100i, a generous portion of the underside of the tank was scooped out to accommodate a new airbox. This reduced the capacity to just less than five gallons, and a few of the iron butt types started to whine.
Drawing on a proud history of "The Machine Built Exclusively For
Unlimited Touring" we thought we could do better than the factory effort
and conspired with Evan Wilcox and a local machinist to produce the first
generation prototype shown in these pictures.
|Our first prototype was designed to be as close as possible to a drop
on tank for a V11EV, accommodating the stock airbox as well as most of
the stock plumbing, with the incorporation of a second petcock to drain
the gas from the other side of the tank's saddle.
We displayed this tank, which has an almost 8 gallon capacity, on a bike during the 1999 Moto Guzzi National Owners Club National Rally held at Sipapu Lodge in New Mexico. We fully polished the tank so it would stand out in the crowd, and received a lot of positive feedback.
In particular, one Frank Wedge, director of the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club, drooled so heavily on the tank, that he felt obliged to buy it. When I informed him how much this one of a kind piece of hand made art would cost, he seemed to suffer a mild heart attack, but quickly recovered to ask how soon he could get it.
Pictured: Our first generation prototype touring tank
|Finding the time and money to create prototypes is about as easy as
finding winning lottery tickets. It took almost a year to come up with
our second generation prototype. On version two, we retained the general
shape of #1 but simplified the plumbing.
One thing we did away with was the silly fuel gauge. We decided that a true "iron butt nut" generally knows how far a tank will get them when they fill up, and for around town it is easy enough to open the cap and look in. We viewed the sender as an unreliable part that required its own machined fitting, and one more thing to leak.
We also decided to no longer accommodate the OEM electric solenoid petcock in favor of high flow manual petcocks. Again, "KISS" engineering applied, and allowed us to use a more durable internally threaded bung instead of a more fragile male aluminum fitting.
The petcocks we use are extremely high quality American made items that have a flow rate triple that of standard petcocks. They are available with a reserve, or as race style no reserve units. They come with good old 3/8" National Pipe Thread mounts
|We are also working with a new gas cap. We did not want a vent tube
sticking out of the top of the tank, so version one used a vented flush
mount aircraft cap. While it is quite a beautiful piece, the vent will
spit gas when the tank is too full and the gas sloshes around. While the
simple solution is to not fill the tank all the way, we are looking at
the possibility of re-engineering this new cap to incorporate a check ball
in to the vent
Our second generation tank still accommodates the stock airbox, but development is underway on a new alternative to replace the stock airbox in favor of even more increased capacity.
While the full polished tank is a snazzy way to get the idea across
that this is an aluminum tank, it is not as easy to live with as a painted
tank. For that reason, on version two, we left the majority of the tank
sanded, ready for primer, and only polished the knee panels so these could
be masked off to mimic the chrome knee panels of the V700 tank.
|This summer has seen us stealing away some late evenings to work on
some tooling and methodology to streamline the process of building new
tanks. While we are making progress, for now, each tank is still a "one
off " hand built work of art, and the only one like it.
In order to sustain our tank making experiments we are offering for sale Prototype #2B (we actually made two this time so we could keep one to work with) This tank was designed specifically for the V11EV but may be suitable for other applications. Cost of this tank is $1,300.00 plus petcocks*, tax, and/or shipping and insurance. There is only one tank available at this time, on a first come first served basis.
call 1 888 373 6686
* Petcocks are $70.00 each with reserve, $54.00 each without reserve. 2 required
Prices listed do not include tax and or shipping.
1 888 EPF MOTO (373 6686)