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LATEST NEWS

Aprilia RS250

May 2024

I absolutely love 2 strokes. I passed my test on a Yamaha RXS100, then bought an RD350LC (Mars bar colours) and currently have a Yamaha TDR250, which is a long term project. I just need to finish fabricating the custom swingarm I've designed.

So clearly I jump at the chance to build anything that burns Castrol R.

I can't believe the Aprilia RS250 is 30 years old. They are light as a feather, handle superbly and have a cracking grin factor, when you twist the throttle. 

Aprilia RS250

It still looks bang up to date. The customer contacted me having had his original plastic tank suffer the dreaded ethanol rot.  He needed a Mk 2 tank.   So out with the hammers and here's the finished tank after hours of bashing and shaping.  One things for sure Stewarts set for a mint summer on this bike.

Aprilia RS250
Aprilia RS250

Kawasaki GPz900r

August 2023

Making stuff is mint.  If you've got a connection with the part your making it just gets better.

The GPz900r was my first ever big bike, Polaris blue (life's about banking those memories).  So when Paul asked me to fabricate one of these for him, all those great times came flooding back.

Rumour has it the designers took inspiration from dolphins, when creating the flowing lines of the tank.

Kawasaki GPz900r

I can totally see that, the reverse curves on the sides, the way the radius increases to the front, it's just beautiful. It's iconic, a total design classic and instantly recognisable.

Kawasaki GPz900r

Paul said that the original tank was rubbing on the seat wearing through the paint. So I increased the recess, where the outer edge of the seat met the tank.

He also wanted to use the original filler cap and have the internal overflow and breather pipes retained.

Now that's a big job, not just replicating the original filler neck, but lining it all up and welding it in so the cap sits just right.

Now the internal tubing is only 1mm thick, so it can blow through so easily, when you go to weld it in place. Ready to weld it, well hold your horses! Try putting a weld helmet on, stick yer head in a bucket, then try and fit both hands in the bucket.  Now try and weld that tiny thin tube.
Thats how difficult welding this muppetry is.  And if you cock it up, the jobs ruined, so no pressure there, then. But I 
love a challenge. You can just see the tubes exiting the back of the tank. Jobs a good'un. Here's a piccie of the filler neck too.

The bike, the tank was going on, has had extra oil jets added to the cam cover, to increase the lubrication of the camshafts. I needed to add extra clearance to the base, in these areas.

When making the base I always like to replicate the original tanks detailing. Yes, I know the base can't even be seen, but I know it's there and just like that part on your build, no matter how small, if you don't sort it, it just niggles away at you. Constantly whispering "I'm still here"

So get it done right. Here's the finished base

Kawasaki GPz900r
Kawasaki GPz900r
Kawasaki GPz900r

It's cool to hand build stuff, coz you can improve things to how you like them.  I never like the weld seam on mass produced tanks.  It looks cheap and crappy.

By modifying the former and tipping the underside edge, you massively improve the look and flow of the lines, where the tank meets the side panel. You can see it in the first photo...no seam. Subtle, I bloody love it, hope you do too.

Triumph
Speed Triple 955i

Triumph Speed Triple 955i tank

January 2023

If you've never ridden a Hinckley triple, you're missing out . It's like the best of both worlds. Dollops of V-Twin torque, coupled with the extra revs of an inline four.

So to get the opportunity to fabricate a tank for the 955i was epic.

Don't get me wrong, these are seriously 

complex tanks to reproduce. The fuel sender has a separate housing that needs machining, a 14 bolt fuel pump bezel, 5 x internally threaded blind bosses for the cowl (which also needs hand crafting in ally).  You get my drift, it's a big job and that's before all the milling of the brackets and the jigs etc, just checkout the photos below.

But what a beautiful tank, what a beautiful bike, inspired by the Steve Burns Spondon framed Monster.  You can see the heritage in the frame design.

So here it is after 134 hours (I counted this one), 

Triumph 955i aluminium tank
Triumph Speed Triple Aluminium tank

Completely hand made using traditional techniques (translated as bashed to bits with a hammer) in 1050 ally, 1.5mm thick and totally ethanol proof - What a beauty.

Suzuki GS1000 tank

Suzuki GS1000 tank

I then machined threaded bosses and welded them in place, so you can fit your original tank badges. Some people change their fuel taps and each tank can be customised to your tap choice.

 

I love the story of Hideo 'Pops' Yoshimura and his journey from Japan to the USA and the first AMA Championship. So as a nod to Pops, my tank improves on the original, being made in aluminium, upgraded with a Newton Equipment Aero filler cap and CNCd one way breather valve.

I just think it looks mint in the bare brushed ally, but totally understand if people want to paint them.....Each To Their Own.

If you'd like one of these, to improve your own bike, just give me a shout using the contact page or give me a call.

Suzuki GS1000 tank

April 2022

I'm buzzing and stoked to announce I've finished this beautiful aluminium 1978 fluted Suzuki GS1000 tank.  I've obsessed over making it for a number of years and really wanted to do this iconic bike justice.

So I not only replicated the tank, in 1.5mm 1050 ally, but also had a mould produced of an original tanks base. This enabled me to hand form all the swaged details of Suzukis tank tunnel and under-side. 

Suzuki GS1000 tank base
Suzuki GS1000 tank base
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