DR650 Replacment gas tank
Saturday, Aug 19 2017 [5,548 miles]
Instead of trying to track down what part of my fuel system might be having issues I decided to replace the entire system. I lose some weight and get an extra 2+ gallons of range. Win win.
I ordered an Acerbis 5.3 gallon tank in grey to match the bike on Aug 15th. It arrived yesterday afternoon. Today I’ll put it on the bike. Most everything I’ll need came with the tank. I will need to provide a way to cap two ports on the carburetor.
Before getting to the new tank the old one has to come off. On a California bike there are three lines that need be disconnected:
1) The fuel line from petcock to carburetor
2) The vacuum line from petcock to carburetor
3) The vent line from tank to check valve
It’s easier to unscrew the check valve from the frame before removing the vent line. Once the lines are disconnected the tank can be unscrewed and removed. After the tank is removed the air dam can also be removed. It’s held on with two screws on each side.
I took the picture of the canister and hoses before removing the tank to document where things live should I ever desire to make the bike stock, again. I removed the parts and related hardware. With the canister gone I can move the tool storage tube to the location that previously held the canister. That partially hides the tool tube under the side cover.
Two ports on the carb need to be capped. The top port held the no-longer-needed vacuum line to the petcock. I had a cap that fit in my spare parts. Don’t tell anyone I’m using a BMW part on my Suzuki.
The bottom port was where the charcoal canister purge line connects. I didn’t have a cap to fit. I cut off a short section of tubing from the canister vent line and made a cap by folding it over and clamping the fold with some cable ties.
I’m using the petcock that comes with the tank. The bottom of the tank is pre-drilled for the petcock, but it wasn’t as clean/smooth as I felt is should have been. I made sure to smooth the boss on the tank where the petcock O-ring sits. The screws are self taping into the soft plastic of the tank. I was careful to not over torque, especially the screw that needs a box wrench for access.
The tank is ready to mount once the petcock installed. The tank came with mounting hardware – screws, washers, rubber bushing, and steel spacer. Once mounted the fuel line was connected. Almost done.
The metal bracket intended to hold the nose of the saddle is too wide for the after market (Sargent) saddle I have on my bike. I used a bench grinder to remove some width before attaching it to the tank. The slot in the nose of the saddle fit the modified bracket, but the saddle couldn’t slide forward/up enough to attach the saddle side mounting hardware. What to do…
The saddle nose is sturdy enough that I remove the bracket. It was still a bit fiddly to mount the saddle. I’m not 100% sure that the bracket was the cause of my difficulties. But right now I’m not seeing any downsides to leaving the bracket off.
I had less than a gallon of fuel in the old tank. I drained it into the new tank by holding the old tank petcock over the fill spigot of the new tank and then switching the petcock to prime. I got most of the fuel transferred. It was enough fuel to verify that there is no leak around the petcock.
My test ride started with a trip to the gas station. I had to switch to reserve a couple block before I got there. Good. Reserve works. I added about 4.6 gallons to the tank and reset the trip odometer to zero. I’m hoping for 200+ miles before hitting reserve, much better than the 120 on the stock tank. Note to self: remember to turn the petcock off when parking the bike.
Sunday, Aug 20 2017 [5,623 miles]
I forgot about something I’d read. The ride to breakfast this morning reminded me. The turn signals hit the larger tank before the forks go to full lock. Some make or buy a Z bracket to push the turn signals forward a bit so they don’t interfere. I’m going to try another method.
I disconnected the signals from the wiring harness and removed both from teh bike. Each signal was removed from its bracket and re-installed backwards, i.e. flipping the bracket 180°. The left bracket was then placed on the right side of the bike and vice versa. Both were mounted upside down. The result is that the signals are slightly more inboard and slightly higher from their stock position. They don’t hit the tank.
I verified I used the correct connectors after re-attaching the signals before bundling up the wiring and re-installing the cowling. The picture makes it look like the turn signals are pointing slightly downward. They are not. I should have taken the picture at headlight level.