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Aluminium fuel tank for motorcycle

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  • Aluminium fuel tank for motorcycle

    Having made a steel fuel tank for my 1974 Norton Commando I wanted do one from aluminium of a similar style that holds more than the 11 litre standard roadster tank.

    I am using 2mm (0.80”) 1100-H-14 and started by marking the base of the standard tank onto a board then widened the front section to give the extra volume. The wireframe buck was then built onto this board.

    I mostly used 4mm (0.160”) steel rod for the wireform and pretty well the minimum number of pieces to get the shape I wanted. It was easily bent using a couple of fork ended flat bars and TIG welded together. Once complete the baseboard was removed.

    Below the forks used to bend the 4mm steel rod.

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    Photo below shows how sections were held in place for welding

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    The finished wireform is quite rigid and light and has good visibility as the panels are made. I prefer them to a wooden buck.

    To be continued.

  • #2
    Great to see some Norton-bound work happening here, Dave. I'm very interested and will be watching.


    • #3
      Look forward to watching your progress here Dave. I did an Imola style tank for a Ducati trellis frame last year. Lots of work making it avoid all of the gubbins underneath. Finished up at 21 litres

      Cheers, Richard
      Cheers, Richard


      • #4
        Very nice buck work. Keep posting your progress.


        • #5

          When I made the steel tank it took longer to do the tunnel and underneath than to do the outer surface as it is a complex shape to miss frame tubes and other stuff. But I started this with the outer shape as that’s the fun part. I started with the front RH curved side and due to the thick aluminium being quite stiff I annealed it which allowed it to quickly take shape on the stump, before smoothing on the wheel. The rear of this panel has a flange turned to allow the rear side section to be butt welded. Because I had to move this turned flange a couple of times it ended up badly marked which would be a potential for a crack, so I ran a bead of weld on the inside corner after I had done the butt weld. The outer panels will be gas welded. Please excuse the mess, I work in a 12 foot X 8 foot shed so it is all piled in.

          Here is the front section on the wireform, The rear section was also clamped on for welding

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          Below shows the bead run into the much abused corner of the flange.

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          Below the outer weld bead before dressing. I use a dremmel and carbide bit to remove the highs before planishing.
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          Insde view of the joined panels fitted on the wireform which is upside down.

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          The joined panels after planishing. Far from perfect even after some hours. The metalfinishing takes forever.
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          To be continued.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by daveh; 17-10-19, 09:59 PM.


          • #6
            Looks good Dave, you’re getting there.
            PS forgot to mention Evan Wilcox over on Instagram posts a lot of instructional alloy tank making stuff too.
            Last edited by Steve Murphy; 18-10-19, 08:34 AM.


            • #7
              Looking Good Dave, I will be interested in how your knee locks turn out as Im thinking of doing something similar to My Guzzi.
              Cheers Reedy,

              There's nothing as Sweet as a EK V8