1999 TM 300E 3.2 Gal tank modification. Help!

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Jan 21, 2004
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#1
I have a serious problem... I am upgrading my '99 TM300E to the larger 12 L (3.2 G) tank... The tank is tall. In '99 they used conventional forks. The upper triple clamp bolts are behind the fork tubes. They hit the tank well before the travel stops meet. On the newer bikes (that used the big tank) they went to upside down forks and put the bolts on the front of the upper triple clamp; no interference. I have figured out I can add a piece to the frame stop to limit steering, but that will be slightly involved and will reduce my steering travel. Any body have any solutions? Anybody know of an after market upper triple clamp (with 1 1/8 bar mount capability preferably) that solves this problem? Any good machinists out there that want to fab me an upper triple clamp? LOL. Seriously, any thoughts that can help would be appreciated. Here in East Tennessee I need that extra half gallon to get me out of the woods!
 
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#2
I have the same "problem". On my bike (large tank & Emig clamp) the tank is the steering stop, which results in a few scratches in the tank surface.
It is not great but I think there is no real damger of destroying anything. I just left it as it is.
 

KaTooMer

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#3
I had the same problem with an IMS tank on my KX250, with an Emig Racing upper triple clamp. I did two things. First, I took the pair of button-head allen-type bolts (M8x20) from the hardware that comes with Enduro Engineering hand guards and substituted them for the triple clamp pinch bolts (lower bolts on upper triple clamp). The lower bolts on both sides of the upper triple clamp were what caused the interference with the tank. The button head bolts are flatter and don't stick out as far. If you can't locate something similar at the hardware store, they are sold separately on the Enduro Engineering web site (http://www.enduroeng.com/) or Bolt Depot (http://www.boltdepot.com/).

The second thing I did, on the advice of Gary Emig, was to get out my heat gun and "mold" the tank a bit. I picked the spots on both sides of the tank where the bolts were contacting the tank and basically pushed in the tank in those spots. I heated the area, then used a stainless steel socket extension to roll back and forth over the area while pushing in. Even when hot, this takes more effort than you might think. Can use any tool that works for you, just make sure it's CLEAN and not made of anything that's going to rub off on the tank. If it's a clear tank like mine and you use a tool that's not entirely clean, it leaves dirty looking spots that will never come out.

Not sure if this will work for you, but it did for me. Here's some pictures:

Tank Problem
 
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#4
TM-Frank, wow, I'm surprised to see that you left yours that way and it's not poking through the tank. Do you have a '99 TM? I ask because all the pics I've seen on the net of later bikes have the upper triple clamp pinch bolts in front of the fork (USD forks, mine are conventional) so I figured there would be no or less problem. Are the Emig bolts on the front or rear? The interference is HUGE on my '99. I am really afraid a good crash will drive the triple clamp well through the tank. I can email you a good pic of the problem if you are interested. I am an engineer and I'm seriously considering designing my own upper triple clamp in 3D CAD and having a machinist at work mill it out for me on the CNC machining center. He said he'd do it, anyway. A lot of work, but I'm really afraid of damaging the tank. Thoughts?
 
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#5
KaTooMer, thanks for the excellent idea. Right now the interfirence is so great I don't think "molding" the tank would do the trick. But, if I can find another way to eliminate most of the problem, I may just try the molding trick to finish it off. BTW, I too enduroified a KX250 ('98, the friendliest year KX for off-road). Way cool web site. FYI, the TM300 is everything I did to my KX to make it woods-friendly and everything I never could get it to do!
 
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#6
dhaskell said:
TM-Frank, wow, I'm surprised to see that you left yours that way and it's not poking through the tank. Do you have a '99 TM?
I have a 2002 TM 300 with the Öhlins fork.
The clamp is not poking into the tank with its edge or a bolt head, it is slapping the tank with a flat surface. When that happens there is not nuch space left between the stop thing (that's welded to the front of the steering head), so I boldly decided that the tanks' flexibility will work that out. But as I said it is the Emig clamp, I never mounted large tank and stock clamp.
The diameter of the fork legs are unchanged for years and identical for Paioli and Öhlins (as far as I know), but maybe they increased the offset of steering stem and fork legs between '99 and '02? That would result in more clearance at the tank, wouldn't it?

You can send your pics to fsteinwender@scriptech.de
If you like I can take my camera with me next weekend and shoot few pics, too.
 
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#7
Well, looks like I'm going to take the plunge and.... build my own upper triple clamp! I have a machinist and a CNC mill lined up. All I have to do is dissasemble my bike, take measurements, and CAD one up. I'll keep you posted. I'll send that pic to you too. Please do send me some of you this weekend. Would love to see them. Germany, right?
 
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#8
Yes Germany. New clamp with the bolts on the frontside would surely help and solve the problem, but it would be almost a shame to throw away that billet stock clamp. :ugg: