Why Steel Tanks?

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Sep 5, 2000
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#1
Why do they put steel gas tanks on dual sport versions of dirt bikes? Who wants the extra weight? My BMW road bike has a plastic gas tank. So, why can't a dual sport have a plastic tank too?
 

Magellan

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Mar 14, 2001
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#2
I think it's a legal thing.

Mag
 
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Oct 30, 2000
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#3
The steel gas tank used to be required to pass a puncture test that the DOT requires on all street bikes. BMW challenged this test initially with the first big plastic tank they did on the R100GS/PD in 1990?, and like you mentioned, uses plastic on nearly everything they make now, except for the Roadster and Cruiser.

Jon
 
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#4
I believe it has something to do with the point of origin. The legalities of importing a bike from Japan are different than importing from Canada or Germany.

I know that KTM can import a plastic-tanked street legal model into the states, but none of the Japanese companies can.

Don't know the actual reasons behind this, but it's always been known.

One other reason to start with a dirt bike and add a Baja Designs kit if you want a "real" dual-sporter! ;)
 

dirt bike dave

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#5
Steel tanks are cheap. With all the extra gear they have to add on dual sport bikes, they've got to save money somewhere. So it is steel tanks and inferior suspension components to keep the price down.
 

DougRoost

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#6
DOT requirements are probably the main reason, though the other reason is appearance. Steel holds paint MUCH better and you're not supposed to fall down riding on the street so dents shouldn't be an issue.
 

BrentBlain

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#7
the reason why honda uses steel tanks is because of emitions. The plastic tanks lets vapors out though the plastic, (the reason why your stickers buble and turn yellow). I am not sure why everyone else uses them but my guess would be the same reason. Atleast this is what my friend that works for honda told me long time ago.

-Brent