10 gallon tank question - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 31 Old 06-22-2015, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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10 gallon tank question

About to get a 10 gallon IMS tank and wondering if it will clear my Thermobob2? Anyone have experience with this on a 2nd Gen KLR?
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post #2 of 31 Old 06-23-2015, 07:57 AM
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Peter has a Thermo-Bob, I'm pretty sure!



But, NedQuick; do you really NEED a 10-gallon tank? Why? (Just curious; inquiring minds want to know! )

Peter said the extra capacity was useful to him in South America, able to bypass the side-of-the-road locals selling gasoline from plastic jugs, and motor on to civilization sufficient to harbor service stations. Regardless, from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, he was never in a situation where the extra capacity was necessary to keep him from being totally stranded from lack of fuel; gasoline in some form was always proximately available.

He DID run out of gas on the way from the Washington, DC, area to Florida, however! It was only on one side, but . . . somehow, when one side's dry, the other side's not accessible, vacuum-powered lift pump notwithstanding. (Please don't ask me to explain; I do not understand, either!)

Oh, yes: If your Thermo-Bob an original, or a Thermo-Bob 2? Clearance issues may vary between those generations.

Ah, the Thermo-Bob! Stabilizes coolant more fully, and at a higher temperature than the stock system. Resulting in (fill in this blank) .
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post #3 of 31 Old 06-23-2015, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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10 gallon tank question

I planning to ride the TCAT (Trans Canada Adventure Trail) and on the Labrador Hwy there are some very long distances without fuel. Two other reasons for the tank however: 1) I can get it at a very attractive price (never used by a friend who was planning a big trip) and 2) I don't plan to put more than 5 or 6 gallons of fuel in it most of the time, which will result in a lower centre of gravity when riding.

However, if it won't mount with my thermobob 2, I may have to reconsider.

By the way, I'm looking for fellow adventure seekers interested in the trip. (date isn't cast in stone yet, but probably July 2016) Info on the route can be found at graveltravel.ca
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post #4 of 31 Old 06-23-2015, 10:21 AM
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NedQuick-

There is 3/4" of clearance between the stock thermostat housing and the tank. Bill would have to tell you what the thickness of the T-Bob-2 is in order for you to determine if it will fit.

Damocles - The IMS10 is a study in contrasts; a brilliant concept hobbled by poor design and execution.

I will not wax eloquent regarding why the IMS10 is the only device using the Mikuni vacuum pump where the vacuum pump is prone to failure, but I will explain why it runs out of gas with plenty left inside.

The pump is, of course, operated by engine vacuum. It's delivery rate is not very high, but is more than sufficient for the KLR's maximum fuel needs. The input to the pump is two lines coming together in a 'Y' formation. There is a pickup line that goes down to the bottom of each of the wings. The fuel is drawn equally from each side. The output of the pump dumps into a well on the left side; the well surrounds the petcock's inlet tubes.

The carburetor draws what it needs, which is considerably less than the pump's output. The excess simply overflows the well and re-fills the left wing. The end result is that far more fuel is drawn from the right wing, as none of the overflow replenishes that side.

Since the pump's pick up lines are Siamesed, once one tube starts to suck air the pump will deliver no more fuel. This abandons whatever fuel is remaining in the left wing.

The odd thing is that the tank operates as a gravity-fed tank for the first 7-8 gallons (depending on the amount of sloshing that can keep the sell filled - my tests shows close to 8 gallons), Thus the pump is needed only for the last 2-3 gallons yet it runs all the time.

Reports of pump failures are not unknown and it is my opinion that the failures are heat related. Owners are well advised to carry a pump rebuild kit.

I am changing the plumbing in mine to equalize the overflow into both the right and left wings and have converted to an external electric pump.

As to 'Why get an IMS10?' I would offer that the tank, filled with 6 gallons of gas, weighs considerably less than the stock tank plus guards and does a better job of protecting the stuff that engine guards are supposed to protect. It carries the stock amount of gas much lower on the bike, too. That's probably the best use for the thing, as there isn't a road in North America that the stock KLR can't travel without running out of gas (there may be a road in Canada that is ~250 miles with no gas, not entirely sure about that).

Of course, if one is going to be running long distances off-road the additional four gallons would be very handy.

Tom

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“She went out slowly. The way she did it hadn’t been learned at business college.” -Philip Marlowe

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 06-23-2015 at 10:26 AM.
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post #5 of 31 Old 06-23-2015, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info Tom. In my research I haven't found many instances of pump failure. Plus, even if the pump should fail, the bike can continue to run (unlike fuel injection systems where such an event means the bike can't run any longer. I always carry a siphon and if required I suppose it could be effective in moving fuel. For those who want to use the Schwarzenegger maneuver, one can simply tip the bike over on its side.

I love the idea of modding the tank with an electric pump. That is just so KLR!

As far as long distances without fuel. You're probably right, although there are plenty of places where gas is hard to find. Riding in Eastern Oregon and Nevada as well as parts of New Mexico makes one aware of how scarce the lifeblood can become, especially when that gas station in the middle of nowhere is closed either due to lack of product (increasingly common) or for some other random reason. (It's happened to me more than once)

Also, last year I was planning a ride through Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming and found that I had to plan around the available fuel stops rather than what I wanted to see. The supertanker helps with that.
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post #6 of 31 Old 06-23-2015, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NedQuick View Post
For those who want to use the Schwarzenegger maneuver, one can simply tip the bike over on its side.
One had best BE a Schwarzenegger, to try this, with a fully-loaded (as in, over-loaded) bike!

I asked Peter why he didn't "simply" lean the bike over for the "secret" reserve; he explained, he'd never get it up, with the gear he had loaded (enough for his 45,000-mile trip), and unloading and re-packing would have been most inconvenient where the bike died.

Here's my 7.35-gallon fuel system:



6.1 gallon main tank; 1.25 gallon Pioneer auxiliary container (Cycleracks rack and luggage.) Note low center-of-gravity of auxiliary fuel!
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post #7 of 31 Old 06-23-2015, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Alas, I wish my bike had the Viagra mod, but I haven't been able to find it anywhere.
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post #8 of 31 Old 06-23-2015, 12:36 PM
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NedQuick -

If you don't run slowly at high engine temperature in really high ambient temps with intense sunlight on the tank, the pump will probably not fail. A lot of the failure reports come from Australia and the American southwest, though not all.

I have to preface this with the statement that this is only a theory of mine based upon my pump, a couple of other pumps I've gotten my gritty mitts on, my limited testing, and that I may be full of shit. There, that ought to keep the lawyers at bay.

I did some testing after my pump failed. What I found was that the pump membrane appears to be made of a material that behaves as if it were thermo-setting plastic. At 150°F the membrane, in the presence of 10 inHg vacuum, it will form to the domed shape of the pump cavity.

It will recover if it is taken out of the pump and heated to a bit higher temperature. Obviously, since it is unlikely you'd be able to heat the membrane in the pump without there being vacuum present, it won't recover in the pump. Once failed, it's kaput.

I was skeptical that the temperature inside the tank could rise that high, but proved that it could if the bike is sitting in ambient temperatures of 100°F with direct sunlight and the engine is at operating temperature. Remember that the tank is in very close proximity to the head and almost completely envelopes it. Running slowly makes it worse, as there is no air flow under the tank except for the hot air coming off the radiator.

I did tests with both black and translucent vessels, thinking that the translucent tank would not be susceptible to the 'black body' heating. It was only a few degrees cooler, and I've heard reports of pump failure in translucent tanks.

The problem with the failure reports is that people chalk the failure up to contamination and are really pleased that IMS will send them a new pump for free (by the way, these pumps are used in ultralights, personal water craft, and snow machines and they never fail except at extreme age with contamination). They never do a post mortem. I got a used pump that was being held as a spare. When I disassembled it the membrane was domed.

The insidious thing about these pump failures is that, unless you regularly run your tank down more than 8 gallons, the pump can fail and you'll never know it. That's is what happened to me, at 70 mph in the fast lane of the 405 freeway in Los Angeles. It just ran out of gas, but there were 7 gallons left in the tank when I went to fill up. I think few people regularly run the things down much more than 5 or 6 gallons.

I've run a lot in Nevada, Utah, and some Wyoming/Montana. Having a range of 450 miles is nice!

I don't have any pictures of the finished job, but here are some in-process photos:




Tom

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“She went out slowly. The way she did it hadn’t been learned at business college.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


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post #9 of 31 Old 06-23-2015, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Very cool mod you've got going there Tom. I'm a little confused about having so much fuel left in the tank after the failure. My impression was that the gas is fed via gravity to the carb. Isn't the pump in the tank intended to feed fuel to the left side? Also, couldn't you have simply switched to reserve?
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post #10 of 31 Old 06-23-2015, 01:02 PM
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NedQuick -

The tank will operate as a gravity tank for the first 7-8 gallons, depending on how much sloshing is going on. I misspoke in the above post; I had used 7 gallons and had 3 remaining. It took 7 gallons when I filled up.

The carburetor is fed from a small well that the petcock sits in. That well holds only a cup or so of gas.

Once you've used up the fuel that is above the well (or, more correctly, above the level of your fuel pipe), your reserve is virtually nada. I have a Raptor petcock, which has a really short main pipe. With a stock petcock, you'd already be on reserve.

There really isn't a reserve on these tanks if everything is working correctly, especially with the Raptor. Ideally, if the pump is working and the issue of the right side running dry didn't exist, you'd go on reserve when the main tank was completely empty and the only fuel left was in the well. As I said, that's a very small amount of fuel.

If the pump malfunctions, it is as if the tank is dry. The only remaining fuel is the reserve in the well. I did flip to reserve, which is the only reason I am here typing this and not dead. That reserve almost got me to the gas station at the end of the next off-ramp, which was fortunately downhill so I could coast into the station. However, I must note that running out of fuel unexpectedly at 70mph in the fast lane of the 405 in heavy Los Angeles traffic will cause yellow stains to your personal garments.

Pictures are worth a thousand words. See MacGyver's cutaway photos here.

Tom

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“She went out slowly. The way she did it hadn’t been learned at business college.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.

Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 06-23-2015 at 01:08 PM.
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