Auxiliary Tank Usage

If you are new to an aux tank the following info will be helpful.

The system is entirely gravity feed. It is essentially a jerry can that is plumbed into the main tank. When the main tank gets low enough you open a valve on the aux tank to transfer the fuel from the aux to the main. 

Here is the process I have been using for years that works well for me. This process has been used on BMW and Triumph. 

  1. Wait until the low fuel light comes on.
  2. Open the aux tank valve.
  3. Monitor the low fuel light for it to go out. This gives you indication that you have fuel transfer to the main tank.
  4. Leave the aux tank valve open until you are ready for more fuel.
  5. Close the aux tank valve before refueling. This is important (see later).

Here are some caveats to be aware of:

  • If the aux tank valve is open when the main tank is full, you can overfill the main tank. If you have a bike WITHOUT emission controls, the overflow will spill to the ground and you'll likely lose all of your fuel.  If you have a bike WITH emission controls (most nowadays), the overflow will saturate the charcoal canister (part of the EVAP system) and cause the engine to run rough (rich) until the charcoal canister gets dried out. This can take a few minutes and will scare the snot out of you. I've only experienced this when the bike was parked. It may not happen if the bike is running but I've never experimented with this scenario.
  • The main tank vent is designed to let air IN not OUT. Filling the main tank this way is doing something the main tank wasn't designed to do; that is, to let air out of the vent. As such, fuel transfer can be slower than you expect.
  • The gas gauge will not respond quickly to the change in fuel level. It can sometimes be miles before the gauge will respond. That's why I monitor the low fuel light, it is much more responsive.
  • On rare occasions fuel transfer does not initiate. This seems to be related to the aux tank not venting. This is especially true if you have the overflow tank. Sometimes the siphon doesn't get started. This is nothing to worry about but can be a distraction. I decided once to just let it go and see what happened. My low fuel light stayed on and the distance to empty stayed at 0 for a long, long time. So long that I finally decided that what was happening was that when the main tank got low, below the fitting, a bit of air would go into the aux and allow some fuel to transfer. This was happening enough that I wasn't running out of gas but wasn't getting good fuel flow. Eventually, there was finally enough draw to make things work properly. The key thing to remember here is that you DO have 4 gallons of fuel, so don't worry!
  • If this bothers you (I know it does me) you can reach back and loosen the gas cap on the aux to start the flow. Don't forget to put it back on.
  • Finally, the BIG note. DON'T FORGET that you have drained your aux tank. There have been a few times (in a fatigued state) that I have waited until the low fuel light came on, reached back to open the aux valve and discovered that it was already OPEN. Yikes! You'd better be close to some gas and not on this road...

Image result for next fuel 150 miles sign

HTH

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Breaking News

 Breaking News! 

After 10 years of enjoying my retirement hobby I've decided to expand my horizons. 

As such, I am going to be taking on less work and am making the following changes effective 1/28/2018. 

  • No new design or custom work 
  • BWM Pillion Mount Systems and Luggage Platforms will be discontinued upon completion of existing stock.
  • Existing Aux tank designs may be built on a case-by-case basis [submit an email request]
  • Plumbing supplies are still available 

Many pages on the web site have been unpublished including all RFQ/Pricing Information.

I want to thank everyone for their role in supporting my endeavors over the last several years.

I hope we can meet up on the road while I am enjoying some flower sniffing.

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Suzuki Water Buffalo

We've been doing some work with a client's water buffalo. For you younger folks, the water buffalo is a Suzuki GT750. The GT750 was a water-cooled three-cylinder two-stroke motorcycle made from 1971 to 1977, and was the first Japanese motorcycle with a liquid-cooled engine.

First off he had us make an aux tank. He opted for our Universal Auxiliary Tank. This was our first use of the very robust RAM Tough-Ball™ which has steel inside and out. He added the L-Track Tie Down Option.

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What Our Customers are Saying

Customer feedback is highly valued as through this we improve and expand our services. Here is a selection from various clients...

"I am using the LRM on my K16 and have not had any handling issues. System works great." Tom L.

"I have the prototype cell (first one) in this design on my 09 R1200RT. I love it. I can have the cell off in just a few minutes and back on in the same. I understand from Mike Langford that since I got my cell he's resigned the mounting plate making it even easier to remove. I also use the pelican case and had it with me on several recent rallies and there were no issues. I can't really say enough about the quality of Mike's work or the care he puts into them or problems experienced. After I took my bike for a leap, bending both wheels my fuel cell bracket was loose. He tightened things back up for me and it's been great. BTW, it easily passed the Warchild shake test in Montana." Nancy L.

"Another vote for Mike's fuel cell and top box.  I have nothing but praise for mike and his work.  I rode in and he installed it for me.  Great guy, great product.  Worth every penny.  I don't even notice it's back there." Rick G.

"I have #2 on a K1300GT and will probably add one to the new F700GS we got. No issues at all. What happens in Nevada stays in Nevada, so you can interpolate the issues of handling at speed. Have run it full, 2 up, at a pretty spirited pace up on 89 through Prescott and Jerome and again no issue. Mike does a great job, and the devil is always in the details. You should have no issue. No sloshing issues at all. However I have never had an issue with sloshing in any fuel cell I've ever had, even those without foam, or baffling." Mike H. 

"I liked Mike's cells so much I bought 2! I bought Alan R's FJR and ran the IBR 2013 with it using a Pelican case up on top. Plus I had him ship one to Australia and I fitted it to a training FJR here - again with the Pelican on top. Great set-up." Peter H.

"I run a flat bed fuel cell with 1550 Pelican case. Opted for fuel pump version for fuel location awareness, pardon my OCD. Nothing but miles(25k)with the unit. Consistanly go 475 between fuel stops with the FJR. I am not an aggressive rider so handling has not been a factor, but she is a husky girl with full fuel, tools, spares, etc., etc... As a side note, I have accomplished "the lift" (don't ask) two times however with a full load. And no it didn't leak." Jim F.

"I had IB Pete's fuel cell on my FJR and carried a loaded Pelican case on the cargo platform with no problems whatsoever. Hope you like yours as much as I liked mine!" Alan R.

"The tank took 5.265 gallons to fill. This was to the first shut off and I didn't try to squeeze in any more. After about 30 miles I opened the valve and the main tank filled back up in about 15 minutes, all while traveling at 75-80 MPH. Kudos to you, all worked exactly as advertised." Vernon L.

"I have put a little over 12k since the install and have no issues.  Love the set up and again, thanks for your expertise." Bob S.

"The tank drew quite a few comments, mainly becuase it disappears into the bike and it isnt till people look closely that it becomes obvious. you did do a magnificent job, no doubt about it.." Ian M.

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