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-   -   R80 GS -- big tank aluminium or metal (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/bmw-tech/r80-gs-big-tank-aluminium-7907)

Blue sierra 25 Aug 2003 02:40

R80 GS -- big tank aluminium or metal

I am starting on the project plan to transform my R80 GS for long distance travel and also daily driver.

I have seen the HPN/Acerbis tanks. Did anyone ever used large metal / aluminium tank ?

Any address for friendly suppliers ??

Blue sierra

Grant Johnson 25 Aug 2003 02:59

Heinrich used to make steel tanks but he retired a long time ago.

There are a few available, but rare. Surprisingly the weight is similar to the plastic tanks. 35 and 40 liter versions exist. I have two 40 liter versions myself, one of which we used on our RTW. One of them MAY come available in the next few months, but they are both in Canada.

If you can find one in Europe, which is possible, you have to make sure it's an R80G/S tank, the others - and there are many - won't fit.

The only advantage of the Acerbis tank is that it carries the weight of fuel a little lower, probably marginally better than the Heinrich tank. I looked at swapping a long time ago, and decided it wasn't enough better for the effort, but if you're starting from scratch, plastic would be marginally better than the Heinrich. Have a look at my bike under "Our Trip" on the right hand menu, and "Our bike".

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.

Timo 25 Aug 2003 04:55

BMW made a large tank for the PD version of the G/S. Apparently these are still availible new, but very expensive (even used) and considered somewhat of a collectors item. they are steel, 32 litres and look nice, but carry the load high. have a look at: http://www.micapeak.com/bmw/gs/gs_mono.html#R80PD
the same site has some descriptions of other tanks availible.
I have looked into this as well, and am going with Grant's advise to purchase an Acerbis (or HPN - same) plastic tank. good capacity, low weight, good durability, and low(er) cost.

Blue sierra 26 Aug 2003 04:17


Many thanks for your replies. I can see a few alternatives if one does not like plastic

1) Steel tank of R80 GS Kalahari - 34 liter - same as old R80 G/S PD Tank but more recent. Can probably be sourced from BMW in South Africa or from Germany if correct P/N

2) Get a second hand HPN/Acerbis tank as a "source of inspiration" and get a tank shop to do a batch of them in aluminium. I have seen what they do at www.thetankshop.com
and this can probably be replicated quite easily.

3) Pay 1400 US$ for a aluminium tank done by Evan Wilcox (see micapeak)

4) Get a R1150GS adventure tank and see if it can be adapted to the R80GS

I will look around other forums to see if I can get more infos. BTW, Wudo does not do their big aluminium tank anymore.


Grant Johnson 26 Aug 2003 05:22

By that it sounds like yoo don't like plastic - any particular reason - other than it's kinda ugly?

The translucent plastic tank is great - you can see your actual fuel level.

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.

Timo 26 Aug 2003 06:34

I have it on good authority that the plastic used in the Acerbis tanks can be 'field repaired' as well. apparently it is similar to that used in plastic jerry cans, and other common containers. New material can be melted in to repair cracks and the like.

I have tried this with other objects, and it is possible given enough patience.

On another note: a friend of mine modified a steel tank from a different bike to create greater fuel capacity. dispite careful welding, we spent a lot of the trip repairing hairline cracks that developed where the tank had been modified to fit. Metal can be a pain in the butt. Having seen the effects of vibration on aluminium boats, I am not sure I would want an aluminium tank on any off-road going bike!

Mind you, they do look nice all polished up....

Russell Tyner 29 Aug 2003 15:58

I had an aluminium tank on an R80GS ,I belive it had been custom made .Quite frankly it was useless .Everybody told me that it would split and it did , I got fed up with constantly repairing it .I now have an Acerbis tank that has been painted and its no problem , just expensive .

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