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I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Mark Newton,
Camping in the Mexican desert



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  #1  
Old 10 Feb 2013
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Utterly Idiotic Touratech Fuel bottles - a frank review

This is a review of the Touratech little plastic reserve fuel tanks, possibly the most utterly useless piece of kit I have ever come across. They came with the second hand small Strom I bought. At the time, I didn’t think too much about them (except of course a small part of me felt “Hmm. They look kinda long distance cool, don’t they?”). Oh how I have grown to hate them with a passion on my first week into my trip across South America. But I digress.

Basically, a reserve fuel tank needs to carry out three main duties:
1. Enable you to put fuel in it easily
2. Enable you to transport said fuel safely
3. Enable you to take fuel out when you need it

With this background, let’s begin our review. Here they are, mounted on their Touratech panniers (these also display elements of utterly idiotic design although not as bad as these reserve bottles, and I digress once again).



As you can see from this picture, they are well and truly mounted onto the panniers, and so 1/3 of the job they need to do is OK. This I’m afraid is the highlight of the review.

We now move on to filling them. It turns out that the idiot who designed this made the opening too small for a petrol station pump to fit in it. Yes. That’s right. A reserve fuel tank you can’t fill from a petrol pump. So what you have to do is scrounge a Coke bottle (see – Coke managed this, and they weren’t even trying Touratech!) which you fill up and then you slowly tip the Coke bottle into the fuel reservoir.

However, before you can get to pour your Coke bottle over the petrol station concourse (and your beloved, idiot-designed Touratech bottle), you need to get the little spouty thing out of the way. This is no mean feat, for it requites pulling it out at EXACTLY the right angle – it’s taken me a 30s of fiddling to get this right every time I’ve tried so far.

Here's a photo of me 25s into trying - I've nearly solved the puzzle!


And finally, having arduously filled your bottle, when it comes to unloading it, you’ll helpfully find that the stupid spouty thing which is so hard to get out of the bottle, doesn’t actually fit. That’s right. The spouty thing actually serves no purpose whatsoever, apart from being in the way when you try to fill your bottle.

Here's a picture of two things which ought to fit, but actually, do not:



Overall, I would give this product 0 starts out of 5. And I would dearly love to meet the man who designed it, to have a frank exchange of views.
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  #2  
Old 10 Feb 2013
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I think you're missing the point of Touratech, you're NOT actually supposed to use the stuff, it's for display purposes only when your bike is left in the pub car park and to talk about in the pub.
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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TT list a separate bottle from the one you're using for fuel with a larger opening Canister 2 litre* with large feed opening and admission for gasoline / fuel * - Pannier accessories - Luggage - Vehicle equipment | Touratech Ltd

as well as a perhaps more useful 3 litre one, although that doesn't fit in a holder. Maybe yours is for oil? Don't think those are TT panniers either- look more like Trax or Hepco Xplorers
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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I'm astounded that some people think they even they need some of the stuff...I'm even more intrigued that some must think a motorcycle won't even work unless its got a load of additional crap bolted to it?
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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deleted

Last edited by Stray Dog; 17 Jan 2015 at 12:04.
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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Ask the person you bought the bike from, they may have been ideal for them, it depends on how they were using them. It's amazing how you use certain things in a certain way once you are out travelling. Maybe they made a point of always carrying a coke bottle with them. Otherwise leave them in the garage and replace them with the wide opening version that is available on the Touratech website.
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcm View Post
I'm astounded that some people think they even they need some of the stuff...I'm even more intrigued that some must think a motorcycle won't even work unless its got a load of additional crap bolted to it?
I'm astounded that someone thinks that they should judge what gear someone else puts on their bike. Moreover, depending on your fuel capacity and where you are going, extra fuel can be rather important.

These bottles sure don't seem very well designed for purpose, thanks for the review.
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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Aren't those the 2 litre drinking water containers shown on the Touratech site: Drinking water - Travel equipment | Touratech Ltd

http://shop.touratech.co.uk/canister-2-litre.html


What you want is this: http://shop.touratech.co.uk/3-litre-...tech-logo.html
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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Wow! Thanks for all the helpful comments. So it seems my bike's history is a muddy one - I guess it's what you get from buying it from a dealer as opposed to the last owner direct.

New learnings:
1. Despite being liberally covered in Touratech stickers, my panniers are actually the TraX aluminum panniers. There will be a write-up of these in due time. I guess the previous owner bought the stupid little bottle which came with some stickers from Touratech and got busy.

2. It seems Touratech do indeed do a larger opening cannister, however, the previous owner somehow managed to get petrol into the ones I have, thus making them unuseable for anything else, and fooling me into thinking that's what they were for. It's still beyond me why Touratech bother to make a cannister which is too small for a petrol pump - I can't think of any possible reason what possible use this can have. And it also gives no excuse for the spouty travesty of a thing.

So I'm afraid they're still on 0 out of 5 stars.

Thanks for helping me learn!
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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haha well a friencd of my used them to smuggel alcohol into sudan:

Adventures Motorbike expedition through africa - Transafrika part 1
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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Good review!
I´m not in a position to defend TT, as I have had my encounters with problems with their gear (the bike of Missus looks like straight out of a TT catalogue, but I digress). However, these canisters you write about aren´t exactly TT canisters, they are available at many retailers in Germany; however TT seems to have branded some with their own logo and added a premium without making any further change :-)
Whilst I agree to the content of your review, those of us who purchase the cans new are free to use their brain and figure out the obvious at the time of purchase. Anyways, there is another can available with a wide neck. We have one with the small neck and one with the wide neck. The one with the small neck is used for Coleman Fuel for the fuel-burning stove and I´m quite satisfied with the small neck for that purpose (which is easily filled from the Coleman Fuel bottles). The red funnel fits ok to the neck, maybe your used stuff lacks a seal. However, ours are not exactly drop-proof either and I would like to see the funnel being secured to the canister by a screw-down ring.

I´m not sure why you are not satisfied with the holders of the cans, which are the real TT stuff (and are not available at the usual retailers here); ours are quite all right and we have not had any problems with them over the years. If I recall correctly TT makes them as well with a removable holder so those who dislike displaying all the equipment when not on tour can remove the holders from the panniers.

Cheers
Chris
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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Well, hardly a big deal is it? No reason why you couldn't use it for oil or meths or Coleman fuel if you left the top off so it dries out first. I'm gonna give these a go next time- Flexible Heavy Duty Fuel Bladder - 4 Litre

reckon you could strap them pretty neatly on top of a rear rack or pannier, even in a tank pannier, and then roll up when you don't need 'em
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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As always in life,one can purchase a lot of useless staff.No one is forced to do so,motorbike riders are often gadget men and there for easy prey for clever marketing.
Just look at the bikes and their gear,you see on a daily basis, a lot is useless, but brainwashed people still think,i got to have it.
Think this applies to many other occasions in life.
Buy what you want and not what you need, is the motto nowadays for many humans in the western world.

Cheers
RM
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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Do we have another TT hater? Just asking.

TT have some great kit, some overpriced tat and some shite, but doesn't every manufacturer? Doesn't everybody have some sort of aftermarket part on their bike. If you're smart you can find cheaper alternatives to TT or get the TT parts used off ebay (like I did) when the 'posers' move onto there next hobby. Or leave the catalogue laying around opened at the item you want so your other half can gift you it (as I've also done). Aftermarket parts also serve as a way for owners to personalise their bike so I don't see anything wrong with that. It's a trend or a fashion like everything else. I don't see it as any different to how other types of bikes, such as sports, cruisiers or cusoms, have their 'bling'. The ADV market is no different, just because it's trending now doesn't mean it will be in ten years. And even if it is, peoples tastes evolve and aren't exclusive.

The TT canister in question is not designed for petrol it's for oil or water. If it was designed for petrol then it was poorly designed because a petrol pump will not fit inside. However, I have one exactly the same and I just carry a collapsible funnel or a flat sheet of plastic to roll into a cone/funnel. It's not difficult people. I would prefer a bigger spout but there is another version to take this into account, presumably designed specially for petrol. As for the nozzle, it's not a krypton factor challenge - it's not difficult to get out. As for fit, mine is nice and snug, pours easily with no leaks. Had to use mine a couple of times when on tour and I was glad I had it, and it's done pretty good. I prefer it over a regular Jerry can but that's personal preference.

This TT can is more expensive than a regular petrol can because it's not a regular petrol can. I believe there are cheaper copies about, but if it's too much, buy used or buy something else. Not everyone who has a blinged up bike just uses it for the 'starbucks' run, some actually go on adventures; some big some small. I'm glad there is diversity in the biking world and within the ADV community specifically, people own bikes or ride for different reasons. The great thing about it is the community and camaraderie. I hate to see it eroded with elitist/purist BS. IMPO those haters are the ones that stand up the worst when the spot light is turned on them.

Disclaimer: this is not aimed at anyone in particular, it's just my general thoughts on matters that usually arise whenever TT is mentioned. It also comes up whenever BMW and Ewan McBoorman are mentioned too.
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusty max View Post
As always in life,one can purchase a lot of useless staff.No one is forced to do so,motorbike riders are often gadget men and there for easy prey for clever marketing.
Just look at the bikes and their gear,you see on a daily basis, a lot is useless, but brainwashed people still think,i got to have it.
Think this applies to many other occasions in life.
Buy what you want and not what you need, is the motto nowadays for many humans in the western world.

Cheers
RM
There's quite a lot of truth in that....
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