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Old 01-01-2011, 07:02 PM
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Goat Herder Goat Herder is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: N.M.
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Default Re: Cantilever Tanks

Originally Posted by David D. View Post
I have designed and built many products and fully understand costing , production, and marketing..... was why i was curious about the absence of a good reasonably priced tank for such a widely used bicycle in our industry....that's all..... David

This subject seams to get brought up every two weeks. With the same answer. I mean I don't want to stop you. Jump into the market and getter dun! Why don't you? You can do eeet

To me what I want to say is all I hear is hype and no action. I will believe it when I see it. It has not happend and one has to wounder why?

Originally Posted by BarelyAWake View Post
I think it's a catch 22...

Not only is making tanks a bit of a pain even w/jigs, those are aluminum - not known for it's malleability or ease of welding and it's curved no less. Add up all the hardware (2 petcocks, brackets, bung & cap, fasteners), the materials not just including all of the offcut scrap aluminum but all of the welding supplies, even any botched tanks (aluminum not being very forgiving during welding)... throw in the time it takes just to make them & I bet his profit margin isn't nearly what you would think.

Where there's a catch 22 is if he could gear up for "mass production" no doubt he could bring his costs down, not only by finalizing his jigs & assembly, but by buying his materials and parts in bulk... but given the market he's selling to and the limited number of frames that tank would fit perfectly on - I doubt he's got a lot of turn over.

Honestly? Given all of the above... about $200 per tank is I think a fair & acceptable price, it'd sell a lot better @ about $150 - but given the difficulties inherent in small production runs of a relatively complex product, that'd prolly put him into the minimum wage range. As most fabrication shops charge anywhere from 40-80 dollars an hour... well... *shrug*

Even though I've made my own tank and have free and unlimited access to a fabrication shop - I'd buy one of his in a heartbeat lol... tho I'll admit the style isn't my bag

Google up the prices for aluminum fuel cells sometime to get an idea of the average price for a "mass produced" aftermarket tank, even not "custom made" for your application... I think given the insanely low costs of the engines we tend to use as well as the commonality of extremely inexpensive box store bikes, we sometimes forget what's considered "normal" pricing for stuff...
Originally Posted by bairdco View Post
here's my opinion/statement.

as for the craigslist guy, his materials cost depends on a few things. good petcocks are 10 bucks, caps, 20+, and bungs, 30+. the steel is the cheapest, but then add in the cost of the machines to cut out the shapes, and the welding materials. and paint. too.

he might work at a shop with free use of a welder, gas, welding rods, or wire and electricity, but that doesn't mean the savings should be passed on to you.

tanks ain't cheap, and they definitely ain't easy to make. try it yourself and see what happens.

i'm in the process of building my 6th copper tank. materials-wise, it costs me about 50 bucks, and that's using a high-quality petcock, and brass fittings from Ace for the cap and bung.

i put in about 5 hours of hammering, cutting, bending, shaping, and soldering time today, and 3 hours the other day. i've got the basic shape together, and i still have another day's worth to install the petcock and bung, then grind, sand, and polish it.

then another day for it to sit around while the tank liner cures.

this tanks a little trickier, because i'm rounding it all out to fit the frame better, so there's a lot more work involved, and there are no templates for a future one, because of the shaping/hammering work. i started with a flat piece and beat it into a shape.

i've done 2 "toolbox" style tanks that had all flat sides, and those were easier, but still took at least a day.

i have no idea what a coppersmith makes an hour, but whatever it is, it's worth it.

i totally agree with BA's remarks about how people expect the rest of the parts to be as cheap as the motor kit. it just ain't so.

look at any other motorsport that uses custom tanks, expansion chambers, etc. they don't come cheap. the process of building a tank for a motorcycle is the same for a motorized bicycle. it doesn't cost any less because it's going on a bicycle.

if you think about it, it should cost more. if you buy a motorcycle frame, chances are there's 50 different tanks you can choose from. and those 50 tanks fit 75% of the aftermarket MC frames.

there's thousands of different bicycles being used out there, and all those frames are different. to make a production tank for any of them is a pretty big undertaking, with little reward.

even if someone were to market a tank for the Cranbrook (arguably the most popular "entry level" bike used for motorizing) you wouldn't sell enough to price it comparitively with the engine kit. low cost is the reason most people buy a Huffy. not too many people would pay 3 times the cost of the bike for a custom tank for it, and if they did, they'd end up with a useless tank after their bike falls apart.

hand made, custom products are disappearing, due to the "buy it now" mentality people have. it's old world craftsmanship in a new world order.
Originally Posted by BarelyAWake View Post

Ya gotta wonder why.
Still gotta have a since of humor.
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