Monday, May 3, 2010

Large capacity gas tank

One flaw with the DR650 is the tiny 13 Litre (3.3 gallon) gas tank the Suzuki engineers decided to use. It's just too damn small for any meaningful fuel range should you decide to leave town on a weekend road trip. And if you're thinking of a really long trip, well forget it. To get around this, some DR owners carry extra fuel in a jerrycan, or they find a way to strap on a couple of camping fuel bottles filled with gasoline...but what if you might prefer to strap on actual luggage instead of extra fuel cargo. The only option that makes practical sense is to replace the stock tank with a larger capacity aftermarket model.

There are 3 popular aftermarket tanks for the '96 and newer DR650SE. Clarke makes a 15 Litre (3.7 gallon) tank which hardly seems worth the hassle and cost of replacing the OEM tank because it's barely bigger. IMS is another well know manufacturer and they offer a 19 Litre (4.9 gallon) tank -- this seems to be the most common choice among DR owners looking for more fuel range. The IMS tank offers an increase of about 6 Litres (1 1/2 gallons) so it's a nice upgrade in size. The last option is a 33 Litre (6.6 gallon) tank from Safari, but it's almost too big unless you're planning to ride across Africa or some other trans-continental trip that might involve long stretches between gas stations. Plus the extra weight of that much fuel will impact how the bike handles, and it's also quite a bit more expensive to purchase: the Safari tank costs as much as two IMS tanks, or three Clarke tanks).

I went with the popular IMS tank for $249 from ProCycle (highly recommended) and that included a new gas cap (non-locking) plus a new petcock valve (not the best quality, but it will do for now).

IMS makes this tank in a bunch of colours to match Suzuki's paint schemes. I wanted to choose blue, but I saw a few photos of the white tank mounted on blue DR's and I liked the look. I've already got white side panels and a white headlight shroud. Plus, white goes with anything.

When I placed my order for the tank, I also threw a few other goodies into my online shopping cart: a magnetic oil drain bolt, a pair of spark plugs, and 10 Hi-Flo Filtro oil filters. The entire order came to $325 USD and that included shipping (fortunately the Canadian dollar is trading at very close to par these days).
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