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Old Yesterday, 01:30 AM   #1
cody94dr350 OP
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fuel range dillema: large tank vs. roto pax

the big question, which is better for extending fuel range on a bike that will be doing commuting, trail riding, camping, and single track, with the occasional long trip. ALSO I have sm wheels, so the bike will see some street hooliganism...
big tanks? or rotopax?
a desert tank for my drz will cost me 230 dollars
I can get a rack, rotopax container and mount for about 170, moving my capacity up to 3.6 gallons, just shy of the clarkes 3.9 tank

pros and cons
Clarke tank
PROS
simple
always there when you need it
leaves the rear of the bike open for gear

Cons
bulky
heavier up front
expensive

Rack and rotopax combo
PROs
modular
slimmer when not needed
rear rack is included in the price tag, adding to versatility
fuel range can be extended further, with a 2 gallon rotopax
cost effective
keeps weight off the front end of the bike

CONS
More complicated
stress on subframe
rear rack area is occupied (luggage can be off to the sides i suppose)
not always there, requires more planning

What do you think guys? I'm trying to look at it from every angle, this is very much a do it all bike with the sm and dirt set up combined. most of my riding buddies are on off road only bikes and dont ride that far so that complicates it a bit. are there other options i should consider? maybe several msr bottles strapped to the bike?
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Old Yesterday, 01:45 AM   #2
boingk
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I had a 23L Acerbis tank on my XR600R, it was actually quite good while riding and yeah, no planning whatsoever. The extra weight wasn't really noticed unless the bike was at a crazy angle while slow, in which case you were going down anyway.

Personally I've never clicked to the idea of a rotopack when a bigger tank is so much easier and more reliable. Sure, it might be a bit bulkier but in general that's not so much of an issue. I liked the big tank on my XR as it helped shield my legs from bad weather and road spray.

Use the rear rack for your camping gear.

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Old Yesterday, 02:40 AM   #3
michael1968
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For what it's worth, big tanks also usually offer a bit of extra radiator protection in a crash.
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Old Yesterday, 03:34 AM   #4
East Coast Rider
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I think I'd go with the larger tank...not going very far? Don't fill it all the way. Those aftermarket tanks will take a beating. The main reason I bought the IMS was the great side protection it offers the radiator and the coolant recovery tank of the KLR.

The 6.6 IMS actually feels lighter on my KLR, and it holds 7.0 gals from empty. It may well be a figment of my imagination...who knows. But the KLR is already a tank off road anyhow, so what's an extra couple lbs?
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Old Yesterday, 01:21 PM   #5
JensEskildsen
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Large tank for sure.
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Old Yesterday, 01:26 PM   #6
Keithert
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I recently saw a DR650 with a Pelican case on one side and a Rotopax on the other. It was a good looking setup that would work well.
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Old Yesterday, 01:41 PM   #7
OrangeYZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cody94dr350 View Post
Clarke tank
Cons
heavier up front
You don't need to fill it all the way. There have been plenty of times on my 6 gallon KTM where I only put 3 gallons in it because I knew the next trail was technical but short.

Quote:
Clarke tank
Cons
expensive

Rack and rotopax combo
PROs
cost effective
Both of them actually cost you about $170 per gallon over stock.

I vote tank. When it's time to use that extra gallon you don't need to stop and fuss around with it, and you also only refill one tank when you get to the station after that.
You can switch between it and stock as needed, or sell the stocker and get a bunch of your money back.
You can't buy a Rotopax and be like "I don't need my tank anymore, off to Craigslist you go!"
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Old Yesterday, 04:47 PM   #8
GypsyWriter
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Honestly, it's annoying to have to stop and fill your tank every hundred or so miles when you could just bite the bullet and get a larger tank. Also, if you're going to be putting luggage along the back of the bike, it would be better to have that gas/weight counterbalanced on the front than on the rear.

My vote (if there had been a poll) would be to go with the Clarke/IMS/Safari/flavor-you-enjoy tank and skip the Rotopax altogether. If you really want to bring gas, get a MSR 32oz bottle and use that, or use a smaller Rotopax. But my vote's for the tank upgrade and skipping the Rotopax altogether unless you're doing some serious long stretches between gas stations.
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Old Yesterday, 05:14 PM   #9
juddspaintballs
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I also went for the larger tank on my KLR. It holds more than stock and protects the radiator. It saved me money buying crash bars, gave me extra capacity, and I can actually see how much fuel is in my tank vs. going by mileage. Plus I have a good condition stock tank I can/should sell.
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Old Yesterday, 05:20 PM   #10
dickensheets
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I'm the devils's advocate on this one.

The range of my DR650 is about 120 miles. I live in New Mexico, BFE!!

I once did the White Rim on the stock tank, I made it. Still use it.

Spend your money elsewhere.

ps - I do carry a soda bottle of gas if the conditions warrant.

Ryan
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Old Today, 03:40 AM   #11
Keithert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickensheets View Post

ps - I do carry a soda bottle of gas if the conditions warrant.

Ryan
I've heard that Gatorade bottles work better since they are a bit thicker.
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Old Today, 03:56 AM   #12
snare
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Larger tank.
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Old Today, 05:28 AM   #13
amk
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Depends on what occurs more frequently: camping trips with the need of range, or running around a gas station? If camping trips occurs only a couple of times in 5 year period - rotopax or any other fuel container. If once a month - a bigger tank for sure.
It is actually the matter of labor. To fill an additional container requires much more labor than a tank. For a tank nobody even gets off the seat, while a container on the back requires to get off, unpack, fill in, pack back, get on. And the same goes when the tank fuel is done. Quite laborious.
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Old Today, 06:52 AM   #14
todd83-900t
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I have big tanks for both my bikes (4+ gallons).

1) I prefer having the option to explore the "extra credit" route(s) that I stumbled upon.
2) I like being authorized to use full military power at any time without an inflight refuel.
3) I don't have to think about fuel until I've racked up 160+miles.

If/when you ride the White Rim trail in Moab you'll leave your wing tank at the trunk, thinking that you have sufficient range with your stock tank. There's 20+ish miles of extra credit that's not well known that you'll have to skip.


When you buy the big tank choose the clear one.....
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Old Today, 09:41 AM   #15
Keithert
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I know it's not all about looks but the clear tanks ruin the looks of the bike IMO.
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