1979 Honda XL500S – Cafe racer tank

1979 Honda XL500S – Cafe racer tank

So progress has been a bit slow but things are coming along and after another trade me purchase, the frame may now have a new petrol tank. The original XL tank that came with the bike had no fuel cap, was dented quite badly, was missing the tap and I didn’t really like the “look” of it. Trying to envision what another tank would actually look like, without photoshop or a similar image editor, has been quite hard but then you also have to consider the practical things like:

  • How its mounted to the frame
  • How big is the tunnel and will it fit the frame without too much trouble
  • Where the tap is going to be in relation to the carburettor
  • How much fuel will it take

I had tried another tank off a Yamaha SR250 that a friend had loaned me and it looked good but didn’t fit and wasn’t going to fit without modifying both the tank and the frame. I then found a tank on Trade Me that was off a Honda CB900F that was in great condition, cheap and had a huge tunnel. It actually fitted really well and looked good but was just too long for the frame. A tank off another project, a Suzuki AX100, was next on and it looked very good and fitted well but was just too short and will be needed for the project anyway but it gave me a good idea of what I was actually looking for. Eventually I found another tank on Trade Me that was off a Honda (not sure of the year but maybe a mid 70’s CB road bike). It was in rough condition with a couple of dents but complete and had a large tunnel similar to the CB900F. It fitted straight on, looked good and I was able to make a new front mounting point out of some threaded bar and four nuts to use with the original rubber mounts to get the bottom of the tank reasonably level. 

CB350 Tank

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There is still quite a lot of work to do on the “new” tank as it will need to be stripped and rust treated inside and either painted or maybe wrapped.

I’m now also thinking about a seat and how that will mount and look like. The rear of the frame will have to be cut and changed to suit as it sticks way up in the air at the moment plus I cant make the rear tank bracket until I know where the seat will attach at the front.

Hopefully I can get the line of the new seat to continue at the same level as the bottom of the tank but the frame may not allow that.

1979 Honda XL500S – Cafe racer tank