Posts Tagged 'exciter'

General tank vs knockoff General tank

Some time ago a customer had one of those super expensive General knockoff tanks shipped to the shop for a project I was going to build for him. The project fell through and I ended up with the tank at a steeply discounted rate.
Since I have a bunch of legit General tanks kicking around at the moment, I figured I would do a side-by-side comparison of the two, as well as some detail pictures of the knockoff tank.

The OG General tank is from Dirty, my 81 AMS Tahoe. Many companies rebadged General mopeds, AMS was the house brand of Moped Factory out of Reno Nevada back in the 70’s and 80’s.

I kept these pictures super big, that way you can click them and see in high detail the rough finish on the knockoff tank.

I started off by weighing them both on a shipping scale.

As you can see, the knock-off tank weighs in just under a pound and a half MORE than the OG tank. That might not seem like a lot, but when you’re holding the tanks in your hand it sure feels like a lot. Also, take into consideration that Dirty’s tank has probably a quarter pound of varnish in it currently.

The OG tank is your typical stamped sheet metal, seam welded fuel tank, whereas the knockoff tank appears to be made from many pieces of thick sheet metal, cut into shapes and welded together. The welds are then poorly “smoothed” in what seems to be a half-assed attempt at making the tank resemble the original.

Click on these pictures and zoom in on the knockoff and you’ll see little pinholes in the welds at the corners, lots of grind marks and lumpy edges.


The knockoff has balancing tubes which is rad! I think some General tanks have them too, though the three I currently have do not. Not sure I’ve ever seen one in person that does either. Hmm, maybe they don’t? I thought I read somewhere some do. Whatever.

Rather than stamping the tank locating thingies out of a single piece of sheet metal, these guys cut out two different pieces, bent one into a C shape and welded it all together.

That KINDA looks like stamped metal, but it’s actually multiple pieces of metal welded together and grinded into shape. I’ll try and show you the welds inside the tank in a bit.

Another look at one of the balancing tubes. Looks like it shouldn’t leak! I hope! Also, this tank does not use the same petcock as the OG tank, which is too bad – those are cheap.

Grind weld grind weld grind weld

It’s pretty hard to get good pictures of the inside of a gas tank, but I did my best! Here you can kinda see on of the welds that makes up the “bump” on the side of the general tank.

The welds are pretty hard to see in this picture, but they are there. Eventually I’ll get better pictures with a better flashlight.

Or hell, maybe I’ll cut this thing down the middle and get a good look at the inside. I’m planning on putting it on the SR250 and it’s going to need some modification to fit anyway, maybe I might as well.


It looks like a big lump of clay!


It’s pretty rad that someone reproduced this tank, but for $300 or whatever it costs* it’s totally not worth it in my opinion. I mean, the amount of man labor that went into each of these tanks is crazy, but I’m pretty sure the guy who built this tank got nowhere near that amount. Probably more like $30. I hope it wasn’t $3. :/

I’m glad I ended up with one, I wanted to check one out pretty bad and it’ll be awesome on the SR eventually.

*Edit – I decided to look up the price, these tanks are now half as much on ebay as they used to be!
Still, at $160 (or best offer) and another $85 for shipping, I don’t think I could ever justify picking one up unless I got them to take a lowball offer.
It’s rad they offer them in aluminum and chrome steel, but dang.. those prices. All in all, I think if I ever have a need for another General tank, I’ll just hit up MA.


Finally got everything from SF. Now to get organized and get busy!








This isn’t all of them, there’s still the Motobecane VLX, Critical Miss, HobBAD Sparkle Butt, Ciao Ciao and the other DR350. But now everything’s more or less in one place and I’ve got my tools. I’m stoked!

more sr250 parts!

well ok, just one new part. the vm32 came yesterday! it’s a super rad little carb. screw top and main jet access on the bottom of the float bowl’s going to make it a cinch to tune, too!



probably the best part is that it fits right on to the stock intake manifold, which is still nice and supple after all these years.



the only thing really holding me back from throwing this bike together with what i’ve got and riding it around is my wheel situation. i really want to go 18’s front and rear, but rims are so expensive. i think i might be better off scouring ebay for 36 hole dirt bike rear wheels that aren’t totally beat and re-purposing the rims, you can usually pick one up for around $50. that’s like half the price of a single aftermarket rim.
actually, i think i might do that. i’m trying to keep the total price of this bike under $1000. original purchase price, all parts, paint, reg, everything. i’m totally on track to making my goal, but i gotta be careful and buy cheap everywhere i can!

sr twofiddy parts

i’ve had most of this stuff sitting on my desk at work for quite a while now. i’m nearly done collecting parts!


progressive 340mm shocks with 70/120 springs, new fork seals and gators (wipers aren’t available in 31mm apparently), shorty sausage muffler, new keyed ignition and a fancy shorai battery! i also got some super big alum dirtbike bars that i don’t really like, so they won’t be sticking around.

once i had the bike running okish, i started to tear it apart. this is how it’s currently sitting on my lift.



my buddy/coworker tony gave me a chain and i threw it on before i got it running. there was no way i was going to ride it around with the stock, mostly rusted solid chain.
he gave it to me because it’s been sitting on a shelf for years as most modern bikes don’t have such short wheelbases as older bikes like the sr. since we haven’t been able to sell it for the last 10 or however many years he’s had it sitting on a shelf, he said if it fit i could have it, and it fit perfect! i only had to cut one link out! also, look at that wacky sprocket.

i’m going to build my own wiring harness, mount the ignition in the frame under the seat, probably chop the frame off behind the shock mounts and weld in a loop of sorts and cut off the passenger peg loops and other tabs i won’t be needing.

i have a mikuni vm32 on the way to replace the leaky stock cv unit. i’ll probably be running a uni filter because, while they look cooler, k&n filters suck. the carb, filter and pipe will be all of the “performance” stuff i’ll be doing to the bike, and i’m only doing that stuff out of convenience.
the stock aribox is ugly and takes up the whole under-seat frame area.
the stock carb is leaky and will flood the engine, even after adjusting the float height and replacing the needle. rebuild kits aren’t available, and while i could buy each piece individually, it would be a pain in the butt. the vm was like $60 new, and it means i get to toss the cv carb. i hate cv carbs.
the stock pipe is rather rusty, and has a goofy pancake muffler that takes up the space under the swing arm between the rear tire and engine, the space where i want to relocate my battery box. i am, however, reusing the header.

i cut the baffle off just past the weld, making sure not to cut all the way through.

my cheapo jcwhitney muffler fits perfect!

i mocked it up on the bike.


i think it looks great, and gives me the space i need under the swing arm for my battery box. i’ll probably paint the pipe in bbq black, masking off the muffler cos it’s shiny, and maybe put some red inside the muffler. we’ll see. doing the pretty stuff is a long way off.

i mocked up the general tank too, didn’t get pictures though. i have some interference with the frame and the tank tunnel. not sure if it’ll be worth the work to get a general tank on there. it would look perfect, though! just the right size. we’ll see!

81 yamaha sr250

here is the 81 sr250 i pickd up for L on the day i dragged it into the shop. bought it from a guy for $250, the bike has less than 2k miles on it and was last registered in 81.



the idea is to strip it down and make it as small, light and simple as possible. L’s tiny, so she needs a small bike to get going on.

really, i would have liked to find her a 125 to begin with, but the sr is a small bike and will hopefully work well for her.

with a carb clean and some fresh gas, i was ripping up and down the ally on it. 30 year old tires and sticky brakes made for a fun experience, and the front of the bike felt like it wanted to twist to the left when i got on the front brake. it’s a total death trap. i love it.

stuff in store-
-strip all that crazy 80’s mini-cruiser stuff off the bike, including the pizza box
-some little mid-rise bars
-low, thin seat
-general 5 star moped tank
-19″ wheels front and rear
-some long shocks out back
-gunna try and reduce travel and height in the forks when i rebuild them (as you can see, they were already pushed way up into the triple trees to make them lower)
-little moped headlight
-aftermarket muff on that pipe
-vm mechanical slide carb (hate cv carbs)
-and more!

(_shitty paint mock up_)
this is going to be a super fun project.

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