Posts Tagged 'general'

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.

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