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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Saint-John, aka my XV1900A Midnight Star (Roadliner) is back ...

Just had to share, that my XV1900A Midnight Star (Roadliner) is back from the shop, after the latest mods are now finished. And except for some minor stuff to be done during the winter stop, I think I can say all is done :) (famous last words).

Here she is now:











First 3 pictures taken at the Henri-Chapelle War Memorial (War Cemetery for fallen US soldiers in WWII) in Belgium, which is just across the border from where I live. I do visit the Memorial several times a year, to honour those who gave their lives so we can live in freedom, and in a democracy. The ride is inspiring as well, hilly landscape with amazing views.

The last two were taken at one of my favourite spots, where you arrive to a breathtaking view in all directions, after having taken some very tight hairpins on narrow country roads. Great exercise for bike handling.

Anyway, the most recent changes made to Saint-John were to overcome one of the most criticized points of the Strat/Roadliner, namely the relatively small capacity of the fuel tank. I hated to get around 200 km done, and then have to look around anxiously to find a gas station, so I acquired a used, slightly dented second tank from eBay, had it cut open on the sides and the front (the part pointed towards the handlebars), raised 12 cm at the front, welded plate steel into the opening, waterproofed, finished, sealed, pressure proofed and spray painted in the original design and colours. This way it actually looks like it rolled out of the factory like that, at least in my view. That is my philosophy (or rationale if you like) as well: do any customizations in such a way that it doesn't necessarily look like it was customized, but like it rolled of the factory line that way :).

Over the past three years I have changed the bike for my own creature comforts and liking, allowing me to ride long(er) distances in comfort. The bike originally came with passenger floorboards, windscreen, highway bars, and a sissy bar, all Yamaha OEM add-ons. After some iterations it ended up with Paughco 14" ape hanger handle bars, Kuryakin handles with mechanical cruise control, braided stainless cables, Yamaha passing lights with Daymaker LED inserts and a mod allowing me to switch them on at off at will (not the standard over here), Ultimate saddle, Clearview windscreen, K&N air filter and PC Commander V with switch for 2 maps, one for low grunt in the hilly area around here, and one one for long distance touring with high fuel economy, a Wolo horn, Hyperpro progressive front fork springs, Wilbers adjustable rear load spring, Corbin side and top case set (fleetliner), a custom made protective bar at the rear (protection for Corbin set and to prevent the bike from toppling over completely, just in case :)), and of course the new 30 liter (7.9 gallon) gas tank (increased from 16 liter, 4.2 gallon), with a custom made riser machined from a single block of aluminium, to compensate for the height increase of the tank, and to adjust the reach and height to perfection for my own comfort, and a GPS fixture to go with it. Oh, changed the brake pedal as well, planning on doing that with the gear lever as well. The OEM ones are hard to come by currently.

Anyway, it rides like a dream now, and all that is left to do are some final touches, like slightly extending the gas cables and front brake lines. They are ok, but I'd prefer them to loop more. The gear lever of course, and possibly chroming the risers - not sure about that yet. This will have to wait for the winter stop however. Some riding to be done first ....

Kind regards, Wim
 

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Hi Wim!
What a beautiful bike, tank really does look factory, very nicely done! You need to enter your bike in the bike of the month. Thanks for sharing!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you kindly, both!

@Keith Post:
I'd like to enter it in the BotM. I assume that means starting a new topic for September? And I assume I can just link to this topic?

Thank you very much in advance!

Kind regards, Wim
 

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Great Wim, just great! I like the tank extension. I was out yesterday and desperately looking for fuel in a remote area. A larger fuel capacity would have been great then. Nice job!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tank extension

Great Wim, just great! I like the tank extension. I was out yesterday and desperately looking for fuel in a remote area. A larger fuel capacity would have been great then. Nice job!
Thank you! I have wanted tank extensions for over 30 years, so finally decided to do something about it. Work is about 200 km from home, which means I start looking desperately for a petrol station as well by that time. And in the past I have had to call the Dutch Automobile Association Assistance department too often because I ran out of petrol at an awkward moment, like at midnight 8 km from home about 2km from the end of the highway, before getting back to civilization :). The usual reaction was, to put it nicely: "Always the same with these motorbikers!" :).

Here are some of the stages the new tank went through:


After cutting and welding, of course. It was truly amazing how little space there was in the center of the tank for fuel - basically none :). The front end was raised by 12 cm, BTW, so about 4 and 4/5 of an inch.


After filling, scouring, smoothing.


And the comparison between old (which I still have, just in case) and new :). It is a little hard to see, but I went from Baron risers to custom risers, which are significantly higher, and made as a single solid block, which makes it all much more stable, especially with the high handlebars. The handlebars always seemed slightly of kilter, not anymore now.

Kind regards, Wim
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Wim!
What a beautiful bike, tank really does look factory, very nicely done! You need to enter your bike in the bike of the month. Thanks for sharing!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Ok, entered fro September BotM :).

Kind regards, Wim
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice job on that tank! So what's the capacity now?
About 30 liters (7.9 gallons), up from 16 liters (4.2 gallons) before :).
Although that is 30 liters excluding reserve. The 16 liters was including reserve - no idea how much reserve really is.

Kind regards, Wim
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Genius, I wish I had the means, knowledge and space.
Thanks!

Not all that difficult to do, as I found out :). The (spare, use a second hand one) was cut along the edge below the trim, and then around the curve that goes over the frame. The little duct or rain pipe if you like in the centre underneath the instrument panel needs to be cut as well. Just leave the edge at the back of the tank, i.e., the one closest to the rider, intact.

Next secure the front of the tank with some sturdy steel wire (weld) with a gap of 4 to 5 inches, weld a new duct going through the tank (use a small steel pipe), and weld some plates all around the gaps. Fully weld everything, continuous welds, to make it as airtight, or fluid tight rather, as possible.

Fill tank with liquid (water), leave standing for a while. Wherever it starts rusting, if it does, mark those spots, empty tank, and reweld those spots. Rinse and repeat until all is fine. Fill again and leave for a couple of days, just to make sure all is fine.

Then empty again, and finally solder all the welds, in order to fill in any rough patches and smooth things out. If you are very OCD, best to test for leaks again hereafter, as testing for leaks after this stage will undo a lot of work, as for a leak after filling/scouring/polishing etc. means getting back to bare metal first.

Next if leak tested once more, empty, let it dry, and use tank sealant to seal the tank from the inside, leave that to dry, and pressure test for a few days. Repeat if necessary. Often you need to do it twice to get a good cover on the inside.

When done, fill, scour, polish, to create the correct shape. When that is done, pressure test some more, and seal again if it does leak - shouldn't really by this stage, but one never knows, because of the scour and polish.

Spray paint, all stages, until it is in the right colour/design for you.

Extend wiring for the instrument panel, and mount the tank. Measure the height of the risers required to make it possible for the handle bar to freely move over the tank, and fit the correct risers (or have one custom made, like I did).

Fit new trim, and now mount everything again, fill up, and off you go :).

Note that I did not really do anything myself, I don't have the space, tools or workshop either, but I do have a very trusty motorbike workshop nearby. Basically I bought a used tank, made the drawings, and explained what I wanted, and they did it for me.

HTH, kind regards, Wim
 
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