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Thread: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

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    Default Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    I have been given this tank for nothing (pics below).
    It looks like its not been used for years but tossed around a workshop a few times and picked up
    quite a few dings and dents. I know i could skim it with a layer of filler and smooth it down but
    that seems a shame. Maybe paint the main body and polish the knee cut outs would look good.

    So what do you think, are there any techniques for removing small dents from Alloy?
    Pictures actually make it look smoother than it is;


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    Should Get Out More Big Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    Trumps is your man for this, but its do-able, might be spendy tho. A good panel beater could do what show up in the pics IMO. Polish the whole thing, they look fab.
    Register to join this UK Motorbike Forum, start a motorbike blog, or use our free motorbike classifieds!

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    Should Get Out More ZRX61's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    Piece of cake

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    Should Get Out More Trumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    It doesn't look bad at all, but like you say, that could just be the pictures. I'd need to see it in the flesh, which might not be too hard as I'm in Preston. The only real concerns from those pics are the front dings, but there also seems to be some damage on the right side of centre on the last pic. But, all fixable and removable.

    Filler is the easiest/cheapest option if you plan on painting it.

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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    Yes the pictures are not really showing much really, i will have a look at taking some more tomorrow and
    see if i can catch the light better.

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    Should Get Out More maccecht's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trumps View Post
    It doesn't look bad at all, but like you say, that could just be the pictures. I'd need to see it in the flesh, which might not be too hard as I'm in Preston. The only real concerns from those pics are the front dings, but there also seems to be some damage on the right side of centre on the last pic. But, all fixable and removable.

    Filler is the easiest/cheapest option if you plan on painting it.
    What would you do Trumps as a matter of interest. My metalwork skills ended with a badly made toolbox in 4th year in 1975 Would you cut it in half deding it then reweld and dress the welds?

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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by maccecht View Post
    What would you do Trumps as a matter of interest. My metalwork skills ended with a badly made toolbox in 4th year in 1975 Would you cut it in half deding it then reweld and dress the welds?
    It depends on the damage mate. If it was all just slight dings, I could make a small-ish hole in the base, and get a dolly on a long thin bar through the hole to back up the dings while I dress them with an 'ammer.

    But, if it's worse than it looks, you're right, I'd cut along the welds, fix the damage then weld it back up, dressing off the welds after. Trying to keep any cuts local and minimal if possible.

    If the areas were really badly damaged, I'd consider separating the tank and wheeling all the dings out then re-weld.


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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trumps View Post
    It depends on the damage mate. If it was all just slight dings, I could make a small-ish hole in the base, and get a dolly on a long thin bar through the hole to back up the dings while I dress them with an 'ammer.

    But, if it's worse than it looks, you're right, I'd cut along the welds, fix the damage then weld it back up, dressing off the welds after. Trying to keep any cuts local and minimal if possible.

    If the areas were really badly damaged, I'd consider separating the tank and wheeling all the dings out then re-weld.

    Cheers Trumps sounds like a labour of love and patience. Sadly lacking in my workshop

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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    No point using filler. Old tank like that is only going to be of interest to a purist and beating dents out of alloy tanks is really the only way to go.

    Once de-dented and polished up it will look a million dollars.

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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trumps View Post
    If the areas were really badly damaged, I'd consider separating the tank and wheeling all the dings out then re-weld.

    Meh, just shrink em out.

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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    You know, some builders would love to find a tank like that with all-original dinks, scrapes & patina.

    I say leave it and build a bike to go with it! Looks like it had a strap..






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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    I will give it a good clean and polish then take it from there. Like i said though,
    it does look worse in the flesh.

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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by CoolHands View Post
    You know, some builders would love to find a tank like that with all-original dinks, scrapes & patina.

    I say leave it and build a bike to go with it! Looks like it had a strap..
    I'm not so sure TBH. Most (all) bike builders I know want a mint, undamaged tank. What's the point in building a bike, then sticking a crappy damaged tank on it. Unless you're going to build it with dents, damage and dings to fit some sort of 'character' that isn't really appreciated in the bike building circles.

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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trumps View Post
    I'm not so sure TBH. Most (all) bike builders I know want a mint, undamaged tank. What's the point in building a bike, then sticking a crappy damaged tank on it. Unless you're going to build it with dents, damage and dings to fit some sort of 'character' that isn't really appreciated in the bike building circles.

    Try and tear your eyes away from the babe and look at the Guzzi above.

    Screwd.

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    Default Re: Can i save this Alloy 'cafe racer' tank?

    If I was gonna put a pic of an old dented cafe racer on the internetz, I'd have a cute girl draped over it too. Either that, or Ogri has been moisturising!

    FWIW, I can tidy up that shabby old tail unit of hers (And the bikes too )

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