Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Tanked Up

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. The new tank was much better looking than the squatty-looking unit that came on the bike.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. The main problem we had when trying to mount the new tank was that the aftermarket triple trees and bars came in contact with it.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. There also was an annoying gap between the new seat and rear of the tank.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. We decided moving the tank back 1.5 inches on its mount was what needed to be done.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. Out came the die grinder, and we made quick work of the welds holding the tank to the mount.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. With a bit of hippy persuasion, we were able to get the mount separated from the tank without any damage.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. The tank is now free from its ill-fitting mount.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. We ground down all of the previous welds and prepped the tank for welding.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. and 10. To check our measurements before we attached the mount to the frame, we sat the tank on it where we thought it looked right.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. and 10. To check our measurements before we attached the mount to the frame, we sat the tank on it where we thought it looked right.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. and 12. At our measured location, we had plenty of clearance for the front end to move freely as well as fill the tank-to-seat gap.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. and 12. At our measured location, we had plenty of clearance for the front end to move freely as well as fill the tank-to-seat gap.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. The tank was then tacked into place and finish-welded to the mount.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

Late-model Sporty tank relocation

  1. With the tank on the bike and in its new position, you can see how just a little relocation can be a beautiful thing.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Our buddy Purdo has this ’05 XL1200 Sportster, and while it is a good-running bike with low miles, the thing was butt ugly. This particular Sporty was originally built for a girl, and you could tell that from a mile away. Purdo whined to us about getting the femme features off this bike and man it up a bit, so being two-wheeled humanitarians and loving to hack up perfectly good bikes, we agreed to help him out.

While on our way to chopping it up, we ditched the OE tank and went with a Midwest Motorcycle Supply stretched and flat bottom XL tank that we scored through Jireh Cycles. The tank is a good-looking 4-gallon peanut-style model that is similar to what the 883 Iron and Nightster run.

Once the tank arrived at Freedom Cycles where the thrashing was taking place, we ran into a fitment issue regarding the Hawg Halters 39mm Wide Glide triple trees we had already installed. The mounts at the front of the tank were too far forward and allowed no articulation of the fork without the handlebars or triple trees hitting the tank. We also had another issue with our custom-built bike; there was a rather large gap between the front of the Le Pera Bare Bones solo seat we ordered and the rear of the gas tank.

Custom bikes call for custom measures, so we pulled out the die grinder and TIG welder and got busy freeing the tank from its mounts. We then slid the tank back on its mount to clear the bars and trees while seamlessly mating it up to the seat. Once it was measured for squareness, the tank was permanently welded to the mount.

With the tank expertly relocated, we had a proper-fitting tank that helped to take a late-model Sporty one step further from its lowly OE-looking existence.

Sources:

Freedom Cycles

Jireh Cycles