An essential aftermarket part for any successful desert team is a larger gas tank. I say “successful” because I have watched many teams try to run a desert race with a stock tank and fail, simply because they ran out of gas. The pits are often too far apart for almost any quad to make it without a larger tank. Desert racing has been this way for many years, and now cross country races are getting to the point that if you don’t have a large tank in a non-stock class, you don’t have much of a chance of winning there either. In an hour and a half race, you don’t have enough time to fill up if your competitors don’t. I learned this the hard way.
With only one race left in the 2005 WORCS season, I was running in second place in the ProAm class at Goldendale, WA. I was within a couple seconds of the first quad coming in to the white flag, when my quad started sputtering. I knew exactly what that meant and with the quad still rolling, I bailed off to switch the tank to reserve. By the time I did that and took a splash of fuel in my pit, I was several minutes behind the leader (and his slightly-larger fuel tank.) You never know, but if I had a larger tank for that race, it could have been the difference between me getting second for the season or pulling the championship.
I immediately returned home and ordered a 4.2 gallon fuel tank from GYT-R. The down-side - that much extra fuel means the tank takes up more room and you can no longer run the plastic side pieces. Instead GYT-R sells just the front scoop part of that plastic that mounts onto the tank so that you still have the air scoops. These two things purchased from GYT-R will cost about $300. I have also seen people manually cut their plastic to fit the tank, but from most home-made jobs I have seen, it’s worth it to buy them.
The tank comes with a really nice, shiny cap on the tank, but that was the first thing I removed. Just in case I ever get to a race long enough to use all 4.2 gallons, I installed a quick fill. If you haven’t seen one, this goes in place of the cap and sits just inside the tank. It uses a special can that will gravity-feed the fuel through a very large opening and fill the whole tank in literally a matter of seconds. To go along with this I had to drill a small hole in the tank to allow for a vent tube. Make sure if you do this on your tank, you check that wherever you put it will clear your handlebars, and put it as high up on the tank as you can. If you put it down low you can only fill your tank as high as the vent tube.
For most people though, the first thing you will have to do is bolt on the front mounts. My favorite thing about this tank above all others is the mounting system. Most larger tanks use something that bolts the front to the frame with really long bolts. Due to all of the flex in YFZ frames, many people have trouble using that type of mounting. If they put the bolts in the front of the tank the rear won’t line up, and if they put a bolt in the rear the front won’t line up. Instead of this, GYT-R came up with a design that uses the same type of mounting that the stock tank does. The piece that you bolt onto the tank slips over a large washer/bolt thing on the quad and holds it in place. This allows you a good deal of adjustment to get both the rear and the front aligned perfectly. You will need to test fit it a little to figure out exactly where you need to tighten the pieces on your tank.
If you haven’t already done it, you need to remove the petcock from your old tank and the thing that the seat slides onto. Be careful not to strip the screws that hold the petcock, and check to see if your gasket is okay. You will most likely want to clean your petcock with some new gas just to make sure you aren’t transferring junk into your engine. You especially need to do this if you have ridden in sand a great deal. Before you install the petcock on the new tank you will want to wash out your new tank with some gas. Sometimes the new tanks will tend to have some small plastic shavings sitting down in the bottom. The petcock filter would most likely stop them, but better safe then sorry.
When the front mounts, petcock, and seat holder are all installed on the tank you are ready to put it on your quad. The front should slide onto the mounts easily, and then it should take a small amount of adjustment to get the rear to line up. It did take me a while to get the rubber grommet in the rear of the tank, but it does fit, so don’t give up on it. Use the given bolt to attach the rear of the tank to the frame.
Now you can also install the side scoops. Remember that the front nose piece must be on before the scoops. Two straight head screws hold the scoop onto the tank on each side, and one bolt to the frame. The two screws are tough to get in, and I couldn’t get one of mine to tighten up at all. I did lose one of those screws the first time I rode with this stuff on, but it wasn’t the one that didn’t tighten up. Even with the one screw gone, the rest of the plastic held fine until I could get another one in after the race.
Maybe you want a larger tank but don’t think you need the full 4.2 gallons. But I would still recommend this tank over other aftermarket tanks, simply because of the unique mounting system. Being able to easily install the tank in my book is definitely worth the slight extra weight.