Jun 20, 2015

Product Review: More Miles for Me

All Rights Reserved © 2012 Thomas W. Day

IMG_3851After my 2011 cruise around Lake Superior, my only bitch about the WR250X is the mediocre mileage. At 55mpg, the stock two gallon tank barely gets me past the 100 mile mark before the fuel injection is sucking fumes. Yamaha claims 71mpg for this bike, but I have never done better than 62 and the Lake Superior trip knocked down 55mpg for several tanks in all sorts of conditions. I installed a 3.1 gallon IMS tank, which gives me closer to 170 miles between full to drained, but 150 to reserve is pretty predictable. I need a minimum of 200 miles per tank for touring. What to do?

I looked at the IMS 4.5 gallon tank, but sticking 27 pounds, plus the tank weight that far forward on a lightweight 250 seems like a bad idea. I like the front suspension somewhat soft and that won't work if I load up the front tire with more fuel weight. Plus, I do not trust the idea of making the radiator guards into fuel storage. I've read about a few guys who have crashed off-road and gouged a hole in one of those protruding scoops, losing all of their fuel capacity. I like my "guards" to be guards.

IMG_3852I looked at carrying a 1 or 1.5 gallon plastic tank on the seat. There are many things I don't like about that option. Doing a little research, the modern lazy-man's way (the internet and Google), I found that a lot of off-road folks really liked RotoPax fuel cans, so I ordered one; the 1 gallon version, which is a near-perfect 9 1/2 L x 13 1/4 W x 3 H and cost about $80 with the mount and shipped. When the container arrived, I thought they'd shipped it with fuel. This thing is heavy, about 5 pounds, and appears to be as solid as a metal can. I can stand on it without seeing much flex and I'm not light.

img-thingAt first, I thought about mounting the bracket on my Yamaha rear rack, but that would screw up the rack for every day use. Target sells a 9-1/2 x 15 x 1/4" black polyethylene cutting board that sells for about $10. Poly cuts easily on a table saw with a plywood or crosscut blade, so I hacked out a plate that fits on the my rear rack's frame. A little finish work, $3 worth of stainless screws and washers, and I have a solid mount for the gas can and it is narrow enough for my Giant Loop Coyote Saddlebag to fit over the tank and attach normally. Even better, with a $20 extension, I can load up two 1 gallon tanks, still use my Giant Loop gear, and get a 250 mile or better range out of the WR. Now, we're talking adventure touring!

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