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What can you say, peanut tanks and MCM fork covers on triumphs are some of the nicest things you can have. The peanut dates back to at least 1954, MCM's (actually made by MCM even back then) been around since the early 1950s. Same with ribbed fenders. Covers and ribbed fenders had practical applications. When you smashed that T-Bird nacelle and front fender flapping across the desert you took them off and replaced them with aftermarket covers and a ribbed fender as close to the original as you could get, way cheaper than a stock replacement. Or just run without a front fender. Voila, two staples of the custom bike accessory world are born. Peanuts came about because of drag racing, another thing we Californians INVENTED (this oughtta get you east coasters going!)

But now I grow tired of them. Someone said it the other day, it is getting old, seems like everyone runs covers and peanuts. I am guilty of the same tiredness. the trouble is that these items are timeless, you can use them on a chopper or bobber style bike or even on a recreation of a period bobber and not go wrong. They morph with whatever you are building. The peanut goes great on a pre-unit custom or drag racer, goes great on a raked out monster from the early seventies, twisted Invaders and all that.

So if you don't use them, what do you use? many of the Paughco tanks came along at the height of the "easy rider" era where bikes were stretched and raked, they are "dated" and married to the Chopper Look (that is chopper with a capitol "C"). I like the sportster tank, but I like it on harleys, not on Triumphs. Fat bobs are too FAT for Triumphs, bobbed HD fenders are too big for Trumpets. So what to do? Most guys cannot make their own tanks, and what would it be shaped like anyway?

Not sure what the answer is, but i gotta build a bike early next year for a customer and my challenge is going to be NOT to use the peanut or the MCM covers or the ribbed fender and still make it look like some sort of a period custom.

any ideas floating around out there I can steal??
 

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check out the fastermeaner.com website. there are some pics of bikes from some of the jap shows and some of those have some really cool looking tanks. they are kind of like pinched or sectioned sporty tanks so they don't have that same ol' peanut tank look to them.

fouraceswes said:
What can you say, peanut tanks and MCM fork covers on triumphs are some of the nicest things you can have. The peanut dates back to at least 1954, MCM's (actually made by MCM even back then) been around since the early 1950s. Same with ribbed fenders. Covers and ribbed fenders had practical applications. When you smashed that T-Bird nacelle and front fender flapping across the desert you took them off and replaced them with aftermarket covers and a ribbed fender as close to the original as you could get, way cheaper than a stock replacement. Or just run without a front fender. Voila, two staples of the custom bike accessory world are born. Peanuts came about because of drag racing, another thing we Californians INVENTED (this oughtta get you east coasters going!)

But now I grow tired of them. Someone said it the other day, it is getting old, seems like everyone runs covers and peanuts. I am guilty of the same tiredness. the trouble is that these items are timeless, you can use them on a chopper or bobber style bike or even on a recreation of a period bobber and not go wrong. They morph with whatever you are building. The peanut goes great on a pre-unit custom or drag racer, goes great on a raked out monster from the early seventies, twisted Invaders and all that.

So if you don't use them, what do you use? many of the Paughco tanks came along at the height of the "easy rider" era where bikes were stretched and raked, they are "dated" and married to the Chopper Look (that is chopper with a capitol "C"). I like the sportster tank, but I like it on harleys, not on Triumphs. Fat bobs are too FAT for Triumphs, bobbed HD fenders are too big for Trumpets. So what to do? Most guys cannot make their own tanks, and what would it be shaped like anyway?

Not sure what the answer is, but i gotta build a bike early next year for a customer and my challenge is going to be NOT to use the peanut or the MCM covers or the ribbed fender and still make it look like some sort of a period custom.

any ideas floating around out there I can steal??
 

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........there was a race (recorded in the news papers ) on a beach in Australia between two cars, standing start ,over a fixed staight line distance back in 1920s -so does that qualify as a drag race ............it was on the EastCoast,but a different continent.:D
 

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RidingHood said:
........there was a race (recorded in the news papers ) on a beach in Australia between two cars, standing start ,over a fixed staight line distance back in 1920s -so does that qualify as a drag race ............it was on the EastCoast,but a different continent.:D
Drag racing has existed for hundreds of years. It evolved from horse/chariot racing, even bicycle racing and finally powered 2 and 4 wheeled vehicles.

The first "commerical" drag race happened in California in 1950 but to claim that as an origin of the sport is obsurd. Even if you only concider the first "drag race" of a car, it STILL did not occur in California. Before there was even 1 single car in California, drag racing of cars was already going on.

Besides, how could drag racing have evolved from such a heavenly place as California??? It surely came from hell.
 

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You are correct about the 'timeless' style when using the before mentioned items. Like a sore peter....hard to beat.

The prism and coffin style tanks only work well with a long bike IMHO. I think they also sort of dictate the overall look because of all the sharp angles. Almost a given with narrow springers and extreme rakes.

Rounder shapes like axed H-D & Mustang tanks flow better, but like the peanut, are still very common. I don't have the Sporty tank hatred that many share, but have NEVER liked fat bob tanks on ANY Brit bike.

I still like the shape of stock Triumph tanks. The Meridan design engineers got this right. Even little detail changes stand out when using these tanks, as the shape is so well known. Oil tank shape can also have a big influence on the overall design. Still a lot of room for creativity here.

To achieve the 'look' is not as easy as just using the items discussed in this thread. Witness how many bikes you see sporting these parts that just don't get it 'right'. They look like shit on a white duck.

The bikes that really stand out have countless hours spent on mods that only garage diehards will notice.
 

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classicbike said:
check out norton p11 n15 matchless g15 tanks
here is a pic from 1947 in texas
These do have a clean look. Norton High Rider tank (steel version) is very simillar; I think they just switched bottoms and cap bungs.

I have noticed that these tanks are getting expensive. Used to be widely available and cheap. Guess that goes for many things not made anymore.
 

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I love when you do these things Wes! Gets us all thinking about the times...
it's hard to help you on this though. I have nothing bad to say about the style of bike you've been building so it's tough to offer suggestions at an attempt for improvement. I fully understand how you're feeling at the same time... I'm sure most of us do for that matter. What's the next thing and what's the next direction this should be going... All good thoughts man!

I'm as puzzled as you are about the dirction we should be going with tanks and often times I look at my sporty tank and want to throw up, while other days it makes me happy. I agree with the thinking that the early Brit style tanks had a good shape and nice lines. No real sharp corners and still fairly timeless in my opinion right along with the peanut tanks. I think someone on here was sectioning stocker to make it a bit smaller. I really liked that direction.

I also agree that an oil tank can make or break a bike. Personally I like the ones you've been using. They're simple, functional, and compliment the bike as such. I always thought a verticle "peanut" looking oil tank might look good. Sized accordingly of course. I saw one on a pre-unit at Brat Style (http://www.bratstyle.com/) and it looked pretty neat.

I was thinking about ribbed fenders also. I like them, but there are a lot of them poppin' up. I'm personally not a fan of of flat "trailer" type fenders, unless used correctly (often times they're not), but I did see a simple "bicycle style" fender at Bossley (see attached pic)... not flat and simple yet effective. Easily modified if needed.

Front ends are another tough subject. How about early brit girders? Those seem to have an "early" nestalgic/boardtracky feeling to them and if you're building a Brit bike, then automatically it seems correct.

The crazy thing is, you probably have the answer to all questions right there in that loft above your shop!! :D
 

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what about a chrome fender & tank from a '68-'69 honda 450? those tanks were brit-like with the knee pad/bolster.
dont get me started on the east/west thing. i tthink it was richard petty that said(i'm parafrazing here) it's easy to say when the first auto race was, right after the 2nd car was built.
 

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Use your imagination.That's what customizing is about.Don't copy.Create.Dish it.Make it asymetrical.Move the cap.Cut it apart and bead roll it.Weld some rod on it and mold it.Copper plate it.Put raised scallops or flames on it.Put a raised roth style face on it.Tripple bead the tank and fender.Put scoops on it.Put a raised name on it.Glue a pizza on it and cover it with resin.What the fuck? How can anyone be out of ideas? IMAGINE. -Strat.
 

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Nothing cooler than a super low drag-style triumph with a skinny prism tank and a girder. Something like 2" under downtube, 1" or 2" over backbone, custom make a small prism tank (easy to make because there are no curves), with a 35-38 degree rake, with a chrome girder. Flipped superbars or flipped z-bars.

Fuck, I'm going to build one like that!
 

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i'm with strato here - he just beat me to it. why does a ribbed fender have only 1 rib in the center? what if that rib were offset to one side matched by a rib in the gas tank? what if there were three ribs, one in the center and one on each side? why not grab a set of fat bobs and cut the outer edges off and mate those together in some funky flowing tank?

or hide the fuel in a container with the oil tank and pump it up to the carb? then you could truly admire the motor, cause motors are cool.

brandon
 

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[ Peanuts came about because of drag racing, another thing we Californians INVENTED (this oughtta get you east coasters going!)

This dosent really 'get me going', but it is a cheap shot. Today's Californians always taking delight to dispell the gospel from up high is a joke. When you do you homework on Hotrods and Sickles, 99% of the so called Californians were from some where else.....Big deal, you have great weather and a lot of folks moved out there. Take credit for something long enough and maybe the world with think it's really that cool out there (still).
 

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fouraceswes said:
any ideas floating around out there I can steal??
I'll give you an idea...
Be original...keep it simple.

Now, i know there's hardly any originality left in the world. Especially when it comes to bikes and cars. It's all been done...a million times. Look at the "new" mustang, or the "new" Dodge Charger. King Kong for fucks sake. There is nothing original anymore. As consumers, we love shit that makes us nostalgic. We fucking eat it up! But, in my opinion, its all becoming stagnant. Now, i'm not preaching here, i'm guilty as the next consumer, but i still see people doing it right.

There are a lot of people out there with good design aesthetic. I believe you are one of them, Wes. I think Conder and Danny F. are two fellas that have it down. Their stuff isn't for everyone, but for me i see the design, the lines, the curves, the flow, the weight, the open and closed space, and it all comes together. Fuck...look at Rico's latest ride. The thing is fucking tits and its a bunch of old stuff. Nothing special when you're looking at peices, yet it came together beautifully and probably rides like a mutherfucker.

I guess what i'm saying is that everything has been done. But you can still take it to another level through minimalism. I like it simple. Black, chrome and as little as possible. I like the machine part of it...the performance part of it. Paint, funky tail-lights, sissy bars...all that shit is great when its done properly, but its not essential.

Ribbed fenders are cool.
Fork covers are nice.
Metal flake is bitchin...
But its still just a fucking frame, motor and wheels.
Keep it simple. Let the machine speak for itself.
It will come to you in the night after 15 beers, some JD and a fat spleef.
Just make sure you write it down because i have that shit come to me in the night all the time and by morning all i have to remember it is a headache.

The End.
:p
 

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QUOTE: ...But its still just a fucking frame, motor and wheels.
Keep it simple. Let the machine speak for itself.
It will come to you in the night after 15 beers, some JD and a fat spleef.
Just make sure you write it down.

Well shit Ryno,

You know EXACTLY what time it is! Wise words man. Lines, balance, pos/neg space...and genius DOES strike most often at 3AM...preach on my friend. Sound/simple/pure mechanical design combined with a good eye for over-all aesthetic. People ask how certain builders crank out such sharp, classic-yet unique looking bikes/cars...I think the answer is right here in Ryno's post. Let the project dictate it's appearance, just guide it along the way with quality workmanship. I am now re-inspired to rip into that pile of parts in the garage. Thanks.
 
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