Tech Views — Vol.10 Flangeless & Titanium Fuel Tanks

It’s Not Just About Looking Good and Being Lightweight


It’s Not Just About Looking Good and Being Lightweight

Honda’s pride in its fuel tanks led to the adoption of its flangeless tank design and titanium fuel tanks.

Honda created a flangeless tank for the CB1100EX/RS, and titanium fuel tanks for the CRF450R and CBR1000RR SP/SP2.

Why did they do this? What troubles did they encounter in development?

What benefits do these tanks impart to riders?

Motorcycle journalist Tsutomu Matsui visited Honda’s Kumamoto Factory, dubbed the ‘Mother Plant for Honda Motorcycles,’ and the place where both the flangeless and titanium tanks were developed and manufactured. There, he discovered Honda’s pride in its fuel tanks.

The Flangeless Fuel Tank — Pride and challenge in making ‘cool’ tanks


Why a flangeless tank?
Designing for enhanced riding pleasure and the feel of quality.

What is a flangeless fuel tank? How did it come to be adopted for the new CB1100EX/RS? Is its manufacturing processing difficult?
I put these and other questions to the various Honda associates in charge of structural design, body design, and production, and witnessed the manufacturing process for myself.

The Titanium Fuel Tank — How did such a fascinating material come to be used?


Why was titanium adopted for use in making fuel tanks for production models?

Titanium is known as a light material that enhances performance.
On the other hand, it has a reputation for being expensive and difficult to use in manufacturing.
What was the background in the creation of the titanium fuel tanks for the CRF450R and CBR1000RR SP/SP2 models?
What are titanium’s advantages for riders?

Tsutomu 'Ben' Matsui

Tsutomu 'Ben' Matsui (b. 1963, Tokyo)

Born in Tokyo in 1963, Japanese motorcycle journalist Tsutomu Matsui has been writing interviews, test ride impressions and first-hand race reports for magazines and specialty motorcycle publications since 1986. His extensive experience in car rallies includes competing in the Dakar Rally and the Score Baja 1000. He’s also taken the Africa Twin DCT adventure touring down the west coast of California and the length of Mexico’s rugged Baja Peninsula.