Technical Q and A for classic motorcycle maintenance and repair.
Editor’s note: If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an e-mail with “Keith’s Garage” as the subject.
Q: I’m trying to take the gas tank off my 1970 Triumph Bonneville and am having trouble. I want to have the tank and fenders repainted back to original Triumph color specs, as well as rebuild both carburetors. — Jeff Sniadach/Moline, Ill.
A: If it’s the original tank there should only be three nuts/bolts holding it on; one at the rear of the tank under the front of the seat and two up front under the tank. The front nuts may be hidden behind the factory reflectors if those are still on the bike. I don’t have a service manual for that year U.S. model, but looking at the parts book it seems the only access is through the back of the reflector housing with a ring spanner/box wrench. Now I see why you hardly ever find one of these with the reflectors still on it! It may be possible to remove the reflector and access the tank nut from the front. If those three fasteners and the gas lines are removed, the tank should just pull right off, watching to make sure you don’t scratch the paint on the handlebar mounts. Hope this helps. MC