Monday, October 8, 2012

"Desert Special" Triumph Sled Oil Tank

Found this customized oil tank a couple weeks ago in a long closed down motorcycle shop that had specialized in Triumph's and BSA's. I searched far and wide in that shop but could not find any more related sled parts or any remnants of the "Desert Special".

In keeping with the "as found" patina philosophy, I only wiped the dust off, that way the tank could be put on a survivor bike and look the part. I'm usually bummed when I find any good old piece of formed sheet metal with a dent on it, but in this case the overall condition couldn't be any better.
The added breather tower in place of the old filler cap shows that this tank is modified for serious business. The relocated oil filler tube is baffled inside and keeps the cap at the top height of the tank. The caps were moved to the outside on sled oil tanks so the seat would not have to be disturbed to add oil.  

The mounts are for mid 1960's to 1970, 650 and 500 frames. I do not have a specific use for this tank right now and even though it would look great on my shop wall, I will entertain interesting trade offers. I'm looking for similar parts for 1960-62 duplex frame Triumph's. Skid plates, oil tanks, 15/16" throttle handlebars, seats, etc. OR....?


The 1970 T100C project I have is going to get this tank. No added breather and not the fancy baffled filler, but the bike is going to be more of a trail bike than sled. I took this to sell at the first MC swapmeet I went to over 20 years ago, but lucky for me it didn't sell for the $20 I priced it at. I wish I still had the other's I sold before I knew I was going to get over the bolt on hardtail scene.

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