Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hi Rider tank from India (Hi Rider tank number-bloody-2)

So I was really excited when this showed up at my old man's house today. It's ANOTHER Hi Rider tank. Why another one? Because the last one didn't fit... see it here... it's a long story but basically I've figured out that it wasn't a hi rider tank but rather a tank for a P11 or a Ranger, or even a Matchless possibly. The tunnel was too narrow. I tried to modify it and ground away a bunch of the fibreglass until I had holes in the tunnel and then realised how much more I'd have to remove to make it fit... so plan with that one is that either it's a decoration or I may get it re fibreglassed and sell it? So yeah that was a bit of a fucker!

Anyway Once I saw that one in real life I decided it definitely was what I was wanting for the Commando, so I eventually ordered a (so called) brand new bare steel one off Ebay from this company in India – 'Shivam Auto Trading' (whose ID on Ebay is autospare.parts).

I was getting nervous when over a week went by after I'd paid them and I'd had no communication with them at all. Eventually I contacted Ebay, having received no answers to my emails from the seller, and Ebay managed to get them to respond to me. They sent me a strange email (which sounded automatically generated) and then a couple of days later I received a tracking number.

This is when things got good – I tracked the package and it got here ridiculously fast! They sent it on Saturday and it got here today (Tuesday). And so yeah when I went to dad's today and saw this package sitting there I was pretty stoked.

Check out the packaging, amazing huh. It came in it's own tin case. Very impressive. Unfortunately the good vibes end there though...

When I got the tank out it was different to the photos of the one I thought I'd bought. The one I'd purchased wasn't painted at all. It was oiled bare metal. And it was 'brand new'. This one is totally fucking rusty! And has obviously been painted grey very recently. The outside's not such a worry anyway, that's easily fixed and I knew it needed painting anyway. But the inside!? Fuck.

When I picked the tank up you could hear all sorts of shit rattling about inside, so I spent a bit of time shaking it about and all this metal (weld I think?) eventually came out along with a shit load of rusty coloured dust. Needless to say I'm pretty fucked off. I've been trying to get help through Ebay's resolution center but haven't had much luck yet (because they keep putting me onto Paypal saying it's their problem, and Paypal point me back to Ebay!? Anyone have experience with this sorta bullshit?).

Feeling fucked off and down I went to show Marty Winders, the guy who sorted the T150 tank to fit my Thruxton. Marty convinced me I could clean up the inside enough with a bit of work (stones, ball bearings maybe, and a bunch of shaking), and he also pointed out that, on the good side (if there really is one here), it is made of really heavy weight steel. Hmmm...

So I dunno what to do just yet, whether to send this back and try and get my money back, or whether to try my best to just tidy the insides of this one up.

Anyone else out there had experiences like this with these Indian dealers? I'd read a few good reviews about their metalwork, and I thought this was gonna be all ok, but unfortunately it confirms all the stereotypes I'd already imagined. On that note I better check it actually fucking fits onto the bike!? Argh...


1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am Rohan from Vintage Auto World.

    Sad to see this. The problem with Indian made tanks is that they are pressure tested with water and not drained properly. Even if it's drained properly, nobody can take out the moisture and if the moisture stays inside the tanks for even 1 day, it starts to get rust. Sheet is heavy as the original tanks were machine pressed and these ones has to be made by hands which is difficult to do with thinner gauge sheets. This tank is coated with primer which has to be removed before paint and if it's not done on the tank, outer area will start catching rust. This is not a problem with Indian made tanks, this is the tendency of any sheetmetal. If it's kept for long, it'll start picking rust.

    We suggest all our customers to line the tanks before paintjob. This is cheap insurance.

    All the best. I hope you can get it sorted out.

    Best Regards
    Vintage Auto World