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IMS Fuel Tank for YZ/WR426

Manufacturer: IMS
Available From: ZipTy Racing
Ease of Installation: ****
Functionality: ****
Styling: ****
Pricing: $220

WR426 sporting the IMS 3.2 Gallon YZ fuel tank.

OK, letís not let this get out, but I may not know everything. Now let me digress for a moment. Iíve never put much weight behind what I read in any of the ďbig threeĒ print magazines. You know what Iím talking about. One issue they declare a bike ďBike of the Year.Ē Then in the next they declare that itís pretty good, but not really ride-able because of fifteen or twenty things wrong with it. True that some of the newer bikes have less they can pick apart, but still, give me a break. Also true that these guys make a living riding and get to ride just about everything under the sun and see the best of the best. But really, GIVE ME A BREAK! For those of us mere mortal riders, can anyone really tell us that any of the modern bikes canít handle anything we throw at them?

Left is the IMS tank; Right is the stock tank

This leads me to one of my real pet peeves. Nearly every bike Iíve owned or wanted to own has all had the same fatal, unforgivable flaw. The fuel tank is too steep, too wide, and just too darn big. Hey, I used to ride an XL600 with a five-gallon tank. It never bothered me -- how could a 3.2-gallon tank on a 2001 WR426 be too big? I mean really, these guys say that this one flaw can make the bike barely ride-able. Well, I have to say that despite this warning I was fool enough to buy one. Guess what? Despite its behemoth tank, the bike rocks. Honestly, Iíve never ridden anything like it. If you are wondering, no, the tank didnít bother me a bit. I never really noticed it. That is until I replaced it. Thatís right I called up Zip-Ty Racing and ordered the now-famous IMS 3.2-gallon YZ426 tank.

Now, once again, Iím sure youíre thinking why in the heck would I go and do such a thing? Honestly, itís a compulsion. If youíve read many of my columns youíd know that I just canít leave well enough alone. Sure, I could say I did it for the sake of All-OffRoad, wanting to do a worthwhile product review and all. But to be honest, in a moment of weakness, I just bought into the hype. Well, thatís not completely true either. In fact, I just really wanted a ďnatural/clearĒ tank so I could easily see my fuel level. Plus I was going for the yellow/white color scheme and all. It seemed like a logical choice.

Snagged this photo from the ZipTy website. It shows the size difference well. The red outline shows the stock WR tank/seat. The yellow outline shows the stock YZ tank. The white outline show the IMS tank/seat.

OK, OK, Iíll get to the point. First, as I said before, the stock tank really isnít so bad. However, the new one is sweeet! You see, the WR426 begs to be ridden aggressively. With this tank you can get anywhere on the bike and get there fast and easy with no hang-ups. It truly inspires confidence and agility. As you can see from the photos, it hangs lower on both sides, requiring the use of two petcocks. One is included with the tank; you use the one from the stock tank as the second. The tank is narrower and flatter. The interface between the tank and seat is shallower, making it easer to get your body forward when you need to.

But with all its wonder, there are some drawbacks. First, itís a bit pricey (most tanks are in my opinion), at $220, and only available from Ty Davis himself. Second, it requires the purchase of a YZ seat. This tacks on another $100-$150, depending on which seat you buy. Beyond that, there are a couple of technical issues. First and foremost, it completely blocks the Hot Start switch. The stock location is very inconvenient to start with. With the low hang of this tank you simply canít get at it. This requires purchasing the remote hot start option. This adds another $90 to the mix, but most will agree that this is a ďmust have,Ē regardless of which tank you run. Second, using the choke is a huge pain also. Rarely can I find it while sitting on the bike. Usually I need to get down on my knees, poke around a few minutes, try to stick my head under the tank, and curse a few times before I can open or close my choke.

The bottom line here is this. Do you need it? No way, the bike is fine without it. On the other hand, if you have $400-$500 just burning a hole in your pocket or you like to ride hard and fast, this is the setup for you. Also, if you have a YZ426 and want a little better riding range, this is the way to go. I doubt you will be disappointedÖ

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