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Handmade Tanks - Singh Precisions

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by SvenSven, Aug 22, 2014.

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  1. SvenSven


    Jun 8, 2013
    Before we all jump on the bandwagon about nightmares from overseas manufacturers especialy Indian and Pakistan...
    This one Vendor likes to differentiate themselves from the rest and at least 1 member here has said decent things about them.

    He can't be more clear how much better he is from most others... Its all here: http://singh-precisions.com/about-us/

    In addition, he is very available for discussion on phone or email etc and has a shop in Las Vegas, Nevada USA as well.

    So, there must be several who have bought from them....

    -->FJ (SvenSven), Washington, DC AREA
    NCNO Member

    PS Below is the cut & paste content from his website. I make ZERO claims as to accuracy. This is just for discussion and hoping to have a few people share their experience and validate or refute these pretty solid sounding claims. We are all skeptics for web-based claims for good reason :) :-(


    I am G. Singh and I founded SINGH PRECISIONS in 2001, making custom hand made parts for a variety of motorcycles ever since. Based in New Delhi — India, Minsk — Belarus and Las Vegas — USA, Each one of our products is custom handmade from scratch and attention to detail is what we pride ourselves for.
    Ever since day one, our objective was to manufacture complete ready to ship custom products from scratch under one roof, Hence, we have all Designing, fabrication, finishing, testing and packaging in our very own facility. Starting from interacting with the client, discussing drawings & pics to fabricating the product, to finishing it and shipping it, all happens under one roof. This gives us an edge in quality, lead time & customer satisfaction.
    That’s one of the reasons why all our products are GAURANTEED FOR LIFE !!!

    In our sheet metal fabrication facility we undertake all sorts of motorcycle body work projects.
    From making Brass fenders for a custom 1941 Indian Chief to making custom full circuit track oriented tanks for the 2014 EFI Sportster, no project is too big or too small for us.
    We use a mix of old world and new cutting edge technology. For instance, we have our 5 axis milling machine & CAD on Mac running right next to our 58 year old English wheel. This unique concoction gives us an edge in sheet metal pattern designing and fabrication.
    Metal planishing on most of our projects is always done by hand, using the age old dolly & slapper. Thou we use the English wheel at times, but given the nature of our projects, hand planishing gives us more versatility than the wheel.
    In our welding room, we have Two custom made TIG welding machines. That’s right, custom made TIG welding machines specially made for us as per our specs. We use TIG on all our Alloy, Stainless steel, Brass and copper projects. Other than the TIG we also use the Oxy torch (various sizes) for our mild steel projects and for Brazing our custom made Racing Frames.
    Most of our sheet metal projects are done in Aluminum alloy and Stainless steel. We have been working with mild steel, Brass and copper also.
    (We are working on a Steam punk copper tank and seat for a 1941 Matchless currently, stay tuned for pics )

    Our sand casting foundry is alongside the sheet metal facility. We undertake casting projects in Aluminum, Mild steel, Copper and Gun metal. Most of our tank filler caps are sand casted here.
    We have been working extensively towards making lighter alloy cylinders for Classic track bikes. The Goldstar alloy cylinder (nicasil coated) and Goldstar rocker cover you see in our Product line are some of the products we designed and sand casted in our very own facility. The guidance of Doug Towsley (Oregon) has been instrumental in developing these Goldtstar parts and several of our other projects.

    Singh Saddleries is the sister concern of Singh Precisions and has been custom hand making leather products for a variety of motorcycles since 1998. Across the hall from all the metal clang-dung-thunk noise, we have our own leather tannery, where all our leather is treated and dyed as per our requirements. We have been working extensively with full grain cow & goat leather & Suede.
    All leather Designing, Pattern cutting, stitching, braiding, stamping, and finishing is done in house in our very own leather facility.
    For more info on Singh Saddleries, please visit


    For cafe seat upholstery, we offer suede or leather in any color, any design, with colored stitching
    Foam padding is available in various density and thickness, from half inch to 5 inches.
    Tank leather belts and Leather helmets are also available in any color and design.


    How can I purchase your products?

    If you wish to order any of our products, please send us a Message with the details of the product(s) you wish to purchase by filling the form on the ‘Contact Us’ page
    We will then contact you and finalize your order. Once the order details are set, Payment will be via PayPal or other means as discussed.
    If the product(s) is in stock, it will be shipped within 3 days of purchase and the tracking no. will be provided to the buyer.
    If the product(s) ordered is to be custom made, Pics will be sent to the buyer once the product(s) is ready for shipping and waiting final approval from the buyer.


    We accept Paypal or Bank transfer


    We combine shipping and ship worldwide via DHL, FedEx and Aramex
    We have Flat rates for shipping as listed below –

    Shipping any one of our tanks, anywhere in the world will be for 65 $
    One Seat – 45 $
    Side covers / fender / Oil tank – 35 $ (each)
    Tank, Seat and Side covers combined – 95 $

    For more quotes, kindly send us a message

    Will your product(s) fit my bike ?

    We custom make all our Tanks & products over special Jigs and bucks. Furthermore all products are checked several times over the frames to ensure a perfect fit. Our products would fit their respective frames flawlessly as advertised.

    Are all your products in stock and ready to ship ?

    Most of our products are in stock, ready for shipping.
    Some of the products may be custom made as per your order. Therefore, please contact us with your requirement(s) for a current update.

    What is your Return Policy ?

    We have a No questions asked return policy with a FULL 100 % refund.
    All our items are handmade and Guaranteed FOR LIFE. All products are tested several times prior to shipping. There are next to none chances of any defects. We try to provide Pics & Descriptions as accurately as possible.
    But however, in case if you wish to return any Item purchased, Simply ship it back to our LAS VEGAS, USA address within 14 Days of purchase, and get a FULL 100 % refund, including your original shipping Fee. We have NO re stoking fee. No questions asked return policy.

    Do you make Custom one off products on special orders?

    We undertake orders for all sorts of custom tanks, seats, fenders, side covers, oil tanks, etc. Any make, model or year.
    Let us know your requirements and we will be glad to custom make parts for your needs.
    All our parts are hand made from scratch. We can custom make any product in Steel, Alloy, Copper or Brass. Please contact us with the design, drawing, Pics or idea of the custom part(s) you want along with your motorcycle info and we shall sure discuss further.
    Lead times – In order to provide an accurate lead time we need info on the product needed, pics/drawings and dimensions. But for reference, a Lyta tank for the featherbed frame takes 18-21 days to custom make. Larger Manx tank takes about 25 days.

    What Material do you use for your Tanks ?

    We usually use 2 mm alloy sheets for our tanks. Patterns are TIG welded and hand formed/planished over a buck & jig. The filler neck and fuel taps on all our tanks are internally TIG welded.
    All tanks are pressure tested several time thru the fabrication with over 5-6 psi of pressure.

    Do you coat the tank internally & externally ?

    External — A polished tank is a real eye candy, but like any other polished (mirror finished) metal, it gradually loses its shine and luster over time. Coating the tank with a clear coat is an age old technique which ensures a long life for the polished surface of the tank. The clear coat does not allow any water or dust particle to come in contact with the alloy. It also prevents scratches which inevitably occur over a period of time. We provide clear coating for all our products. Contact us for more info.

    Internal – Alloy is not as strong as steel in terms of resistance towards vibration and its imperative to mount alloy fuel tanks over appropriate rubber mounts. Infernally Coating the tank with a tank sealer is very beneficial as the sealer prevents any leaks or spills in case of any accident or rough usage over the years which may result in microscopic hairline cracks in the alloy.
    We provide internal sealing and use the tried & tested POR15 sealer for our tanks. It’s a remarkable product used all over the world.

    Why do Tanks manufactured in India are of inferior quality and have issues ?

    I follow most of the major Motorcycle forums and am very well aware of the issues with the tanks coming from India.
    Let me tell you that as of today, there are less than a dozen Professional tank makers left in India. But even then, each one has their own process of hand making a tank & personal access to resources & Technology. Some of them are not as well equipped and not as committed to tank fabrication specifically as the others, so variation & quality issues are bound to occur.
    Apart from that, the larger issue is the fact that the tanks available online are mostly by RE-sellers who are just sourcing the tanks from the manufacturers and re selling them on EBay at a higher price. Hence, you will see that almost all of them use the same pics, copy pasted minimal description, never answer technical questions, etc. Reason being they are not well versed about the tanks, its fabrication process, model differences, etc..They sell it just like another one of their ‘ready made’ off the shelf goods.
    Furthermore, to cover high eBay fees & profits, they push the manufacturer to cut the costs, and needless to say, the only way the manufacturer can do it is by using inferior raw material and cutting on the time spent on each tank.
    Returns are a always the bigger issue as once a Buyer like you purchases the tank and is unsatisfied or faces an issue, he contacts the seller and eBay, The Seller and EBay in turn ask for a return (on the buyers Expense), which isn’t possible due to the exorbitantly high shipping costs towards India (e.g. – it costs close to 345 $ to ship (DHL) a tank from Seattle to Delhi, India), Therefore 90% of issues end like that in Dismay with the buyer left totally unsatisfied.
    Furthermore, since the flawed product never reaches back, the actual manufacturer stays totally unaware of the issue(s) and never gets a chance to know the issues & problems first hand from the person/rider who actually used the tank and learn from it.

    Why buy from Singh Precisions ?

    I am one of the very few manufacturers selling their own products.
    We have all fabrication, finishing, testing and packaging in our very own facility. From interacting with the client, discussing drawings/pics to fabricating the product, to finishing it and shipping it, all happens under one roof. This gives us an edge in quality, lead time & customer satisfaction.
    I custom make all my products myself and get them to your doorstep. In case of any issue, the buyer interacts directly with me. Since i know my product inside out, I can answer all queries and discuss the buyer’s requirements before as well as after the purchase.
    I am directly available Online, Facebook, Skype, Whats App & Phone. That makes communication a lot easier.

    We work on custom made, age old Jigs & Bucks along with cutting edge Computer assisted machinery. Furthermore, we always check all our final products on the actual Frame and click & send pics to the buyer prior to shipping. This ensures satisfaction of the buyer even prior to shipping and minimizes chances of any future issues.
    Since there is no Middleman between you and me, the products I offer are top notch at the most competitive prices.

    As for Returns, I have my shop in Las Vegas, NV also. Just in case if you wish to return a product purchased, you can have it shipped to my Vegas Address within 14 days of purchase and get a FULL 100 % refund. No questions asked return policy.
  2. auldblue

    auldblue VIP MEMBER

    Nov 20, 2012
    Had this conversation yesterday about Indian tanks and how there must be a company that makes a good product,maybe these are the boys that are doing it.

    Mc Cheers Sven .
  3. SvenSven


    Jun 8, 2013
    As of now (Sat night 08/23/2014) this item has been opened over 212 times and not a single response regarding expereiences with this tank manufacturer-vendor, or another one that may be as good - by anyone? 'xtruth!!!!

  4. Rohan


    Aug 26, 2010
    Can't say we have heard of him. !
    Didn't read the whole spiel/rant, does he sell on ebay ?

    And I've been watching the Commando tanks saga, since I could do with a spare tank
    (change of clothes, in a different colour).

    I've bought some Enfield stuff from India - since its now the home of Enfields,
    and they do some older stuff.
    Its been reasonably well made, and VERY economical, especially if its based on the current production bikes.
    But those folks don't look to be doing Commando stuff, that seems more the backyarders,
    for want of a better term ??
  5. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    Hard to get a good look at them as most of the pics are either fuzzy or from twenty feet away, but they look a little too wrinkly for my liking. He mentions they only use the English wheel a little, preferring to use hand planishing.
    The English wheel was invented to get rid of all the little dents left from hand planishing, but it is time consuming to do. Then for a really smooth finish, after lots of Ewheeling , one can easily spend a day hand sanding to remove the tiny imperfections left by the ewheel. This is how tank builders like Evan Wilcox make tanks and it is also why tanks of that quality are expensive.

  6. Rohan


    Aug 26, 2010
    You can't really use an english wheel on complicated shapes like petrol tanks though.

    Its more for use on things like mudguards (fenders), where long sections can be pulled through to get the correct curvature/
    curvatures often in several directions.
    Unless you are going to make a tank from long slightly curved sections, all welded together.

    Commando tanks were pressed out, and the top and bottom sections then welded together - somehow.
    Electric fusion or resistance welding on the seams ??
  7. DogT


    Jan 20, 2009
    From what I've read, the new Emgo tanks available at your local Norton dealer are reasonably priced and of fair quality. But I have yet to spring for one.

  8. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    Sure you can.
    I used my Wheel on every square inch of the bodywork below, many times over to get thing fared.
    I'm building an alloy Interstate tank this winter and the Wheel will be used heavily on that as well, couldn't do a decent job without it.


  9. Rohan


    Aug 26, 2010
    You should take some pics, including what rollers you are using on each stage then !

    The pro's roll out part tanks, and weld then together ?
    Once hammered and filed, you can't even pick where they have been welded.

    Someone local here wheeled out the nose alloy of a Spitfire (V12 Merlin type) and welded the bits together.
    Musta saved him 10,000 hours of work, at least ?
  10. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    The top skin for both the tank and the rear cowl were made in 3 pieces wheeled smooth, then welded together and wheeled again, this time to crush the welds and blend the pieces together. I know where the welds are but can't see them.

    On fenders the wheel gets worked the short way only, so it can be used to make a fender 1" long or full length, the length doesn't matter to the wheel.

  11. Rohan


    Aug 26, 2010
    The fender curvature comes from wheeling it along its length. ?
    Thats how you get them to fit 18" or 19" or 21" wheels. ??
    Even I've done that....
  12. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    No, the curvature comes from the mallet and shotbag. An ewheel is a finishing tool, it doesn't create the shape, that is done by pounding or pressing. Pounding with the mallet creates both curvatures at once. Tucks form and they are brought back into plane with a dolly and leather mallet. The ewheel can only add or subtract small amounts of curvature. It's main purpose is to smoothen out all of the imperfections from hand pounding the shape.
    To run an ewheel along the length of a fender without damaging the fender you would need an anvil with a very high crown, otherwise the anvil would touch on its edges and create creases in the metal. The idea is to always match the crown of the anvil to the curve being worked, but to make sure the anvil has slightly more crown than the radius you are creating. This way the anvil only contacts at it's centre. So ,to run an anvil the length of a narrow fender you would need an anvil shaped like a 4" ball. Such an anvil may exist, but it would not be found in a standard set.

    Creating the shape with mallet and shotbag. Tucks can be seen forming at the edges. This is how expert metalshapers Ron Fournier and Ron Covell do it.


    Getting there. You can see the side to side wheeling marks. The large rubber mallet in the photo is not the mallet used for shaping. The shaping mallets have convex faces. Again, as with the Ewheel anvils, the radius of the mallet face should be very close to the finished radius of the workpiece.


    Finished product


    Wide rear fender done. The difficulty in shaping increases exponentionally with the width.
    I could not find any source for ready made wide alloy fenders.


    This is the tightest radius (greatest crown) anvil in my standard set. If run the length of a narrow fender it would only touch at the outside edges, something to be avoided with an ewheel. The anvil must work by exerting pressure at or very near it's centre. The rest of the anvil width is used for support of the workpiece, the actual shape change is happening at the centre of the anvil.
    When first starting in I ran this setup down the length of a dirtbike fender that was nearly finished and put nasty creases in it immediately. It just seemed logical to run the length instead of what seemed a million side to side short passes. Never did get the creases completely removed so the fender was ruined.
    Then I got some expert instruction and things went much better.


  13. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    Back to Singh Prescisions, I would ask to see a close up photo of his finished tanks top and bottom. Look for good quality welds and smooth finishes, assuming you want a tank with a smooth, fared skin.
    . In his blurb he talks about hand planishing as though it is somehow better than finishing with an ewheel. I have found the reverse to be true. It would be much easier and quicker to stop at the hand planished phase, but the product at that point is still a series of little bumps and dents. That is what I think I see in his photos, but can't be sure as the photos are all either from a long way off, very fuzzy, or have a voluptuos lady draped over the metal work.
    As far as welds go, it is fairly simple. Ugly looking welds are always poor in quality. Pretty looking welds are generally of good quality, although there still can occassionally be problems with good looking welds. But if the welds look like shit, avoid the product.
    As far as the dimpled finish goes, if it doesn't bother you then it doesn't matter.

  14. Rohan


    Aug 26, 2010
    Ah, so we come back to the handbeaten aspect.
    I'll get a pic of a guard that was only rolled.

    Nice work, BTW.
    Thanks for the sequential pics too.
    I'll change that to lovely work, infact...
  15. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    Thanks Rohan

    Yes, the mallet, shotbag, dolly and leather slapper were used to do about 90% of the shaping above. The Ewheel was used for the remaining 10%, but it is the part that transforms the piece from a rough looking approximation to a finished product.
  16. SvenSven


    Jun 8, 2013
    Back to Singh Precision's! So it seems no one on this community has anyone heard of them. Ironically, they seem to have a very mature business model, web presence, FAQ's, US Distribution facility and such.. But no one here has heard of them!


    I've been emailing, Singh, the owner, intermittently requesting more data like emails or telephones of actual US customers we can contact, and close-up details of tanks etc. To date I've not got any back other than the items on these websites. When/if I do I'll share of course. The following is what he has sent me.

    I sell my custom alloys worldwide and the US is one of my major markets. There are several buyers each month who buy my products.
    All my products are hand made, top notch and are guaranteed for life. However, I understand that some of the buyers may not be satisfied by their purchase(s) and wish to return and get a refund. To make things efficient in this case, Unlike any other seller today, i have a no questions asked return policy. in case if a buyer wishes to return any item purchased, he can do so within 14 days of purchase and get a 100 % refund, including the original shipping fee.
    Moreover, i have service facilities in Vegas, NV and Portland, OR, so the item purchased can be returned at any of these locations and refund can be availed.
    The following is the return info taken from my website

    What is your Return Policy ?
    We have a No questions asked return policy with a FULL 100 % refund.
    All our items are handmade and Guaranteed FOR LIFE. All products are tested several times prior to shipping. There are next to none chances of any defects. We try to provide Pics & Descriptions as accurately as possible.
    But however, in case if you wish to return any Item purchased, Simply ship it back to our LAS VEGAS, USA address within 14 Days of purchase, and get a FULL 100 % refund, including your original shipping Fee. We have NO re stoking fee. No questions asked return policy.

    For more info on Quality, purchase and Returns, please take a look at my website's 'ABOUT US & FAQ' pages http://www.singh-precisions.com/about-us

    Furthermore, i can send you pics thru the fabrication process of the tank, That way you can be a part of the build from the start. I will also send you pics once your tank is ready for shipping. I will wait for your final approval before shipping.
    By exchanging pics, we minimize the chances of any confusions or issue later on.

    As to answering your question specifically, yes sure i can provide you with at least half a dozen buyers who bought my products and are satisfied with their purchases. Let me know if you would like to call or mail them.
    i will seek their permission first before i share their personal contact info.

    Hope that helps

    Again, if he sends me stuff I'll share, absent of individuals personal information of course...
  17. Adrian1


    Jun 24, 2013
    Interesting...been following him for some time. I presume he is physically in India and the US addresses are just more or less forwarding points?
  18. midnightlamp


    May 28, 2014
    Damn, that's what my finished product looked like last time I tried to form anything out of aluminium. Your work is amazing. Can pilot my mill and lathe well, but put a hammer in my hand and.... :roll: Remind me to come out and pick your brain when I head out west again!

    As for Singh's precision, I think it would be worth the risk. Leak testing + US return address would be enough for me. Understandably aluminum is more prone to cracking, but as long as the welds look find you SHOULD be fine.

    As for the imperfections that may or may not exist (agree with worntorn that the surfaces look a little wavy and are probably not wheeled to perfection), I wouldn't be worried about them too much if painting the tank. Lots of people paint aluminum tanks because fenders + gas tank + oil tank + engine + covers + rims in polished alloy is not quite a look for everyone :shock: If you're looking for a polished tank, just send them a request for a picture of what's going on on the curves. If it's wavy but polished (because you can easily polish it even with little waves and dings), then you know ahead of time what you're getting. Just bear in mind that with an already welded tank is basically WYSIWYG, i.e. if the pictures show waviness and dings, it'll cost you a prohibitive amount to get them out if not painting.

    As for his reputation, this is as far as I've ever seen it go...discussion, hope, but no purchases. People tend to be pretty nationalistic on British forums and will hold it against a company for producing products in India/Pakistan based on SOME bad products out there and don't end up buying them. Surprisingly, this is relaxed a lot with chinese made products. For Japanese stuff, people are nervous about spending that much on a project when the bike originally probably cost less.
  19. JimC


    Oct 12, 2007
    If I were you I'd offer your considerable metalworking talents for sale, if you are not already doing so. You have some rare talent. I have a lot of respect for someone who can do what you do. I can remove a little metal from things, weld and carefully bolt things together, but what you do is way beyond my talents.

  20. worntorn


    Dec 22, 2006
    Thanks for the nice comments, I might just try doing a little custom Metalwork for others in a year or so, is quite enjoyable work. I think I should torture test this bike for at least 10,000 miles or so first to make sure my welds are all good.

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