Every luggage manufacturer has gotten into making tank bags and there are a plethora of them in the market. Tank bags are there to get that extra bit of luggage and small pieces of important things that you want to carry with you. The purpose of all is the same apart from the fact that they have “additional” features that come over time and feedback from their customers. Can you go wrong? Not really. We have gone through our fair share of using a few and here’s a breakdown of what’s in the market and which one you should be considering.
Tank bag mounting systems have not changed a lot in the sense that there are three ways you get a tank bag mounted on a motorcycle; magnets, tank rings that are bike specific or a tank harness with straps.
A magnetic tank bag as the name suggests is a magnetic attachment that needs a metal and that is your tank where it fits. These are smaller in size and are perfect for keeping your smartphone, wallet or other small things.
Bike specific tank rings are easy to install and mounted by using the bolts around the tank filler cap. These are the sturdiest of mounts where the tank bag snaps on with ease. As the ring is used to mount the tank bag there is no contact with the petrol tank hence avoiding any scratches. Being bike specific means it can only be used for that bike and you would have to purchase these rings multiple times if you’re changing your bike.
We are a fan of tank bags with straps, there are two types in these. One where the tank bag straps directly on to a part of the motorcycle and then snaps on with clips or tank bag harnesses that strap on to the base that stays on the bike to which the tank bag zips. These are economical and can be used on multiple bikes and different categories of bikes.
One of the most important things to consider with tank bags is the ease in which you can remove and re-mount your tank bag when standing at a petrol pump with a need to access the petrol filler cap. The Lock-it mounting magnet tank ring by Hepco Becker is by far the easiest quick release type of mechanism which we have seen followed by the magnetic tank bags. Tank bags that are mounted with straps are the most time consuming, in our opinion a tank harness with straps is the best option. Giant loop makes one with zips where you can unzip one side of the bag, flip it over-fuel up and flip the bag back in place.
Most tank bags aren’t waterproof but they do come with rain liners. You can also look at waterproof pouches by Nite Ize. Giant Loop has come up with a waterproof inner bag that is attached with velcro inside the tank bag making it easy to store and remove your things easily when the rain gets going.
Tank bags over time move around and have the tendency to ruin your bike’s paint job. Make sure the bag has some coating or a soft anti-scratch material on the bottom If it doesnt the Giant Loop vinyl protective film is what can take the abuse. These films protect paint, bodywork and plastics from scuffing or marks under tank bags. The most amount of care is needed with magnetic tank bags where you have to make sure the magnets haven’t attracted any metal debris or grit before you put it on the tank. If you have a strap-mount bag, make sure it stays tight. If it moves around, it’s more likely to cause scratches.
With all the numerous devices that we carry on road trips they need to be secure in a tank bag and need to be fully charged. Tank bags now have inlet ports for all cables that can be routed to your devices. There are hub kits specifically made for electrical feeds for tank bags where you can get USB ports directly into the tank bag
So which one should i get?
Like we mentioned earlier that you can’t go wrong with tank bags. At the end it’s the need that you should be looking at with the available options. We feel tank bags are all about convenience where they can carry the things that are necessary with a function of them being waterproof.