Motorcycle tank bags come in many shapes, sizes and designs to blend with your motorcycle and to suit your particular needs for…
Here's info to help you choose a motorcycle tank bag that best suits your needs and works well with your motorcycle.
True to its name, a tank bag sits atop your motorcycle's gas tank.
You detach the bag or otherwise move it aside to expose your bike's gas cap when filling-up.
A motorcycle tank bag can be relatively small for stashing a few necessities such as your sunglasses, camera, notepad, pen, mini-flashlight, map, small multi-tool, medicines or toll money.
After starting small, they get larger and larger to the point where an expandable tank bag can rival a saddlebag in size, features and conveniences.
Tank bags are made of durable types of nylon and other synthetic fibers. They may be water resistant but most bags come with a rain cover to keep your gear dry.
Most bags are padded on the bottom to prevent them from scratching your bike's paint.
And many have a clear plastic pocket on top where you can slip in a map or travel directions.
Whether you only need a motorcycle tank bag for touring or you'll always keep it on your bike, you'll want one that…
And the most important question…
Some riders use a small tank bag for day trips and a larger one for extended touring.
Because a tank bag sits close to you and your motorcycle's controls, it's easy to get a bag that's too big or otherwise interferes with your comfort or ability to operate your motorcycle.
When fully loaded some tank bags can get in your way or make your bike unwieldy.
You should attach your bag of choice to your motorcycle before you buy it. If that's not possible, then deal with a shop that will let you return an undamaged bag if it doesn't fit your bike.
IF you need an easy place to stow your gear for long tours, short jaunts or every day you ride…
This strap mounted tank bag attaches to your bike with a series of three or four straps -- two in front and one or two in back. The most convenient systems of this type let you clip the bag on and off while the straps remain in place.
You don't have to reattach the straps every time you remove the bag.
Strap bag advantages
Strap bag disadvantages
Magnetic tank bags uses five or six powerful magnets to hold your motorcycle tank bag onto your bike's steel gas tank. A series of flaps that spread from the bottom of the bag and flop onto your motorcycles gas tank contain the magnets.
This system won't work on aluminum, plastic or fiberglass tanks -- anything non-magnetic.
But you knew that…
Mounting is as simple as positioning the bag and magnet flaps on your bike's gas tank. As a backup -- in case the bag wants to fly off -- you fasten the bag's safety strap around your motorcycle's steering head.
You might be concerned that magnets alone won't hold the bag solidly. Cycle luggage manufacturers who make these bags are -- legitimately -- confident they will.
Two things to be aware of when it comes to magnetic bags...
Magnetic tank bag advantages
Magnetic bag disadvantages
The problem with most tank bags is that they sit directly on your motorcycle's fuel tank and can damage the paint -- even if you use protective padding.
A few motorcycle tank bag companies have developed unique tank bag attachment systems to eliminate this problem.
Cortech uses its Ring-Lock gas cap-mounted system to enable you to easily attach or remove its two Dryver model tank bags.
Givi uses its Tanklock system incorporated into specially-designed tank bags' base to attached them to your motorcycle's gas cap.
With either mounting system, the tank bags "float" a fraction of an inch above your gas tank to all but eliminate the risk of paint damage.
No magnets, straps clips or bungee cords.
And because these motorcycle tank bag mounting systems doesn't rely on magnets, you can use either one if your motorcycle has a non-magnetic fuel tank.
Gas tank locking system advantages
And once you get your new tank bag, load it up and take a ride.
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