Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gear Review: Moto Tank bag

I have been tooling around on the 250 for about three months now and some things are beginning to flow, such as carrying gear atop the gas tank. I currently use First Gear’s Silverstone Tank bag II, I got this bag based on another 250 rider recommendation and it turn out to be right on. I have now used this bag for over 2500 miles and I would definitely recommend it, based on the following: First, it is an ideal size for the 250, second: it’s versatile and practical and third: it looks decent on the bike.

The 250 holds what sounds to be a measly 3.3 gallons of fuel, thus the tank is rather small in comparison to other bikes. However, that becomes irrelevant once one discovers that the bike provides freakishly efficient fuel consumption. The bag measures approximately 13Lx8Wx6H and its expandable to about 7 inches, it attaches to the tank via four magnets, two large up front and two small out back. This is an excellent combination and they hold the bag in place at both high and low speeds. I have loaded this bag almost to capacity (gloves, food, maps, water, phone, adapters, coins, iPod, sun glasses) even carried a half gallon of milk and the magnets did not budge!

This bag has multiple practical features such as the clear top pocket for maps, three outside pockets, three different carrying styles, a detachable clear map case and a rain cover with a clear top that allows one to view the map inside the bag’s pocket. The bag includes a carrying handle obviously, but there are also backpack style straps that free up your hands to carry a helmet. etc. There is also a shoulder strap if you want to carry it like a man-purse (I prefer the backpack feature). And if for some reason you don’t want to bring the bag you can detach the base and bring it as map storage only.

The bag is firm and holds its shape when empty, is made of durable materials but is not waterproof. The rain cover does a decent job at keeping your items dry. There are only a couple of drawbacks when choosing this bag, first the price is a bit high and it does not include a water reservoir, (this may be a matter of personal preference). I’ve since added a Camelbak 3 liter reservoir and makes for a good combination on long trips and hot summer days. I usually prefer to avoid carrying items on my back and this Bag serves as a good alternative.

How do I know is the right size or at least sufficiently large? Well, if it does not fit in it maybe I don’t need to bring it along; it’s a bike after all not a wagon. I’ve included a few pictures to highlight some of its features.

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