Seven tank bags just right for your bike
1. The Givi Silver T470 Tank Bag is a nice medium-size bag full of tricks. Clip on the included strap and it can be worn like a backpack. Flip it over to discover that it has an attached rain cover that slips out from a pocket on the bottom. It comes with magnets and four belts, giving you the option for mounting it either way. The front edge of the bag has a small zipper pocket that contains an extractable GPS holder. The zippers are waterproof, there’s a large map window on the top, and two more quick-access pockets — one on either side — are perfect for your wallet and keys. Slick, well made and still affordable. Price: $70.99 (Motorcycle Superstore). Check out the Image Gallery for a photo of each pair of boots.
2. The Firstgear Silverstone Tank Bag is a handy, smaller-sized tank bag. It features two outside pockets, a clear top pocket for a map or GPS system, and a comfortable soft-grip handle and detachable shoulder strap for carrying. The reflective piping helps keep you visible at night and the five heavy-duty magnets built into the rubbery non-slip bottom (two at the front, one at the back and two in the fold-out “wings”) keep it securely in place. The main compartment is also expandable via a zipper that runs around the base of the bag. And for motorcycles with plastic or fiberglass tanks — or if you happen to prefer strap mounted bags as opposed to magnetic bags — the optional quick-strap mounting base lets you easily attach and release the bag, leaving the base on your motorcycle. It also comes with a clear rain cover. Price: $80.96 (bag), $8.96 (quick-strap mounting system). To purchase: Competition Accessories
3. The Manta Tank Bag from Joe Rocket is small, but it’s perfect for the necessities we carry every day. Unlike most of the other bags here, it doesn’t feature a map window on top. Instead, you get two external zippered pockets, one with a small window for your phone and another without a window that’s great for your wallet, keys and more. It comes with a rain cover and a magnetic mounting system, along with a removable shoulder strap. It has reflective piping, and a belt buckle guard helps keep buckles and zippers from scratching your tank when the bag is on your bike. It’s available in a variety of colors, including red, blue, black, silver, pink and camo. If you need more space, check out the larger Manta XL. Price: $54.99.
4. Not too big and not too little, the Big City Tank Bag from Rapid Transit is a larger bag that’s still a nice size for commuting. Keep it zipped down and it’s a commuter bag. Expand it to its full 11.9-liter capacity and it holds a fair amount when touring. Features include a large map window on top, and 1000D nylon construction means it’s water-resistant. There’s a zipper on top for access to the map pocket, and zippered pockets are found in both of the fold-out attaching panels, which also hold the built-in magnets for attaching the bag to your bike. It also has a nice molded hand grip for carrying, plus a shoulder strap. The bag is also available in a strap-mount version. If you like to tour with a larger map, this is the bag for you. Price: $69.99. To purchase: Motorcycle Superstore
5. At 19 liters the Ventura Thruxton is the biggest bag here. And while most of the smaller bags here are expandable via a zipper running along the bottom edge, the Thruxton is just big from the get go. While some people might find it to be a bit too big for everyday use, it’s perfect for what it’s supposed to be: a nice touring bag. The top features a large map window, and there are two easy-access pockets, one on each side, for the things you’ll need to get to most often. The front features a padded handle for carrying it when you’re off the bike, and the securing wings hold a total of four small-but-effective magnets for mounting the bag to a metal tank. Simple, big and useful. Price: $149.
6. The Marsee 10L Teardrop Tank Bag doesn’t look like any other bag here, and it’s not. For one thing it’s almost square, with a semi-hard shell body design. And instead of having a soft plastic window, this “bag” features a hard, 2mm-thick polycarbonate lid to provide an ultra-clear view of your map or electronic devices stored in the top tray. The tray has two egress ports on the bottom and two exit ports at the front. Two different power accessory kits can be added to the bag. Kit A ($70) adds a Powerlet plug for plugging into your bike’s factory outlet or an SAE plug, if you’ve already added one. It gives you a Powerlet socket inside your bag, perfect for charging your phone or running a GPS. Kit B ($70) provides a 48-inch long fused battery lead, which then runs to a supply socket in the bag. The bag can be ordered with either a strap-mount or magnetic base ($20 extra). Other options include a rain cover ($15) and a Techmount T-Bar mounting system ($59.95) for mounting other devices on your bag. Techy, functional and fun. Price: starting at $120.
7. Tank bags come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and while many have carrying straps for when you’re off the bike, sometimes it’s a pain to lug around your helmet, jacket, tank bag and other gear. The solution? Instead of using a tank bag, get a backpack built specifically for using on a motorcycle. Sure, you can use any old backpack you have, whether it’s an old military rucksack or the one that carried your books around the college campus. But the advantages of using a pack designed to be used on a bike are many. Our favorite feature of the Joe Rocket Blaster Backpack is its helmet storage compartment. You can even strap a large full-face helmet into the Blaster Backpack, so if you pack carefully, it will hold the cargo you need to take along on your ride and carry your jacket and helmet once you arrive at your destination. A backpack is also a great option if you often travel or commute with a laptop computer, as many tank bags aren’t quite large enough to hold a full-size laptop. The Blaster Backpack features compression straps to fit the pack snugly over your riding jacket to reduce turbulence, along with adjustable shoulder, chest and waist straps for a snug, comfortable fit. The raised EVA back pads promote airflow between the backpack and the rider, and the exterior of the pack is made of wind- and water-resistant 1000 denier nylon. Price: $119.99. MC