Blog: December 10. I don’t like tank bags.


It’s Sunday arvo, and I had to go and shoot a few pics yesterday.

I was shooting the tankbag I put on the Dominator, and that’s a bit interesting for me. I don’t like tankbags. I find them annoying when I’m riding because I feel like they always stop me getting into the riding position I like. Of course it only matters when the rider’s standing up. That’s interesting too, because I’ve never been one for standing up much, but lately I’ve had a few comments about how I seem to stand up ‘all the time’, and now I’ve fitted the tank bag, I notice I’m standing up far more than I thought.


The next thing I noticed was that I seem to have a few tankbags drifting around the place now.

I saw a Kawasaki tankbag for work’s KLR on Ebay at a good price, so I grabbed it. It’s kind of a pain because it’s so wide.

The KLR tankbag from Kawasaki.

The KLR tankbag from Kawasaki.

I don’t like it because it’s so wide, but I use it all the time, and when I ordered a Safari tank for that bike, I was annoyed that I couldn’t run a tankbag. Andy at Andy Strapz came to rescue. He’s working on a tankbag for Safari-tank bikes, and he sent me a prototype to give a workout.

I was relieved and couldn’t wait to get the thing on there.

What the hell’s going on? I don’t like bloody tankbags.

I even caught myself looking for one for my road bike.

Here’s the thing: tankbags are the most convenient thing to hit motorcycles since the footpeg.

It’s so damn easy to pull up at a servo and grab your wallet, have a quick check of your phone, grab a cloth and give your visor and wipe and get riding again, all without undoing any straps or taking off your CamelBak or camera bag. And putting a map in that clear pocket on the top makes the map reading SO creamy and easy!

I just can’t help myself. I now want a tankbag.

That doesn’t mean I have to like them. They suck. But I still want the convenience.

I was very lucky because Steve Smith of AdventureMoto grabbed a handful of tankbags and told me to try them all and see which one I liked best. Thanks to Steve’s generosity I was able to find one for my own personal bike that’s very compact but holds the things I want. I’ll send these others back any day now. Soon. Before Christmas, for sure.

There’s no lesson in this, except perhaps I’m maybe an old dog who’s beginning to struggle a bit with new tricks. I think the overwhelming majority of adventure riders and dualsporters are using tankbags and loving them. Miles Davis from BMW has one that holds more crap than would fit in a Sandman panel van. John Hudson of the APC Rally has one that’s probably not as big, but he has so much crud in his I couldn’t believe it either. Have a look at this…

John Hudson's tankbag. Note he's already removed the SPOT, balaclava, glove inners and panadol.

John Hudson’s tankbag. Note he’s already removed the SPOT, balaclava, glove inners and Panadol.

And you should see Craig Hartley’s! I have a pic here somewhere, but I can’t find it right now.

So that’s what’s been filling my week. I’ve been wondering why I’m hung up on tankbags.

Meanwhile, our Cameron corner run is looking good. Craig Murcott dropped by and we talked through a few bits and pieces for the trip, and he ended up borrowing my Giant Loop Mojave bag – which is another brilliant bit of gear – so aside from me not really knowing which bike I’ll be on just yet, we’re good to go.

I’ll take whichever bike has the best tankbag.



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