Hello and welcome to Alex's Blog. This week we are doing something a little different - a long term review from someone who genuinely gets a lot of use out of their Tank Bag.
Ben from Magellan Motorcycle Tours rides thousands of miles a year, so who better to put a tank bag through it's paces? Lets hand over to Ben:
I've often envied my wife when we're out and about and slung across her shoulder is a seemingly bottomless repository of everything a modern woman needs! Her handbags always seem to be small enough to find anything you need quickly but at the same time large enough to hold everything you could ever conceivably want to carry with you!
I ride thousands of miles in Europe for my job with Magellan Motorcycle Tours and having certain things close to hand when you need them is a massive help; nobody wants to hold up a queue of angry French car drivers at a motorway toll booth or have to climb off their bike at border control and frantically pat themselves down, looking for their passport in one of the 37 awkward to reach pockets on their bike jacket!
So, inspired by my wife's boy-scout level of preparedness but lacking the necessary self-confidence to rock a stylish Dolce & Gabbana while out on the GS, I decided to invest in a small tank bag.
There are plenty of options for carrying essentials on the bike, from bum bags to thigh holsters, cargo pockets and bar bags. I finally decided on the Givi XS319 tank bag because I liked the ability to quickly detach it from the bike and it was the smallest I could find, which removes the temptation to fill it with anything other than the most important stuff.
After living with it for a couple of years now, I have to say I've been very impressed;
The bag attaches to the bike by clipping onto a plastic ring mounted to the top of the fuel tank. In the case of the GS, the ring actually replaces the filler cap mount so although it was easy to fit I was a little worried about dropping a screw or an allen key into the tank! (Stuffing an old sock in the filler neck first is probably a good idea.) Once fitted, you can forget all about it, it's barely noticeable and doesn't spoil the lines of the bike. The bag clips on and off really quickly and easily even in thick winter gloves & there're no worries about it scratching your tank or moving around and coming loose.
In use, I've found it to be the perfect size for touring or ride-outs. At 3 litres it comfortably fits everything you need for the day, such as your wallet, phone, a small water bottle, travel organiser for passport and bike documents and even a small camera tripod or a selfie stick for grabbing those shots you have to be quick not to miss! Plus, there's still room to drop your sat nav in when you get off the bike for a walk or to slip your motorway toll ticket, hotel room key, garage door fob, sunglasses, sun cream, disc lock or earplugs (insert endless list of useful items here!) in when you're in a rush. And you only ever have to look in one place for them later!
It's always in your line of sight too, so there's a huge sense of security in knowing that all of your essential items (and the stuff it would be disastrous to lose) are close to hand. Plus, it's so small and easy to carry and so unobtrusive on a restaurant table or hung over your shoulder with the included strap that there's no temptation to leave it mounted when you grab lunch out of sight of the bike or nip for a wee behind a convenient bush! Popping it off to fill up at a fuel stop takes seconds and as it's probably got your wallet in there's no chance of leaving it behind on the pumps either!
Other than the fantastic usefulness, general impressions are also excellent. The quality is top notch, the zips are sturdy and easy to use with gloves, and the clamshell design means that unzipping it fully gives easy access to the whole contents. The lock mechanism is secure and impossible to catch accidentally. The bag has never once come off in the entire time I've had it, except when I've wanted it to.
My bag has stood up to 2 years of hard use in all weathers and is only just starting to show signs of wear (a little frayed stitching on the zip). It's fairly shower proof & the elasticated hi-vis rain cover makes sure it stays totally dry if you need it to.
I wouldn't be without this brilliant bits and bobs dumping ground on any bike trip I go on now. It's become my equivalent of the dashboard on a builder's transit van! The perfect place to put everything you use regularly plus the items you can't afford to lose sight of, knowing that a quick glance is enough to locate anything inside with ease.
I'll definitely be buying another when this one finally gives up the ghost. But this time I'm hoping for a leopard print version with patent leather trim!!
Thank you for that review Ben! We cannot promise a leaopard print version and the model you had has now been superceded by the Givi EA123 Easy Tanklock Bag 5L - which is in stock now and available at only £49.99 (pictured above)
As well as this fantastic review, Magellan Motorcycle Tours are giving J&S customers a very generous and an EXCLUSIVE offer of £75 discount on ANY of their tours! Just enter the code JS75 for a £75 discount! They organise tours accross Europe and the Americas - why not check them out?
Until next time, stay safe,