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Tankbag or Tailbag?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by JuzzyDee, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Sorry if this has been asked before, I promise I searched, but didn't have much luck.

    I'm after some luggage, I'm not especially keen on a rack or lugging a bouncy top box around. Just something to throw on when I need to do some shopping and for a few days away here and there.

    I find the toughest thing I have to transport is cat litter. I like to buy it in rather large 6.5kg bags cause I get it cheap, but since my car went to engine heaven (timing belt + daewoo = sad engine.), I don't have a way to transport it anymore, and buy rather cost innefective tiny little bags that fit in the backpack, and it means multiple trips.

    So ultimately, I'm somewhere undecided between tank and tail bag. I've seen some rather large tankbags, but they appear to completely obscure the instruments when fully expanded, heck one I saw I reckon I'd be flat out just seeing over the top of it. That has me leaning towards a tailbag, but I figure I will ask the folk who know better here.

    A lot of the tailbags I've seen pictures of installed seem to be on a rail that goes around the side of the pillion seat, which I don't have, so I'm wondering how I would go about fitting one if it's even possible?

    Tankbags do seem to be more popular, is it just because you can keep an eye on things, or is it they leave room for a pillion passenger, which I'm not too fussed on anyway? Does one sort of bag effect stability more than another? I'll probably get a small tankbag for commuting purposes, but in my uneducated mind, a tailbag seems to make more sense for doing any sort of heavy lifting.

    Thanks heaps for your help folks :D
  2. Hey JD, based on the considerable weight of what you sometimes need to carry, I would be going for a large tail bag on a rack - e.g. Ventura or RJays. I wouldn't recommend trying to carry it on the tank :) Ventura manufacture racks for specific bikes and their range is pretty comprehensive.

    If you get a tail bag you might want to have the bag facing towards you when it's fully loaded (rather than hanging off the back of the bike) so that the weight of the cargo is towards the middle of the bike.

    It is also possible to get a seat bag that clips onto a 'seat bra' strapped to your seat. However I don't know of any that could cope with 6.5kg of kitty litter. I have one that I use sometimes - it is more compact than a tail bag but also expandable and it can actually hold quite a bit of stuff. I have found that, depending on the height of your bike, the design of your seat, and how you usually swing your leg over the bike, these seat bags can make it a bit tricky to get on and off the bike.

    Tank bags are really good for keeping everything in front of you and in reach while you're on the bike. I would try a few different ones on the bike to find one that gives you the storage and accessibility you need without getting in the way.

    There is one issue with textile bags though - security. I have never felt comfortable leaving my bags on the bike, meaning that whatever bag I have with me, I need to unclip it and take it with me. Not always convenient. Some people just leave their bag on the bike but I park in the CBD and therefore my bike sits unattended for a good 8-9 hours.

    The obvious fourth option is panniers or a top box (e.g. Givi) - not sure what sort of bike you ride but maybe these could be a practical solution, in that you would be adding some lockable storage to your bike.

  3. My previous ride had a tankbag that would be called on to carry 8kgs of dog food from time time. It was not good fun and not really designed to carry that weight, so couldn't really recommend tankbag for you.

    I was able to carry 25kgs of dog food on the back of a vespa which had a decent sized pillion seat, (along with shopping for four I might add in the top box, under the seat, off the (man) bag hook and some lighter stuff off the handlebars) and can say that having weight on the pillion seat is a little easier.

    For 6kgs though you probably won't need a tankbag or tailbag, have a look at one of those stretch small cargo nets.

  4. Hi mate. Oxford luggage make a tank and tail combo bag which I have used. It's magnetic for the tank and when you want to attach it on the rear seat there are occy staps and a Velcro strap for securing it. They are hidden away in a neat pocket when not in use. Prob holds about 15 litres. See link

  5. the closer the weight is to the rider and tank the better it will handle;
    pillion seat is probably the best place for anything bulky and over 5 kilos;
    but if the tail bag is tall and you forget it's there when you get off, you fall down and everyone laughs because you're a girl... if you was a guy they'd all be like "you ok there mate?"... but when girl + motorbike = fall over,.. well it's just funny.
    i'm of the impression you don't want permanent fixtures on your bike, such as carry rack, so best bet might be a combination throw over of soft panniers and tail bag, which would have tie downs to rear pillion grab and pillion pegs perhaps... something like this> http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/922/415/

    but honestly a lockable top box is the best.. no fiddly zips and ties.. just like a boot on a car, throw stuff in and shut it.. leaves enough room for you still to swing your leg over the seat.. you only need a small mounting plate on the rear of the bike permantly fitted and can take the top box of when you don't need a boot for shopping etc.; something like this> http://www.motorradgarage.com.au/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=38_52&products_id=256&osCsid=90c63ee82645fd8243cbd37fc88aa8e9
    when you don't need to carry much a small/medium tank bag is the way to go.





    above links are all quaility stuff, but don't buy just yet Juzzy... i have tons of bike luggage, maybe can give feedback on specific items of interest.
    and congrats on getting a real bike btw
  6. Unless you need a map pocket go the tail bag every time and strap it to the pillion seat for better weight distribution. I have a 35lt MotoDry bag and the only issue is threading my leg between the tank and bag to get on or off. Lucky I can do 300km between stops.
  7. Thanks all. I do like the functionality of a top box, not especially sold on the look though, do they do much to stability/handling? Would definitely be a choice way to get pizza home!

    I was thinking of bags connection quick release for an easy install/remove little tank bag for lunch, water wallet and keys etc. I like that they are raised off the tank to prevent scratching.

    A top box seems to make more sense, but the cargobag linked in this post has come to my attention several times and appears a very very capable multi day touring bag. I guess I could always go a Ventura rack, then I have the option of their rather large soft luggage or a top box, and can load both the rack and the pillion seat for even more capacity for those long long tours.

    Oh and MonkeyMan, apologies if I've given the impression I'm of the fairer sex, I am most certainly a very big very ugly bloke I'm afraid :p
  8. do you have a removeable passanger seat? get a spare seat and mount box on that, so you add it only when you want cargo space
  9. I have both a Ventura tail bag and a seat bag.

    The seat bag I use for work (overalls, lunch, paper, odds and sods). It can take a bit of weight. The tailbag afixes via velcro to a dedicated Ventura sports rack. But it's of limited capacity. It may take a 6 kilo bag of litter. Not sure, though.

    Sorry to hear about the Daewoo. My daughter's Nubira's engine lunched itself in a similar manner at spot on 110,000km, exactly 10k after the interval that the timing belt needs changing.

    Repair costs came to $5k. Thankfully the Holden dealer covered it as the previous service indicated that the belt was changed, whereas, it wasn't.
  10. the sw-motech/ bags connection tank bags are the best on the market, but shop around for price.
    i have this one > http://www.motorradgarage.com.au/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=38_52&products_id=69&osCsid=90c63ee82645fd8243cbd37fc88aa8e9

    it's what i use for work daily, well made tough german product from the farterland,
    fits a couple of cans of drink, sanwiches and play lunch snacks, plus phone, house keys, small roadside first aid kit... you can stuff more in if you have to, like jacket lining for rain etc
    it's perfect for the job, the sides are re-inforced so it holds it shape, two separate compartments large and small, a separate zippered pocket at the front and a small secret pocket somewhere.
    easy to click on and off the bike, has a little handle or use the strap a' la man bag., the zip tabs can take a small padlock
    i also have the mount that you can buy separately to fit to the front of it for a gps or camera, though as a camera mount i found it sucked, too much vibration.
    the only negative i guess, is that the ring fitted permantly to the tank is a bit of an eyesore
  11. Just train you kitties to use the human loo :D I have and I never buy kitty litter.

    Should I assume 6kg is a bit much for a backpack? I think my high school bags were around 5kgs at times which I lugged around everyday, though probably a diff story on a bike...