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Friday, January 24, 2014

Review of the Viking Tank Bag

When the good people at Viking Bags sent me one of their tank bags to review, I jumped at the chance.  Although not for the reasons you might think.  I love my scooter and scooters, in general, offer more storage than the traditional motorcycle.  Under the seat is enough storage space to hold a full face helmet at least, and depending on the model, maybe more.  I've written before how I feel Kymco sort of missed the boat on storage.

I added the Travel Trunk to carry my rain suit (always a requirement in Florida) and a few other things for that reason.  Still I wanted additional storage, a way to hold my GPS enabled phone, wallet and documents for example.  While there is some gear out that that is designed for scooters, there is not that much really designed for a maxi-scooter in mind.  Sure, we can can buy saddlebags and such for our bikes...but a lot of it is hit and miss and often we end up having to modify and adjust just due to the nature of our bikes.  Sometimes a scooter just looks stupid with the saddlebags as well.

Placed on my refrigerator fully packed 
So first things first.  The bag has ten magnets that should hold it firmly to a metal tank but on the plastic hump of the scooter those magnets were useless.  A couple of well placed Velcro strips would come in handy, I had used them before successfully on other projects.

The magnets are strong enough to hold a full bag in place without slipping and come off the metal easily enough, allowing you to take the bag off the tank keeping your valuables with you.  Or, with a simple twist you can remove the pouch and just take that with you.

The pouch measures 6 inches high by 8.5 inches wide and is roughly 2 inches deep.  The map pocket is 8.4 inches high by 8.25 inches wide.  It normally retails for about $69 US dollars but the good people at Viking Bags have them for $19 US. In the interest of fairness they sent me the bag in return for the review (see here for more detail on that).

This tank bag is actually two bags in one.  The first is for the map or gps/phone/etc, it is covered by a piece of plastic with Velcro on the bottom edge to keep everything in place.  The tank bag has a large zippered compartment that easily held a lot of odds and ends.  The picture is a little blurry but I managed to place a small first aid kit, comb, phone charger, flashlight, work ID, phone and a $20 bill into the bag without issue.  I didn't place anything in the clear map department yet.

 It even has two small rubber reinforced holes for ear buds and fits over the plastic bag.   It's held in place by two reinforced plastic screws, which has two eye holes.  I liked that because options are always a good thing (more on that later).  The top bag fits nicely over the map pocket and helps to protect it from the rain and weather.  All the hinge points are reinforced with plastic or leather - a nice little detail which means that the bag will not wear easily over time.  You do have to pick that bag up to see the other map however which might be a little dangerous on the fly.  I tried to arrange the bag every way I could but it only fits together one way.
My phone was easily manipulated in this map pocket as well.  The picture gives you an idea of how a map or directions might appear.  The fuzzy picture ( sorry - cheap ass camera) doesn't due it justice.
The zipper is your standard type zipper.

So for so good.  I was tempted to stick the back under a running faucet to see if it was waterproof, but thought that be a little much.

Overall I thought it was a good option and well worth the price that Viking Bags is charging.  Only one minor issue.  I could not use the bag.  No matter how I tried to manipulate it (including tying a string between the eye holes and hanging it tightly to the handlebars) I just could not make the bag fit on my scooter.  My initial idea of attaching it to the "hump" might work...but I am still thinking about that part of it.    So the search continues but I will say this.  I would buy this product - and considering I'm a cheap SOB - that is high praise indeed.


Unknown said...

It's called a TANK bag for a reason.
Not for scooters but motorcycles, with a TANK

The City Mouse in the Country said...

**Chuckles** It always amuses me when people get all upset about something. I thought I stated that I was asked to review the bag. That I told them I rode a scooter and not a motorcycle. How we scooterists have to adapt things for our bikes.

Funny, you think the author of the blog would have included those things.

David Masse said...

Rob, nice to see you back.

Oh, scooters have tanks, just not where MCs have tanks. And scooterists are afraid to try all types of crazy schemes to carry our junk, including footracks, saddlebags, front racks, you name it.

Rob, let us know if you come up with an inventive unconventional use for the tank bag. I anyone can, my money's on you.