Bags-Connection “GS” Quick-Lock Tankbag

Let me say this up front – I love tank bags. Always have. Yes, they are annoying when they won’t stay in place, when they scratch up the tank, when you have to mess around with straps every time you get gas. And REALLY annoying when they hit the horn when you turn hard left, or press the starter button when turning right. But I love them anyway – such a convenient place for stashing oft-used gear, and if you have a big enough bag, it’s a good place to rest your head and take a snooze on those long straight stretches…

I had such a big tank bag back in the day, my friends suffered from tank-bag envy. They would show me their new bag, and I would say (using my best Crocodile Dundee impression) “That’s not a tank bag – THIS is a tank bag.”

Elephant Boy tank bag on my 800GS

Now THIS is a tank bag. Who needs a fairing when you have one of these?

I’ve moved on since then. Now I realize that bigger is not always better. Case in point, the Bags-Connection GS tank bag. It’s the largest bag in the Bags-Connection Quick-lock lineup, though nowhere near the size of my bags of yesteryear. And that’s just one reason I like it so much.

First the Specs

The GS is a large 17-25 liter tankbag. This bag is designed for bikes with narrow handlebar clearance or a sloping gas tank.

The Bike-Specific Bottom Tankring Adapter is sold separately.

Dimensions:14″L x 11″ W x 12″ Rear H 6.5″ Front H

Features:

  •     Volume 17-25 liters
  •     Easily removed for gas fill ups
  •     Reflective trim
  •     RC-Fuse Zippers (RC-Fuse Video)
  •     3 outer compartments
  •     Integrated mobile phone window
  •     Two-year warranty

Included accessories:
Quick-Lock Non-Electric Topring
-Rain cover
-Shoulder strap

Fitting to the bike

The tankring mounting system is one of the big selling points of this bag. It consists of a bottom ring that mounts to the gas cap trim ring, and a top ring that mounts to the bag itself. To install the bag you first have to mount the bottom ring to the gas cap trim ring. This is very easy, but not as easy as it could be… On the version for the Super Tenere, the mounts suit both Ducati and Yamaha, and there is a selection of bolts in the kit to fit both bikes. The trouble is it’s not clear which bolts are for which bike. It would be better if they were separated into “Yamaha” or “Ducati” packets. However, after a little trial and error finding the right bolts, the bottom tankring was soon mounted.

Next, fit the locking mechanism to the top ring and mount the top ring to the tank bag. This is where you get your chance to position the bag exactly where you want it. Following the included instructions, you will end up with four holes drilled in the bottom of the bag. Bolt the top ring and bag together with the supplied screws. I ran into a glitch here – the screws were 2mm too short, requiring a quick trip to the hardware store. Apparently, some bags were shipped from the manufacturer with the too-short screws. Hopefully, Twisted Throttle has sorted that out now.

The only thing left to do now is fit it to the bike. There’s a bit of a knack to positioning the bag correctly over the bottom ring and applying the right amount of pressure in the right direction, but once you’ve done it a few times, it’s easy.

One of the advantages of this bag is that there is much less likelihood of scratching up the tank, compared to most strap or magnetic attachments. I won’t say it’s impossible, since, unlike some of the smaller bags in the range, this bag does actually sit on the tank at the rear. I have seen no sign of any rubbing in the couple of thousand miles I have on this bag, but it could theoretically happen if something got under it. I will probably put some protection there, just in case.

Size and Features

tankbag expandedThis bag is a bit like the Tardis – small on the outside but huge on the inside. The rear part especially, where it follows the slope of the tank, is so deep, the lip of the bag is almost up to my elbow when I reach to the bottom. The front is shallower, at least when the bag is not expanded (which is how I will use it most of the time). Using the zip around the top, you gain about 3 vertical inches. Still not as big as my old Elephant Boy, but plenty big enough.
You may want to do some customization of the bag’s interior to suit your purposes. For me, it’s a DSLR camera, and maybe a lens, plus a phone charger, spare glasses, earplugs and the usual flotsam with which most riders travel. I found some foam at Amazon which I easily shaped to fit the bag and camera gear.

The exterior pockets are somewhat minimalist, in keeping with the sleek lines of the bag. The side pockets are about the right size for a glasses case, but not much more. They do have a bit of stretch to them so you can fit more than it would seem at first. The rear pocket will carry a multitool (like my lovely SOG S61-N PowerLock) and other odds and ends.

There’s not much in the way of interior pockets. Actually there’s only one – a cell phone pocket that looks like it was designed in another era (it doesn’t work for smartphones – I’m sure it will be good for something, but I haven’t worked out what just yet). There are couple of elastic straps to hold something in place on the left side. And that’s it. Another reason to customize the interior to suit your personal preferences.

The interior is finished in a red fabric, which makes it easy to find stuff. This is such a nice feature after years of fumbling around in the dark and cavernous bowels of the Elephant Boy!

The zipper on the top of the bag unzips about 7/8ths of the circumference of the bag, meaning that it can be opened and flipped all the way back to reveal the contents. I’ve had bags where there is much less zipper so I was always fighting with a lid that wants to flip back over the opening. Not a problem with this bag.

Overall, the bag seems solidly built, with stiff sidewalls that likely won’t collapse over time like so many other bags do. Zippers offer some security in the form of holes for a padlock; they work smoothly and have easy-to-grab pulls.

Accessories

The supplied waterproof cover fits well, but I haven’t had a chance to test exactly how waterproof. I’ll update this review when I do. The cover has a clear panel, useful if you are using the optional map holder on top of the bag.

It also comes with a shoulder strap that’s useful when carrying the bag off the bike (although don’t count on it to be a comfortable all-day thing).

There are a multitude of accessories for this bag, from the aforementioned map holder to map lights to locks and extra pouches and GPS mounts. They are all here.

Conclusion

The innovative mounting system on this bag is what initially sets it apart, but in combination with the other neat touches, solid construction and overall roominess, I have to say this is probably going to be my favorite bag, ever. I’m not sad at all that it is literally half the size of my old Elephant Boy (did I mention that it was ginormous?). Price is at the higher end of the scale for its size, but the extra money is well spent when you consider never again having to struggle with flapping straps or a bag that moves around on the tank. The range of available accessories allow the user to customize the bag to suit.

I really haven’t found too many negatives so far; again, the cell phone pouch is a bit useless (until I have a “Eureka” moment and come up with – let me know in the comments if you come up with a brilliant use for it!). It would be easy to steal if some low-life figured out how to undo the latch, but a cable lock should deter a casual thief (Twisted Throttle has one but any would work).

The sole distributor in the USA is Twisted Throttle – great guys to deal with and true enthusiasts. In Europe go to sw-motech.com, and in Australia try Motorrad Garage.

Now, if only they would do something about the name… “GS”? Hurrumph!

 

 

Bags Connection GS Tankbag
The bag comes with the storage bag, waterproof cover, and shoulder strap. Tank rings are purchased separately to suit your specific motorcycle.
The bag comes with the storage bag, waterproof cover, and shoulder strap. Tank rings are purchased separately to suit your specific motorcycle.
The smaller "City" bag on Wasp's bike
The smaller "City" bag on Wasp's bike
The City bag on Wasp's bike - top expanded. You can see this back does not extend toward the rear of the tank as far as the GS model.
The City bag on Wasp's bike – top expanded. You can see this back does not extend toward the rear of the tank as far as the GS model.
GS bag, normal configuration...
GS bag, normal configuration…
GS bag,  top section expanded.
GS bag, top section expanded.


Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.