by Gus Breiland
Over the past few years I have been increasingly entertained with motorcycle games. I am a big fan of the Grand Tour series through the AMA. With an entire summer to travel to towns and roadside novelties that you may have never known, you can find many reasons to ride that you may not have considered before.
After participating in a few, I needed to find a decent tank bag that could hold my essentials for a quick day/weekend ride, slap the bag on and go. I have a metal tank and usually don’t run with the tank bag so I decided that a magnetic bag would work for me. I came across the Bike Master Magnetic Tank Bag at a local dealer that looked large enough to hold my stuff, yet easy enough to pull off and throw on the shelf while not in use. The bag is 10 x 14 inches and can expand up to 11 inches tall from 8 inches standard. Starting with its’ base, there are 8 strong magnets that do a great job of holding the tank bag down even when fully loaded. There is a strap that goes around the headstock as a little added protection; I use the strap to swing the bag to the side when refueling. It works great. The base is also removable and has a large, clear map pocket you can use if you just need a place to put the address of the cute girl you just met at the coffee shop! The bag can also be tied down to aluminum or plastic tanks with 4 loops sewn into the base for straps.
The bag converts to a backpack with 2 shoulder straps for when you have a need for wandering around with all of you crap strapped to your back. If you choose to pull the whole unit off (very simple) the magnetic wing folds up underneath and the comfortable handle allows you to haul it around without looking like a grade schooler waiting for the bus.
On top of the bag is a clear map pouch and a compartment that is designed for a sunglasses case. I find it is a great spot to hold your change for any upcoming tollbooths. With the bag installed, there is a compartment by your gut for any other miscellaneous items such as film cases, ear plugs, smokes…
Inside the bag, my Grand Tour kit is usually the same. First Aid kit, camera, snacks, film, a small flashlight, bungies, my event flag and my aluminum clipboard. There are even a couple of loops on the inside of the bag for your pens. Right there and handy, all ready to sign any “performance awards” you may acquire while touring the countryside.
My only complaint with this bag is that even though the rain cover is effective, it was built too loose and looks like you stole a shower cap from your bee-hived neighbor to cover up in rain. In light drizzle the cover is not necessary, but if your are riding through a good down poor, put that balloon on or cover everything inside with plastic. This was an impulse buy at the time and so far I am very happy with its’ construction and durability. It is a simple bag with no frills, no gaudy colors and comparatively cheap to some of the other similar sized bags. Since the dealer that I purchased the bag from is now defunct, I was able to find it online for a cheaper price that I forked out. You can find your Bike Master at www.powersportsaccessories.com for $89.95 plus shipping and handling.