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Bags connection / SW Motech tank bags


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After the purchase of my triumoh daytona 600, I figured after a while that I required some form of luggage capacity. The bike has a plastic tank, so the obvious magnetic tank bags were not an option. After a while of searching, I bumped into SW motech / Bags connection. I have never found a product that answered more of my requiements than this one.

Firstly, with a plastic tank, you generally have 4 options.

1) Givi do a tank bag for plastic tanks, that generally uses suction cups. This seems a good design, however, trusting your possesions to be held onto a bike and saved from death by road using the same kind of suction cups you woul find holding up a toy to your car windscreen did not seem an option to me.

2) Bagster systems. Bagster systems basically mean that you have a nice big leather cover covering your entire tank. These are fairly good, as they allow you tank to be protected by a cover. There is a hole in the top as well, so refulling is not an issue. In addition to this, Bagster seems to cover most models of bike, and you can even have it in different colours as to not fiddle around with your bikes colour scheme. The tank bag (sold seperatley by the same company) then simply clips onto the cover.

3) Straps. You can get fairly cheap and useful tank bags that simply require strapping to your tank. A slightly more fiddly option which also means that you may end up scratching your tank, and also it would look fairly bad once you have removed the bag.

The fourth option, is the SW Motech / Bags connection system. The way I see it, there are varying areas of imporance when choosing a tank bag, so the review will be put into sections.

1) How it works

The bags have a soldi base. Attatched to the base is a connector. You are also provided with a connector that fits around the edge of your fuel cap. The bag simply clicks onto the fuel cap ring, and away you go. The bag is removed by pulling a draw string. Put the bag on and off the bike, really does take less than 10 seconds.

2) Weather protection / Durability

The bags generally come with a waterproof cover. These tend to work well, I left my bag on the bike for about a week in the rain, and the inside was still dry. This mainly works becuase the bags are reasonably wel lweather protected without the cover anyway. If you were driving along, and it started raining badly, you could quite happily continue until your next natural stop before pnaicking about any water intrusion.

The bags are verry well built indeed. As mentioned earlier, they have a solid base, and the sides and other material (although not rigid) allow the bag to hold its shape even when it is empty. It is the closest thing to soft hard luggage I have come across, and is basically more or less hard luggage, made of material.

The material itself is basically what you would have on a textile motorcycle jacket. Very sturdy, and will last a long time. Which is just as well really, as we shall see later.

3) Fitting

The solid base of the bag, means that when the bag is fitted to your bike, the bag does not even touch the tank as such. There is a gap underneath the solid base of the bag, and the tank. This removes any need to protect the tank in any way, and you can remain happy knowing that there will be no scratches on the tank.

As previously mentioned, fitting and removing really does take less than 10 seconds. It really is that easy, and you could prbably do it woth you eyes closed.

The bags are generally universal, and are not model specific. The only model specific part of the system, is the bracket that goes on the tank ring of your bike. You are given some longer bolts, and the bracket uses the same moutining as the bolts of the tank. You just take out the bolts on the fuel ring, and replace them with the longer ones. Even then, the rign is not model specific, it is more make specific. For example, triumph and suzuki will use differing mounting bolt locations

The fitting of the bracket does not effect fueling. Becuase the fitment goes around the ring of the fuel filler cap, the cap can still be opened and closed as normal, which means filling up is not interfeared with in any way. The fact that there are no straps, or no visible way of seeing how it is attatched once it is on there, leaves a very neat fitting.

The ring is bolted on, so it is generally not removed with the bag. However, it is quite discrete, and doesnt mess up the look of the bike too badly once the bag itself has been removed.

4) Security

The quick fitting and removal of the system, does not mean that it is not sturdy. It is in place, and that is it. With the secure metal fixings, it is more or less completley unmovable once it is on there. It is more solid than any other type of mounting system I have come across.

There is no movment of the bag, even at speed. You simply forget that it is there.

As for security, the bag is easily removed, so it is best not to leave it alone. Having said that, taking it with you is not a problem due to the ease of removal and fitting. Even if you did leave it there, no one is likley to be able to figure out how to remove the bag from the tank in a hurry, due to the fact that the string you need to pull to remove it can be fairly well hidden.

Of course, this wont prevent anyone from just openig your bag and helping themselves. As far as I can tell, there is no way of locking the bag. If you really wanted, you could use a small padlock however.

As far as security goes, it is no less secure than any other soft luggage option. If you are looking for total security, then you are better off with a lockable top box (if you can get one for your bike)

5) Price

The price, is the only area where this bike falls down. A full system for my bike would have cost £160. I managed to get it on ebay cheaper though.

Having said that, it is a top quality bag, and if the ebay option was not avaiable and I purchased it at that price, I would still not be dissapointed. It is expensive, but if you have a sports bike, for which a rack for a top box is not avaiable, and your not a fan of soft panniers, then this really is the best option. It will last for ages, is secure as you like, and looks very mart indeed when fitted. It looks as if its just floating there at certain angles.

Brilliant piece of kit, and with the added luggage capacity it gave the bike, it has completley changed the bike itself.

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