Tank bags are great for short day trips, and on longer trips they are the most convenient place to store things you need quick access to during the day. Besides that a tank bag also offers a convenient spot to keep your maps visible and easily accessible.
Over the years we have used many different types and brands on our different bikes. When we got our Terras I still had a Famsa tank bag that I used on my Tenere. I was pretty pleased with it so there was no need to invest in something new.
However, the base plate that comes with the tank bag is pretty specific for the Tenere’s peculiar tank shape and fuel cap positioning. So getting it to fit right on the Terra takes some carefully measured adaptations to the positioning straps. But with a bit of patience I do manage to retain direct access to the fuel cap without causing the bag to interfere with the handle bars.
But the frame tubes on the Terra are thinner than than on the XT660Z frame, so the straps to fix the base plate to the frame are way to long and the velcro is positioned all wrong to get a secure fit. The angle of the straps and the position of the tank bag are perfect though, so out come the scissors and the velcro straps are no more. A couple of tie wraps do the job perfectly.
The bag itself is modified with a large map pocket from a previous SW Motech tank bag. Some sticky-back velcro on the smaller map pocket of the Famsa itself keeps it in place like on the original donor bag.
The bag itself is large enough for my liking. It holds all the gear that I want quick access to in either the main compartment, one of its 2 side pockets or the original map pocket. There’s still room left for some groceries or things that we pick up along the way and if necessary it can be expanded in height by another 10cm with a zipper. The standard kit I carry includes:
Left side pocket:
- Leatherman tool
- tie wraps for emergency repairs
Right side pocket:
- 12V cigarette lighter plug that fits into Optimate plug installed on the bike
- USB adapter for used with 12V plug
- roll of duct tape
- piece of cloth used for cleaning helmet visor
- 12V portable compressor (Airman)
- small medikit
- waterproof bag with USB cables & charger plugs
Original map pocket:
- knife for use with picknick/cooking
- small diary
SW Motech map pocket
- maps, obviously
- Point-and-shoot camera
Depending on the weather I also carry spare gloves and a spare buff in the main compartment.
Overall build quality of the bag is excellent and after-sales service is good. When one of the zippers on Sofie’s bag failed after a few months of use, it was replaced under warranty, no questions asked.