BAGS! Tank / Tail or Backpack? - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 11-10-2016, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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BAGS! Tank / Tail or Backpack?

So you are out on the Bike for the day (or commuting to work) and realize you want to pickup some items from a store, HOWEVER cant, because you have nowhere to stash it on the bike!

What do you guys use? I initially thought of getting a Backpack, but then they might be a bit restrictive, the extra bulk on your back, while you are cruising around on a Sportbike! Perhaps in extreme cases, hamper your riding 'performance'.

At least with a Tank bag or Tail bag, you are riding with nothing strapped to yourself, however they might offer a little less luggage capacity (compared to a backpack).

Decisions.
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post #2 of 26 Old 11-10-2016, 09:28 AM
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Tank bag. I used to use a back pack, and crashed with a laptop..... broke my shoulder joint and 3 ribs along my spine because of the plane of the laptop stiffening my back.... never again.

"Basic stuff fellas. Use your head for something other than to break your next fall."

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #3 of 26 Old 11-10-2016, 09:38 AM
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.....But fuck... Had I know what RJ experienced...............My laptop has been in my bag for 3 years (didn't have it for my last wreck {thank Jebus I guess})
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post #4 of 26 Old 11-10-2016, 10:25 AM
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Fanny pack!
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post #5 of 26 Old 11-10-2016, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mijustin View Post


.....But fuck... Had I know what RJ experienced...............My laptop has been in my bag for 3 years (didn't have it for my last wreck {thank Jebus I guess})
If it had been a load of dirty laundry, that would be one thing. The big flat plate of the laptop which pretty much spanned between my shoulder joints gave me nothing to move when I bit a muddy ditch at around 40 MPH. My right shoulder dug in, the whole bike slid over my right knee, and I had the wind knocked out of me.

Stood up and it took a while to get my right lung to inflate.... once I had that working I decided to see if I could stand the bike up -- found out my right shoulder was mushy, even with the back pack on.

Managed to get the bike upright, and looked across the road at the house on the inside of the turn. I remembered thinking that I was injured but I could probably ride the 30 minutes to my house before the shock wore off, and that if I walked over there and had them call me an ambulance, my wife would sell my bike.

So I got on and tried to ride it. Found out I didn't have a right foot peg..... but that was just caked in mud, so I kicked all the mud off so I had someplace to put my foot, flopped my hand up on the throttle, and put it in gear and started to the house.

Concrete expansion joints..... 15 min into the trip I rode past a emergency vehicle station, and thought I could make it further, so I kept riding.... eventually made it to the house, and then had to survive the ride back out of the mountains with my wife driving to get to the emergency room. Potholes.

Then, the experience of having the EMTs get me to stand up straight so they could get the x Rays...... I freely admit, that's about the time the shock wore off. Three ribs broke, right along my spine. Class A shoulder separation.

I don't recommend it.
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"Basic stuff fellas. Use your head for something other than to break your next fall."

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #6 of 26 Old 11-10-2016, 12:05 PM
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I'm a fan of the tail bag. I don't carry much more than I need for the ride, things like a clear shield, phone, batteries for the GoPro, microfiber cloth and shield cleaner, some handwipes, TP (hey, you never know ...) water, etc.

I don't like the tank bag idea because it restricts movement. If I'm just running to the store for something like chain cleaner or wax, then a backpack works.
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post #7 of 26 Old 11-10-2016, 02:18 PM
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I'm a fan of the tail bag. I don't carry much more than I need for the ride, things like a clear shield, phone, batteries for the GoPro, microfiber cloth and shield cleaner, some handwipes, TP (hey, you never know ...) water, etc.

I don't like the tank bag idea because it restricts movement. If I'm just running to the store for something like chain cleaner or wax, then a backpack works.
The Tour Master magnetic base tank bag I have been using since 2001 is a two section affair; the lowest, biggest section has stiff walls, 3 outside bags, and built in shoulder straps. The magnetic base can zip onto the bottom of that part, the upper part can either zip on top of the stiff walled section of I can use it with the magnetic base as my 'daily' bag. The upper part is soft sided, has an expansion pleat if I need to deal with something a little bigger.... one smaller exterior bag on it.

Both sections have clear map pockets on the upper surface -- the lower section has enough rings stitched in that I can tie it onto the passenger section of my seat to use it as a tail bag if I don't want to have the 'double tall' stack between me and the instrument cluster.

The bag has lasted me through 3 motorcycles, and more than 100K miles of use. Snow sleet, rain, hot, really fookin' hot.... simple to use, easy to take on and off the bike adequate storage for anything up through a weekend tour..... some of the best money I have spent on a motorcycle accessory. Every section of the thing has sturdy built in handles to carry them with.

I have crashed two bikes with that tank bag in use. Both times the bag came off cleanly and kept everything inside intact. I have used them to transport all manner of things. My record is 14 dozen eggs, plus my lunch, phone and usual carry items.
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"Basic stuff fellas. Use your head for something other than to break your next fall."

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #8 of 26 Old 11-11-2016, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RJ2112 View Post
Tank bag. I used to use a back pack, and crashed with a laptop..... broke my shoulder joint and 3 ribs along my spine because of the plane of the laptop stiffening my back.... never again.
Sounds horrendous! Plus a tank bag might offer a little protection should you get thrown forward in a shunt, protecting you from the business end of the bike (Clocks / Handlebars etc)?

Also perhaps offers more security on the tank, as nobody is going to try and rip that off, infront of you.
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post #9 of 26 Old 11-11-2016, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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Good points, plus I don't want that, me boasting about some nice big Tank bag I've acquired, then the wife uses it to HER advantage, asking me to collect the food shopping for her (2 or 3 times a week)!

Like most specialized accessories, it appears you do have to pay a small fortune for a decent Tank bag, expect to have the price doubled, then tripled again, if it features a clear map pocket, drinks holder, space for the cutlery, enough space to store a kitchen sink!..... ahhhh I give up!

Tank bag is looking favorite. Although like you Elijah, I do like to travel light, with just the essentials. Just stuff I might need (also refreshments) while out for a weekend ride, or on the bike for work.
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post #10 of 26 Old 11-11-2016, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Fanny pack!
I'd prefer the Fanny to be riding the pillion seat.
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post #11 of 26 Old 11-11-2016, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceless View Post
Sounds horrendous! Plus a tank bag might offer a little protection should you get thrown forward in a shunt, protecting you from the business end of the bike (Clocks / Handlebars etc)?

Also perhaps offers more security on the tank, as nobody is going to try and rip that off, infront of you.
At one point in time the MSF taught about the 'rider triangle'.... the term was used to describe the distribution of mass, with respect to the contact patches of the bike.

If the patches are the lower two points of the triangle, then the highest spot should be somewhere between those two points, to keep it stable and balanced. The rider's head is likely to be the highest point 'above' the contact patches, which would lead you to think that's the 'point' of the triangle..... it isn't, really.

The center of mass from the combination of the rider, the bike and whatever else is stuck on the bike will determine where the 'point' actually lies. Anything that sticks further away from the centralized ideal point, has more leverage against the center, than something closer in. This is why motorcycle design has gone to more and more compact, dense designs.... compact means faster rotation.

This can be applied to anything we add to the bike...... if you want to wheelie, put the mass higher and further back. A passenger on a sport bike has a huge effect on handling, due to how far 'up' and 'back' that moves the center of mass.

Luggage on a bike can affect the triangle by the same process.

A back pack is 'high' compared to the center of mass.... best for anything in there to be as light as possible.

A tail bag is 'back'-- just like the passenger, their mass is almost directly over the back wheel.... you can put more weight in a tail bag, because it will always be lower than the center of mass of the rider, so the impact is less -- the lever is 'shorter'.

A tank bag? It's closer to the center of mass than the rider is. Effectively inside the triangle. If anything just a bit 'forward' of the normal center of mass. Most likely to have the least impact on the handling as a result of the change in center of gravity.

An old stiff fat guy like me isn't going to be resting my chin on the tank. The area that is 'filled in' by my daily tank bag (soft sides, maybe 6" in height) doesn't interfere with my normal operation of the bike. Even when I fill the 'daily' bag full, is only grows to around 10" in height, still easily worked around. -- If I fit the two sections together and the bag then gets to be 18-20" tall, that's an issue. I can still reach the controls and operate them without difficulty -- but I can't see the speedo.

I generally just strap the big part of the bag on the back seat, then.
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"Basic stuff fellas. Use your head for something other than to break your next fall."

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #12 of 26 Old 11-11-2016, 07:23 AM
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So in my world of transporting stuff on a motorcycle, a tank bag has the least impact on handling.... the one area I didn't talk about are saddlebags.

If you have to carry any significant weight, the close it is to the engine the better..... this is why fuel cells have been displaced 'behind' and 'lower' than the air box... the closer the fuel is to the center of mass, the less it affects how fast the bike can roll. Liquid is more dense by volume than pretty much anything else on the bike. All of the metallic parts are as thin and small as practical, to reduce their mass/weight. Webs of metal, so to speak.

Saddlebags on most bikes are aligned with the rear contact patch -- really, further 'back' than ideal.... but they are so low on the bike they are nearly in line with the ideal center of mass.

I'm not a huge fan of saddlebags, simply because they typically make the bike wider than I want it to be. If they don't stick out any further than the width of the fairing, I think they can serve a very useful function. Looking good, working well, and being durable enough to warrant the cost -- that's where it falls apart for me on my daily commute.

"Basic stuff fellas. Use your head for something other than to break your next fall."

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #13 of 26 Old 11-11-2016, 11:37 AM
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I'm not racing and flicking between chicanes, so the increased inertia of a tailbag is not a problem for me.

I don't like a backpack, it shifts around, pulls on long rides, and reduces airflow through the jacket (a problem when it's warm).

I actually use a backpack clipped in with cinch straps that run under the rear seat. Works really well, capacity is good, never gets in the way when riding.

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post #14 of 26 Old 11-11-2016, 12:19 PM
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You need to first identify the use/need/ bulk of whatever it is you intend to haul around. Example: if I'm just farting around town, I'll use a (magnetic) tank bag. I'm not hauling home groceries, thus, I don't need humongous space. Sometimes, whilst riding in a city/town I'll use a backpack 'cuz it's quick/easy - again I'm not hauling a lot of substance/weight.

Now if I am going on a 10-day 2K+ mile trip, I actually wear a Camelback (very small & light);I do not use a tank bag. Why? It's fiddly and slows up fuel up times. I want to spend time with my wheels turning and not parked up fussing with that damn tank bag and pumping petrol.

Next pieces gets slightly more specialised. Say, it is 'just' a 7-day trip, I'd probably just go with my pannier bags. This keeps the weight lower. I pay special attention to keeping the weight balance right/left.

But let's say that trip is for two or more weeks? I still don't use a tank bag; I absolutely go with the Camelback backpack. Yes to the saddle bags, but I also add a tail pack. This latter vessel is packed only with relatively light belongings to keep that 'high & away' weight to a minimum.

Note: Pic 1 = naked - sans baggage [gone for 3.5-hrs] (35-mi. from home). Pic. 2 = Tank bag [ gone for 2-days] (150-mi. from home). Pic 3 = tail pack + saddle bags [day 3 of 10-day trip] (400-mi. from home).
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post #15 of 26 Old 01-03-2017, 12:53 PM
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I have a magnetic tank bag that works passably on my '05. Only half of the part that is usually the fuel tank is actually metal on this particular model, but the four aft magnets on the bag still hold it on there OK. I think it's this model:

Cortech Super 2.0 12-Liter Magnetic Tank Bag - RevZilla

For about a year, I didn't have a motorcycle, but I got so attached to that bag that I just kept using it to carry my lunch when I'd drive to work.

I pretty much only use a motorcycle for commuting or pleasure riding, so I don't generally need more carrying capacity than that, but I also have these, which fit almost any bike, including my ZX6R, with a little doing. I've used them for a couple of overnight trips, and for carrying groceries and things. They're not as good as hard cases, obviously, but I have a hard time imagining anything better that would work with a ZX series motorcycle, and they offer the benefit of coming off easily, with no jagged metal brackets left to look stupid or impale you if you crash.

Cortech Super 2.0 Saddlebags - RevZilla

On the ZX6R, much like the FZ6 I had previously, you have to be careful with the rear tie-down straps. I attached the straps together, so they make a loop, which I then tuck under the tail light and cinch down. For road use, I find that the muffler heat shield does not get hot enough to damage the straps.

The forward straps are supposed to be attached to the passenger pegs, but because my bike is a retired racer, it doesn't have passenger pegs. I made some little S-hooks out of coat hanger wire, and attach the straps to the heel guard plate things, which works fine.
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