Monday, February 16, 2015

Motorcycle House's Viking Select Magnetic Tank Bag Review

Motorcycle House's Viking Select Magnetic Tank Bag  first glimpse -  I squeed with delight upon opening the box. Most motorcyclists know this sound when you get a new bike farkle.

A few months back I was approached by Motorcycle House and asked if I would like to do a review of a product.  I thought about it for awhile and decided to give it a go.  I was very impressed with email exchanges I had with Motorcycle House rep Kiara, she answered all of my questions and concerns I had about doing a blog review post.  She alleviated my concerns about giving my opinion, be it good or bad, and that I had editorial control and  I would  provide an unbiased opinion based strictly on my findings with the bag.

Motorcycle House (*Link), has a wide variety of gear, apparel, for both men and women and accessories for every motorcycle enthusiast.

They sent me a product of my choosing which was the Viking Select Magnetic Tank Bag (Link to product details).  This review was not done for any monetary payment, I did receive the bag to keep in exchange for my review.  I actually like that they ask for motorcyclist's opinions, as we are the people who put gear and luggage through real world testing.

People who know me, know that I am pretty fussy and particular when it comes to motorcycle gear and bike farkles.  Lets get to the nitty gritty stuff that motorcyclists want to know.  
I was pretty happy when pulling the Tank Bag out of the box.  I gave it a quick once over and was thinking how much this was going to add to my hauling convenience on my daily commute and rides.  My love of a good tank bag comes from it being functional with lots of storage, organizing compartments, and easy access is a must.   
Product features and specs
*Capacity:  14 liters  Dimensions: 9.5"L X 13"W X 6"H  *I found this to be of ample size and it easily carried a good amount of items with room to spare.  
*Outer Shell is 600 denier Carbolex(R) material *manufacturers brand
*Phoslite(R) reflective material side panels ***LOVED THIS! It adds extra visibility at night, it lights up when headlight beams shine on it. I have experience with products with this reflective material and found this to be one of the best features of their products.  
*Removable clear window map pocket (replaceable if required)
*2 External zipper side pockets (The pockets easily accommodate a large eyeglass case)
*Available in magnetic and strap mount versions 
*Integrated carrying handle  
*Rain cover
*Headphone jack port
*Soft foam backing that will not scratch the tank and has good grip
*Safety strap secures the bag to the motorcycle steering yoke
Saturday and Sunday were beautiful here and it gave me the perfect opportunity to test out the bag.  I took it out to Scarlett and it easily & securely attached to the tank. **Be sure your tank is clean before attaching anything or scratching will result.  The magnets are substantial and hold on really well and at higher speed I had no concerns. There is nothing worse than having a piece of luggage detach from your bike when zipping down the highway at high speed.
Magnet in the flap.
Underside of bag is a soft and won't scratch the tank, it has good grip and stayed securely in place. 
Today I made a quick trip to the grocery store and I had quite a bit of stuff in the bag and still had room to spare.  Storage capacity galore!!!!
As you can see there is ample storage and 3 good organizational pockets in the top flap.  There is an attachment to hook your keys securely in place and pen pockets(the nerd in me loves this). 
The bag has two outer zippered storage pockets which are perfect for carrying eyeglass cases. I used one of them for this purpose, but left the other empty and found it perfect for those instances where you need to remove your glasses in a hurry and quickly stash them.
Zippered map pocket attaches with 2 snaps at the top and is secured with velcro at the bottom. (Here it's attached with only one snap just for picture purposes) 
Side view of the large zippered pocket and map pocket.  
Above the carrying handle is a zippered pouch where the rain cover is stored. ( Notice the heavy duty attachment snaps for the removable map pocket)
The rain cover is compact and fits easily in the storage compartment. 
The rain cover slipped easily over the tank bag and has a waterproof lining and is secured by an elastic drawstring cord & fastener, I liked the ease of use of this cover. A previous bag I had relied on a bulky elasticized plastic cover and it reminded me of a shower cap, it was always hard to get on the bag and was a pain to store due to it's bulk. There is nothing worse than being caught in the rain & no rain cover for your tank bag because it's sitting at home. This is not the case with this bag and the rain cover is efficient and easy to use.

Motorcycle House has their own tank bag line made by VIKING BAGS (*link)   including the bag style in this review, as well as other great tank bag styles to choose from & luggage for your two wheeled love.
Visibility factor is epic, this is the reflective panel on the side of the bag, my camera flash triggered it and it's bright! 
This picture was taken in a dark room and the picture is not enhanced in any way.  When not activated the side panel looks charcoal grey.
Things I liked and LOVED about the Motorcycle House Viking Select Magnetic Tank Bag:

I really liked the bag and am happy with the storage capacity it gives without having a big hulking profile on the bike.  It gave me ample room to carry multiple objects with room to spare. I really liked the little organizational pockets in the flap so the little things don't end up jumbled in with the contents of the bag.

I love the 2 outer zippered pockets and ended up throwing my sunglasses in one of them when the light conditions changed. I liked how quick and easy it was to unzip the pocket with gloved hands and slid the glasses in.

The finish quality around the edge is excellent and there are no exposed edges.  The velcro closures are secure and not skimpy, so you know it is securely closed.  I was very impressed with the little details such as the zippers and how easy they were to manipulate with gloves on.

The map pocket is large, so it will accommodate a good sized map.  I was a little concerned about the snaps on the map pocket, but once I pressed them in hard the map pocket wasn't going anywhere.

I absolutely love the reflective side panels, it adds to the visibility factor to the side profile of the bike. This feature gives it 5 stars alone in my book.

The carrying handle is sturdy and easy to carry, I hate nothing more than a cheesy skimpy handle that digs into your hand.  Your gloved hand fits nicely into the handle.  

The rain cover design and storage was well thought out and is compact, this is great because the cover is always with the bag in the storage pocket. *I have not tested the waterproof function as of yet, as I had gloriously sunny days, but I am sure that living on the We(s)t Coast I will have plenty of opportunities to try it out.

Things I didn't like: I'm not too fussy about the headphone entry port, I never use it, to me it's a potential entry point for dust, dirt, and water.  The map pocket becomes unusable once you put the rain cover on. These two things are very minor and the bag functioned well and met my expectations in every other aspect I was looking for in a tank bag.

All in all there wasn't much I didn't like about this bag, it worked well for my needs and fit my bike well.  I am actually looking forward to it being a staple in my motorcycle luggage and I know that I will have many uses for it in my daily travels as well as extended riding adventures. (My hubs has been eyeing it up too and thinks it might look nicer on his bike)

The cost of the bag is approximately $69.59 USD which is very reasonable (from Motorcycle House website) 

THE BIG QUESTION - WOULD I RECOMMEND THE BAG TO OTHER MOTORCYCLISTS?  ANSWER: A RESOUNDING YES!  
 
Check out VIKING BAGS to browse their other great bags and luggage, they offer everything from tank  to tail to saddlebags

While you are browsing through Motorcycle House's website  take look at the other great motorcycle products jackets (Link)  and vests, from leather to textile there's lots of variety for every motorcycle enthusiast!   Thank you Motorcycle House for sending me this great bag!

I will post a short video review in the next few days. 











6 comments:

Shybiker said...

I love magnetic tank bags: they are so handy, easy to put on and take off, and practical. I've used this brand, too. Enjoy it!

Richard M said...

Nice, thorough review. I use the headphone port to run power into the bag to keep my phone charged on road trips.

Conchscooter said...

I like Tourmaster clothing and you gave me stuff to think about here because I don't like tank bags. Perhaps my prejudice arises from the crap quality if bags made decades ago. They flopped and were a pain to use. What you show here is giving me pause. Well done.

Deb said...

Dar-
Really excellent review! I have always liked Tour Master products.

This will give you all the storage you need for a quick run to the store or a day tour when you need to easily access your snacks!

Enjoy and safe rides!

Dar said...

Thanks for your feedback on my review!

Dominick said...

What a great post Dar. I have been a motorcycle enthusiast for the past twenty years now and I feel your emotions when it comes to finding the right storage bag for your bike. I like the look and the large storage space of your tank bag. I definitely am going to look into getting one for me as well.

Dominick @ Viva Power Sports