On long multi-day rides I use saddle bags to carry my luggage. But for day long or overnight rides I usually make do with a tank bag. The nice folks at ViaTerra sent me an Oxus tank bag to try out. So this morning I stuffed my bare essentials into it, strapped it on my Royal Enfield and went for a short spin.
A detailed list of features and specs can be found here.
I believe a decent amount of thought has gone into the design of this tank bag. Unlike other boxy tank bags which invariably block the indicators and instrument cluster from view, the Oxus is tapered towards the front and gives an unobstructed view of the indicators and the instrument cluster. I have welded a cross bar on my handlebar to which I strap stuff like my GPS, GoPro Camera, Go Pro remote. The tapered shape ensures that the bag will never interfere with any of those things.
The Oxus is not a large tank bag, which I believe is a good thing. It’s capacity is 13 liters which is just nice for a tank bag. I have two other tank bags, one from Cramster and the other from Rynox. Both are pretty large to begin with and then they can be expanded even more. I have stuffed both of them with things that should have been in a saddlebag and ended up with a huge and tall lump of luggage swaying under my nose while I’m riding. It’s not a good feeling.
So how much stuff can you put into 13 litres of volume? Here is my list of bare essentials.
- 46 piece Stanley ratchet kit and a 12 piece Stanley allen key set. More than enough for highway fiddling.
- Puncture repair kit
- Harley-Davidson air pump with torch
- Harley-Davidson medical kit. This has so much stuff in it, I think I could deliver a baby on the highway.
- QuickClot Trauma Pack. These are bandages that quickly clot blood to stop major bleeding until you reach a hospital.
- Automatic battery jump starter with leads. I’m told this little fellow will jump start a SUV, let alone a motorcycle.
- Towing rope
All this fit neatly into the Oxus, which is good enough for me.
The bag comes with a rain cover. I haven’t ridden in the rain as yet. But my experience with the other tank bags hasn’t been good. While the rain cover protects the bag from the rain drops, if you keep riding in heavy rain, the water from the tank surface seeps in from below. That’s why I fabricated and screwed on a grill to the top of my tank.
The Oxus is secured to the tank using magnets. So this will work only on motorcycles with metal tanks. The nice thing about the securing mechanism is that the magnets are placed inside a removable patch which smartly entangles itself with the bag when in use. The bag comes with a strap as well. So if you want to use it as something else, say a camera bag, you can add the strap, remove the patch containing the magnets and wear it around your shoulder.
Another neat feature I like is the small transparent pouch on the top of the bag, just nice to place your phone facing upwards. I use my Garmin GPS for long planned rides. But for short unplanned ones, I use the Sygic app on my iPhone. I stuck my phone in the pouch and didn’t have much trouble using the Sygic app while riding.
All in all I like the ViaTerra Oxus tank bag. The bag has a nice feel to it and doesn’t look cheap. At Rs 2,500 I think its definitely worth it.