I’m a motorcycle tankbag junkie. I love having that handy carrier right on the tank where, during stops, I can grab some shield cleaner and a rag, warmer gloves or a spare sweater. And when I’m traveling, the tankbag’s clear map pocket keeps my map open right there under my snoot. But a tankbag can scuff your bike’s fuel tank, and unless your bike’s tank is steel and the bag magnetic, the straps can be a chore if you install and remove the bag frequently.
That’s why I was enthused to hear about the Bagster Minea motorcycle tank bag and Tank Protector. The latter is a vinyl tank cover that form-fits to the fuel tank and includes connectors to which the bag attaches. Slick!
And what a tankbag this is–it’s huge! The bottom of the Minea creates a footprint that’s 15 inches long and 10.5 inches wide. Standard depth is 4.0-4.5 inches, but deploy the zipper on its expansion pleat and add another 4.0 inches, doubling its depth to the point it can swallow a full-face helmet. The Minea is made of heavy-duty vinyl that resembles leather, and overall has a heavy, quality feel.
The Minea’s features include a small inner pocket under the rear part of the flap for keys, a second small zippered pocket sewn inside, a slit pocket in the floor and a slit mesh pocket in the lid. Elastic straps with a buckle secure your belongings to the floor. With a viewing area of 11 x 9 inches the map pocket is also maxi-sized. When it rains, whip out the large shower-cap-style rain cover with its own clear top so the map remains in view.
The Tank Protector is made for each individual motorcycle model, so I ordered one for my BMW R1100RS. Though the cover has a soft, padded inner surface it’s best to wash and wax the tank before installation. On my bike I had to remove the seat and center the Protector’s opening around the fuel cap, then snug the side straps and the two straps that loop around the steering neck. The Protector was a bit stiff at first, but as the instructions directed I left it in the sun a few hours where it softened and conformed well to the tank. To attach the tankbag, clips on the rear of the Minea click into receptors on the Protector tank cover, then you guide D-rings into hooks on the front of the Protector that rotate shut to secure the bag.
If you’re seeking a big ol’ sturdy, stylish bag that will hold a good deal for serious touring, and expand to twice that size, the Minea is top notch! As an added bonus it incorporates a pair of padded, adjustable straps that store beneath its tank pad and turn the Minea into a handy backpack. Both are made in France, but please note that the Tank Protectors are made to order and delivery takes two-three weeks; the upside is that you can choose from a wide variety of custom colors. The Minea Tank Bag is just $145 in your choice of colors, but prices for the Tank Protector vary from about $135 to $217 depending upon bike and color; the black item for my BMW was $151. To me, that’s a great price for products of this quality. Just note that the Minea attaches only to the Tank Protector and cannot be used independently.
This is a very attractive and presumably durable combo that’s as functional as it is handsome, and will be on this tankbag junkie’s bike for a long time to come.
For more information: Contact CIMA International, 1585 Beverly Court, #118, Aurora, Illinois 60502; (866) 243-5638, (630) 701-1601; www.bagster.com