In the June issue of Rider, Arden “Knobbie” Kysely gave a rave review to a set of Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebags. As luck would have it, a set of those saddlebags showed up at our office along with a Giant Loop Fandango Tank Bag. I had just exhausted the possibilities of lashing various non-dual-sport-oriented saddlebags and tank bags to my Kawasaki KLR650 for a 3-day ride in the Mojave Desert (click here to see photo gallery). The Great Basin Saddlebags and Fandango Tank Bag were a cinch to install, and they fit perfectly. And their bright yellow color matched a traffic warning sticker that I had just pasted on the KLR’s front fairing that says “student driver” in Thai!
I won’t go into the details of the Great Basin Saddlebags since Arden’s review covers them well. But I definitely agree with his praise and recommend them highly. (Also check out Arden’s review of theGiant Loop MoJavi Saddlebag.)
As for the Fandango Tank Bag, it too is a gem. Oregon-based Giant Loop likes to name their gear after places they ride. The Great Basin covers parts of Oregon, California, Idaho, Utah and all of Nevada, which is home to the Great Basin National Park. According to Giant Loop’s website, the Fandango is “named for the infamous Oregon desert canyon that killed Jim’s mighty Honda XR650R.” Who’s Jim? Anyway, the bag is specifically designed to fit large capacity dual-sport fuel tanks, such as the IMS tank on my KLR.
The Fandango is made of the same waterproof Bomb Shell “tarp” material as the Great Basin, and it uses the same waterproof zipper. Capacity of the main compartment is 10 liters, which was plenty of space to hold my essentials: cell phone, wallet, sunglasses case, hat, tire gauge, Stop & Go air compressor, ClearShot lens cleaning kit, sunblock, keys and a hat. A removable divider lets you keep your stash organized. There is a clear vinyl map pocket on top, though I used it to hold my spiral notebook since I was relying on the GPS generosity of my riding pals.
A stout YKK zipper secures the bag to the strap-on base (magnetic tank bags are worthless on big, plastic tanks), or allows you to quickly remove the bag to tote around by the carrying handle. Designed and made in the U.S.A., the Fandango is sewn together with military-grade thread. And if you want to get really wonky about things, the straps are made from 1-inch Nylike webbing and use Delrin thumb-lock buckles.
Our 3-day ride beat the snot out of me and my KLR, but both the Great Basin Saddlebags and Fandango Tank Bag took it all in stride. And the position of the bag on the tank just behind the fuel filler cap meant that I didn’t have to undo anything at gas stops, nor be worried that the breather hose might get crimped. Really, I couldn’t be happier with this kit. The only problem I encountered was interference when I stood up on the pegs and tried to get my body weight over the tank. The bag got in the way, but that has nothing to do with it’s design; any tank bag would have gotten in the way.
If you’re a dual-sport or adventure rider, the Giant Loop Fandango Tank Bag ought to be on your gear list. Yours for $149. For more information or to place an order, visitwww.giantloopmoto.com.