Riders have been carrying stuff on top of their gas tanks for as long as there have been motorcycles, and the array of tankbags on the market is large, everything from teeny-tiny to humongous. The latest from Adrian Sports/Chase Harper is a good mid-size container. Chase Harper is an old name, dating from 1979, while Adrian Sports is new. That’s because Adrian Martinez is the new owner of Chase Harper USA, having worked there for 20 years. Along with the CH product comes all its history, good will and that excellent “100-Percent Unconditional Lifetime Warranty.”
Adrian is also introducing his own designs, such as this 6XM Tankpac. It is a magnetic bag, meaning a ferrous gas tank is required. Rather than the magnets being sewn into the base, they are in two flaps, one on each side. This is a preferable arrangement, as you don’t have to worry about screwing up delicate items, like cameras and credit cards, which might not take kindly to being magnetized. If you are going to carry the bag, the flaps fold securely into a cover at the base and a wide shoulder strap makes it comfortable to throw over your shoulder when roaming around Laguna Seca during the MotoGP.
A tethering connection is located at the front of the bag, so if a ferocious wind manages to dislodge the magnets (not likely) the bag will not end up bouncing down the Oklahoma Interstate. That attachment is done through a quick-release YKK plastic buckle. The bag is made of DuPont Cordura, which is good in a shower, not so waterproof in a driving all-day rain…when the zippers might leak. Anyone planning on doing a long trip should take along the optional rain cover ($30).
The big interior compartment, with a three-quarter opening zipper, measures about 13 inches long, eight wide, five deep, and the flap is large enough so that even bulky unbendables like books and bottles of wine go in easily. If that is not enough and there is a last-minute request for a head of cabbage and five pounds of corned beef (St. Patrick’s day is around the comer as I write this), you will appreciate the expandability of the bag, with a zipper that goes all around the base giving it an extra three-plus inches in height, that creates a lot more space. Presto! Expando!
Large pockets are on each side, big enough for an extra pair of gloves, with a third pocket at the front of the bag helping to keep all the clutter separated. A little zipper pocket is built into the flap where you can keep a cell phone or “cheaters”—those reading glasses some people need when looking at a map.
The detachable (securely fastened with snaps) map pocket is about seven inches in length, which is a bit small, as you have to fold the end of the standard 8.5-inch road map to get it to fit. But it will also easily accept a small GPS device, the current navigational craze, which can be seen through the clear plastic cover.
At $119, the price for this 6XM Tankpac is reasonable. And that lifetime warranty is unbeatable. Any color you want as long as it’s black.
For more information, call (805) 477-0093 or visit chaseharper.com.
(This Gear Lab review was published in the June 2013 issue of Rider magazine.)