Friday, September 19, 2014

Viking Bag Sport Tail Bag

This evening I finally had the opportunity to take a better look at the Sport Tail Bag from Viking Bags.  I mentioned in my last Post how it ended up being delivered here.  Hoping to get out for a ride yet this evening, I was disappointed when it was getting too late with thunderstorms showing up on the radar.  I will get out yet this weekend for a road test but this evening's fitment on a few of the bikes has me enthused and anxious to make this bag a primary tool in my luggage arsenal.

Here's the bag from the top.  Visible is the double zipper for the top loading flap, the carrying handle on the back with my 12" (30.5cm) ruler as reference. Hidden are the 4 buckle straps that attach to the matching (not included) Sport Saddle Bags.  Those straps are hidden under a hook and loop panel that easily attaches/detaches on the bottom.


Zipped expansion panels on both sides open to allow 2" (5cm) of extended space on each end.


There are stiffeners on each side to help the bag keep it's shape, the interior finish very softly padded.  A full length zipper opens a storage pouch, 1 of the shorter zippers secures a small coin/credit card-sized pouch and the other zipper closes a vented pouch.  Between those two areas are 2 pen/pencil sheaths.


Each side has a zippered, external storage pocket as well.


Included are an adjustable carrying strap w/snaps that connect on each end of the handle, making carrying easy and convenient, over the shoulder style.  Also, there's a full coverage rain cover included.


Here the bag is mounted on my fabricated Hyosung luggage rack.



Here on the Breva.....I tried the seat; it would have fit just as well on my luggage rack.



On the TW200 Yamaha ........


.....and expanded.



My verdict?  This is exactly the size I was looking for and should serve my needs very well.  I'm seldom if ever without a tank bag these days though depending on the ride or destination, my tank bags are usually not enough, or not quite enough.  Some are large and expandable, some are compact. 

What do I carry?  I'm an eye glass wearer and would be in trouble if I break my daily pair (easy to accomplish with my full face helmets off/on/off/on, etc., something I've done and will most likely do again someday, so there's a spare pair.  A few tools, some extra clothing, water bottle, small tire pump and tire repair.  These days I've always got a few tools along though I'm almost never the one that needs them.  Possibly some extra clothing depending on the season or room to carry a removed layer, tripod, water bottle, a snack or two if I don't plan to stop somewhere.  I've always got at least one camera along and even though it's a Point and Shoot, there are extra batteries. My phone and chargers typically stay in the tank bag where I've got 12volt power.

VStar Lady and I made mention of luggage size in my Preview Post comment section.  For any kind of camping trip, this bag simply doesn't have the required capacity and will rest in the garage, ready for another trip.  I simply need one of my bigger duffels for tent, fly, mattress, sleeping bag, etc., etc.,  For a decent day ride, or motel overnight, having this extra space is just about mandatory for me these days.

I like this bag a lot and expect to use it more often than not.  My one criticism would be the hooks.  I've had these bungee style hooks before and after a fair amount of use, the paint finish has typically cracked, flaked off and become rusty.  I've solved that before by warming up short sections of small diameter black gas line (rubber hose) to make insertion easier, fill a small dollop of silicone over the hooks and slide the hose on.  The glue not only helps to keep the hose in place but also seals the interior against water infiltration.  Outside of that, this bag is what I hoped for and feel fortunate to have found, the perfect addition to my 'collection' that WILL get used.

Many thanks to Miss K for her assistance, great communication and to the folks at Viking Bags for this sample to test and to use.