By John Burns
Back in the day, when a proper sport-tourer was an 1100 Katana or an FZR1000, the tank bag was indispensable for weekend blasts to San Francisco or Reno or wherever. The FZR in particular had a flat-topped steel tank that was the catbird seat for my old magnetic bag. If you packed soft t-shirts and undies on top, it was purrfect to lean on and unweight your wrists. Magnetic was good for me, since I was always riding different bikes. If you have one bike, an old-fashioned strap-on bag, invented before the magnet, is a bit more secure on windshieldless motorcycles.
Now that we’ve gotten old and soft, and motorcycles have become more specialized (I’m pretty sure saddlebags weren’t an option on the ZX-11 like they are for the new Ninja 1000), the old tank bag just doesn’t see much action lately. But I couldn’t help noticing the new Z900 tank looked perfect for a tank bag, and if you’re an old-fashioned rugged person who wants to go places in a hurry and less encumbered, a good tank bag is still a must-have accessory. Here are seven great ones to get your shopping started.
PS: If you’re worried about your paint, a layer of clear protective adhesive-backed coating like 3M Paint Protection Film isn’t a bad idea.