I ride my bike most everywhere I go. Often times that’s off to meet local clients. Being a web developer I need to bring along with me my 13″ Macbook Pro. I chose a 13 because it could fit into a tankbag. Let me rephrase that, I chose a 13 because it could fit into my old bike’s tank bag (Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa).
I had a custom RKA that worked great on my old bike. It literally was my briefcase when I was riding for work.
For the KTM, it wouldn’t work. Besides, the new bike deserves a new tank bag, right? So I narrowed the choices down to either the GiantLoop Fandango or the Wolfman Large Expedition. Both looked like they might fit the 13″ length of my laptop. The deciding factor was the GiantLoop said it was 12″ in length. That and I’m going Wolfman on the soft saddle bags too.
Tomm has me listening to the Adventure Rider Podcast (yes, I’m hooked!) and one of there sponsors is a company called The Good Adventure Company. They sell all sorts of ADV stuff but the thing that caught my attention is that they do it all in an effort to raise money for charitable causes! How cool is that?
The Good Adventure Company began in 2015 as the first motorcycle outfitting company completely devoted to using our profits responsibly to make the world a better place.
Good Adventure sold both bags and at the same prices that everyone else was so it was a no brainer. I ordered the Wolfman Large Expedition Tank Bag and instantly received the standard e-commerce notifications.
What surprised me is what happened next. I got a personal email from the founder, J.J. Lewis himself!
As a builder of automated email systems, e-commerce sites and autoresponders I can’t tell you how refreshing this little touch was.
Thank you JJ!
True to his word, the bag arrived shortly.
That’s the backstory, here’s how I attached it to my bike.
The bag comes with two sets of “H” straps.
The idea is pretty simple. Loop the straps around something, attach the buckles and then buckle away. Simple, eh?
The not so easy part is finding a place to wrap the webbing around.
Peeking down inside the front of the tank I found a small place to slip the strap around near the VIN plate. It’s a post in which the upper fairing screws into.
With both straps attached it looked like I was heading in the right direction. Nothing was attached to a moving, swiveling part and it looked like those moving, swiveling parts were going to stay clear as well.
Next I looked for something for the rear of the bag. I found a place under the seat that had a small gap between where a bracket (the lower part of the tank attaches) that would work.
With the straps attached, I checked to see if the seat still slotted in where it’s supposed to. We were good to go!
I found out now that where I wanted to put the bag was not where I could put the bag. I wanted to put the bag close to the steer tube but if it was there, the bars would hit when I turned sharp. So I managed to find a sweet spot, where the bars just touched at full lock.
To get there I needed to move the female buckles on the bag all the way up as close as I could. Right up to the stitching.
With that I could manipulate the H strap to get it to the right length so the bag sat high on the tank (but not too high).
Is it me or do you forget which way the strap goes thru the buckle? I swear I kept getting them wrong the first try. Here’s the right way – just look for this at the top of the buckle before threading it back down.
A few small adjustments and the bag was mounted perfectly.
Oh. one other thing. The 13″ measurement isn’t. I can almost squeeze the laptop in there. Almost.
If it wasn’t for the removable lid I’d have to return the bag. As it is, I can make this work (but barely).
I do like the quality of the Wolfman bags. I’m looking forward to travelling with it. However I’m surprised that nowhere did I see anything about the lid not being attached. Forget about a zipper going around the perimeter.
Picture an old box of Velveeta cheese. Remember how the top of the box slid over the bottom? Wolfman designed the bag so that the lid slides over the bottom in much the same way. It attaches to the bottom with a wide Velcro strap in the front and a set of buckles in the rear.
I’m sure this was done to make the bag more waterproof and it’s much better than a leaky zipper would be. Maybe all ADV tank bags are built like this – what do I know?
No matter what, I’m glad I have a tank bag. I think it looks pretty good too!
WHAT I LIKED:
- Like I mentioned above, the build quality is top rate.
- The bag is narrow enough enough that I can refill both tanks without removing the bag.
- The bag fits nicely into the space in front of me, both standing and sitting. It doesn’t block the view of the dash.
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED:
- There’s two sides to Velcro. Like most all bags, the map case is velcro’d on to the top. That’s fine when you have the map case on. 99% of the time it’s going to be off. When it’s off it’s the scratchy part that is sewn to the top. That means it catches on everything from my gloves to my textile jacket. Is there a reason the two pieces of Velcro couldn’t have been swapped?
- The same goes for the front lip. It’s the scratchy side too but it also has nowhere to go when the map case is removed. It could be the scratchy side, but just give it a place to lock onto when the map case isn’t there.
It’s the Large Expedition Tank Bag. It would be great if it had more external pockets and places where I could expand (like being able to attach small side pocket bags). The Rainier Bag has some of that.
More important than the bag itself is where I got it. Hats off to JJ, the Good Adventure Company, and Lost for a Reason. Doing good while doing something you love is a great way to live. I look forward to their future success! Check them out and buy lots of stuff!