Used review: Givi XS306 Tanklock tank bag, £115

No more marks on paint

ANY bag that's in direct contact with paintwork is likely to damage the finish after a while. I'd been using a magnetic tank bag for probably a couple of months when I noticed it was slowly leaving an impression on my SV650. It hadn't scratched it exactly, just dulled the sheen in a pattern which left no doubt as to the cause. I could have tried to put one of those non-slip spongy nets under it but that seemed an inconvenience too far. I started using a rucksack instead.

Then I saw Givi's Tanklock range at a motorcycle show. The tank bags clip onto a plastic ring that bolts onto the tank, using the bolt holes around the filler cap. The bolts pass through a horseshoe-shaped metal plate, which sits over the plastic ring, securing it in place. Just put the bag in position and a sprung catch on the underside fixes it to the ring, with a 'click'. It's as easy as closing a front door with a latch lock, and not an entirely dissimilar mechanism. A big red lever on the underside of the tank bag releases it, and it's easy to find with your fingers. Fitting the ring to the tank took less than 10 minutes.

And because the tank bag has a rigid base, it only comes into contact with that plastic ring. There's clear gap of about half an inch between bag and paintwork on all sides.

It's expandable, with a zip that increases the height by an about an inch, taking capacity to 25 litres. That's just big enough to accommodate a full-face helmet. Because it's padded, it makes a very useful helmet bag. I've been riding to the airport with it, putting my helmet in it and checking it in. It's useful for storing your helmet inside a bigger bag, knowing it's less likely to get damaged when the baggage handlers chuck it around. You can also lock the main compartment with a padlock through the loops of the zip, although you have to provide your own padlock.

It's got a good carry handle but doesn't become a rucksack like some tank bags. There's a clear map holder on the top and it also comes with a tablet computer holder that straps over the top of that. I don't have a tablet computer so I haven't used that bit.

The zips are the waterproof kind and there's a hi-vis waterproof cover, with window in it so you can still see your map or tablet.

The two side compartments are quite small. I use one to store the bag's detachable shoulder strap and the other for that hi-vis cover, and that's them about full. I haven't felt the need to use the waterpoof cover yet, although the bag was a little damp inside after a 50-mile ride in rain. The lining has a draw-string which I'm not sure of the need of. I suppose it's also for waterproofing.

The stated weight limit is an underwhelming 3kg. I've just weighed the Abus chain I've been carrying to discover it's 5kg.

Also, because it sits proud of the surface of the tank, it's of course a little higher than magnetic tank bags of a similar capacity. It's not awkward but I wouldn't want it to be any taller and don't ride with it expanded.

The best thing about it is probably the ease with which it detaches. I've been using it for a couple of months and do not intend going back to using another type of tank bag.

Price seems to range from about £80 to £115 depending on where you buy.

Product tested: Givi XS306 Tanklock tank bag

Price: £115


  • Sign up for Visordown's weekly newsletter, Bugsplat, to get the best motorcycle news, road tests and features plus exclusive competitions and offers direct to your inbox. Register as a Visordown member here and tick the box for Bugsplat in your newsletter settings here.