SW-Motech Pro Tank Bag and Tank Ring Review

Cycle News Staff | February 2, 2021

Tank bags are super handy, and if you’ve never tried one, you really should. They’re perfect for carrying your wallet, glasses, cell phone and a hat to cover helmet hair when you stop for lunch, or whatever.

SW-Motech Pro Tank Bag and Tank Ring Review
The Pro Tank bag comes in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit just about any motorcycle, including the Pro GS model that is specifically for steeply sloped fuel tanks.

By Keith Dowdle

I always run a tank bag on my street bikes, and I’ve done so for as long as I can remember. They come in lots of styles and shapes to suit the needs of almost every rider. Attaching them to a motorcycle, however, has always been a challenge for luggage manufacturers because no two gas tanks are the same shape, and carelessly strapping a tank bag to your motorcycle can scratch the paint on the most noticeable place on your bike.

SW-Motech came up with a solution to the strapping/scratching problem years ago when they introduced their locking tank ring, which attaches around the filler cap on your fuel tank and holds the bag slightly off the tank itself. Their design has now been improved with the addition of magnets on the lock ring that guide the tank bag into position and onto the locking ring. This new Pro Tank Ring was recently released for sale in the U.S., and SW-Motech USA sent us one, along with a Pro GS Tank Bag, to try out.

SW-Motech Pro Tank Bag and Tank Ring | The Lowdown:

Stand-Out Feature: Simple on and off mechanism that firmly holds the tank bag.

MSRP: $131.95 (starting price)

wheelie-up Super easy to attach and remove the bag at fuel stops
wheelie-up High-quality construction
wheelie-up Lots of sizes and shapes available
endo-down Bag isn’t waterproof, but it does come with a rain cover

 SW-Motech Pro Tank Bag and Tank Ring | Rider Analysis:

I purchased an SW-Motech tank bag and lock ring a few years ago, and we never really got along. After installing the lock ring on the motorcycle, I had to drill holes in the bottom of the brand-new tank bag to mount the mechanism that attaches the bag to the ring on the bike. After it was installed it actually looked pretty good, and the bag itself was really nice, so I figured it was worth the money. However, after struggling at gas stops to get the thing aligned and securely attached to the bike after refueling time and time again, I was fed up with it. I ultimately removed it and went back to my old-style strap-on bag. Recently I was asked to review SW-Motech’s new Pro Tank Ring with magnetic assist, and I’ll admit that I was skeptical based on my previous experience. Don’t get me wrong, SW-Motech makes some beautiful stuff, and I own several of their products—I just wasn’t thrilled with the older-style tank bag.

SW-Motech Pro Tank Ring
The SW-Motech Pro Lock Ring attaches to the gas tank’s filler ring.

Once the new bag and ring arrived, I was relieved to see that the Pro bag comes with its locking device pre-installed on the bag. So, no more drilling. We’re off to a good start. This factory-installed ring also has a new sliding feature that allows you to precisely position the bag exactly where you want it to ride. I proceeded to mount the lock ring to my motorcycle. These rings are unique to your make and model, and the fit is perfect on my BMW 1250 GSA. Once the ring was installed, it was time to see if SW-Motech’s new magnetic assist works or if I’d need to stand on one toe, stick my tongue out, and hold my pinky finger just right in order to get the bag to line up with the locking ring. To my pleasant surprise, the bag snapped into place before I even realized it was close to the ring. Beginner’s luck, I suspected, so I took it off and tried again with the same result. It finds its way to the locking ring like magic. It is by far the easiest tank bag to attach and remove that I’ve ever used.

In addition to the locking mechanism being pre-installed on the bag, the bag itself has some really nice new features like a MOLLE system on top that allows for the addition of a dry-bag case for a cell phone, tablet or old school paper map. The bag is made of ballistic nylon, and the top and bottom are a laminated EVA material that holds the bag’s unique shape and contour. Inside there’s a zippered compartment in the top and four elastic webs for small items. There are also two nice size outer compartments on each side of the bag. Overall, the bag is nicely constructed and the fit and finish are top notch.

SW-Motech Pro Tank Locking Ring
The new locking tank bag ring is much easier to attach than the previous version.

SW-Motech offers a huge variety of tank bags in the Pro line, many of which are model specific and in varying sizes to suit your needs and your style of bike. While the construction is similar on all of the PRO bags, they each have slightly different features, with interior capacity from as small as three liters to over twenty liters, and they range in price from $131.95 to over $300 for the larger bags. After a few weeks of riding with the SW-Motech Pro Lock Ring and Pro GS Tank Bag, we’re getting along just fine—the magnetic assist makes fuel stops quick and easy every time.

For more information, visit  sw-motech.us

 

Click here to read the SW-Motech Pro Tank Bag and Tank Ring Review in the Cycle News Digital Edition Magazine.

 

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