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Old 05-18-2015, 09:23 AM   #1
leetrout OP
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Location: East TN
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F800GS Tank Bag Review: Powered (12V) SW-Motech Bags-Connection EVO Daypack

All images available at http://imgur.com/a/eH7Kj

I picked up this tank bag when I got the the bike and thought I would share my thoughts after 2000 miles with it.

TL;DR. Great bag so far and couldn't imagine riding without it. Small and capable.



What I wanted

I wanted a powered bag for the F800GS and there weren't a lot of options since it doesn't have a tank ring. I ruled out anything with a strap because I wanted a quick disconnect. Of the bags I looked at reviews for online I liked everything I heard about the SW Motech Daypack and it looked like the right size for me. I like to have a kit of essentials but not too much. On my XR650L I use a Joe Rocket magnetic bag and it doesn't have much volume and I liked the idea of a smaller bag.



Mounting

Let's talk about the mounting options- SWM makes a metal bracket you place over the plastic faux tank using the stock bolt holes and some risers. I loved the look of this when the bag was off. This is the new EVO ring and there was a lot of misinformation floating around online- you can get a powered EVO ring.

Low profile and nice trim appearance.





You can see the contact points on the top of the ring which mate up with the bottom of the bag



The bag











There are small details I really love about the bag including the zipper pull keeper, rubber grommets (sealed by default), and the button snaps for the accessory tray which also give you a place to snap up the slack from the quick release pull.

To take the bag off you just pull the cord forward and lift the bag up. Piece of cake. I saw another review on here where the author was complaining about the wire loop being too short- I'm wondering if they didn't put the nylon pull on it. You can see the bottom side in the picture above- here's the detail of the front.



This zipper runs all the way around the bottom and allows the bag to be about 1.5 inches taller.

Space

Here's the empty bag with the included SAE plug. (With some lens wipes in the top mesh pocket).



Lots of space for all of this



Quick list of what all this is from left to right-
  • The included rain cover for the bag with 2 drawstrings to keep it tight and dry in compact or unzipped / expanded size.
  • The bike key on top
  • Garage door opener
  • Bag shoulder strap
  • Sidestand footie
  • SAE to powerlet and cigarette lighter adapter
  • Powerlet to Apple lightning adapter
  • Ear plugs
  • Plexus
  • Flashlight
  • 4" Knife
  • Pressure gauge

When I hop on to go for a ride I throw my wallet in and then plug my iPhone 6+ (the huge one) on top and zip it up. Never need to unzip the expansion.



Usage

First- I love it! The bag always feels securely connected and it's easy to drop it in place after the first day. It does block the ignition switch a big but I CAN get the key in and out without taking the bag off. It was installed by the dealer (the fine folks at Eurosport Asheville) and they said they used the forward most mounting option. I guess they had to drill the case themselves.

I haven't used the bike's powerlet outlet and don't plan to so I can't comment on whether that is still accessible. It looks like it is not and would be VERY tight if you did try to use it. But this is why I got the powered ring and bag

I love being able to throw the shoulder strap on the bag and carry it with me easily when I walk away from the bike. This bag is small enough to be locked in a side case, too, but I find it safer and easier to just disconnect and toss it on my shoulder and walk away. So far no purse jokes

The rain cover works great and pulls tight completely under the bag so nothing blows up and under it.

The powered connection works great and is a HUGE timesaver with the quick connect. Can't stress that enough; so easy to pop the bag on and off.

I've had a couple issues with the iPhone not getting power but it's hard to say if it was moisture somewhere near the battery connection, the contact points / pins on the tank ring and bag, the SAE to powerlet adatper, or the powerlet brand lightning adapter. It's not happened in the last couple weeks.

I think this is one of the best looking bag / mount combos out there for the F800GS and I am super happy I got it.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:31 AM   #2
mosey.levy
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I'm the dude that didn't have the Nylon cord attached to the metal loop. Someone just tipped me off to it a few days ago and I feel like a moron. Then again - it's not in the instructions :o

I have the 7L engage version and love it.
Great concept overall.

Quick question. For the grommets - sealed by default - how do I open them up?

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Old 05-18-2015, 09:32 AM   #3
mosey.levy
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And I am able to use the powerlet but it is a bit tight.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:36 AM   #4
leetrout OP
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Ah- glad you got it!

I was going to post back too, but I was using tapatalk on the phone and lost where I was at and didn't think about it again until I was writing this.

You can open up the grommets with a utility / carpet knife. You have to cut through the wall and the material. I'm leaving mine sealed and I run any of my cords out through the zipper.

I'm contemplating a ram mount for the phone so this may change...
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:46 AM   #5
mosey.levy
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If you get the ram mount check out the M8 version that goes right in to your handle bars M8 screws instead of a clamp.

One more question with your bag. Does the carrying handle get in the way of the ignition key? That's one of the things driving me nuts. Originally I used that nylon cord to hold it out of the way. I wish there was a snap on the handle to snap it out of the way when not in use.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:52 AM   #6
leetrout OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosey.levy View Post
If you get the ram mount check out the M8 version that goes right in to your handle bars M8 screws instead of a clamp.
Thanks! Didn't even see that before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosey.levy View Post
One more question with your bag. Does the carrying handle get in the way of the ignition key? That's one of the things driving me nuts. Originally I used that nylon cord to hold it out of the way. I wish there was a snap on the handle to snap it out of the way when not in use.
Honestly- I'd say I only mess with the key with the bag attached 10% of the time (at gas pumps) and I pull everything back out of the way. It does hang over it though so I see what you're saying.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:54 AM   #7
mosey.levy
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Yah I leave my bag on overnight so it's always on when I go to start the bike. I'll figure something out. Overall I do love it.

Zoom in on my photos above you can see the way I have my ram mount.
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:58 AM   #8
Daggerdoggie
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Okay, I feel like an idiot too! Thanks for telling me about the cord...now I know what that's for!
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Old 05-23-2015, 01:39 PM   #9
mosey.levy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daggerdoggie View Post
Okay, I feel like an idiot too! Thanks for telling me about the cord...now I know what that's for!

Ha! Well it's not in the instructions.
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Old 05-23-2015, 05:21 PM   #10
MTrider16
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This looks very nice. I'll have to check out the mfg's site.

My Joe Rocket is giving up the ghost, so I think it's time to upgrade.

David
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