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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks.

As I continue to work on getting my new used RT ready for the road this summer I was wondering if anyone wants to chime in on their favorite tank bags? Is the official larger BMW bag worth the ungodly price? What other options are there for third party tank bags that work well with the tank rails on the RT? I've got other tank bags I like, but of course they are all magnet based.

FYI I would prefer one with some kind of clear sleeve on the top of it for a map or whatever. I assume most have that anyway.

Thanks for your thoughts.


North Woods Wanderer

2010 BMW R1200RT
2001 Suzuki SV650S
 

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One of the benefits of the pre-2014 oilhead R1200RTs was its great tank-bag mounting system. If I still had one those models that is what I would use. It does have a map window.


 

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I have a 2009 RT and have the tank bag from BMW as well.

While the map window is nice, you’ll find many used examples out there that have had too much UV exposure and the window yellow as it ages.

On the subject of the map window, don’t even think about putting your iPhone in there as it acts like a hothouse and your iPhone will overheat.

That being said I also find it difficult to look that far down to refer to a map unless I’m just doing it at a stop.

The bag itself is fairly roomy and totally functional but there’s no way to lock it to the bike without some modification...so usually at a lunch stop I pop my GPS off, throw it in the bag and just grab the handle take it off the bike and pack it inside with me.

You might try to find a good used one because they are available occasionally at a decent price and are made to exactly click into the holes of the trim on top of the gas tank.

I think someone made a foam divider or plastic divider you can fit inside to give you different compartments in the main section, but that was way too expensive and really not needed.


Ride safe!
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have a 2009 RT and have the tank bag from BMW as well.

While the map window is nice, you’ll find many used examples out there that have had too much UV exposure and the window yellow as it ages.

On the subject of the map window, don’t even think about putting your iPhone in there as it acts like a hothouse and your iPhone will overheat.

That being said I also find it difficult to look that far down to refer to a map unless I’m just doing it at a stop.

The bag itself is fairly roomy and totally functional but there’s no way to lock it to the bike without some modification...so usually at a lunch stop I pop my GPS off, throw it in the bag and just grab the handle take it off the bike and pack it inside with me.

You might try to find a good used one because they are available occasionally at a decent price and are made to exactly click into the holes of the trim on top of the gas tank.

I think someone made a foam divider or plastic divider you can fit inside to give you different compartments in the main section, but that was way too expensive and really not needed.


Ride safe!
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks so much for the advice and description of how you use the bag. Very helpful. Yes, I have seen some of the yellowed used ones out there. Even used these tend to be priced on the high side, so I have been trying to find some decent alternatives. I'm curious if any third parties have made one with a mounting system to work with the RT's tank rails.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Has anyone tried any of the third party tank bags on their RT? I've seen some that use the gas tank ring as an anchor point, and at least one manufacturer (SW Motech) does make an adapter for the RT that allows that to work with the RT tank rails. But I'm not sure if anything else secures those types of bags besides the tank ring.

There are also alternatives using straps. Not all that excited to put more straps on my tank, but if there was a really good bag and it was considerably cheaper than the BMW bag I'd consider it. Cortech has at least one that might be an option that is under $100 new. Somiti also has one, although I know nothing about that company or its quality.
 

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Its simplest to use the BMW bag. Its over priced but the rack mount from BMW is the only way to go. Its very secure and it works. The map pocket will turn yellow after a few years. Don't worry about it. You will never use it anyway... :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Its simplest to use the BMW bag. Its over priced but the rack mount from BMW is the only way to go. Its very secure and it works. The map pocket will turn yellow after a few years. Don't worry about it. You will never use it anyway... :smile:
Thanks for the post tvguy. I agree it is simplest. But I'm still interested in hearing from some others for two reasons. First, cost and second, that there might be some compelling features or functionality differences in a third party bag. I mean, let's face it, BMW extras are not always the best value, and or not always the best option either. At least I've come to that conclusion looking at top cases.
 

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After the zipper on my OEM bag took a dump, I used one of these little Ion bags from Twisted Throttle: https://www.twistedthrottle.com/sw-motech-bags-connection-ion-1-quick-lock-tank-bag

It's much smaller than the BWM bag, so I had to consolidate the crap I carried, which wasn't a bad thing.

I'm pretty sure the bag stayed attached when I totaled the RT last summer, so the connection system (you have to buy the correct ring attachment: https://www.twistedthrottle.com/bag...-camera-mount-bmw-r1200rt-05-12-r1200st-05-10) seems to be pretty solid.

I liked the bag well enough. But, I think I liked the BMW bag better. Apples and oranges, I guess.
 

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Thanks for the post tvguy. I agree it is simplest. But I'm still interested in hearing from some others for two reasons. First, cost and second, that there might be some compelling features or functionality differences in a third party bag. I mean, let's face it, BMW extras are not always the best value, and or not always the best option either. At least I've come to that conclusion looking at top cases.
My favorite bag was a Chicane Bag. I had it on my LT. They are no longer in business. Lots of pockets and storage for a small bag.... BUT... the kicker is you need the rack that attaches to the top of the RT. If not you will have straps all over the place...


I bought the BMW RT bag and it was nice but to big. Then a friend gave me an old BMW RT bag. I took the BMW bag off and mounted the Chicane to the rack. It was sweet.


You may want to look at RKA Luggage in Nor Cal. Talk to Richard. I am using an RKA bag and luggage on my '16RT... Its very nice gear. See if you can find an old RT rack bag on ebay or somewhere then toss the bag and mount what you want to it.
 

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New member joining in with similar concerns about a tank bag. I like tank bags when I go on day trips or touring, but I don't need one for my daily Southern California freeway commuting. I have an older magnetic mount bag that I have used on my Triumph Tiger Explorer that works pretty well, but of course is useless on my new 2013 R100RT. I also recently acquired an SW-Motech Engage tank bag (it came as a package deal with an X-creen windshield deflector for a good price,) and although I didn't really need it, it is a nice smaller alternative to the magnetic one. The Motech uses an EVO tank ring mount that makes it easy to just snap-on or off, and I can store it in my Givi top case (see top-case thread reply.) The ring mount came with the bag for my Triumph. I wanted to also use this tank bag on my RT, however, Twisted Throttle does not list a tank ring adapter for a 2013 and earlier R1200RT. The BMW specific tank bag rails get in the way.

Undaunted, I did some Googling, and found an old thread where someone had used some nylon spacers to make the EVO Type 126 ring (for newer RT's) work. So I went to my local Home Depot to get some spacers, and found that some 1/2 inch nylon ones raise the tank ring almost enough to make the Engage tank bag fit. I say almost, as I also had to fabricate a stand-off from some 1/8" plywood to increase the space between the tank bag mount and the bag itself to allow the release catch to work. The Engage fits the contour of the tank pretty well, and just touches the bars on full lock. Does not beep the horn or hit the kill switch, but it is very close. I think one of the other SW-Motech models might be better, as the Engage has two pretty useless side pockets that don't hold much more than the rain fly and the shoulder strap that I will rarely, if ever use. So I'll give it a road test after I get my flat tire fixed after picking up a nail at Home Depot while getting the spacers, grrr...
 

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New member joining in with similar concerns abut a tank bag. I like tank bags when I go on day trips or touring, but I don't need one for my daily Southern California freeway commuting. I have an older magnetic mount bag that I have used on my Triumph Tiger Explorer that works pretty well, but of course is useless on my new 2013 R100RT. I also recently acquired an SW-Motech Engage tank bag (it came as a package deal with an X-creen windshield deflector for a good price,) and although I didn't really need it, it is a nice smaller alternative to the magnetic one. The Motech uses an EVO tank ring mount that makes it easy to just snap-on or off, and I can store it in my Givi top case (see top-case thread reply.) The ring mount came with the bag for my Triumph. I wanted to also use this tank bag on my RT, however, Twisted Throttle does not list a tank ring adapter for a 2013 and earlier R1200RT. The BMW specific tank bag rails get in the way.

Undaunted, I did some Googling, and found an old thread where someone had used some nylon spacers to make the EVO Type 126 ring (for newer RT's) work. So I went to my local Home Depot to get some spacers, and found that some 1/2 inch nylon ones raise the tank ring almost enough to make the Engage tank bag fit. I say almost, as I also had to fabricate a stand-off from some 1/8" plywood to increase the space between the tank bag mount and the bag itself to allow the release catch to work. The Engage fits the contour of the tank pretty well, and just touches the bars on full lock. Does not beep the horn or hit the kill switch, but it is very close. I think one of the other SW-Motech models might be better, as the Engage has two pretty useless side pockets that don't hold much more than the rain fly and the shoulder strap that I will rarely, if ever use. So I'll give it a road test after I get my flat tire fixed after picking up a nail at Home Depot while getting the spacers, grrr...
:worthless
 

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Ok, let’s see if I can do this from my phone... working at night!
Thanks!
"
I also had to fabricate a stand-off from some 1/8" plywood to increase the space between the tank bag mount and the bag itself to allow the release catch to work. "

I see the nylon bushings but not totally clear where you used the plywood shim. Does the bag mount ring separate from the bag?
 

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Yes, on the bottom of the bag (actually recessed into the bottom of the bag, taking up about an inch of interior room) is the mounting piece that connects to the ring. The bag mount piece is actually screwed onto the bag from within, and is made so you can adjust the position of the bag on the mount. The bag was interfering with the mount mating to the ring so I used the plywood shim to move the mount further away from the bag. I could have used longer spacers on the tank ring, but I didn't really want to have those sharp forks on the ring sticking up any further than they already do. Sorry no pictures but it was fairly easy to do. For 2014 and later RT's the BMW rails are no longer on the tank so the ring would mount directly to the tank filler cap without the need for the spacers. The shim is between the bag and the bag mount, and is totally invisible in use. Kind of making a square peg fit into a round hole, but it allows me to use the tank bag I already had for only the cost of the EVO ring (about $20.) You can't find even worn out BMW tank bags to use for the rail mount system for anything close to that, plus I can still use the same bag on the Triumph.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes, on the bottom of the bag (actually recessed into the bottom of the bag, taking up about an inch of interior room) is the mounting piece that connects to the ring. The bag mount piece is actually screwed onto the bag from within, and is made so you can adjust the position of the bag on the mount. The bag was interfering with the mount mating to the ring so I used the plywood shim to move the mount further away from the bag. I could have used longer spacers on the tank ring, but I didn't really want to have those sharp forks on the ring sticking up any further than they already do. Sorry no pictures but it was fairly easy to do. For 2014 and later RT's the BMW rails are no longer on the tank so the ring would mount directly to the tank filler cap without the need for the spacers. The shim is between the bag and the bag mount, and is totally invisible in use. Kind of making a square peg fit into a round hole, but it allows me to use the tank bag I already had for only the cost of the EVO ring (about $20.) You can't find even worn out BMW tank bags to use for the rail mount system for anything close to that, plus I can still use the same bag on the Triumph.
Thanks for all the posts rockitcity. We clearly have similar interests at present :smile: I hate to mention this now that you've done all this work, but I'm pretty sure that SW Motech has an adapter for RT rails. At least they do for certain models of their bags. SW-MOTECH Type 129 ION Tank Bag QUICK-LOCK Bottom Tank Ring. You can find them at Twisted Throttle. This should fit your 2013 RT.
https://www.twistedthrottle.com/bag...-camera-mount-bmw-r1200rt-05-12-r1200st-05-10
On the other hand, you did save yourself $50. But if you aren't happy with your creation at least you know a mount is out there.
 

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I had the same questions you did about 6 months ago. My conclusion was to find an old used BMW tank bag and use the mounting hardware and attach what ever bag you like to it. I missed out on two different BMW bags that were priced at $100 an in excellent conditions. I had to wait few months and was continually looking at different forums where equipment was sold and also ebay. I found one for $50 including shipping since the zipper was broken and the top was yellowed. When I got it I spent 15 minutes and got the zippers working. Since I only use this bag for trips, I have kept the original bag since it is large and on trips the space is nice. If I was to use it every time I rode, I will mount a smaller bag on the the mounting system.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I had the same questions you did about 6 months ago. My conclusion was to find an old used BMW tank bag and use the mounting hardware and attach what ever bag you like to it. I missed out on two different BMW bags that were priced at $100 an in excellent conditions. I had to wait few months and was continually looking at different forums where equipment was sold and also ebay. I found one for $50 including shipping since the zipper was broken and the top was yellowed. When I got it I spent 15 minutes and got the zippers working. Since I only use this bag for trips, I have kept the original bag since it is large and on trips the space is nice. If I was to use it every time I rode, I will mount a smaller bag on the the mounting system.
Thanks for the post. It's a great thought just to find a crappy old BMW bag for cheap and steal the base from it for another bag. I'm just not seeing any cheap ones out there at the moment. I suppose BMW could consider selling their base platform separately and allow others to use it for various solutions, but it would probably cannibalize their tank bag sales. You would think that with all the RTs out there that a third party would design a base to work with the rails and create a variety of options to put on the base. We have a zillion options for magnetic tank bags, and we've got 2 or 3 options for the RT rails.
 

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Good discussion about this issue, and yes it is unfortunate that there aren't any 3rd party options to use the BMW tank rails. I did look at the Twisted Throttle bags (there are only two that I saw) for the 2013 and earlier RT's, but they use the ION tank ring which is different from the EVO. Since I already have a bag with the EVO mount, and also have another bike with the EVO tank ring that the tank bag was initially purchased for, I wanted to stay with that mounting system. Twisted Throttle actually did reach out to me and offered to look into getting an ION mount for the existing bag I have, but were not certain if it would be available.

As it is, I'm done with this project, and for the limited usage I will have for a tank bag on this bike, I'm happy with the result. Rode it a little yesterday after getting my flat back tire plugged (will squeeze another couple of thousand miles out of the PR4's before I change the set,) with the bag on and it will work fine.

BTW, I found it remarkably easy to unmount the back tire, even requiring taking the muffler off. I figure it's good to know how to do it if I need it on the road somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
EVO vs. ION. Now I see the problem. Too bad they can't make compatible mounting systems for all their bags. I know the ION series makes a little 9L bag and a somewhat larger (but not huge bag). Haven't looked at the EVO bags. Glad it worked out for you.
 
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