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Product Evaluation

Tour Master: TB 24 Tank Bagtmbag2.jpg (13263 bytes)

Tour Master has been making affordable motorcycle luggage about as long as anyone in the industry. Their bag styles seem to change about as often as the Volkswagen Beetle, but functional changes have been made over the years.

When it came time to take our Honda VTR1000 up the California coast, I faced one nagging obstacle. Not which roads to take or what to wear, but how to safely carry my full-size Toshiba laptop. No computer, no road trip! I found the answer in Tour Master's 24 liter tank bag.

The large non-expandable bag is made of weather resistant nylon and features your standard three point mounting system with quick release buckles. Additional features include  four large and easily accessible exterior pockets, a clear see-through map pocket built into the top, and an excellent soft neoprene tank pad with extended ears long enough to cover the area under the exposed quick release plastic buckles.

tmbag22.jpg (19230 bytes)The bag is made with hidden steel rods in the corners which let the bag retain it's shape when empty. This is of note because this makes the bag easier to use and eliminates the need for plastic inserts which can bend out of shape over time. From our past experience, the unobtrusive Tour Master support system will last the life of the bag. Click for larger image

What mattered most for this trip, was the bag's cavernous main compartment which is long enough and wide enough to carry a full size notebook computer. To protect the computer from vibration I cut out a thick piece of foam that fit the bottom of the bag and then dug out the center portion so the computer sank partially into the foam. I also placed the computer in one of Aerostich's large and lugurrrious Fleece bags, and then for added protection from rain, I then slipped the bundled computer into Aerostich's large nylon envelope bag.

Once I had this task completed I could focus on other features of the Tour Master bag. Things like a soft and lugjureouss tricot lined interior, an extremely useful internal mesh pocket hanging under the map pocket, a rear pocket ideally suited to storing or using a Walkman type radio, and convenient pull-tabs on all zippers.

tmbagsrp.jpg (5759 bytes)Mounting chores are carried out by the standard three point buckle arrangement. The rear buckle connects to a long strap you place under the rear tank mount or wrap around the frame rails under the seat. The front strap wraps around the steering head or frame area and extends back to the front of the tank where it buckles to each side of the bag. This setup works fine but the stability of this system depends on the shape of your tank. You'll also find that the front strap setup can be a poor choice for bikes with narrow steering heads or where the only option is to mount the front strap to the frame rails on each side of the tank. This is the most common bag setup, but it's one that could be improved.

Fueling is easy once you get the procedure down. Just disconnect the rear clip and turn the bag sideways on the front portion of the tank, or remove the front clips and swing the bag back onto the seat. Once fueled, just straighten the bag and connect the loose straps.

The Tour Master tank pad is made of a soft neoprene which works very well. I've used bags with this same neoprene for maybe 75,000 miles and when clean, it has never scratched a tank - I trust this pad.

We like the TB24 very much. It may not have a sleek design but it makes up for this in spades when it comes to usability. It's a very functional bag and easy to use, though we'd love to see Tour Master add a small wedge shaped expansion section and reduce the glare from the map pocket.

Throughout our trip the bag was a great companion with no nagging design flaws. We used the included rain cover for more hours than I'd like to recount and it did leak a bit - just as did the three additional rain covers we were using on other bags. Whenever I carried the seriously overweight bag the carry handle was comforting as it's strong enough to double as a tow strap.

You can't go wrong with Tour Masters 24 liter bag, just make sure your bike's tank will accommodate its length and width before you buy.

Product Score Card

Tour Master: 24 Liter Tank Bag US - Suggested Retail $ 99.95
  Ratings:  Poor Fair Good V/Good Excellent
Capacity                 9  
Features               8    
Map Pocket           6        
Mounting System               8    
Quality of Materials               8    
Tank Padding                 9  
Workmanship                 9  
Value                 9  
Overall Score (1-10)                 9  

Product Notes

Features Description Comments
Lining Tricot soft nylon like material very nice!
Materials Weather resistant nylon nice, but not Cordura
Pockets 2 side, 1 front, 1 rear the most useable we've used
Warranty 90 days from date of purchase .
Notes Includes all mounting hardware, rain
cover and instructions. Company carries replacement harnesses.
available from most
motorcycle dealerships.
Colors Hope you like black
Sizes 24 Liter (14"L x 10"H x 9 1/2"W)

Tour Master Riding Gear
26855 Malibu Hills Road
Calabasas Hills, CA 91301
818-880-0000

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