Durably made, the bag is in better condition than almost any other piece of kit I own, despite constant use in all weathers.
That’s all the good stuff, but as I say: I do have complaints
|I can’t help feeling the bag looks like a penis when extended.|
Firstly, it is ugly. I mean, woo Lordy, is it ugly. It absolutely ruins the aesthetics of my bike. I realise that doesn’t matter a whole hell of a lot when you’re rollin’ on a Honda CBF600SA, but the look of this tank bag is the motorcycling equivalent of socks with sandals. No, it’s the equivalent of wearing socks with sandals and tight running shorts. Whilst dancing to 90s hair-rock band Nelson in your front lawn.
When the bag is extended to its 30 litre capacity it looks even worse. It looks like the head of a penis. Nobody wants that, man. Especially if you’re leaning against it when tucking in against the wind.
Secondly, although the bag has held up well in all weather conditions, it offers your stuff little protection against that weather. Water gets into the bag easily when it rains. Oxford provide an allegedly waterproof liner bag in which to place all your stuff so as to protect against such an issue, but I don’t really trust it. I suppose it’s worked well enough in cases when I’ve been caught unaware, but in times I knew I would be riding in heavy rain I found it better to wrap all my things in plastic bags.
Thirdly, the bag is causing some damage to the paint. Said damage is very minimal, and outmatched by the damage being caused by the zippers on my jacket and riding trousers, but it is damage nonetheless. I try to tell myself that I don’t care all that much, that scratches are a sign you’re actually using your bike, rather than displaying it, but, you know, it’s no less annoying.
And lastly, like all soft luggage, it is not the sort of thing you can leave on your bike and walk away. Because it has no locking feature, because it is not secured to the bike as a top box or hard panniers would be, I can’t just hop off my bike and wander into a restaurant. I have to detach the backpack and sling it over my shoulder. Because it’s such an ugly backpack, I’m often left feeling a little silly.
You know, as a motorcyclist, bedecked in your gear, you want people to look at you when you enter a restaurant/bar/coffee shop/Build-A-Bear and think: “Hey look, the cool guy is here.”
But then they see me rocking my 1990s-styled Oxford X30 backpack and think: “Oh dear, someone’s escaped from the Home for the Mentally Inept.”
Still, despite all that, the bag’s usefulness and the incredible convenience of being able to have stuff (like a map or water or sunglasses) right in front of me and to hand when I’m on the bike has made it almost indispensable. It feels strange to ride without it.
If you can handle the shame of having the motorcycle equivalent of a fanny pack/bum bag, I recommend getting one.
|Dorky, but ready for adventure|