Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wunderlich F800GS/F650GS Tank Bag

I just received the new Wunderlich F800GS/F650GS Tank Bag from Wunderlich America. I've been waiting since I got the bike in November for this bag and it finally came in. I even paid a bit less than I expected. Here's a few photos of some details that can't be seen from the Wunderlich publicity shots on the web:

This is a photo of the whole bag, assembled and ready to go on the bike--front on the left, rear to the right. It's rather big--larger than I thought. That's actually alright by me, as I like a big tank bag. The sheet of paper I have in the map holder is the 8 1/2" by 11" installation instructions. The map pocket unzips 180 degrees to allow for easy insertion of maps. It's also clear on both sides, so you can easily flip it over and re-fasten to the bag to see the other side of the map. Way cool.




This shows the front of the bag with the strap that goes around the front of the bike frame easily seen. You can see a handle, with "Wunderlich" sewn into it. The handle is very nicely padded. The zipper above the right strap has an audio cable access port behind it.



Here's the rear of the bag--the end that sits next to the rider. You can see the two straps that feed under the seat and attach to two slots on the bike. One of the main reasons I wanted this bag is that I can't stand long straps flopping in the wind. These are completely hidden from view once the seat is in place.




Here's the bottom of the bag and attached mounting "plate". This appears to be a slick vinyl that I'm sure is supposed to reduce scratches. Front on top, back on bottom.



Here I've taken the mounting plate off and the bag is on it's side. Front to the right and back to the left. You can easily see the padded handle. Even though most of the bottom of the bag will not touch the bike, it still has the vinyl surface. The funky flap sticking out is used to affix the bag to the mounting "plate". It slides into pockets in the mount and then clips into the front of the bag.




This is the mount, lying top up, front to the left. You can see the "pocket" that the flap slides into. It's rather a nifty design, I think.






OK. Here's the bag opened up. You can see the removable accessory bag slid into the flap on the lid. Also nifty.






Here's a somewhat blurry (sorry) shot of the accessory bag taken out of the lid. It can easily be removed and taken with you if needed.


Here's an interior photo of the front left corner of the bag. Yup. It sure is blue... You can see the audio cable port I mentioned earlier along with a mysterious zipper to access yet another pocket.


Unzipping the interior pocket reveals a very flat space, perhaps to store papers and documents, with a thin plastic stiffener. Looks removable if you don't want the bag to have stiff sides.

I think the map pocket is as well designed as it could be. It is opened by a zipper, which has that "waterproof" rubber cover. Very easy to load and move the paper around. As to the attachment, it won't budge once it's all strapped up. There's a long Velcro attachment in the front, a clip in the back, as well as four attachments on the side as you can see from these photos.

Lastly, the bag unzips around the circumference to expand upwards quite a ways. Because I don't have anything in it, it's rather scrunched down, but I would estimate it is twice the volume when expanded. You can also see the double-sided nature of the map pocket, which can be easily detached from the rear of the bag. This allows access to the space underneath.

All in all, I am very, very satisfied with this bag. Of course, I feel that way about all the Wunderlich farkles I've bought over the years. I think the quality, design, and price of this bag is better than the TouraTech bag I had with my F650GS Dakar. The letter "W" may come late in the alphabet, but it beats "TT" this time.

I got home, stepped out of the car, and immediately installed the tank bag. Here you go:

This is the under-seat fastening. You can see the two straps from the mounting plate that attach to the existing plastic loops on the bike. This is so straightforward that I can't understand why other bag manufacturers don't use the same method. The middle strap is used to attach the bag to the mount later on. You'll see that in a later picture.





You can see how tight the mount fits to the seat. I like it!







Here's how tight the front of the mount fits. Not much room for the key. Again, you'll see more detail on this in a later photo.

Here's the bag on the bike. Very secure and easy to mount. It turns out Wunderlich has designed two separate ways to fasten the bag to the mount. The easiest way is to just clip it on. Goes on and off in seconds. However, in my opinion, it's so easy to take off that I'd be afraid it'd get stolen. So, I used the more secure method that holds down all four corners of the bag using Velcro straps sewn into the mounting plate routed through D-rings sewn onto the bag. As we've seen, the two lower straps go under the seat (I didn't get a good picture of the D-rings here) and cannot be removed without getting under the saddle, which, of course, is locked. This seems much more secure to me.





Other side of the bike. I think it looks good.





A closer shot from the same angle. You can see how the center strap at the back of the mount runs up and locks the bag onto the mount. If I hadn't used the D-ring method, this would be all that holds down the rear of the bag.

Here's a close-up of the front mount. You can see the straps on both side holding the D-rings tight. This bag is going nowhere! The center clip is shown as well. Without the D-ring method, this is all that holds the bag on.

Yet another close-up of the key area. Yes, the power port will open...just barely. This is real tight in here. I've been using a key ring with two other motorcycle keys and one of those pocket-sized garage door openers. No longer. All this will fit, again just barely, but it's a hassle to turn the key. I'll have to pare down my key ring.

You might wonder how it feels standing on the pegs. Well, if I had any shorter legs, I'd be hitting this bag right where it'd hurt. As it is, the bag hits my thighs just under my crotch if I lean just the slightest bit forward while standing up. It doesn't bother me, but I'm not all that active while standing.

As always, your mileage may vary...

4 comments:

irondad said...

So, if I understand correctly, when you take the actual bag off a pad remains?

I have a Chase Harper bag for the ST that has straps. The only trouble is that when I take the bag off, the straps hang off to the sides. Which means you really need to put the bag on for each ride.

This looks like a better system.

Eurastus said...

Dan,

You are correct.

The second photo shows what's left on the bike when you disengage the bag from the pad/mount. The middle strap shown on the bottom of that photo is left "flapping", though it could easily be tucked up under the pad/mount. The bag comes with a pair of straps (that I don't have a photo of) that can be clipped to the four D-rings and will turn the bag into a backpack.

Chad said...

Eurastus,
I wanted to ask about your DaVinci tandem. My wife and I just started riding a tandem this year and loved it. But, my wife has been bothered by knee problems and we thought the DaVinci ICS system would be perfect to allow her to coast when she needed to. Unfortunately, we have not been able to locate a DaVinci in Utah to test ride. Do you have any suggestions?

Eurastus said...

Chad,

I'd love to respond to you with some solutions, but you have no contact methods listed in your profile. Any ideas?