One of the very cool things about riding and writing so much is that I get to try out all sorts of interesting motorcycle , outdoor and camping products. Here’s a run-down of some of the things I’ve tested. Some have been great, some have failed, and I’ll let you know the good, bad and ugly of them all. Note that some companies provide a product for me to try for free and according to the new blogging laws I have to disclose that. Feel free to give me feedback or list your own experiences with any of these products — I’m sure my readers would love to know!
A couple of months ago you may remember that I was riding in Israel. (I only posted a bit about it because I was there covering the tour for a motorcycle magazine.) I brought along a Viking Bags Motorcycle Tunnel Seat Luggage bag to hold my camera equipment since I was riding solo. This bag is designed to ride on the passenger seat. I’ve never used a bag like this, but I thought in the concept was a great idea — I’d have my camera equipment in an easy-to-access place right on top, the bag would be easy to remove on bathroom breaks and overnight, and it wouldn’t affect the weight distribution of the motorcycle too much.
All these things were true. Another journalist on the trip was wearing his heavy SLR camera around his neck (I thought that was dangerous!) and the other journalist has his in a backpack, which I thought a handy idea, but by far mine was the best solution in my opinion (for me) because my heavy SLR camera and big lens were always easy to access.
I like how easily the bag installed. I am a last-minute-Lucy and didn’t actually look at all the attachments until I got to Israel! I still managed to get the bag attached in a short time on an unfamiliar bike. With the variety of attachment straps included with the bag plus the six D rings integrated into the outside of the bag, I was able to strap it down to the bike just the way I liked. I am sure that with the placement of the D rings this bag will fit a large variety of motorcycles.
Viking Bags Motorcycle Tunnel Seat Luggage bag’s main compartment is huge. I have a long telephoto lens, and it was no problem storing that in the large partition. The web site says you can fit a laptop, too, and I believe it. The web site also says that the bag is completely water resistant, but I didn’t get anything wet in Israel’s desert climate. (Note the word resistant, not repellent—the zippers are not waterproof.)
Viking’s Tunnel bag has 2” expandable side pockets which were handy for storing other items I didn’t want in the same compartment with my camera. It was actually really handy to have a bottle of water in one side and my sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm in the other, still with enough room to jam more stuff in as I accumulated trinkets along the way.
The side walls of the Viking Tunnel Bag are semi-rigid, so the bag keeps its shape on the bike even if there’s nothing in it. It does take a couple of minutes to remove the bag from the bike, but when it’s off there’s a convenient carry handle that makes it easy to bring the bag inside your hotel room at night. It’s heavy at 4.6 pounds, but that’s the trade-off when you use quality construction and the bag holds its shape when empty.
There was only one thing I really did not like about the bag. For such a high quality bag, I was really surprised at the low quality of the plastic buckles. For a few cents more (which I as a consumer would definitely pay) Viking could include heavy-duty plastic buckles that don’t bend and flex when you winch down the bag.
Don’t get me wrong—I rode all over Israel with my expensive camera equipment lashed down with the “stock” buckles, but I would have been a LOT happier if they were proper heavy-duty plastic buckles. Everything stayed tight and secure and in the right place, so in the end maybe I’m just too picky?
The Viking Bags Motorcycle Tunnel Seat Luggage bag is a sharp looking bag and I got lots of compliments on it. I considered leaving it behind for my wonderful hosts in Israel, but in the end I chose to bring it back to the USA just because it was so handy to use. At $119.00 I think it’s a great deal. If Viking upgrades the snaps and attachments, it will be a steal. I’ll definitely use it in the future, and that’s why it’s still in my garage.
Where to Buy
Viking’s product # TUN-200
|Storage Capacity||2220 cubic inches|
|Weather Resistant :||Yes|
|Material:||Viking Leather & Courdora|