Date reviewed: February 2019 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £177 + £15 for fitting kit | www.givi.co.uk
Tank bags used to be something of a necessary evil on motorcycles – a handy way to carry your gear on a bike that didn’t have panniers, but at the expense of potentially scratching your motorcycle’s paintwork. Clip-on tank bags have solved that problem, but the new Givi UT809 Tanklocked takes it a step further, with a lockable fixing and a fully waterproof interior.
I’ve been using this for the past couple of months on my Yamaha MT-10…
The Givi UT809 Tanklocked tank bag is made of tough 1200 Denier polyester with a firm polymer foam interior shell that keeps it in shape. The graphics on either side (and the top) are reflective, while the clear top window is touch-screen compatible, so you can easily control your smartphone through it.
The adaptor ring that bolts onto your bike’s filler cap surround (this costs £14.40) is metal, and holds down the plastic ring that comes with the bag. While it’s a simple solution, given that the Yamaha MT-10 has some nice detailing around the cap, it’s a shame this rather saucer-like device covers it up – there’s plenty of material in the metal ring to have allowed some shaping to it, which would have left it looking a little less inelegant.
The adaptor ring snaps positively into the bag, but it does spoil the look of the tank a little
This bag doesn’t expand, but it still has a very useful 20 litre capacity – easily enough for a pair of shoes and a change of clothes for a night or two away.
There are two zipped side pockets that you can tuck smaller kit in, while the top window can take a phone or a small tablet. If you want to use a standard-size iPad or similar with the Givi, a second pouch is supplied, which clips onto the top. It’s not the best solution, though you only need to unsnap two of the four clips that hold it in place before you can open the main compartment. If you always use a full-size tablet for navigation while carrying a tank bag, the UT809 might not be the best option, as the pouch does feel something of an afterthought, but for occasional use it’s fine (I never use a tablet on the bike, so it doesn’t worry me).
The waterproof internal bag is removable, while the side pockets add useful, quick-access storage
On the MT-10, you’ll need a 4mm Allen key to remove the original filler cap bolts, then a 3mm key to put the new ones in that secure the ring; it only takes a couple of minutes.
Snapping the bag onto the tank is easy, and it stays on very securely. At high speed, with no screen, the bag starts to shake a little (as you’d expect), but it never gets close to the paintwork.
Removing the bag is also quick and simple, thanks to the large red latch on the right-hand side – slide this around and just lift the bag clear to fill up with fuel or carry it away with you.
I had no problem at all seeing the dash on my Yamaha MT-10 with this bag fitted, but I also have Yamaha’s sat-nav mount, which puts my TomTom on the top yoke. Not only is this completely blocked from view by the Givi, the bag actually presses against it, fouling the steering. Fortunately, the locking mechanism on the base of the Givi can be unscrewed (using a PH2 screwdriver), and repositioned forwards or backwards; with the plate adjusted so the bag sits closer to the rider, the sat-nav is completely free to move, though as this is a relatively large bag, you understandably still can't see the device.
With the bag set backwards on the MT-10, your chest touches it, but it doesn't restrict your body, unless you're trying to lay on the tank. Which of course you can't anyway with a tank bag on.
If you have a GPS device mounted on the top yoke, rather than on a stalk from the bars or somewhere else a bit higher up, you’ll need to check if any bag from any brand fouls it or restricts your view. Yamaha’s own tank bag (made by SW Motech) comes with the locking assembly separate – this means you have to fit it to the bag yourself before first use, but it does also give the ability to adjust its position; Yamaha tells me that it can be set to clear the sat-nav, but keep checking our luggage reviews for more information.
Ultimately, the compatibility of any bag with any bike will vary, so always be sure to check the positioning in store. If you’re buying any luggage online, ask the seller first, and keep all the tags on until you’ve checked.
The additional tablet pocket might prove useful to some users, if the smaller windowed pocket is too small
The design of the main compartment’s zip means that the top cover folds back fully, giving you full access to the contents without the flap dropping constantly onto your hands.
The front carry handle is coated with soft, flexible plastic, so it’s easy to hold, while straps are supplied that turn the pack into a form of rucksack; a soft, retained flap is stored in a small rear compartment to cover the latch mechanism, then the Y-shaped strap clips into place. I’m 5’10” with a 42” chest, weighing 85kg – with the straps at full length the bag fits me comfortably in textile riding gear and full leathers (with a hump on the back); it’s a really handy feature if you’re spending the day wandering around, but if you’re much bigger-built than me, there’s a chance you might struggle with the rucksack option.
A cable entry point is cut into the back of the bag, so you can power items inside it from your bike’s 12V outlet (if, like the MT-10, it has one).
The rucksack straps are a good idea, while the carry handle is comfortable
Like most tank bags, a waterproof cover (with touch-screen compatible window) is supplied to protect the main compartment and the two side pockets from even very heavy rain. But where the UT809 really scores over many of its competitors is with a brilliant waterproof roll-top bag inside.
Rated to IPX5 (protected against 12.5 litres per minute waterjets at 30kPa / 3m), while the water-resistant zips on the main compartment and side pockets will let heavy rain in, if you’re using the internal bag (it is removable), your kit stays utterly dry. I’ve got the Givi so wet that water has pooled inside the main section, but the interior bag – while sitting in this water – is always completely dry.
Of course, the inner bag – which closes shut with Velcro, then is rolled up and fastened with a clip – does add an extra step to getting at your gear, but it’s extremely effective. If you know it’s not going to rain, or you just want to use the external cover (which is essential if you need to keep what’s in the side pockets dry), then you can easily lift the bag out. I think it’s an excellent idea, and really adds a very useful extra feature to this tank bag.
The cable entry point is a potential water ingress point, but only really on naked bikes. And even then, the waterproof liner is 100% effective.
The interior of the main compartment’s top cover can soak up some water during very heavy rain, but this moisture doesn’t find its way into the window pocket for your phone.
The additional tablet bag that clips over the top says that it’s rated to IP67, so effective against light dust (the 6) and immersion in water to 1m (the 7). It’s not something many people are likely to use, but the option’s there, and it keeps your expensive electronic kit dry. It is a bit fiddly to open though, and although it definitely doesn’t let any water in while its fitted to the bag, given the single fold and Velcro fastening, it’s not safe to use as a waterproof iPad cover on its own (which is probably why the Givi website only lists it as IPX5).
The internal waterproof bag is very effective, even when water is pooling in the main compartment. A cover is also supplied
Brilliantly, the Tanklocked bags like this UT809 and others from Givi come with a pair of keys that allow you to lock the bag to the tank. This is really useful when popping in for fuel, though of course do keep in mind that someone could still open the bag and rifle through it (of course, this does take longer than just lifting it off and running away).
The two side pockets can’t be secured, but the main compartment has two zip toggles, which have loops to allow you to pop a small padlock through.
Ultimately, if you’re leaving the bike for any length of time, I’d suggest taking the bag with you; the most useful time that springs to mind is when you’re paying for fuel, or popping into a shop. Just remember that if the bag’s locked, you’ll need to unlock it before you can remove it to get to your fuel filler cap.
The locking ring adds security
Tank bags are a very practical, useful addition to most motorcycles, but like any luggage, check it will fit around any other accessories you have.
The UT809 isn’t so big it will foul your riding position, but it’s got enough space to be truly useful. The interior waterproof bag is a brilliant idea, and with its decent capacity and tough build, while it’s not cheap, this is a quality bit of kit.