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What’s in my tank bag

I put valuables I’m not carrying on me in my tank bag. Along with things I’m going to need that day with some electric items too. Such as a helmet video camera if it isn’t being used, my iPad or tablet stays with me.

I have my passport, driving licence and vehicle documents to hand for going through passport control if travelling through borders. My waterproofs are close to hand and tightly rolled up to go in the tank bag. I personally use 2 piece gore tex walking gear, they are more expensive compared to biking stuff but I find them much better. If the weather is forecast to rain I pack a spare pair of gloves. A few tools, like a screwdriver and pliers might lurk at the bottom of the bag with a roll of electrical tape.

Power leads and cables

In its own little bag I have all my electrical charging leads and adapter for Europe. I carry a 2 metre phone charger cable which I use on the bike, a smaller one for when I arrive at a destination and a mini USB lead to charge other electrical devices. I even carry a portable power pack in case I need any emergency charging for my phone or anything else. All of these items can be plugged straight into one of the bike’s USB charging ports. I always carry a bottle of water, fitted ear plugs, spare sponge ear plugs, visor cleaning kit with an e-cloth, a 2 meter wire rope to secure my helmet and clothing to the bike and a side stand puck. The plastic rain cover also lives in its own compartment along with waterproof outer mittens for rain, extreme weather and cold. Finally I carry a packet of painkillers, sun cream if it’s hot, lip balm along with anything else I might need that day, which could be a silk top just in case it gets cold during the ride.

Maps and notebook

In the top of the tank bag I display a map of the area I’m riding at the time, along with a notebook and a couple of pens. The sat nav if I use one will be on display, with a handwritten simple route card for that day’s ride. The sat nav case will also be close to hand as it doesn’t stay on the bike when left unattended. The tank bag also has a combination lock to lock the tank bag. It isn’t brilliantly secure but it stops unwanted people from unzipping it quickly. If I leave the bike the tank bag turns into a rucksack and I can take it away with me to ensure I have nothing valuable stolen.
Motorcycle Training Instructor and student


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