Tank toppers: Best motorcycle tankbags as chosen by MCN


Motorcycle tankbags are a great way to carry your essentials while keeping them all within easy reach. The’re perfect for things like maps, phones, keys, passports and wallets and particularly handy if you’re riding in a country with toll roads.

When most bikers think of motorcycle luggage, panniers most commonly spring to mind – whether that’s the rigidly-mounted hard type or the temporary soft ‘throwover’ type.

Many build on that with a top box, too. There’s also strap-on roll-bags and many solo riders enjoy the convenience of using a rucksack.

But all of that overlooks another popular motorcycle luggage type that’s brilliant for keeping valuables and day-to-day essentials close at hand, can be easily removed from your bike for security and peace of mind and yet also doubles as a very useful, in the line of sight map holder or place to keep an eye on wallet, credit card or phone – the tankbag.

What is a motorcycle tankbag?

For the uninitiated, a tankbag (or tank bag) is exactly what its name implies – a usually soft, specially-designed luggage bag that is securely fixed on top of a bike’s fuel tank.

Related: Best motorbike waist bags

Due to its position they’re great for valuables and belongings you may need easy access to during a ride – wallet, phone, water bottle etc – plus most usually have a transparent plastic lid or top compartment for maps, directions or a phone running a sat-nav app, which can then be easily viewed as you ride.

Naturally their capacity is limited by their position, making them unsuitable to be used alone for a touring holiday, but they can be surprisingly cavernous and make a great addition to other luggage solutions.

Related: How to stop a tankbag damaging your bike

It’s also true that, by being placed usually on top of a bike’s filler cap, one inevitable inconvenience intrinsic to their design is having to remove them when you fill up. However, most designs feature quick-release clasps or mechanisms to ensure this is as unobtrusive as possible.

The best motorcycle tankbags:

Price: £32.49
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Oxford Products are one of the UK's longest-established and most respected motorcycle luggage and security specialists and this mini magnetic bag is great for carrying small items or valuables. Although small and having only a capacity of seven litres, it's packed with great features and is a great price.


  • Inexpensive
  • Numerous pockets
  • See-through top flap


  • Only ‘showerproof’

It’s made from durable rip-stop nylon material, has a showerproof inner liner, a transparent top pocket for maps or devices, reflective panels and even a useful external pocket for things like coins.

Price: £44.99
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Another convenient but effective small magnetic tankbag is this EA106B. Made by Italian luggage specialists Givi, who are renowned for their quality and style, it's a small, six-litre tankbag that, being magnetic, can be instantly removed or attached to your bike and also comes with a useful shoulder strap for carrying when you're not on your bike.


  • Magnetic fixing
  • Securing straps for safety
  • Compact design


  • External rain cover for waterproofing

There are two side pockets with magnets, there are also four straps if you prefer to attach it that way, it’s made in Italy from 600D polyester with a PU laminate and also features a useful transparent smartphone pocket.

If you want a larger magnetic tankbag capable of carrying enough stuff for an overnight stop, Oxford again comes to the rescue with this 35-litre tankbag. Like the mini version, it's made from polyester rip-stop with a nylon inner lining that is showerproof.


  • Expandable to large capacity
  • Base stays on bike


  • Only ‘showerproof’
  • Can be large when fully filled

The logos are reflective for extra nighttime visibility, there’s a transparent smartphone/map holder, a detachable base and it includes five personalised colour inserts. Best of all, though, it’s expandable, via a perimeter zip to a full 35-litres and even converts into a handy, smart rucksack for when you’re off your bike.

Another well-respected British motorcycle accessory brand is Frank Thomas. The JT-09 is an expandable magnetic tankbag that converts into a rucksack by zipping the magnetic base off. It's also got a capacity of 30 litres and comes with a rain cover as well as a handy map pocket and reflective detailing for added night visibility.


  • Becomes rucksack for off the bike
  • Huge 30-litre capacity
  • Map pocket


  • External rain cover needed
  • Map pocket large for smartphone

As well as converting into a backpack you can also use a robust carry handle or you can use the strap to convert it to a satchel. The magnetic base has five magnets to keep it secure, an anti-slip coating to protect your paintwork and also has its own clear map pocket for added versatility.

Price: £44.98
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If you're after a more securely attached, strap on tankbag that's still versatile at a great price, try this F1 strap-on by Oxford. It has a useful, 18-litre capacity, is made from durable rip-stop nylon and has an outside pocket for coins or valuables.


  • Basic but well-designed
  • Straps on for Security
  • Zips off base for refuelling


  • Can’t think of one

It also has a waterproof interior lining and most of the features of Oxford’s magnetic bags, but attaches via a strap-on base. It’s versatile, a good size, well made and well priced from a reputable manufacturer.

Price: 66.59 (was £73.99)


This small tankbag by reputable makers Shad is aimed to be used with fashionable racer bikes. It has a decent but not excessive eight-litre capacity, comes in brown, leather-effect material with rigid construction, attaches via Shad's universal strap on base which means it can be clipped off in seconds and has a useful inner mesh pocket. Comes with a separate rain cover.


  • Different, retro look and feel
  • Base stays on bike to allow refuelling
  • Easy to remove


  • Needs external rain cover for waterproofing

Specifically designed for adventure bikes, this quality Enduristan Sandstorm strap-on tankbag is continuously expandable between 7 and 12 litres, features a fully waterproof, three-layer construction, has a large, waterproof map pocket, a contrasting red lining for better visibility and a fold-away separator in the main luggage compartment.


  • Expandable capacity
  • Waterproof as is
  • Stable for off-road use


  • Comes up tall when fully loaded

You also get a removable document pouch, three compression straps and an all-round rugged, quality construction. It’s not cheap but if you’re serious about travel and want a serious tankbag to take with you this could be it.

Price: 107.99 (was £119.99)


Oxford's X-series strap on bags have been firm favourites for many years and it's not hard to see why. This 30-litre version is a useful size, attaches securely using Oxford's proven strap system.


  • Base stays on bike
  • Converts to rucksack when off the bike
  • Cable entry points for charging devices


  • None

It also has external pockets for keys, a map/phone/satnav clear pocket complete with sun-shield and has an electrical port with an internal pocket to carry and charge a device on the go. The bag can separate from the base and also handily converts into a backpack for when you’re not on your bike.

Price: 89.99 (was £106.50)


This soft-luggage tankbag from Givi is compatible with the brand's Tanklock system (the flange is available separately for around £13). It means you don't have to mess around with straps or worry about magnets, and the bag can be removed quickly and easily for refuelling.


  • Quick removal
  • Water-resistant zips
  • Fluorescent rain cover included


  • Premium price

This bag has water-resistant zips, reinforced areas and reflective inserts. A rain cover in fluorescent material is included, stored inside a weatherproof internal compartment. Other features include a removable tablet-holder, cable port and a handle and shoulder-strap for easier transportation.

What types of tankbag are there?

Some fix via an arrangement of adjustable straps, which go under a bike’s tank and around the headstock. This is the most secure type, although it’s important to ensure the straps are positioned and tensioned correctly.

But an even more convenient type is the magnetic tankbag which uses a series of magnets mounted in fold-out flaps on the tankbag, enabling the bag to simply be positioned on your bike’s steel tank, whereupon the magnets hold it in place.

However, you must check this type of bag is suitable for your bike. Many tank shapes aren’t suitable, some have plastic tanks, which aren’t magnetic and others have plastic panels which prevent secure attachment.

There’s also a third type of tankbag fixing that has become popular in recent years – those using a special permanent ring mounting attached to the filler cap. These ‘ring’ types enable the best of both worlds: the easy, instant release of magnetic types, but also the secure peace of mind of straps. We’ll deal with these elsewhere.

Here, however, are our pick of the best magnetic and strap type tanks bags.

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.