The 12 Best Things To Keep In Your Motorcycle Tank Bag

Most of us will agree that when all’s said and done, pockets will be looked upon as one of the pinnacles of human invention. You can keep stuff on you, you don’t have to carry things in your hands, and you can secure stuff in there with a button or a zipper. However, when it comes to motorcycle riding, no amount of pockets is going to be as convenient as front-and-center storage attached to your bike. It is for this reason that nearly everyone here at Twisted Throttle rides with a motorcycle tank bag.

What is a Tank Bag?

The tank bag is kind of like the glove box of motorcycles, but better. Most attach to the top of the gas tank, either by locking ring, straps, or magnets. They are accessible without having to get off your bike, and if one is too big or too small for your needs, you can easily replace it. They can be removed quickly, which makes them great for commuting and short trips. You can even get electrified versions that provide juice to your gadgets while on your ride. With so many options to choose from, we’ll let Jess explain a little better in the video below, and you can read this comprehensive post from Brad on how to choose the right tank bag.

 

Now that you know what a tank bag is, it’s time to start loading it up. What should you keep in there? Start with the things that you’re likely to need on most rides, then customize based on your specific needs. We asked our staff what they ride with, and we got some interesting responses. In order to help give you a few ideas as to what you can bring, here’s a list of the most common found things in the tank bags here at Twisted Throttle.

What To Keep In Your Motorcycle’s Tank Bag

  • Multi-tool – A good multi-tool is just one of those things that belongs in every motorcycle tank bag.
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  • Money – In an emergency situation, a cash stash is always a good thing to have. Keeping cash in here can make paying tolls easier as well.
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  • Phone & Phone Accessories – If you’re not using it for GPS, keeping your phone out of view can be just what the doctor ordered when you’re looking to just get away. A phone charger in your tank bag makes sense even if you’re not charging while riding. It’s a good thing to have with you in the event you need it.
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  • Ear Plugs – These take up very little room, and they’re easy to forget. Why not toss an extra pair into your tank bag?
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  • Maps – A couple of road maps can go a long way. Best part is, they’re flat when folded and won’t take too much room!
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  • Kickstand Plate – You don’t always need it, but when you do, you’ll be glad you have it. Again, one of those things that doesn’t take up a ton of valuable space.
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  • Micro Fiber Towel & Lens Cleaner – Your ability to see clearly is kind of important. Plus, if you’ve got a face shield covered in greasy thumbprints, you might miss the next Starbucks!
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  • First Aid Kit – Not everyone needs or wants this; however, a basic first aid kit can come in handy for things more than just first aid. You may find yourself using the scissors to trim wires, or the bandage tape to secure something temporarily.
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  • Food – No need to stock up a full pantry, but something that can give you energy and won’t go bad in the tank bag can be a welcome surprise when you’re in need of a quick pick-me-up. A small bottle of water isn’t a bad idea, either.
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  • Sun Protection – Sunshine is wonderful, but if your day starts off overcast end ends up with clear blue skies, you may not be prepared. Sunglasses, lip balm, and sunscreen are all things that are small and easily stored inside the tank bag.
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    Motorcycle-Tank-Bag-Blog-Post

  • Flashlight – LED flashlights are now super small, super affordable, and super easy to put into your tank bag. Electrified tank bag owners may elect to keep a USB rechargeable flashlight.
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  • Latex Gloves – If you’ve got to do some road/trail-side maintenance, these will keep your hands clean (do you really want oil and other fluids inside your riding gloves?). You can also use them as an extra layer for your hands on cold days, when your gloves aren’t keeping them warm enough.

Now that you’ve seen the kinds of things that Twisted staffers consider essentials, what do you always keep in YOUR tank bag? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Nick
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Nick

I would add a bandana and duct tape. A bandana is in every pro’s bug in bag and can be used as a sling, a weapon, a gas/smoke mask, a headband, a tourniquet, filtering water, a bandage, a compress, a makeshift hat etc.

Jeff
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Jeff

…a weapon? LoL…

Mandar Sukhathankar
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Mandar Sukhathankar

For short rides like a weekend lunch run, a tank bag might be all you need, and there are tons of different styles and sizes to suit different tanks and trips. Good & informative content. Cheers.

Mandar Sukhathankar
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Mandar Sukhathankar

Tank bags are mostly used for keeping sundry items like glasses and sunscreen. Many people dedicate it for carrying food.

Mick Campbell
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Visor cleaner and some kitchen roll.

Marc Cook
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You should be careful of what, exactly, that “kitchen roll” is made of. Some disposable kitchen towels are really abrasive and can scratch your helmet’s faceshield really easily. Better are pieces of old t-shirts or microfiber towels. You don’t have to bring the whole stack, just sections of towel will do.

jaynne
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jaynne

Pen, pencil, paper… making quick notes on the map in pencil; making route plans in pen; and for paper, I actually carry index cards. lined on one side, plain on the other. I can make a list of the roads for the ride and give to each rider (no one gets lost–hopefully, but at least knows where we’re headed); write down notes/things to do that we discuss on the road (cell phones work great for that now–but I’m still old school); saving contact info for people you meet along the way with notes as to who they are (to enter… Read more »

Mikeaintright
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Mikeaintright

I would add a little weed to the list – for those kick back nights when its just you, your headphones, and your jam.