From the day I rode my new sport-touring 2016 BMW R 1200 RS home, I knew I wanted to acquire a GIVI Tanklock tank bag for it, based on the excellent experience I’ve had with this system on my other motorcycle, a 2001 Suzuki Bandit 1200S standard.
I’ll take all the luggage I can get on a motorcycle. Here I’m posing with my new BMW R 1200 RS while on a camping trip in Vermont. You’d never know I have clothes, gear, a sleeping bag, air mattress, toiletries, food, cooking supplies, a camera and tripod, and more packed in these bags.
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The collection of tank bags GIVI calls “Tanklock” quickly, easily, and securely attaches to a tank ring that is permanently installed to your bike’s fuel fill cap on the top of the tank. There are no magnets or straps to deal with like on most other tank bags
such as on the Wolfman Expedition we reviewed here, and the bags never even come into contact with the tank, effectively eliminating the risk of scratching your motorcycle’s paint.
Ive been using BMW’s 35-liter waterproof Softbag with the R 1200 RS’s stock luggage rack. I used this versatile bag every day on the BMW F 800 R when editor Genevieve and I toured Italy. Adding a tank bag to the bike, in addition to the Softbag would give me enough storage for my everyday needs.Not sure which of GIVI’s Tanklock tank bags would work best for me, I ordered all three from its XStream collection to see how each one would fit on the bike. Pictured from left to right are the XS307, XS308, and XS306.
All three bags are expandable and have large window pouches for a map, directions, tablet, or anything else you want to see with a quick glance. On the far left, the XS307 is the smallest of the three tank bags I ordered with a 15-liter storage capacity. The 20-liter XS308 is in the middle, and on the far right, the XS306 is the largest, offering a generous 25 liters of cargo space.
In order to mount any of the Tanklock tank bags, first you need to install the tank ring that fits your motorcycle model. The Easylock Tank Ring BF11 was the right fit for the BMW R 1200 RS, and costs $17. The only tools needed for this installation is an Allen wrench and T25 socket.
Installing the Tank Ring takes only a couple minutes. Once attached, it lives permanently around your fuel filler. There is just enough clearance for the BMW’s filler cap to lift on its hinge so I can gas up with no problems.
The bottom of each Tanklock bag has a molded plastic plate that snaps onto the ring. The red part you see here is the mechanism that keeps the bag held in place.
You just place the bag over the ring, and once it’s lined up correctly, it snaps onto the ring. Presto!
To remove the bag, you just press the red tab and the bag is released. It couldn’t possibly be any easier!
Each new Tanklock bag also has a built-in strap to run around the bikes steering stem or handlebars. My old Tanklock bag doesnt have this strap. Im guessing this is a “just in case” feature for an emergency if the tank ring breaks or comes loose. Im considering cutting it off though, because I dont like the idea of the strap interfering with the steering of having the bag being held on anywhere near the front wheel if it breaks loose.
The $189 XS308 is called the ADV (adventure) tankbag, and looks like it was made for the R 1200 RS because of the way it follows the shape of the tank. Three extra pockets on the exterior of the bag are attached with very strong Velcro.
Unfortunately, when I sat on the bike to test it out, the bag pressed into my bosom and prevented me from comfortably reaching the bars. If I was a guy with no bust and longer arms, this bag would’ve been my choice. But I had to rule this one out because there’s no way I can ride like this.
The XS306 sells for $185 and has the largest capacity, so I was hoping this one would work for me. But I had the same issue with this bag hitting my chest and interfering with my reach to the bars. So this one was out too.
The XS307 is the smallest, measuring 13.7 inches long x 10.6 inches wide x 8.2 inches high (at its expanded height) and looks a little silly the way it seems to hover over the tank, but its rigid base is strong and the teardrop design brings the height down on the side thats closest to my body.
And in fact, the XS307 is the best fit for me and my motorcycle. This tank bag doesn’t interfere with my reach to the bars when I’m in my normal riding position on the R 1200 RS.
I was sure to check there’d be no interference when turning the bars fully to the right and left. The BMW-installed GPS mount comes very close to the front of the Tanklock bag, but it only touches lightly when the bars are turned all the way. If I had the GPS unit to go in the mount, I might have a problem seeing the display screen, but I dont have a GPS unit.
Here’s another view of the GIVI XS307 mounted on the BMW R 1200 RS. Here you can see the bags sturdy carry handle, extra D-rings for attaching an included shoulder strap, map pocket on the lid, well-sized zipper pulls, and reflective piping that goes all the way around the bag. You can use a small padlock (not included) at the zipper pulls to secure the bag closed, too.
Here’s everything that’s included with the XS307. For $169 you get the 15 liter bag, detachable shoulder strap, detachable map/tablet pouch, rain cover, and rain cover carry case.
The soft molded bag is durable and maintains its shape. Its made of 1200 Denier Nylon and features a waterproof interior material that’s sewn in. The 15 liters of storage is enough for a rainsuit, extra gloves, a 33.8 ounce water bottle, and more.
Once you load your gear inside, you can cinch the waterproof material down for an extra layer of protection.
The Hi-Viz rain cover fits easily over the bag and surrounds it almost completely. I love that GIVI incorporated a clear window in the rain cover so I don’t have to cover up my map and directions when I use it.
While the bag itself has a map pocket on the flap, GIVI includes an extra map or tablet holder that clips over the bag. I like to put my map in this outer pouch and my cell phone in the bag flap pocket underneath so it is shielded from the hot sun but easily viewable. I also like that at food stops I can easily take the map pocket into the restaurant with me to check out my route and see what’s around me while I eat. Yes, I am a die-hard map girl—hence the lack of BMW GPS unit on my bike.
There is a watertight port on the front of the Tanklock XS307 to run a cord through so you can keep your electronic gadgets charged up. The BMW’s 12-volt accessory socket is not even close to the front of the bike though, so I’ll probably never use this feature. You can also see the two clips that are used to attach the map/tablet pouch to the front of the bag.
The other end of the map/tablet pouch attaches via Velcro strap to a ring on the back of the bag. In order to open the tank bag, you need to unhook this, which is an extra small step to get at your stuff, but it doesnt bother me too much.
The XS307 has two exterior side pockets, but they are not very deep, so it’s hard to stuff much in them. It’s a good spot for some cash, a gas card, and an energy bar or two.
A zipper that runs around the base of the Tanklock bag unzips to create about an inch more height. Since the bag is semi-rigid, this extra space does the trick when trying to overstuff it.
All the Tanklock bags use the same diameter tank ring, so I can easily use my old Givi 3D 603 Tanklock bag on the R 1200 RS. This bag is much smaller than the 307, but fits my basic necessities such as a hairbrush, sunglasses, and an extra pair of gloves. You can still find this and other Givi Tanklock bags for sale at online retailers.
To learn more and find a dealer near you, visit GIVIs website at
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