On any given ride, on any given day, I know what items of food, clothing, electronics, tools, and paraphernalia I want readily accessible to me on the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike. Not readily accessible like “having to stop and open my panniers” accessible, but that kind of accessible where I can retrieve something while in motion or idling off to the side of a trail. That is why tank bags were invented. Fitting the bill is the new SW-Motech Pro Yukon WP 6.1-liter waterproof tank bag ($209), which mounts to a proprietary, quick-release, reinforced, self-aligning ring that elevates the bottom of the bag above the gas cap.The proprietary SW-Motech Pro tank ring mounting system is specific to each motorcycle tank design, and there’s a tank ring mounting kit for almost every make and model. Some attach directly to the gas filler neck; others, including the mounting ring for the Yamaha Ténéré 700, use a model-specific unit that is easy to install.
The SW-Motech Pro Yukon WP tank bag has an EVA top and bottom that is seamlessly welded to a TPU body. While you wouldn’t want to run over it with a steam roller, the Yukon is a very sturdy tank bag.An overarching waterproof, hinged, overlapping cover is secured by a magnet closure, and the magnetic closure has a glove-friendly flap that reveals a second lid when lifted. The second lid has an eight-inch long clear plastic map section as part of a 4 inch by 8 inch hexagonal, zippered lid. The clear plastic is smartphone-friendly and allowed me to perform all functions through it, except Face ID. I would be cautious about using my iPhone in that pocket on a hot day, as it is not ventilated.Slide the dual, sealed zippers of the second lid around to the back to expose the central storage space. To hold cargo, the central storage space has six vertical elastic bands for securing your things to the edges, and an attached semi-rigid relocatable divider, with a zippered mesh pocket. The divider has about three inches of fore and aft adjustment for when you change the size of the contents you want to keep separated.The whole SW-Motech Pro Yukon WP unit is rigid enough to allow you to unzip the dual zippers while in motion. As that will divert your attention from riding, we don’t recommend it. The overarching top has a MOLLE attachment made of Hypalon (a synthetic rubber), in case you have other MOLLE cases you want to securely stack on top of your Pro Yukon WP Tank Bag.As an alternative to interlacing the MOLLE straps of your smartphone, tablet, or accessory case to the top of the Pro Yukon WP Tank Bag, SW-Motech has a T-Lock holder for $24—a quick-release mechanism for the MOLLE accessories.The bolted mounting system and Pro Yukon WP Tank Bag are secure as any accessory on the motorcycle. The Pro Yukon WP never budged when riding over rough terrain or flying down the freeway in a strong crosswind.While seated, it does not block my view of the LCD display or make it difficult to reach the ignition key. The Yukon WP has an adjustable base that allows it to be far enough forward to prevent my well-fed belly from touching it while standing. The bars can go lock-to-lock without interference, so it is definitely out of the way.At gas stops, or when leaving the motorcycle unattended, you can quickly unlock the Pro Yukon WP from its mount by pulling on the red cord at the front of the mounting system. With some practice, you can almost toss the Yukon at the tank ring and the magnet-assisted alignment system will lock with an audible click.Over six liters is a lot of waterproof space for the small extras you might want to carry for quick access. Because I have panniers on the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike, having a gallon-and-a-half of storage space is all I need in front of me for day rides or multi-day tours. If you need more space for your stuff, SW-Motech has tank bags that have as much as 5.8 gallons of storage space.The SW-Motech Pro Yukon WP tank bag is waterproof and sturdy, has a quick lock and release, and sits above your tank so it won’t scratch the paint. Carrying six liters of cargo and weighing less than three pounds, it’s just right for adventure touring.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!