My lifetime experience with motorcycle tank bags has been the one big, single-compartment kind. Every tank bag I have ever used has been an open-compartment design. I stuff it with what I consider essentials for the specific ride and don’t give it another thought. Some are bigger, some are smaller, some are waterproof, and so on.
I didn’t think I had ever used a bag with multiple pockets and organizers within those pockets until I realized that my favorite dirt biking backpack/ hydration pack is a multiple-pocket arrangement with organizers within those pockets. It was just something on my back. Then it hit me. The Mosko Moto Nomax Tank Bag is an organizer backpack that secures to your motorcycle’s tank.
Sorry for the forehead slapper here in public, but I get it now. And, yes, the Nomax has backpack straps for carrying it when off the motorcycle. My main reason for wanting a tank bag is to avoid weight on my back all day when riding. With the Nomax, I no longer need to carry that extra weight on my back when riding, though I can put it on my back off the bike when desired.
Mosko Moto has single-compartment tank bags, if that is your preference. However, if you want to properly organize your small items and have a central pocket that will easily hold two one-liter MSR fuel bottles, then take a closer look at the Nomax.
The Nomax is a six-layered organizer. Each layer has an organizational style:
- The top layer is a MOLLE plate that accommodates add-ons such as a holder for your smartphone, tablet, or map.
- The next layer is called the Beavertail. It has pen and tire gauge type organizers on one side, and a wide Velcro closure mesh pocket on the other. The whole Beavertail can open to transport three beverage bottles from the local store to your campsite. It is held secure by adjustable buckles, one of which doubles as a safety whistle.
- The third layer unzips from both sides and keeps small items, such as pens, change, batteries, and cables, behind see-through mesh pockets. At the top of this layer is a fleece-lined glasses pocket.
In between the third and fourth layers is a top-zipper pocket that holds the waterproof cover for the tank bag—the Mosko Moto Nomax is not watertight without it. A strap inside this small pocket has a clip to attach to the end of the waterproof cover in case it catches a gust of wind when you pull it off to access one of the compartments.
- The fourth layer is the largest compartment—accommodating two one-liter MSR bottles, though we don’t recommend carrying flammable liquids in a tank bag. It will also hold my heated shirt and pants combo—it is that big. I have used it to hold my lunch and dinner, a spare pair of gloves, and a sports drink. I haven’t used the compressible, large, expandable zippered mesh pockets that line the top and bottom of the open compartment, but they are there for holding a tablet or toiletries. If you are a contact lens user, Mosko Moto has a removable lens case holder in the same compartment.
- The fifth layer holds the awesome feature of a two-liter hydration bag. It has a quick-release drinking tube that routes through the right side of the bag and wraps around to the left. The tube is securely held in place when riding by two clips. I really appreciate not having to carry four pounds of water on my back. When you first open the hydration bag, the top edges may be stuck together from the manufacturing process. If you aren’t sure of how to open the bag the first time, call customer service and ask. Do not use anything sharp to try to open it, or scissors to cut the top off. Some people have, and they have ruined the hydration bag. It separates with your fingers, though it wasn’t obvious to me where to pull.
- In between the hydration layer and the soft outer cover that lays against your tank is the sixth layer—an open pocket that holds the attached shoulder straps. I have walked around with it as a backpack several times and found it lays nicely and doesn’t slip side-to-side when on a light hike. Should you want the added stability of a belly strap, the long Nomax rear frame clip straps do the job.
You can fit a ton of small things inside the many organizational areas, but you have to be selective about the big stuff, including clothes or bottles. There are no stretch panels, so you have a finite amount of space to work with. If you are going to stuff it to the gills, I suggest you practice your organization skills before taking off on that ride. I stuffed mine on every ride to get the feel of its capabilities.
Putting little to nothing at the bottom of the bag in any pocket areas kept crotch bumps to a minimum. I am a stander when riding, and I lean far forward, so having a narrower base and taller top is more comfortable for my riding style on the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike.
Installation takes just minutes the first time, and seconds after that—just test-mount the bag to see where the rear bag straps should lay. The kit includes outdoor use super-duty zip-ties and sturdy, short mounting straps that the long straps from the tank bag connect to. I was interested to see if the short mounting straps would flap around when not in use and was relieved that they don’t bang around at all. At gas stops, I only needed to unbuckle the front left strap—the bag moves enough out of the way to access the gas cap.
On one ride, a friend asked me to carry a clothing layer as the day heated up, so I put it in the Mosko Moto Nomax tank bag. The extra bulk, combined with my riding position, made me want to move it from the tank to the tail. That bag fit perfectly at the tail, and I extra-secured it with an elastic strap. I have used tank bags as tail bags before, and it is very convenient to have the option of mounting a tank bag that way when needed.
The Mosko Moto Nomax tank bag weighs about 3.3 pounds empty, and has a two-liter hydration reservoir with an insulated hose. The interior has a seven-liter capacity, not including the expansion capability of the Beavertail. It is made of 1680-denier ballistic nylon and has an MSRP of $215. Mosko Moto supports it with a lifetime warranty, and you have a choice of two colors—Black and Woodland. The Nomax is a fully organized tank bag, hydration pack, and backpack—all in one unit. If total organization works for you and you don’t need a wide-open single compartment for your cargo, then the Nomax model is the Mosko Moto choice.