Jan 31, 2017

Product Review: Giant Loop Kiger Tank Bag

All Rights Reserved © 2015 Thomas W. Day


One of the most hostile reviews I've ever written and had published was of my frustrating experience with my Wolfman Enduro Bag. As much as I've hated that damn thing, I didn't find a suitable replacement for a V-Strom tank bag until Giant Loop came out with the Kiger. To sum up this review in one sentance, everything I had come to dislike about the Wolfman bag is a non-issue on the Kiger.

First, even with the rain cover, the Wolfman (and practically every other enduro-style tank bag) isn't particularly water-resistant. The first day I installed my Kiger I taught a Basic Rider Course at Century College where, about two hours from the end of the range-portion of the course, we were hit with a gully-washer. I had my V-Strom covered, but I had to pull the cover because the wind was so strong the bike was rocking hard enough I thought it might topple off of the centerstand. I hadn't double-protected my stuff with the Kiger's optional dry bag and the storm hit so quickly I didn't have time to latch one of the bag's buckles. 40mph-plus winds blew the rain parallel to the ground for a half-hour, blowing over half of our motorcycles, flooding the drains, and drenching everyone and everything; except the stuff inside of my Kiger tank bag. At least three inches of rain fell in that short cloudburst and none of it, not one drop, made it into my tank bag. First test, passed.


The Kiger and my V-Strom on an urban "adventure" during the Minneapolis Art-a-Whirl.

The next big issue I had with the Wolfman Enduro was stability. The Wolfman bag's "laminated foam sides" quickly turned to saggy pillows that took up space in the bag while providing ziltch for support. Initially, the Wolfman Enduro bag was the only substantial-sized bag I could find that was narrow enough to stay out of my way when steering, but when the foam sides failed so went the steering clearance. The Kiger's zipperless-clamshell design and materials make the bag almost rigid. The zipper-less, clamshell lid defines the top portion of the bag's structure and the foam-reinforced 22-ounce vinyl-coated polyester foundation holds the overall shape. The 4-point security system keeps it all exactly where I want it. The zipper attachment to the harness makes the bag easy to swing aside for a gas fill and the whole thing (except the harness) comes off easily so you take the bag with you. The Kiger is a 9 liter bag--rear 9.5″ tall, front 6″ tall, 8″ wide, 12″ long--which is large enough for a bike cover, gloves, boot covers, some tools, with space left over for stuff in the interior mesh pocket.

I'm still unclear on how this works, but it does. The clear vinyl map pocket is touchscreen-friendly; even when I'm wearing my Aerostich Deerskin gauntlets. This is a big deal, since I'm cheap and my Garmin GPS is a long ways from waterproof. There is a water-tight route for a power cord (USB on mine) into the map pocket, so running out of juice can be avoided.

Everything I wanted for this bit of travel storage was provided by Giant Loop's Kiger. It's a great bag and one that I fully expect to outlive my V-Strom and end up on whatever my next bike turns out to be. As always, the best place to buy Giant Loop products is directly from the company's website: https://giantloopmoto.com/.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. I own two Wolfman Tank Bags and could not be happier. Use an Enduro on my DR and an Explorer Lite on my Strom. They have both worn well over a decade of use. I have found that the Explorer Lite when kept full seems to retain its close to original shape and hence I experience no control interference.

T.W. Day said...

Nobody's mileage is the same, Steve. When I reported the liner failure to Wolfman, I got an aggressively interested response from someone there but their follow-up vanished and so did my interest in seeing if there was a fix once I had the Giant Loop replacement. I gave the bag away to a V-Strom friend, who loved it for about a month then turned on it harder than I had. He gave it away, too, and bought a Giant Loop. I think once you go waterproof you can never go back, but I could be wrong. I am pretty addicted to not worrying about the stuff in my tankbag getting wet after a couple of years with that luxury.

Unknown said...

Okay, I realize I'm late to this party but I just installed a Giant Loop Fandango bag which had a similar attachment method with the zippers. I'm looking for an opinion about the difficulty to reattach the second zip after refueling. It seems to be a tremendous hassle. Am I doing something wrong?

T.W. Day said...

It's definitely something I can't do with gloves on. I found that making sure the zipper tail was firmly stuffed as far into the zipper pull as possible was absolutely necessary. When I could manage that, getting the bag back on was pretty painless. When I tried to short-shrift that process, I did a lot of cursing.

T.W. Day said...

MNMotorcycle reviewed the Fandango: http://mnmotorcycle.com/winter-2010-gear-review-giant-loop-great-basin-bag-fandango-tank-bag/. I have a GL Coyote bag on my WR and NEVER unzip it all the way for a fuel fill. It just flops over out of the way and I only have to align the zipper a bit before zipping it all back together. There is even a picture of this in my review: http://geezerwithagrudge.blogspot.com/2013/12/product-review-giant-loop-coyote.html.