FAMSA 260 Motorcycle Tank Bag
and Panniers Set
by H.B.C. for webBikeWorld.com
246 Tank Bag |
FAMSA 246 Long Term Ride Report |
Review, Accessories and Information
Motorcycle Luggage, Tank Bag and Tail Bag Reviews and Information
Summary: Well integrated system of tank
pad, tank-bag and two side tank-pannier assemblies.
Tank panniers mount up and are removed quickly
without disturbing the main tank-bag fitting.
Motorcycle specific systems (260/xx) fit perfectly.
Overall design reflects understanding of user needs.
Quality of construction is evident throughout. System
is extremely durable under all conditions.
A Hunch That Pays Off...
We've been trying new stuff and swapping accessories
between motorcycles all these years, so now that we
wanted to provide an even more adventure-touring
functionality to the Versys, it was only natural that we
consider fitting the FAMSA 260 tank bag and
pannier system, which we've been using on both of the
BMW R1200GS Adventure units in the fleet.
So after a quick "Mark 1" eyeball survey one late
fall evening, the initial fitting was undertaken.
Five minutes later the survey was validated -- even the
fuel filler cutout on the tank pad lined up almost
perfectly! Another five minutes and the tank
panniers from a FAMSA 260/7 (R1200GS) system were
zipped on et voilà! The Versys adventure
touring look was now complete.
Famsa Tankset Luggage Systems
FAMSA has been making scooter and motorcycle products
for over 40 years and they started making soft luggage
in 1980. Many of us are also probably using
manufactured by FAMSA products as well, given that they
supply many other soft luggage items to other major
European motorcycle OEMs.
The FAMSA 260 Tankset System was specifically
designed for off-road, dual-purpose and
adventure-touring motorcycles. Each set consists
of a custom made base or tank pad for the applicable
motorcycle model (with matching fuel filler aperture); a
tank bag and two side panniers. However, unlike
other FAMSA sets, the tank pad is simply a base, without
the stand-alone map pocket feature.
As long-time users of FAMSA products, we can attest
that their tanksets and other luggage items are
virtually unbeatable in terms of features, fit, quality
of workmanship and durability. The whole assembly
is made with tear-resistant and waterproof polyester, in
basic black. 3M reflective material is used
throughout, and the piping and inserts are highly
visible when energized. .
With a capacity of 13 to 19 litres (standard or
expanded), the tank-bag features a main storage space
and three external pockets, two of which are small
horizontal pockets on the sides and one square pocket on
the rear -- perfect for holding a rain-cover or
always-needed small items.
A clear map-holder pocket on the top flap is accessed
by a side zipper. The shoulder strap is mounted
around the bag itself, totally unobtrusive, but quickly
available for use. A semi-opaque rain-cover rounds
out the provided items.
The side panniers each offer up an additional 9
litres of stowage space. Measuring 30 x 30 cm x
11cm (11.8 x 11.8 in x 4.5 in), they are accessed by
opening a heavy duty zipper running in an inverted "C"
shape along the upper outside edge, itself protected by
an over-flap, that also serves to streamline the
While not (totally) waterproof, the internal coating
used on all components does a very good job of keeping
moisture out for extended periods. A secondary
flat mesh pocket, with a top zipper, located on the
bottom two-thirds of each pocket is exposed to the
elements, but regardless, it is great for carrying the
separate side pannier shoulder straps or other soft
Versatility is a Good Thing
The FAMSA 260 tank bag and pannier set shown here was
originally purchased for use on a 2005 R1200GS.
But when the ’05 was traded in January for a 2007
R1200GS Adventure, the tank pad and bag were migrated
over to the new machine.
However, as the side pannier assembly of the 260 was
designed for the slimmer GS, they were just a bit too
short to try and fit over the greatly expanded girth of
the Adventure’s 33L saddle tank and plastic tank
protectors. Accordingly, they were relegated to
the shelf -- but not forgotten.
On a related note, another earlier hunch had also
paid off when it was discovered that the FAMSA tankset
from an even longer-departed V-Strom could be fitted
successfully to the Adventure. The longer assembly
of the V-Strom side pannier is a perfect match for the
more rotund "Tanker" Adventure, as it is affectionately
known. And the "Tanker" name is apt, because, we
do carry a portable (squeeze) gas pump for
field-expedient fuel transfers.
With the FAMSA tank pad and tank bag assembly secured
using the adjustable rear hook straps and front
neck-strap, attention was turned to securing the tank
The original harness used to secure the top and the
middle points was replaced with an equivalent flat strap
while the bottom mounting point was secured to the
(frame) tubing that runs alongside the cylinders, using
a narrow piece of strapping.
After 30 minutes of work, it was done. The
whole assembly looks like a custom fit, including the
side panniers which end up being tucked in nicely just
behind the front signal lights. Every other rider
we saw had positive comments to make about the whole
While the side panniers, as used on the Beemers, are
typically well loaded, some restraint has been shown
during this evaluation -- neither side has been loaded
with more than 2-4kgs (4.4 to 8.8 lbs). This
common-sense limitation is more than enough for extra
riding clothes, raingear, spare oil and some small light
As noted on the Beemers, the panniers do cause more
wind deflection at the knee and lower leg levels, but
without creating undue turbulence, although some of that
deflected air is now pushed up higher. Outside of
this observation and the width of the tank bag itself,
there have been no other issues and no concerns about
its effect on engine cooling.
The reason we make this observation is that some
evaluators have determined that the Versys generates a
fair bit of heat from the radiator. We do not
dispute this, but it is only felt only when the machine
is accelerated hard; this surge of heat dissipates
quickly and is never a problem, even in warmer
temperatures and when trolling around town in traffic.
If accessory RAM mounts and other devices are mounted
on the left and right sides of the bars, some
interference with the front sides of the tank bag may
On the Versys, with the left-hand control assembly
RAM mount for the
(long or short arm), the handlebars can still be turned
lock to lock with only minor pressure applied to the top
edge of the bag by the RAM mount. If the tank bag
itself was about one inch narrower, it would be an
absolute perfect fit all around.
Even with the custom strapping used, the panniers
still go on and off in a couple of minutes without
disturbing the tank bag assembly itself, a feature very
much appreciated of the FAMSA system. While there
are other separate tank pannier sets on the market,
larger and smaller, the FAMSA tankset system is unique
in its integrated approach that provides ease of
installation and quick access to anything packed inside.
Another bonus is that side panniers provide excellent
additional protection when riding off-road (appreciating
width) and can act as great cushions in event of a
spill. We have seen one FAMSA tank pannier that
went for a slide, and while scruffed up, the assembly
had stayed in place and kept the actual motorcycle
fairing from making contact with the ground.
The FAMSA 260 tank bag and panniers tankset assembly
simply delivers. They seem to last forever.
No matter what motorcycle the system is manufactured
for, or adapted to, it has and will remain an invaluable
component of our travel luggage ensemble.
As a final comment, a small picture set with some
fitment information has been submitted to
BikerWorld USA. They have been very attentive
to my FAMSA needs over the years and they have a good
relationship with FAMSA headquarters in Italy. It
is hoped that the company will look at providing a
specific product for the Versys.
Special Report by H.B.C. for webBikeWorld.com
The Kawasaki Versys Story
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