The Ixon X Pand Tank Bag is a low-frills
magnetically-attached bag. In its smallest
configuration it's one step up from a map
holder, but it expands to provide loads of
The X Pand easily converts to a backpack,
and comes with a rain cover.
Editor's Note: Ixon
manufactures and sells a variety of unique and
clothing, luggage and accessories. Their
products are popular in the UK and in Europe, Australia and
New Zealand, but relatively unknown in North and
Ixon headquarters are
located in Mâcon, France and the company has
been expanding their product line and worldwide
The French make some very
innovative and high-quality motorcycle products,
and webBikeWorld visitors are familiar with our articles
covering products such as the unique
ROOF Boxer V and the
Furygan Fighter jacket. Furygan
products are now available in the U.S., and
perhaps a North American distributor will pick
up the Ixon line also.
The Ixon X Pand tank bag is
illustrative of the interesting motorcycle accessories made by Ixon. Kevin G.,
who lives in Canada and who recently wrote
the webBikeWorld review of the
Rapid Transit Recon 23 tail bag, brings us
Access Equip Moto France (AEMF) was started in 1996
by 24-year-old motorcycle rider and clothing
maker Thierry Maniguet. A decade later
AEMF has become one of the most profitable small
businesses in France, solely on the strength of
its Ixon clothing and luggage brand.
company is doing so well that in 2004 AEMF was
recognized as the number three small-to-medium
sized business in la république,
and in 2007 was awarded an Ambition Prize by the
A few dozen employees in
handle design, research and development while
manufacturing takes place at a 500-employee
factory in China. Quality control is
reportedly top-notch, and a sizeable number of
endurance racers in France wear Ixon gear.
Ixon is also a sponsor of the Bol d'Or and Moto
Tour endurance rallies in France (which take
place in September and October).
Ixon produces a number of tank bags, backpacks
and saddlebags, ranging from the tiny, 6 Litre X
Port to the 40 Litre X Ceed backpack. The 26
Litre X Pand is the only expandable bag Ixon
makes, although there are several bags and
backpacks with completely detachable sections.
In its most compact form, the X
Pand is mostly rectangular, made from Noxilen
(that's rugged polyester to you and me), and
resembles a small backpack. The part of
the bag that rests on a motorcycle's gas tank is
dead flat, but the top has a graceful curve.
It's about 12 cm or 5 inches high in this form,
with two expansion zippers running around the
base of the bag. Undo the zips and pull up
the bag to its largest capacity, and the X Pand
is about 30 cm or 12 inches tall, and holds
roughly 26 litres.
That's pretty tall. At its
largest, I find the X Pand blocks my speedometer
and tach, and there is no way I can tell how
fast I'm going. But close one, or both
expansions, and it's easy to read the speed.
Those taking long trips will want to be aware of
this, but people taking long trips may choose
another bag anyway.
A nylon zipper with two zips
runs three quarters of the way around the top of
the bag, giving easy access to the contents.
The top flap is also a map pocket, with a small
Velcro closure on the inside of the bag.
It easily holds a 9" x 12" map book, or a sheet
of directions printed from MapQuest.
That's it for this bag: no side pockets or inner
organizers, just one big open space.
Like all magnetically-attached
tank bags, installation is a piece of cake.
Rubberized flaps come out from underneath either
side of the bottom of the bag, each containing
two 5 cm or 2-inch magnets, which securely
fasten to a tank.
A fifth magnet (possibly a
spare) can be found in another pouch at the
front end of the bag, making three magnets
across the front and two at the back, along with
a short adjustable cord that hooks around the
triple tree for added security. Each
magnet can be removed from its small pouch.
The bag is rated for what feels like an
overly-cautious 12 pounds, and while the top of
the bag may slosh around a tad, the magnets
never move until pried off.
When taken off the motorcycle,
the flaps can be tucked back under a pocket that
runs the length of the bag (one from each side
will also connect to that fifth magnet).
The pocket also hides wide straps that can be
pulled out and attached to the bottom,
converting the tank bag into a backpack.
Alternatively, the bag can be lugged around with
the solidly-woven briefcase-style handle at one
Included with the X Pand, although not
installed, are two hard plastic side stiffeners.
Unlike some other bags (such as the
recently-reviewed Recon 23 Tail Bag), the X Pand
has no internal padding to help it maintain its
Without the inserts, the bag flops
and sags, especially if all three sections are
open. And the way the bag is designed, the
largest side support must be removed before
collapsing the two lower sections.
Fortunately, the inserts aren't
terribly difficult to install or remove.
There are two attachment sleeves at one end of
the X Pand, and another sleeve at the midway
point. The trick is to roll the stiffener
and put it through the middle sleeve first,
before sliding the ends into place.
I find I always leave the
smallest stiffener in place, and I carry the
larger, two-section insert around just in case.
However, I do wish the small insert were glued
into place, and I'll likely do that in the near
Having removable hard liners does
reduce shipping costs, and the liners are
perfectly sized, but I wish they stayed right in
the lips around the bottom of the bag and
underneath the zipper. It would give the X Pand a slightly more finished feel.
The other catch is that the
large stiffener can only be installed with the
two expansions unzipped. Open two out of
three sections, and one of those sections won't
have stiff sides. It's not the end of the
world, but it feels a bit odd to have a loose
bottom half of the bag, and it's a problem that
vanishes when the bag is fully expanded and the
large side support is tucked into place.
The X Pand appears to be aimed at riders who
want something larger than a map holder, but
don't want to spend money on a large piece of
luggage that won't see much use. The
expandable construction does the trick, and
provides a lot of flexibility.
It's easy to throw the bag in
its smallest form on a motorcycle, then just
unzip and go from lean and mean to oversized.
With practice it takes about a minute to install
the largest side stiffener in the bottom
section, and since it rolls up to about the size
of a water bottle, it's not difficult to
remember to leave it in the bag.
other hand, I wonder if a bag that had a stable
base, but expanded from the top up instead of
the bottom down, would be a better option.
The X Pand comes with a clear
rain cover that easily fits over the bag in its
fully expanded form. The cover attaches
underneath the bag with a pair of Velcro strips,
although it is easiest to install while the X
Pand is on the ground instead of on the tank.
I've been storing the rain cover in the same
pouch as the backpack straps, and this may
prevent the fifth, central magnet from sticking
to the tank. But since the other four
magnets are so securely attached, it's not
really a concern.
One added touch that I
appreciate is that another carrying handle
appears once the middle expansion is unzipped.
This means that off the bike, carrying the
expanded bag like a piece of hand luggage isn't
Overall the X Pand is a simple but effective
tank bag. It does not have all the extra
pockets that other bags do, but when treated as
a small inexpensive bag with room to grow, it
meets expectations. This bag is best for a
rider who likes to be lean and mean, but still
have room on their bike just in case.