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Tank bag displays GPS and phone

Nelson-Rigg tank bag

You can now view your GPS and mobile phone while riding with the American Nelson-Rigg tank bag, which is convenient but could also be a distraction.

The GPS holder section has a multi-angle bracket so you can perfectly angle the screen to your vision. It sits inside a clear plastic weatherproof pocket.

Your phone is located in a separate plastic pocket with a touch-screen weatherproof cover.

One of the advantages we can see of this bag is that you can quickly remove the phone and GPS from your bike without having to use special handlebar mounts.

Double distractions

However, mounting a GPS and mobile phone on your tank could be a dangerous double distraction as it draws your attention a long way from the road ahead.

Bar-mounted units are closer to your field of vision and therefore safer.

Some riders would wonder why you even need your mobile phone visible while riding.

The trend is growing with some motorcycle and scooter companies integrating their instruments into phone apps.

Others, such as Kymco, are even replicating your mobile phone screen on the bike’s instrument screen so you can see such things as Facebook updates!

Kymco AK550 distracted bag
Facebook alert on a Kymco scooter

Heat problems

We’ve used tank bags with these plastic phone pockets before and find that the heat generated on top of the bag in summer under a plastic screen can switch the phone off.

Phone batteries just don’t work in the heat built up on the top of a black plastic tank bag.

Tank bag details

The strap-mounted Nelson-Rogg bag for plastic tanks is just $59.95 and the magnetic bag is $69.95.

Nelson-Rigg tank bag
Bag with straps for plastic tanks

The tank bags are made from UV treated Tri-Max Ballistic Nylon with “Fibertech accents”, which seems to be a fancy word for moulded plastic.

They feature “reverse coil zippers” which they say helps to keep out dust and dirt. This is important in Australia where bull dust can clog zippers.

The bags come wth a lifetime warranty and are distributed in Australia by Link International.

American motorcycle luggage company Nelson-Rigg has been making rainwear and motorcycle covers since 1972.


  1. I personally don’t like the trend towards encouraging use of these things, particularly if they are mounted down on the tank. As you correctly say Mark, it takes your eyes of the road and even for a couple of seconds, can mean the difference between crashing or not!
    We have managed to enjoy motorcycling for many years without these devices and to me they would possibly detract from the enjoyment and concentration of riding my bike.
    While I recognise the benefits of having a mobile phone along for the ride, use the bluetooth capability for music and directions. The rest (including FB) can wait until the first stop.
    Just my opinion!

  2. In another story, people are concerned about autonomous vehicles killing off motorcycling. This sort of device presents a much more clear and present danger. Those who can’t keep their eyes away from their telephones for more than a few seconds will kill themselves off before any other activity kills off their pastime (motorcycling is not a “sport” as referred to in the other articles, other than when used for competition).

    1. Hi Graeme,
      The Give a Shift panel uses the word “sport”. It’s difficult to tie it down to one word.
      For me it’s my job! It’s also a pastime, hobby, transport necessity, lifestyle and much more.
      I can understand your concern with the word “sport”, but that doesn’t mean it is dangerous or irresponsible. There are a lot of sports that are healthy, life-affirming pursuits.
      By the way, the International Olympic Committee and over 100 countries recognise chess as a sport!

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