Viking Apex ADV Touring Tank Bag with Hydration Pack Product Review

There a few subjects you should not discuss with family and friends. Politics and Religion are well know but for ADV riders you can also include choice of tires, tire pressure and bar risers. But I would also include the use of a tank bag. Some say tank bags get in the way of standing up and also adds weight up high on the bike. But I strongly disagree. Yes, if you get an oversized bag or fill a tank bag to the brim with heavy, unnecessary items interference with riding position and weight can be issues. The key is to get the right bag and use it correctly. You will then discover just how convenient a tank bag can be in having essential items at your finger tips.

I will now argue that I have found the right bag. I was approached by someone from Viking bags to review one of their bags. My knowledge of Viking has been limited to the bags that they have for cruiser type motorcycles. I was surprised to learn that they also have an ADV line and I chose the tank bag since I was planning on acquiring a R1200GS and would need a tank bag. Upon receiving the bag I was impressed with the quality of the material. Sturdy with robust stitching. Zippers, which I have found to be inferior in some luggage I have used, seemed also to be robust and solid.

Installing the bag was quick and simple after Viking forwarded me a copy of the installation instructions. One strap passes around the steering stem then connects to the bag via quick release buckles. The rear of the bag secures to the bike via long Velcro straps that connect via quick release buckles to Zip Tie attached mounting straps. The straps are easily adjusted to tighten or reposition the bag on the tank.

Organization of the storage pockets are also unique and not like any other tank bags I have used. All other bags rely on providing a large single pouch to store items in. The issue with this is that organization is lacking and it becomes difficult to find items buried in the pocket. With the Apex bag there are three zippered layers with one having mesh pockets to store things. On top of this section there is a Velcro secured flap that also has mesh pockets. The lower two sections have a more traditional open design with the lowest section reserved for the hydration pack, whose dispensing hose passes out of the tank bag thru a small zipper on the right side of the bag. The hose then wraps around the bag secured to the outside with spaced clips. You can leave the hydration bag out and use the space for more storage if desired.

There are only a few changes I would like to see with the Apex bag. It would be helpful to have installation instructions provided with the bag. This might have been an oversight since this was a bag intended for review. Even a link to a video installation would be great. Secondly, it would be better if the hydration hose exited through the bag through a rubber grommet type opening versus the small zipper opening. Also, the zipper gaining access to the storage area for the hydration back only goes a partial way around the bag making it tight to stuff the bag into its pocket. Having the zipper continue all the way around the bag would make loading the hydration bag much easier. Finally, the Apex has a great rain cover. The only issue is that the window to allow visualization through the rain cover is very stiff and it is difficult to fold it in a way such that it can be stored in a small space. There are two small pouches built into the front and back of the tank bag but are not large enough to hold the rain cover.

The bag in no way hinders my movement on the bike and does not pose any issue weight. Overall, this is a great tank bag and one that I will gladly keep using and “evaluating”. A term I use to get Viking to let me keep the bag. 🙂 I think you would be pleased as well.

Viking Apex ADV Tank Bag with Hydration Pack

Viking ADV Luggage

Emmaus MotoTours
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