Icon Primer Tank Bag Review – 8 out of 10
Reviewed by Brent VanDyke
I debated not writing this review as I thought the bag was old enough that SURELY it had been discontinued. I was mistaken!
The Icon Primer was my first tank bag purchase, made in July of 07. I constantly found myself stuffing the pockets of my jacket beyond capacity and knew that I was just being cheap buy not looking for a real solution to the issue. Heck, I was cheap. A college student, paying for my own way through, paying for my own insurance, food, clothes. If I wasn’t cheap, maybe you’d say I was broke? Anyway, I digress.
So as I mentioned, I both needed a quick solution and was “cheap”. Thrifty? Maybe… Probably just cheap though. I went in search of a small tank bag for my ninja 250 (and other bikes since). How hard could it be, the metal of the gas tank is fully exposed!
Enter the Primer. I’ll be honest, I didn’t look at more than two or three other backs before coming to this one (though I’ve certainly used more since). One of the local bike shops had it at 20% off their already below MSRP and it looked like it’d fit the bike perfectly. It looked nifty with the backpack straps, compact as I didn’t need massive storage. The salesman didn’t even have to talk me in to it. Thrifty, right?
I thought so. Onward!
On the positive side:
1. Four point magnetic connections to hold all sides of the bag down (more on the magnets in a bit). In normal riding, and with a little wind protection, it stays fairly planted.
2. Backpack straps. Seriously, I had no idea how much I would come to use the backpack conversion straps. The strap is included with the bag and attaches one point at the top of the bag and two at the bottom forming a triangle type connection. It’s obvious that they stuck with the idea of mobility in the design.
3. Convenient size. This is great for short trips to the mall or perhaps a few small tools. I’ve even packed it for a night stay at a friends about 3 hours away. It’s not so big as to get in the way when you’re riding.
On the less than positive side:
1. The magnets are TINY. Be sure that when you attach this bag, it’s in a place with some decent wind protection. I had mine try to fly off once in some (quite) spirited riding. Made for an interesting couple of seconds as there are no straps to hard attach to a solid mount point.
2. The shoulder straps do not seem to have been as well made as the bag itself. Time has not been kind to the straps and they’ve required some “maintenance”. Maybe Icon didn’t plan on the amount of use I’d get out of them? Or perhaps I’m just not very gentle. Who knows?
I used this bag quite heavily for 3 years or so, but my riding style has changed since then to a more touring-centric type. The bag now sits on my shelf due to it’s limited capacity, but to each job there must be an appropriate tool and to those who need a bit of storage on shorter trips to the store or mall, this bag is a great fit. Note that if the sides of your tank are covered in plastic fairings, this bag may not work for you due to the magnet-only mounting (though this shouldn’t be an issue for sport bikers).
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