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.:Review:. SW-MOTECH EVO Engage Tank Bag

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When it comes to tank bags, I hate straps, magnets, and awkward shapes that seem out of place on the bike. A good tank bag is infinitely useful on rides, but with previous bikes, I would (foolishly) forego one because the designer inside of me was too disturbed by how the bag attached to or looked on the bike.
When I picked up my FJ-09 in February ’16, I began my search bag that met my requirements:

[ul type=disc][*]No magnets or straps as a means of attachment to the tank
[*]Capacity to hold the “day ride essentials”[*]Lockable
[*]Blended into the design of the motorcycle[/ul]
Enter SW-MOTECH’s Quick-Lock EVO Engage Tank Bag. Not only did it meet my requirements, but it blew them out of the water and raised my expectations for for build quality, function, and usability of motorcycle luggage.
To Sum it Up

If you own an FJ (or bike with similarly-sloped tank), I think this is the perfect tank bag. Buy it—it’s worth every penny.
[ul type=disc][*]Design: 10/10 – Slopes perfectly with the tank; doesn’t interfere with the bars. All flaps open easy with gloves thanks to the large zipper pulls[*]Interior Space: 10/10 – Perfect for day trip essentials. Bright red color makes it easy to find stuff.[*]Build Quality: 8.5/10 – Durable with barely a sign of wear after 1 yr/23k mi – except the fading main zipper.[/ul]
Want more details? I break it down below:
Honestly, I’m more of a function-over-form kind of guy; I’d take a [i style=font-size:medium][insert piece of gear here][/i] that functions properly instead of looking good. (Yeah, I wear an Aerostich too) That’s exactly why I’m all-the-more impressed with how SW-Motech blended form so beautifully with function. Hell, if I didn’t know any better, I’d have guessed SW-MOTECH designed this bag specifically for the Yamaha FJ-09.
The contour of the trailing tip of the bag matches nearly perfectly to the slope of the FJ-09’s 4.8 gallon tank and turning the handlebars full-lock leaves just enough clearance between the bars and the bag. Like I said, it couldn’t be a more perfectly shaped and sized bag for the motorcycle.
This is where the Engage tank bag really shines. It utilizes SW-MOTECH’s proprietary “Quick-Lock” attachment system. Basically, you bolt low-profile ring (sold separately) to your gas cap and your tank bag with the matching Quick-Lock receiver will click on and off effortlessly.
Pulling forward on the release cable disconnects the bag from the ring mounted on tank.
Interior & Capacity
After pounding thousands of miles over dozens of day trips, I’m left with nearly nothing to be desired as far as the interior of the Engage Tank Bag is concerned. It took a while for me to configure it just how I like it, but now all of my day trip essentials have their own spot.
Phone, wallet, keys, sunglasses, toll tag, neck buff, etc. and it’s only 1/2 full!
The movable divider allows me to separate the bag into two compartments to keep things from jostling around too much.
The zipper pouch on the backside of the lid is great for small things like my garage door opener, a pair of ear plugs, and a paper clip for when I inevitably need to reset my Sena 20S.
Attention to Detail

SW-MOTECH’s attention to detail made a good tank bag into a great one. They didn’t just slap together a one-size-fits-none tank bag; instead, they engineered a reasonable way for the Engage to be adapted to motorcycles with varying filler-cap-to-slope distances.
The mounting plate can be moved fore and aft to perfect how it sits on the tank.
Although there is the rubber pass-through for cables, you’ll need to poke a hole through the fabric behind it to get a wire through.
Most tank bags come with a carrying handle of some sorts, but the handle on the Engage has earned a few words of recognition in my book. Nearly every day, I pull this thing off the bike and lug it around in stores, into the office, or back to my tent—and I’m far from gentle with it. Sometimes it has next to nothing inside of it, but sometimes I’ve packed it full with 15lbs of sh*t. The handle doesn’t show even a hint of wear—something I can’t say for the handle on my now-handleless Cortech tank bags.
Also notice the retro-reflective triangles on the upper-side of the Engage. This “lights up” the side profile of the motorcycle.
It’s a small detail, but I appreciate the protective plastic layer that keeps the QR pull from chafing the edge piping.
The zippers on the main compartment of the Engage have locking tabs to secure your goodies inside. Sure, a sticky-fingered passer-by’er could just walk off with the whole bag… IF they could figure out how to detach it from the bike.
A mini brass padlock isn’t theft-proof, but as the old saying goes, “just make it harder to steal than the guy’s next to yours.”
The Engage comes with provisions at the front of the bag to clip on the included shoulder strap.
Build Quality
23k miles and nary an issue. I’ve been impressed how the exterior Cordura shell has held up to rain, hail, sleet, snow, and sun. This thing is a f’ing tank, but has a couple weak points.

Areas for Improvement
Fading Zipper
Surprisingly, the only area the Engage has shown real signs of age/wear is on the main zipper. It’s faded from black to a grayscale purple.
Some Lube Required
About 9 months into ownership, I noticed the Quick-Lock system getting jammed. A quick squirt of White Lithium Grease in the latching mechanism solved my issues.
[b style=font-size:x-large]Conclusion[/b]
If you’re looking for (and willing to shell out the dough for) a solid tank bag that carries all your quick-access items, I couldn’t more highly recommend SW-MOTECH’s EVO Engage tank bag.
If you want to see these photos in high-res, you can find them on my Flickr

Disagree? Did I miss something? Was this review helpful? I'm looking to do more write-ups like this in the future and there's always room for improvement. What could I do better? Any feedback is appreciated!
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It's definitely the tank bag I would buy if I was making the choice again.
Great review BTW, your photography light and colour balance are excellent.

Red 2015 Tracer, UK spec (well, it was until I started messing with it...)

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  • 1 month later...
Is anyone using this tank bag with any type of bar risers?
I installed a set of the SW-Motech "up & back" style risers and ready to go for this bag but not sure with the bars being brought back will create any issues with installing this tank bag.
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  • 1 month later...
Thank you so much for this review!
I wasn't sure if the EVO bag would fit the contour of the tank, so I was really close to settling for a standard rectangle bag. Seeing the photos you took proved it fits very well with the FJ!!
I just ordered one for mine!
(My bike is red, so of course it will look even better!!! :) )
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Thank you so much for this review! 
I wasn't sure if the EVO bag would fit the contour of the tank, so I was really close to settling for a standard rectangle bag. Seeing the photos you took proved it fits very well with the FJ!!
I just ordered one for mine!
(My bike is red, so of course it will look even better!!! :) )
I just installed this bag last week. The mounting ring comes with a large spacer that goes between the bag and engagement mechanism. If you install the spacer you will have about a inch of space between the bag and tank. It doesn't look as good but the theory is if you pack a lot of stuff in you bag it won't contact the tank and possibly scuff the tank.
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Here's a picture of the spacer, Engage bag with the spacer installed and the DayPack model tank bag.
I have some SW-Motech "up & back " risers and have no issues using this bag or the DayPack. I will say that without the spacer I am unable to latch the Engage bag. With the DayPack, no problem.
Engage Bag w/spacer:
Engage bag full-lock right w/bar risers:
SW-Motech DayPack (no spacer):
DayPack Full-lock right w/at risers:
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It appears you're not using the spacer.  Does the bag without the spacer mess up the paint at all?  Great review BTW.
In my pictures above, the spacer is installed on the Engage bag as you will notice a noticeable space between the bag & tank, unlike that of the OP's pics. In the picture showing the DayPack bag, I do not have the spacer installed and there is no contact with the fuel tank. 
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It appears you're not using the spacer.  Does the bag without the spacer mess up the paint at all?  Great review BTW.
FWIW I have this bag on the bike, without the spacer... no marks on the tank at all after ~6,000km (photo shows no contact with painted parts of tank). Total disclosure... it will latch to the ring when I apply slight downward pressure on the inside (bottom) of the bag with my hand and then release the latch lanyard. No inconvenience at all to speak of, and it looks like it belongs. 

I use the 110 tank ring which holds the bag closer to the tank and it flows well with the contour of the tank. Same procedure  as above to attach the bag. MAKE SURE THE LANYARD IS SNAPPED INTO TH FRONT OF THE BAG! If not, and it gets caught underneath the bag, you may learn some new words getting it out.  Here's my review of the bag for what ti's worth. https://fj-09.org/thread/795/motech-connection-electric-quick-engage
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