Kappa TKW746 DryPak Tankbag Review
Kappa is new, lower-priced brand of motorcycle luggage and accessories that is made in Italy and is a subsidiary of Givi. Tour & Ride is the exclusive U.S. distributor for Kappa products, which includes hard and soft luggage, apparel and bolt-on motorcycle accessories. One of Kappa’s more unique products is the TKW746 DryPak Tankbag, which combines the features of a motorcycle tankbag, a waterproof dry bag and a backpack into a single, reasonably priced piece of luggage.
Like many dry bags, the TKW746 DryPak is made of heavy-duty polyester fabric that has been coated with PVC (polyvinyl chloride, a type of plastic). The material is completely waterproof, similar to an old-school rain slicker but much tougher, and its seams are glued or heat-sealed. The bag itself, which has a 20-liter capacity, is tube-shaped, with a rounded bottom and a wide opening at the top that’s rimmed with a band of nylon webbing and has two quick-release buckles on opposite ends. To seal the bag, the open end is spread flat (it helps to squeeze out excess air) and then folded over several times. Bringing together and locking the buckles keeps the rolled-up end secure and prevents water from getting inside. Having spent 16 days on the Colorado River last spring, I can attest that there’s no substitute for a good-quality dry bag when you need to keep your stuff free from moisture. When closed properly, dry bags can usually be submerged without leaking.
Attached to one side of the dry bag is one-half of a circular zipper that attaches to a magnetic base, and within the zipper’s perimeter are two adjustable backpack straps that hide between the bag and the magnetic base. The base is wide and has four separate magnets to adhere to metal gas tanks, as well as an adjustable strap with a quick-release buckle that goes around the steering stem for extra security. The TKW746 comes with four adjustable straps with clips at one end that can be attached to D-rings on the base and used to secure it to your bike if it has a plastic gas tank. Attached to the large, clear map pocket, which measures a generous 10 x 14 inches inside the Ziploc-like pouch, are four adjustable straps which also have clips that attach to the D-rings. This design makes it easy to remove the map pocket when you don’t need it. On the opposite side of the dry bag, which faces up when the DryPak is on the bike, is a compartment that seals with a single long, water-resistant zipper. Since opening and closing the sealed end of the dry bag takes some effort, the zippered compartment is where you’d keep things you need quick access to, like a cell phone, ear plugs, camera, extra gloves, etc. The map pocket goes over the zippered compartment, so it helps protect the water-resistant zipper from the elements.
Given its very utilitarian design and white/black color combo, Kappa’s TKW746 DryPak earns few style points. And, as the photos of the DryPak on a Yamaha FJR1300ES show, the stiff PVC dry bag does not conform to the contours of the gas tank, though the zip-on base underneath does, which is where it counts. The DryPak is dead simple to put on and take off the bike, and the base’s retaining strap makes it easy to push the tankbag to one side during fill-ups. The buckled ends of the dry bag provide a convenient carry handle, or the base can be left on the bike and it can be worn as a backpack (though the straps are on the small side).
My complaints are few, but one is that, due to its waterproof design, the TKW746 DryPak lacks the many compartments and an electronics port that are usually found on motorcycle tankbags. But then again, I live in Southern California where it doesn’t rain that much; if I lived in Seattle, waterproofness would probably trump everything else. My other complaint is that, on an unfaired motorcycle, oncoming wind tends to blow underneath the clipped-on map pocket, lifting its leading edge and making it flutter. The map pocket never came off in the wind, but it was annoying.
That the TKW746 DryPak can be used on its own as a dry bag or as a waterproof backpack makes this a very versatile piece of gear. That it retails for just $89.99 makes it a real bargain.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: See your dealer or visit tourandride.com