I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with tank bags.
I wouldn’t leave the house without one for the first three or four years of riding. But as I progressed to bigger and better bikes, those bikes came with luggage – rendering the tank bag unnecessary.
I rode an Africa Twin for five years – complete with panniers, a top box, and a roll bag. So for local ride-outs, I’d pop on the top box, and all my stuff would go in there.
But in 2022, all of that changed when I went ahead and bought a brand new Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX. Without a top box, I lacked space to carry essentials, so I got myself a Shad E04P PIN lock tank bag – you can find the review here.
Does More Expensive = Better?
As much I like the Shad, I have to admit that it hasn’t turned out to be the all-singing accessory I’d anticipated. Sure, it’s well-built, sturdy, looks good, and carries smaller essentials on tour.
But I dislike the price, the additional cost for the fitting plate, and the fact that it isn’t waterproof. If you want to make it so, you need to purchase the rain cover separately – which makes it expensive, considering it’s only marginally bigger than a jacket pocket!
On top of this, fitting it meant getting an aftermarket fuel cap, and when the tank bag isn’t on the bike, the pins stick up from the petrol cap – which isn’t ideal.
That said, my dad showed interest in it from the moment it arrived. It wasn’t the size, look, or quality he liked – it was the fact that it was mounted to the fuel cap rather than magnetic (like his tank bags have always been.)
So for Christmas, I bought him the Oxford Q4S Quick Release tank bag, along with a compatible Oxford QR tank ring adapter. And I have to say, I’m really quite impressed with it – more so than my Shad.
Oxford Does It Again
I can never understand why I continually allow myself to be tempted away from Oxford. I didn’t have much money when I first started riding, so I would buy Oxford gear because it was reasonable.
But as the years rolled on, I had more money to spend and would go for the bigger brands with the larger-than-life advertising campaigns – and the ridiculous price tags to match.
Yet they always seem to disappoint. So when I do go back to Oxford, I’m consistently impressed with the products they produce – and the prices they charge.
And the Oxford Q4S Quick Release tank bag is no different.
Like many Oxford products, the Q4S Quick Release tank bag isn’t showered in bells, whistles, and try-hard regalia. It’s a simple-looking product that’s made well and does exactly as you would expect.
It offers very few add-ons, is simple to install and is easy to use. It’s also a third bigger than my Shad and costs a third less.
For reference, my Shad 3L tank bag (along with the fitting plate and rainproof cover) cost around £105. The 4L Q4S (along with the plate) was a smidge under £80.
The Oxford Q4S Quick Release Tank Bag: How It Works
Where magnetic tank bags attach to the tank via a series of strong magnets and handlebar loop straps, the Q4S attaches directly to the fuel cap.
Essentially, a base plate on the bottom of the bag corresponds to the fitting on your fuel cap.
Pop the tank bag on top of the fuel cap, let it snap into place, and your tank bag is firmly attached to your bike without the need for magnets and straps.
Not only is this system safer, but it also negates any scratching of your paintwork.
The bag itself is well built – constructed from an EVA body and 6000 polyester base. It’s a semi-rigid construction which allows the bag to retain its shape whilst maintaining flexibility.
On first inspection, the QR tank ring adapter seems plasticy. But I’ve used these before and have never had any issues with them.
The bag comes with a rainproof cover – which is welcome. Although for light or passing rain, I have no doubt that the construction of the bag will withstand it perfectly fine.
I also like the chunky, weather-resistant zip which inspires confidence from the get-go.
As mentioned above, the Q4S Quick Release tank bag isn’t ladened with features. But the features it does have are practical and welcome.
On the outside, you’ll notice a rectangular groove at the rider end of the bag. This allows you to attach your smartphone to the bag to use as a sat nav – although you will need to purchase the phone holder separately.
Interior features include a nylon 210D lining and a zipped mesh net pocket – handy for a passport, phone or wallet. Whilst 4L doesn’t sound much, the bag’s shape makes it a practical-sized space – large enough to fit your riding essentials, your personal bits and bobs, and a drink.
Another nice feature are the two USB cable ports – one at the rider end of the bag and one at the handlebar end.
This means you can power your phone from the handlebar end of the bag when using a handlebar mount, or from the rider end when using the Oxford smartphone holder – a nice touch.
Finally, the bag features reflective detailing for night-time riding and a carry handle – perfect if using the bag as carry-on luggage on the ferry.
The Oxford Q4S Quick Release Tank Bag: Conclusion
Like anything in the motorcycle world, tank bags can be expensive. But in my experience, the more I pay, the more they disappoint me.
The Oxford Q4S Quick Release tank bag is the antithesis of modern-day advertising. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than simple and practical. And whilst it costs more than a bare-bones magnetic tank bag, it’s extremely good value for money.
Oxford doesn’t market this product as waterproof. But as mentioned above, I feel it will be perfectly fine in light rain – even without the rain cover. When the weather turns bad, it’s nice to know you can whip out the rain cover and protect your belongings.
It hurts that you need to purchase the tank ring adapter separately, but such is life! On the plus side, this allows you to switch between multiple tank bags for different purposes – which is handy.
The bad news is the adapter might not be compatible with any future bikes – rendering you with tank bags that don’t fit until you buy a new adapter.
There’s no doubt that a magnetic tank bag is easier to use and less faff. But for an extra £30-40, you can have one that attaches to your fuel cap, prevents scratching, looks better, and is perfectly secure.
And at this price, I highly recommend the Oxford Q4S Quick Release tank bag.
Find the Oxford Q4S Quick Release tank bag on:
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