Cramster Turtle-Magnetic Tank Bag-Reviewed

I recently bought myself a “Cramster Turtle” – a magnetic tank bag. I thought I’d write a review of it, since the original Website itself has missing information, and most other sites where I searched before buying the bag, had the same information copy pasted there – verbatim. Well, that’s not a review.

For the basic information, you should check out the Cramster website. I have no intentions of re-posting whatever information you can already find there.

I have a few cribs with the “Cramster” folks – not with the product itself. I am really really happy with the bag. They simply don’t have enough information and photos on their website – which is really sad considering that they have a good product lineup and good products.

Basic Information:

  • Cost: ~1500 Rs. I bought it on ebay and was charged a shipping of 100Rs I think.
  • Color: Black (although other colors are available)
  • Has Scotch reflective material in some places.
  • YKK Zippers. (Well, brands like Louise Phillippe and Allen Solly use it too. So, it must be good I guess.)
  • It has a sling, to put on your shoulder. (detachable of course)
  • There are also four pegs at the extremities of the bag – just in case you want to secure your bag to your bike with say ropes, maybe you could do that too.

Dimensions, Pockets …etc:

  • Dimensions (Before Expanding): 13.5″ l x 11.5″ w x 7″ h
  • Dimensions (After Expanding): 13.5″ l x 11.5″ w x 9.8″ h
  • (Some space is taken up by the rain cover which is inside the main compartment.)
  • Map pouch Dimension: 11″ x 9.5 ” (Has a transparent sheet, and a zipper) The map pouch is present on the inside of the flap.
  • Mesh Pouch Dimension: 9.5″ x 9″ (tapers towards the end – 9.5″ x 8″) The Mesh pouch is directly below the flap. The flap sticks to the bag using Velcro.
  • There’s also a key holder between the Map pouch and Mesh pouch.
  • Side pouches (x 2 on either side)Dimensions: (8″ l x 3.5″ w x 1.5″ h ) Tapers Downwards. Should be enough to fit sunglass cases, spectacle cases, a small water bottle (500 ml), a digital camera …etc.
  • You could also put knick-knacks inside the rain cover pouch.
  • Has a rain cover, which has elastic lining, and covers the bag fully. Not sure how effective it would be during rains.

Where Do I Plan on using it:

I own a Honda CB Unicorn Dazzler. As anyone might know, motorbikes have issues with storage, compared to the scooters. Mine has a tiny compartment under the seat which can all but hold the first aid kit, the toolbox and the bikes papers.

I do a fair bit of travelling on weekends, and on the weekend that I don’t go on trips, I go shopping – for essentials of course. I love my Samsonite backpack, and it mostly suffices be it trips, carrying laptops or even bringing back juice cartons and biscuits. But sometimes, it cannot hold everything on the weekend shoppings, and on the trips, if you have a pillion rider, then your backpack is an issue. I find wearing it on the front cumbersome, and even slightly risky to be honest.

Welcome the Cramster Turtle. It looks stylish and snazzy to be carried around malls. It managed to get a few stares – not what I bought it for, but still, pretty cool, eh ? 🙂 It also fit in all most of the stuff I bought, and was really easy to ride back home with it mounted on the tank.

Note: If you are that person who is used to hanging covers from the handlebars, then you should really consider the Turtle. Not only are the plastic bags irritating – they are also risky! I find my control on the bike compromised, when I hand anything from the handlebars.

So in short, I plan to use it for,

  • To office maybe (when I have to carry some small stuff, and my bikes cover)
  • To the mall – when I go shopping
  • On trips, where my pillion will not complain. 🙂

FAQ’s:

You should first go through the FAQ’s on the Cramster website.

The below are based on my experience so far, and I take no responsibility for any inaccuracies. If you do find inaccuracies, do comment, and I shall have it taken down.

  1. Does it fit well on the  tank ? At high speeds will it hold ? A: It fits very well on my bike. You need a metal tank of course. I did decent speeds of 60-70 in the city, and didn’t for one moment think it might come off. I’ll report back after my trips where I expect to do more than 70 😉
  2. Is it roomy enough ? A: Yes. In fact I think it is roomier than maybe required in most cases. You can also expand the bag by approximately 2 and a half  inches of height. I always like expandable bags – like my Samsonite backpack. Only, in this case, I would have liked the expand to be like say 2 – 2.5 inches and the normal height of the bag to have been a little lesser, so that it appeared sleeker.
  3. Will I have problems controlling the bike with the bag mounted on the tank ? A: Most probably not. On my bike, I did not face any kind of discomfort, and I had it fully loaded. Also, the handlebars do not really come anywhere near touching the bag, unless when titled to the maximum on either side (see pics below.) – which is not all that much of a problem, and even lesser so since you don’t expect to turn the handle to the extremity all that often.
  4. Can I see the Instrument Panel, when the bag is on my tank ? A: Well, I could while driving. It did not come in the line-of-sight at all. But then, I am not sure if that might be an issue with other bikes. Some bikes like the Avenger have the fuel level indicator on the tank itself, and you might not be able to see such things. My room mate has an Avenger. Maybe I could try it on that, and see if it hampers visibility.
  5. Will it affect aerodynamics ? A: 🙂 Well, if you are really into aerodynamics, and are calculating the solution to some problem, maybe yes. I didn’t feel it adversely affect the aerodynamics.

Photos (Off the bike):

a little later

Photos (On the bike):

Minor Cribs:

  1. I feel – and just my opinion this, that the bag is a little bigger than maybe required in most cases, unless you are into serious touring of course. As mentioned above in the FAQ’s, I would have liked the bag to have been a little sleeker when the ‘Expand zipper is fastened’
  2. It would have been very nice if the bag also came up with some kind of a provision where it could have been used as a Backpack. Yes, I know it’s asking for a little too much. Plus, it’s probably for the best – most people might already be carrying a backpack, and wouldn’t want this to serve that purpose as well.
  3. The material feels a little thin. While I am sure it would be durable, I would have liked it to be just a little thicker.
  4. They could have had one extra compartment, or a place to put small things like say strips of medicines, your pens…etc. Most backpacks have this.

Your Say:

The poll should have read – “What do you think of the Cramster Turtle

I also bought a pair of Twister Gloves, the review of which I plan on writing soon.

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11 thoughts on “Cramster Turtle-Magnetic Tank Bag-Reviewed

  1. Hey Karthik,

    This was an extremely helpful and useful post by you. The series of pictures excellently demo/elaborate everything about the bag.
    Since you must have used it sufficiently in last 2 months, after your purchase, i have few questions for you:

    1) How is the material responding/durability till date and what can you predict for future usage? (since you mentioned, you would have liked thicker material; as i have another option with thicker material, but compromise on design)

    2) How is the water-proofing under light rain, without the rain-cover(along the stitches/stitching area/zip)?
    [because you cant secure it with the rain cover, at the first drop of rain while riding. :)]
    And with rain-cover, is it resistant enough to store valuable gadgets like camera, i-pod, mobile phones during one’s short highway/touring trips?

    3) How are the magnets responding after your period of usage?

    I need to use it on a Bullet.

    Appreciate your efforts.

    Safe Riding,
    Regards,
    Tushar

    1. Tushar Gupta :

      Hey Karthik,

      This was an extremely helpful and useful post by you. The series of pictures excellently demo/elaborate everything about the bag.
      Since you must have used it sufficiently in last 2 months, after your purchase, i have few questions for you:

      1) How is the material responding/durability till date and what can you predict for future usage? (since you mentioned, you would have liked thicker material; as i have another option with thicker material, but compromise on design)

      I am satisfied with the material. I don’t think I have stressed it much though.

      2) How is the water-proofing under light rain, without the rain-cover(along the stitches/stitching area/zip)?
      [because you cant secure it with the rain cover, at the first drop of rain while riding. :) ]
      And with rain-cover, is it resistant enough to store valuable gadgets like camera, i-pod, mobile phones during one’s short highway/touring trips?

      Well, I did use it under light drizzle without the rain cover on, and nothing inside got wet. It’s pretty decently designed in that way. I would however alwasy advice carrying plastic covers for electronics or anything that might get ruined under rain. My friend trusted his Samsonite backpack, only to find his passport wet inside.
      I am not sure how good it would be under heavy rains. (even with the rain cover on.)

      3) How are the magnets responding after your period of usage?

      I need to use it on a Bullet.

      The magnets are good and strong. I haven’t noticed any decrease in hold yet. However, one thind I found annoying and saddened me is that, the magnets do scratch the tank a bit on repeated use. Also, the underside of the bag is slightly abrasive and causes scratches. I would recommend spreading a smallish turkey towel below it, if you don’t want to end up ruining your fuel tank. (I should have taken cue from a friend who does that.)
      I would say, they would fit the best on Bullets from what I have seen till date.

      Appreciate your efforts.

      Safe Riding,
      Regards,
      Tushar

  2. Thanks Karthik, for your valuable feeds.
    I have zero-ed down to buy cramster, and i think i should pick it up today itself, before i get more confused 🙂
    There has to be faults with any design, so i will keep your point in mind, to place a cloth/towel underneath as i need to use it daily. I don’t need to ride to Himalayas every week, so i think the material must be acceptably durable, and i need it to tolerate Pune-rains, which i suppose are less intense than those in Mumbai/Bangalore.

    Ride Safe.

  3. Did they give any scratches on your fuel tank? I own Royal Enfield Clasic 350. Thinking of buying this fuel tank bag. Thank you. Your review was really helpfull.

    1. Hi Saurabh,
      Yes, it does scratch the tank a bit – but it’s not so much the bag itself that causes the scratch, it’s dust that will get trapped between the bag and the tank, and cause abrasion. My friend suggested using a soft cloth between the tank and the bag, but that would mean less bite from the magnets.

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