‘Old skool’ (ca. 1978) dirt bike leather tank bag

Leather tank bag, ca. 1978 designed for trials and trail bikes of the era

Leather tank bag, ca. 1978 designed for trials and trail bikes of the era

While digging through a box of old motorcycle parts, I found this leather tank bag, which I had used on my 1977 Montesa Cota 247 Trail in 1978 or thereabouts.

This is definitely old skool!  It’s all leather; there’s not one millimetre of manmade textile like tank bags today.

Bag's 'body' measures 8-1/4" x 5" x 3" and attaches to bike with 2 36-in. nylon straps

Bag’s ‘body’ measures 8-1/4″ x 5″ x 2-1/2″ (about 1.5l) and attaches to bike with 2 36-in. nylon straps

When trail riding, I used the bag to hold a small assortment of tools.  It’s been sitting in a box since the 1980s, still covered with mud and dirt from the last time I’d ridden the Montesa.

A quick clean up using warm water an a microfibre cloth and two generous treatments with Obenauf’s Leather Oil quickly revived the leather to its supple, original condition.

The leather pouch was purpose made for trials and trail bikes of the era. This leather extension was intended to fit over the fuel filler cap of Montesa and Bultaco Spanish motorcycles. The small hole was for the fuel breather hose fitting

The leather pouch was purpose made for trials and trail bikes of the era. This extension was designed to fit over the fuel filler cap of Montesa and Bultaco Spanish motorcycles. The small hole was for the fuel breather hose fitting

 

The leather pouch, which unfortunately has no brand or country of origin label, was likely made in Spain or perhaps the U.K. where trials bikes were popular in the late 1970s and early ’80s.  But that’s a guess.

The pouch has a clear window sleeve with a leather tab to lift a cover (held down on 3 edges with velcro to provide a modicum of weather protection) to access an inner pocket.

Under the clear window cover is a small pocket

Under the clear window cover is a small pocket

An old-fashioned metal buckle secures a 2-hole strap to secure the main lid of the pouch.

This leather tank bag from 1978 is an interesting example of the last years when leather was still being used for such motorcycle accessories before the widespread adoption of synthetic textiles.

Metal buckle with 2-hole strap secures main cover of pouch

Metal buckle with 2-hole strap secures main cover of pouch

Pouch holds

Pouch holds about 1.7l, large enough for a basic tool kit and a trail snack

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