Blake, Jenn, & Julia: Welcome Aboard!

November 13, 2019

It has been a great fall here at Mosko. We’re settling into an annual cycle, with spring/fall packed with riding and gear testing, the summers a blur of shows, meetups, sales, and service, and winters focused on product design and infrastructure. Soon the rain & snow will come, the trails will close, the shows will move indoors, and we’ll hunker down till spring. In the meantime we’re taking full advantage of the extended riding season we’re experiencing here in the Pacific Northwest.

Growing Team

We have three new team members at Mosko HQ.

Jennifer Harrington recently joined the Mosko team in customer service. She previously spent 4 years at the Black Tux, an online formal wear rental company, in a variety of project management and service roles. She has a BS in Fashion Merchandising & Design from George Fox University. Jenn rides a Royal Enfield Himalayan. She was in an offroad training session last week, and she unfortunately slipped on some icy mud, resulting in a fractured ankle.

Jenn: welcome to the team, so sorry that happened, and we look forward to skiing with you at Mt Hood before the New Year.

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Julia Austin joined our team several months ago as a part-time contractor – a position which quickly grew to nearly full time – helping Scott and Andrew with product development, fitment, and specs. Previously Julia was at DaKine in Hood River, where she worked on design, fitment, and speccing for the snow, mountain bike, surf, and lifestyle categories. Julia has a BFA in apparel design from the Art Institute of Portland. She recently got her motorcycle license, and she’s in the market for a bike. Welcome to the team Julia!

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Blake Draguesku joined the Mosko team a few weeks ago to manage our media content, advrider.com thread, social media presence, and many other marketing-related things. Previously Blake worked as a marketing/communications contractor in the motorcycle industry, and he also did a variety of freelance writing and photography. Blake has a BMW R1200GS Adventure for touring, a Husky 701 setup with a full rally kit, and a Husky 450 for trails & track. Check out this recent article he wrote for Road & Track (that’s Blake on the Ducati).

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With all the new faces, we’ve also increased our office space. In addition to new offices for service/sales, we added a conference room and a soon-to-be retail product showroom.

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At the moment, the showroom kind of looks like an adult shop.

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Pico Tank Bag v2.0 & MOLLE Cell Phone Case

If you’ve tried to purchase a Pico recently, you may have noticed it’s sold out. After collecting feedback and using it ourselves for nearly a year, we want to make a couple changes before reordering.

First: we’re changing the zipper. The sealed YKK zipper we used in v1.0 is pretty standard on tank bags, but they’re quick to jam in dusty conditions. A little chapstick or silicone spray fixes that, but it’s still annoying. In v2.0 we’re using a waterproof apparel zipper like the one we used on the Basilisk. It’s more expensive and they’re not commonly used on bags, but it should solve the jamming issue.

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The second change is to remove the cell phone pocket and replace it with MOLLE webbing. You can mount our (also new) MOLLE-compatible cell phone case on the pico, which works better than the built-in pocket. With the existing design, it’s hard to get your phone out of the cell pocket quickly, for example if you want to take a pic. Also, the clear vinyl panel becomes a greenhouse on a sunny day, overheating the phone. In Colorado a few weeks ago, Ames created this homemade sun cover to keep his phone from overheating.

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Here’s what the current prototype of the v2 looks like with the MOLLE panel on top.

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Here’s what it looks like with our new MOLLE cell phone case. The cell case is vented not waterproof, since most phones are already waterproof, and it has a sun cover that rolls up and tucks behind the case when it’s not in use, to protect your phone from overheating.

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The cell phone case attaches to a velcro MOLLE panel, so it fits on top of any of our tank bags. I’ve been using this plus my iphone as my primary navigational tool all year, including in Ethiopia and several US trips, and it works awesome. It eliminates the pesky handlebar vibration issues that kill phone cameras, it stores your phone in a protected spot where it’s less likely to be damaged when the bike flips, and it eliminates the problem of having to pull your phone out of your pocket at every intersection.

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The Woodsman Enduro Pant

Oh how I love this pant, let me count the ways.

The Woodsman project started with Scotty’s idea to make an enduro pant from modern, stretchy, soft-shell materials. We tested in-boot and over-boot designs, waterproof and not, vented and not, using an array of different materials. We tested them on trails and on multi-day camping trips. We even wore them around the office.

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In the end we decided the Woodsman should be an in-boot pant with lots of vents, with a waterproof-windproof-breathable layer in the knees, thighs, and butt (black in the pics above), and a stretchy DWR-treated work-pant material everywhere else (brown in the pics above). They’re tough, breathable, and very comfortable. This is a pant you can wear off the bike as well, around camp (like Scott in the pics below) or on your way to the trailhead.

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Since we got the latest protos, this has been my go-to pant for trail riding. I’m not in a big hurry to take it off when the riding is over, which I love.

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The waterproof materials in the knee, thigh, and butt protect against moisture from dew, fog, water crossings, wet seats, and light rain. They’re also windproof, so they reduce the chill on the front-facing (aka wind-facing) parts of your leg.

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For the Woodsman – and for all our 2020 apparel – we’re in the process of selecting colors. We want to add more color overall (reds, blues, greens), which is atypical in motorcycle gear, and we’re digging the earth tones (also atypical). We want our color choices to align with backcountry travel more than speed and racing, and to reflect our perspective that ADV is as much a nature sport as it is also a motorsport.

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Backpacks

Thanks again for all the feedback on backpacks. It has been received and digested, and work has started. Andrew is experimenting with patterns and concepts for at least two different packs. More to come on that.

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We won’t actually use this buckle, it’s just a placeholder.

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Here’s Ash testing a magnetic quick release buckle.

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Overland Expo East

After the KTM Rally in Colorado, J.C. hauled the Mosko Roadshow trailer all the way across the country to Arrington, Virginia for Overland Expo East. This year, OXE was held at Infinity Downs racetrack, where we had plenty of space (40′) to setup the full booth with all the backdrops, bikes, and mannequins.

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We got some new accessories from our friends at Black Dog Cycle Works to mount on our 5 new show bikes. On the KTM 790, we removed the large/clunky grab handle assembly and replaced it with a much more functional BDCW rear luggage plate. This makes for a perfect fit on the 790 with our Reckless 80.

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We also replaced the stock footpegs on the 790 (left) with the larger and grippier Black Dog version (right). We also have a new Black Dog skidplate for the 790, but we didn’t have it there in Arrington for the show.

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Carl Parker from ADVMoto Magazine let Ash & I take his Royal Enfield Himalayan out for a spin. What’s not to love about a 400cc $4,500 adventure bike?

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Carl just embarked on a new project for an ADV comic book. They’re raising money to get it launched. Check out the video on their Kickstarter page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/advmoto/far-rider-moto-adventures-comic-new-beginnings. If you like what you see, please contribute (we did)!

At OXE, we fitted a couple scramblers with Reckless 80s and Nomad tank bags. We’re seeing more and more scramblers opting for soft luggage. The two fitment challenges we see on these bikes are 1) finding rear mounting points for the straps and 2) interference with the low exhaust. Both issues are manageable, but it’s not automatic, and it’s different on every bike.

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Overland East is a lot smaller than Overland West. They had a series of bad weather years – including last year – which have taken a toll on attendance, especially on the moto side. This year there were only 4 motorcycle vendors in addition to us – Outback Motortek, Green Chile, Wolfman, and a local Triumph dealer.

Despite the small size and reduced traffic, OXE was still a good event order-wise. Plus we got to connect with a bunch of east coast riders. We also met the new owners of Overland Expo, and they are keen to expand the event. We’d love to see that happen too, so we’ll tentatively hang in there for another year and see what shapes up.

BTW here’s what the inside of our show trailer looks like when it’s packed. There’s barely an inch of extra floor space when we close the door. We definitely don’t want to get a larger trailer, so we may need to add some vertical shelving over the bikes.

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Upshift Online & Boise Meetup 

After Overland East, J.C got back on the road with the show trailer and headed west toward Boise. Ash & I flew home, then flew to Boise a few days later with Sarah.

Our first stop in Boise was the office of our friends Brandon, Simon, & Chris at Upshift Online. Upshift is a small Idaho-based crew of moto enthusiasts, photographers, world travelers, and media professionals who decided to bypass the traditional ‘print’ side of media, and create their own online publication instead. It’s the publishing equivalent of going ‘direct to rider.’ Upshift’s contributors and photographers are top notch, plus it’s distributed electronically, so the magazine is completely free for the reader.

It’s so cool what these guys are doing. If you haven’t already subscribed, check them out at: https://www.upshiftonline.com/.

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From the Upshift offices we headed over to Western Collective, a local brewery, for our Mosko Meetup that afternoon. They have a small merchandise store attached to the brewery, which they let us take over for the night.

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Starting around 5:30-6:00 pm the room was packed solid, with people spilling over into the brewery space as well. Huge thanks to everyone who came!!

We’re so happy with how the meetups are developing. Sarah Miller has been spearheading this. I’ve lost count of how many meetups we’ve done now, but it’s a lot. We’ve learned that the key ingredients for a successful meetup are: a major population center (Boise, Portland, Denver, San Francisco), a local partner (Upshift, ADVRider.com, West38 Moto, Doubletake Mirror), a cool venue (Western Collective, Meta Magazine, Two Stroke Coffee, Spoken Moto), a hosted bar (on us), and a brief (<1 hour) visual presentation on an ADV-related topic. That’s the model for meetups going forward.

If you know of a venue we should consider, or if you know of a particularly interesting presenter, please let us know.

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The next Meetup is Monday November 18th at the Moto Guild in San Francisco. We’re partnering with ADVrider.com on this one, and Chris (aka ‘Baldy’) the founder/owner of ADVrider.com will be presenting. Very excited about that. Join us there!

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Roadshow Trailer Wrap

The big white roadshow truck/trailer is finally getting wrapped. Dan Cox Design created the art, and PDX Wraps in Portland is doing the wrap. We haven’t actually seen the finished trailer, but PDX Wraps posted these pics on Facebook.

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Getting a vehicle wrapped feels like a small business right of passage, like launching a website or printing business cards. Can’t wait to see it in person.

Colorado Trip

Sarah, Ames, Ash, Andrew, Lee, and I headed to Colorado in October to visit with our buddy Alex Moore at MotoDiscovery Tours & Rentals in Grand Junction Colorado. Alex rode with us for a couple days, and pointed us in the right direction for the rest of our trip. We crossed a bunch of the famous Colorado passes, and were lucky to have great weather and spectacular fall colors throughout.

We kicked off the trip with a delicious home cooked meal at the Moto Discovery headquarters (aka Alex’s house). After dinner John Ferguson showed us his tricked out police bike and let us write a few speeding tickets (not really).

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Alex: thanks for being such an awesome host, and for sending us off on an epic ride. It was so fun to visit with you. Great times were had by all. We can’t wait to do it again!

Oregon Desert Trip

Since Scott & Blake missed the Colorado trip, we decided a follow up trip in the Oregon desert was warranted. Our buddy Juan from Portland joined on his new (to him) Africa Twin for his first ever ADV ride. Big thanks to our friends at Outback Motortek for overnight shipping Juan the racks, skid plate, and crash bars he needed. He stayed up all night (literally) installing the new parts and packing his newly acquired camping gear into his newly mounted panniers on his new to him bike. We were in the audience, it was fun to watch.

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On the morning of our departure from Christmas Valley, it was 14 degrees outside. Those of us with Hippo Hands had happy hands. I’ve never used these before, but they really work. A few days before leaving on this trip we met the owners and they sent us a couple pairs to try. It makes a big difference on a cold day. These will be a permanent addition to my cold/wet weather riding kit.

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Juan took a hit to the face that went something like this: rock hits wheel which pushes fork which pushes windscreen into helmet chin guard which penetrates upper lip and peels the skin back in a perfect upside down ‘V’ shape.

He needed medical help and stitches, which we found at the Lapine Community Health Clinic in Christmas Valley. After that, rather than call it quits like a sane person might have, Juan continued the trip on his own, visiting the Alvord Desert and three different hot springs, before regrouping with us at Summer Lake on the final night.

Seriously impressive work Juan: from the last minute packing and parts, to ripping across the dunes on a fully-loaded ADV bike, to bouncing back from an injury and finishing the trip on your own. Join us for any trip, anytime my friend.

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Juan was testing a prototype of a new carbon fiber laptop case he recently designed. So ironically, the crash actually served that purpose pretty well. The first thing he did when we got to the hospital was pull out his laptop and inspect it for damage, confirming that the case did its job. Now he has a great story and a new scar to launch his company. Check it out here: https://valeocases.com/

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We ran into our friends and high desert legends Dave Wachs, Carol Carson (aka ‘Skimum’), and Geoff Moe in the desert near Beatty’s Butte. It’s such a pleasure spending time with this crew, especially in the desert, under the stars, around a fire.

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Fall is for Trails

We’ve also been enjoying an unusually long fall trail riding season here in the gorge.  It keeps going and going. We’ve been out on the trails on weekends and after work. Sometimes during the work day too if we can swing it.

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Gear Testing & Repairs

With all the riding this Fall, we’ve been cataloging new product ideas plus lots of small improvements and revisions. Here are a couple issues we’ve identified with existing products.

First, my Nomad tank bag, which I’ve used on nearly every overnight trip in the last two years, recently had the stitching pull out on the front connection straps. This was an easy fix with a sewing machine (thanks Julia). The bag lives on, but now we’re looking at ways to reinforce this stitching.

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For most of 2019, I’ve been using a prototype of the Reckless 80 v3.0 on my 2017 KTM 690. The 690 always presents a challenge with exhaust heat, but the v3.0 makes it worse, because the bag runs parallel to the the exhaust blocking airflow. We had similar issues on the 450L, although not quite as extreme.

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The Reckless v3.0 won’t ship for at least a few more months, so we have time to find a solution. One option is to make a larger heat shield that holds the bag further from the exhaust. Another is to change the leg angle to create more air flow. The most reliable option would be to replace the stock exhaust with an aftermarket silencer, however that costs around $600. We’ll experiment with all of these and report back.

We had a seam failure on a brand new R80 v2 mounted on Blake’s R1200GSA. We think this particular failure was due to a manufacturing issue, however we’ve also seen it happen on other wide-saddled bikes as well, so it’s definitely something we need to address. On v3.0 we’re going to replace this stitching with adjustable webbing and rivets, so it will be substantially stronger.

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We’ve had zero issues with the Basilisk jacket -which is amazing considering that everyone on the team is using one – but we encountered two small issues with the pant. One had a hook rivet fail on the waist opening, which is easily fixed and which didn’t interfere with the trip. We”re going to replace these hooks with metal snaps in a future season. Unlike hooks, snaps will release under pressure without damaging the garment.

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Second, on a different trip, one of the molded teeth on a Vislon vent zipper broke, making the zipper inoperable. The vent was then unable to stay closed. We field-repaired it by hand-sewing the zipper shut with a drugstore sewing kit. Now it’s at Rugged Thread for repairs.

If this ever happens to you (i.e. a zipper failure mid-trip) please sew it shut, enjoy the rest of the trip, and contact us when you get home. We’ll take care of it.

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We’ve been brainstorming ways to provide enhanced repair services, especially on apparel. Not just for warranty, but also for general repairs, like after a crash for example. Everyone has had the experience of buying nice gear and then crashing on it right away. It’s a very shitty feeling. Like when you buy a nice pair of sunglasses then accidentally step on them. It’s not a warranty issue, but it still sucks. It’s also a big disincentive to buying nice things.

With the sunglasses example, if the company knows that say 10% of customers are going to accidentally break/scratch their glasses in the first month or two – but of course they don’t know exactly which customers are going to do it, only that the total will be around 10% – could they somehow insure the customer against that? Would the increased sales that come from offering the insurance then cover the cost?

In the first year or two, probably only a small percentage of riders will actually burn or trash their gear, but I bet every single rider thinks about it before buying. What if we could insure against that risk with (for example) free repairs for the first two years, regardless of what caused the damage. That would be in addition to our existing crash replacement policy. So if we can’t fix it, or if you don’t like the repair options we offer (i.e. if we can’t match the exact zipper color or material or whatever), then you can still opt to get a crash replacement at 50% off.

One major benefit of a free repair policy is that we would see all the damaged items, and we would learn from that information to keep making them stronger and easier to field repair. We would have to ensure that the economics work of course, since our margins are already pretty tight, especially on apparel, but it’s something we’re considering.

What do you think? Would that be noteworthy?

In Other News

Part Two of Ash’s Ethiopia article was published in the most recent issue of Upshift. You can view parts one and two here: Ethiopia Part One Ethiopia Part Two

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Also Brandon wrote this excellent piece on knockoffs and copycats: Knock It Off

Kade was Chewbacca for Halloween. Andrew found this little outfit and modified it for a perfect fit.

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We had lunch with Drew and Bryan from Hippo Hands in Bend.

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We’re working on new liners for the BC 35/25 panniers. We’re digging the way the blue looks inside the bag.

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We’ve been working with Rory Sullivan at Radius Offroad to offer training sessions to the entire Mosko team. Ash and I did two sessions this Fall, and it was amazing how much we improved in a short period of time. Rory is local here in the Gorge. He works with everyone from beginners to professional racers. If you’re in the area and looking for training, hit him up. Highly recommended.

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The Rak jacket is looking good. We’re waiting for a new prototype that we can test before the season ends.

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Same with the pant. The current version is too tight for testing, so we haven’t been able to ride with it yet.

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Artur Baran sent us this really cool old-school Mosko logo, along with the following message:

german producer of nafta lamp used this name

I think it can be even before WW2

Seller said that it’s from 50ties

Very cool. We love it. Thanks Artur!!!

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Packing Lists

After returning from Colorado ( week-long trip), as we unpacked our bags, Ash and I wrote down everything that we took with us. Ash was riding a 2019 Honda 450L with a Reckless 40 and a Pico Tank Bag. I was riding a 2017 KTM 690 Enduro R with a Reckless 80 and Nomad Tank bag. We shared a stove, cook pot, water filter, first aid kit, tools, tubes, air pump, and tent. We each brought our own food.

Here are our packing lists:

Ashley (Mosko Reckless 40 with a Stinger 22 Tailbag and Pico Tank Bag on a Honda 450L)

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Apparel

Mosko Basilisk Jacket
Mosko Basilisk Pant
Mosko Imbricate Base Layer
Mosko Signal Jersey
Dainese Armor Harness (chest, back, shoulders, elbows)
Forcefield Limb Tubes (knees)
Klim Gloves (desert glove + waterproof glove)

Bags

Mosko Reckless 40 w/ Stinger 22L as tail bag
2 Sm Mosko MOLLE Pouches
Mosko Pico w/ cell phone case
USWE pack

In Bags

X2 1L MSR Bottles
Multi-tool
Pocket Knife
Stove + 1 Person Cooking Kit
Hydroflask Mug (fits in 2L MOLLE)
Snowpeak Spork
Dry Sak (trash)
Dry Sak (dirty laundry)
Goal Zero Crush Light
Goal Zero Venture 70
Dakine Soft Lunch Box
Marmot Phase Sleeping Bag
Rumpl Pillow
Poncho
Beanie
inReach
Sleeping Pad
X2 Socks
X3 Athletic Shorts
Mission Workshop Merino Wool Hoodie
Arcteryx Jacket (NO HOOD!!!)
Camp Socks
Camp down slipper OR New Balance (depending on temps)
X2 Sports Bra
Lululemon short sleeve base layer
Deluge? (Pant and Jacket!)
Arcteryx Delaney Legging
First Aid Kit (in 2L MOLLE)
Custom Molded Earplugs
Chapstick
Listerine Strips
Grass Fed Jerky
Marcona Almonds
PB Packets
Oatmeal
Hard Cheese
Salami
White Rice/Farro Packets
Gnocchi 3 min. cook time
Hot Sauce
Pistachios (cajun!)
Variety of non GMO, gluten free bars (RX, Kates Real Food)
Vegetarian/grassfed Chicken/Beef packets (flat packs!)
Gluten Free Tortillas
True Lemon/Lime/Grapefruit/Orange
Fat Fuel Coffee Packets
Inhaler
Simple facewipes
toothbrush
floss
lotion/serum
headlamp
Deuce poop trowel
TP
Hydrocortisone
Neosporin
Rotos eyedrops

Pete (Mosko Reckless 80 and a Nomad Tank Bag on a KTM 690 Enduro R)

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Apparel

Mosko Basilisk Pant
Mosko Basilisk Jacket
Mosko Signal Jersey
Forcefield ADV Harness Chest/Back/Elbow
Leatt 3DF 6.0 Elbow pads
Forcefield Pro Tube Knee pads
Mosko Imbricate base layer
Revit Dominator GTX Waterproof Gloves
Klim Mojave Moto Gloves
Klim Krios Helmet
Sidi ADV Gore Boots
Compression shorts

Bags

Mosko Reckless 80
2 Sm Mosko Molle Pouches
1 Lg Mosko Molle Pouch
Mosko Nomad Tank Bag
Mosko Fatty Tool Roll

In Bags

Side pannier 1 –
Marmot Tungsten UL 3p Tent in compression sack
Thermarest Neoair sleeping pad
Marmot Phase 20d sleeping bag in compression sack
Thermarest pillowcase
Dakine food bag
Insulated poncho/blanket in compression sack, MSR ‘Honcho Poncho’ (cold weather trips only)

Side pannier 2 –
Camp stove (Ash’s bike)
Cook pot (Ash’s bike)
Stove fuel (Ash’s bike)
Eating utensil
A-Lite Camp chair
Lighter
Food

Stinger 22 Tailbag –
1 Pants
2 Boxers
1 Tee
1 Thin heated/insulated jacket
1 Beanie
2 Socks
Kindle
Dop kit (incl cortisone, Advil, antacids, chapstick, zyzal, mini deet, sun lotion)
Earplugs
Patagonia long underwear
New Balance Minimus packable shoes

2 sm molle pouches –
20 oz Thermos (coffee)
20 oz Water bottle (gatorade)

Rear Harness –
2L MSR Dromedary (water)

Lg MOLLE –
Toilet paper
Mosko Deuce Poop trowel
MSR AutoFlow water filter

Nomad Tank Bag –
1.5l hydration reservoir
Goal zero venture 70 battery pack
MOLLE cell phone case
Gerber center drive & bits
Garmin inreach 66i
Pen
Spare batteries for headlamp aaa
Petzl headlamp
iPhone cable
Kindle/inreach charge cable
1 usb wall plug
Spare key
iPhone dongle (x2)
Mosko stickers
Business cards
Battery tender to USB adapter
Spare cig lighter
Sunglasses
Custom molded in-ear headphones
Rain cover

Fatty Tool Roll –
Tow rope
Zip ties
Air pump (hand)
Air gauge
Spare front tube light duty
Spare rear tube light duty
Spare Fuses
Tube patches, scrubber, glue
Electrical tape
Metric open ended wrenches 8-13
Ktm t-handle and sockets and torx
Metric hex keys
Ktm tire nut wrench
Two trail tire irons
Open ended adjustable wrench
screwdriver reversible
Loctite
Bailing wire
Mini vice grips
Valve stem removal and tapping tool
JB quick (in toothpaste holder)
Mini chain lube
Extra clutch plates
Spare fuel pump
Spare valve rockers

Navigation –
iPhone (primary nav)
Paper maps (backup)
Inreach with maps (backup backup)

Bike –
Drivers license
Registration
Insurance

Food List –
Instant oatmeal flavored packs
Peanut butter/honey packs
Salami
Individual Cheese sticks
Flour tortillas
Peanut & Mm mix
Uncle bens 90 second rice bags
Buffalo flavor chicken creations packs
Dinty more beef stew
Corned beef hash
Dark chocolate bar
Starbucks via coffee packs
True lemon/lime/orange packs

Other –
2x voile straps for tool roll
2x voile straps for jacket
Spare drysak for garbage

Ok that’s it for now. Except that I’m seriously considering getting a KTM 1290 Super Adventure as my personal ‘Big ADV’ bike. In 2020 we want to do more big bike trips. Thoughts on that?

Backcountry Pannier v2.0: It’s Here!

September 17, 2019

Last night, on our way home from the KTM Rally in Breckenridge, CO, Ash and I parked our camper at this epic spot in Eastern Utah, just across the Colorado border. We’re staying here today, taking advantage of the excellent cell service to catch up on emails and the blog. We’ve been traveling non-stop for the last 6 weeks – including two weeks off-grid in Black Rock City – so there’s a lot to catch up on.

That trail cutting up the ridge just outside our window is the 150 mile Kokopelli motorcycle trail, which runs from Fruita, CO to Moab. This would be a pretty great spot to hang for a bit, wish we had more time.

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Backcountry v2.0

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The Backcountry Pannier v2.0 is finally here!

We were briefly stocked-out on the prior version before v2.0 was ready, but now it’s in stock and shipping. At the moment, v2.0 is only available from our US warehouse. We’ll be stocking it in Europe starting sometime next year.

Major updates include:

  • An aluminum locking bar on the top, so you can lock the bag to the bike and also lock it closed with a compact sliding cable lock.
  • Replaced the rear sewn-on pocket with a new waterproof ‘Dry Pocket’ system, consisting of a harness and removable drybag that can be mounted on the front or rear of the bag.
  • Created a new custom-molded aluminum G-Clip buckle for the front beavertail compression straps.
  • Added MOLLE webbing, a tool holder, and a neoprene storage pocket for cable locks on the inside of the beavertail.
  • Changed to symmetrical patterns, so either bag can be mounted on either side of the bike.
  • Changed the MOLLE panels from webbing to die-cut hypalon.
  • Now available in the original 35L size, a smaller 25L size, and a 35L/25L offset kit for bikes with asymmetrical pannier racks

For more info, check out the video below:

Apparel Videos

We posted a bunch of new product videos for our apparel. If you’re curious about the Basilisk or Deluge, if you’re considering switching from integrated armor to separate armor, or if you just want to learn more about technical waterproof fabrics, you can kill some time at the links below.

Thanks for the videos Pierce Hodges @ VideoKid Productions!

Basilisk & Deluge

Armor Layering vs Integrated Armor

Fabrics & Waterproof Membranes

The Road to Colorado

For our first test-run with the new show truck and trailer (aka the Mosko Flying Circus) we headed to Dolores, Colorado for the annual GS Giants Rally. If you aren’t familiar with GS Giants, you can learn more here.

Our buddy Scott made these cool new backdrops for the booth. At outdoor shows these block the visual noise behind our booth – cars, trailers, generators, trees, shrubbery, the back of someone else’s booth, etc. The vinyl backdrops we’ve been using for that purpose act like huge sails in the wind, so we often have to take them down. The new backdrops should look great at our indoor shows this winter too.

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Before leaving for GS Giants, JC and I stocked up on everything we need for the new show trailer, like tools, a generator, an air compressor, moving pads, a cooler, a bottle jack, etc.

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Packing the trailer, we discovered that our 4 show mannequins fit neatly in the two built-in closets that were already installed. Perfect.

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This is what the Mosko Flying Circus looks like right before its maiden voyage. Two trucks, two trailers, three people, two dogs, and 120 feet of bikes, displays, mannequins, samples, and living quarters. What could possibly go wrong?

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Just outside Caldwell, ID a driver passing us signaled that something was wrong. I looked in the mirror and saw a bunch of smoke. We pulled over, and saw that two of the rear tires were touching, the third axle was out of alignment, and the suspension hanger had broken off the frame. Shit!

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JC found a 24 hour welder in Caldwell. We limped to his house and he got us fixed up and back on the road before dark. We spent the night in a Les Schwab parking lot, where we had new tires mounted in the morning.

Under the trailer, we found a bunch of worn, broken, or nearly broken suspension components. That suspension hanger was just the first piece to break (or actually the second, the first was a shackle at the Desert 100 race in April). We ordered replacement parts on Amazon and had them shipped to our destination.

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Arriving in Dolores, It was cool to unpack the new trailer and setup the new booth for the first time.

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The new backdrops look great.

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There were some rainstorms coming through, so we got ponchos for the mannequins to keep them clean.

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This was our first time at the GS Giants Rally and we had a total blast. Sales were great, the people were awesome, the location was beautiful, and we even got to sneak out for mountain biking during the day. To our friends at GS Giants: thanks for including us and thanks for all the support. We’ll be back next year for sure!

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Ridgway & Crested Butte

After GS Giants, we picked up the suspension parts, and our buddy Forrest (who lives in Ridgway) offered to install them. Thanks so much Forest!! We owe you one!

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We paused in Ridgway for a day to check out some the local trails and visit with Forest on the property he manages just outside of town.

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The property has a large lake stocked with fat, gullible rainbow trout.

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Forrest buys old rusted-out horse trailers like this one, refurbishes them, and converts them to kick-ass little portable saunas. He makes the wood stove from a re-purposed beer keg and finishes the interior with wood. After a delicious elk meat dinner (also from the property) we ended the day with a sauna. One day, when we have the space for it, we will definitely want one of these.

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With the trailer fixed, we headed to the Crested Butte area to catch up on work and do some product testing before the Mosko Meetup in Denver. The trails in Crested Butte are just like, wow.

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The weather was basically excellent, but every day we had some chilly afternoon rain, which was perfect for the Deluge. The Deluge is by far the coolest little moto rainsuit I’ve ever seen. It packs tiny, stays totally dry, and hardly feels like anything at all when you’re wearing it. After a storm, I was surprised how long I could continue wearing it before I started getting hot.

Here’s a time-lapse of me stashing the Deluge.

Ash used the new Rak pullover, which she loved, despite the fact that this prototype is several sizes too large for her. The Rak is made from a heavier fabric than the Deluge, which we selected more for touring than trails. Because of that, when the rain stopped, Ash warmed-up noticeably sooner than I did.

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I’ve been experimenting with different mounting ideas for the Reckless 10 on my KTM 300 XC-W. Instead of using mounting cleats and the supplied rear connection straps, I’ve been bolting my R10 directly to the fender. I never go riding without it, so I figured I might as well bolt it down.

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On the side of the R10, because there’s a long reach for the leg connection strap on most dirt bikes, I made two zip tie pass-throughs that completely eliminate any up and down motion in the leg.

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With the R10 mounted this way, there is absolutely zero movement. I love it. In a future revision maybe we can add some pre-cut mounting holes and some extra cleats for the leg straps. If anyone else has a creative approach for mounting the R10, please share. We’re all ears.

I’ve been appreciating the large thigh pockets on these Fjallraven pants. They’re awesome for holding OHV trail maps. We’re adding pockets like these on the new Woodsman pant.

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Here’s a few more riding shots from Crested Butte.

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Denver Meetup

After a fun weekend riding and working in Crested Butte, we headed to Denver for a Mosko Meetup at Meta Magazine. ADVrider.com, West38 Moto, and Doubletake Mirror were our co-sponsors.

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This was the busiest Mosko Meetup so far. We had a great venue with steady traffic, we made some awesome new friends, and Ash and I presented on our favorite topic (international fly-in trips). Sales were enough to pay for the venue, beer/food, and travel, plus everyone who ordered there got a 10% discount and free shipping. We were stoked. Huge thanks to everyone who came! Great meeting you!

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Black Rock City

After Denver, we hurried home to Washington to unpack, repack, and drive to Nevada to for our annual Bored Meeting in Black Rock City. Great to see so many Mosko and UNRally folks out on the playa this year. One of you is in this pic with us, you know who you are 🙂

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KTM Rally

After the Burn, we were home for a few days unpacking and repacking for the annual KTM Rally in Breckenridge, Colorado. We had some new show bikes waiting at home, a KTM 790, Honda 450L, and KTM 250 TPI. We loaded those plus 5 additional booth backdrops into a Uhaul truck, and drove that plus our camper back to Colorado.

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We arrived in Breckenridge late Thursday and finished setting up in the dark. This is what the booth looks like with the new backdrops and bikes. Since we sell direct and we don’t have dealers, our booth is becoming more store-like. The backdrops and dedicated show bikes were another step in that direction. I think materials like metal and wood look cool at temporary shows, where vinyl backdrops, plastic tables, folding chairs, and gridwall displays are the norm. Plus the heavier materials stay put when it gets windy.

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JC built some cool sample storage boxes from aluminum and plywood. These will protect our bag samples in the trailer, and they’ll also work as display tables in the booth.

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The KTM Rally totally nailed it this year. Perfect weather, happy riders. It’s a small event – only 350 attendees – and it always sells out fast. The number of pro-riders, guides, instructors, industry insiders, press reps, and KTM staff that attend this event is kind of nuts. KTM puts on a killer event. Breckenridge was a great spot. Next year it’s happening in Idaho.

Here’s something for any long-term moto travelers who use separate armor, or who are considering switching. An armor pressure suit fits nicely in the BC35 beavertail, for those moments when you’re tooling around town and don’t necessarily want to wear it.

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Look Familiar?

I’m addressing this here because we’re already getting a bunch of inquiries. A company recently started offering products with notable similarities to products from several other companies including us. This happens all the time with soft goods, especially with successful designs that have been on the market for a few years. We’ve seen it and we’re not bothered. There’s at least one other company that we know of (and probably others that we don’t) working on something similar. If someone is considering buying one of these, I’d encourage them to make a side-by-side comparison with the original, and make their own judgement on which offers better quality and value. Despite the apparent similarities, there are lots of meaningful differences in design, materials, and construction. We’ll keep moving our designs forward as always, and won’t lose any sleep over any companies that try to follow. ‘Nuff said.

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New Latches

We’ve been experimenting with some different approaches to latching the wedge and frame together. Earlier this year we got some working 3D-printed models of a low-profile, multi-function locking latch that we like, although it was a bit complex and expensive to make. That option is still on the table, but here’s another simpler idea we’re also experimenting with. It’s based on a side-mounted locking pin. 3D printing is so cool!!

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The Woodsman Pant

We currently have two versions of the Woodsman in the shop for testing. One is made from a heavier waterproof stretch soft shell (black and blue in the pic below), and the other is made from a lighter-weight non-waterproof stretch material similar to a mountaineering or work pant (brown and grey in the pic below). Both are designed to be worn over-the-boot.

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Scott, Ash, and I took them to the Gifford for testing. We traded pants mid-way through the ride. Yes that’s right: Scott and I traded filthy sweat-soaked pants in the middle of a hot summer trail ride. Such is our commitment to product testing.

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We decided the heavier waterproof pant is too hot. We’d rather focus on a lighter, less insulating, more breathable material. However we’re also experiencing issues with abrasion and heat at the bottom of leg (boot/bike and boot/rocks). We’re thinking we’ll change the Woodsman to an in-the-boot design, removing some of the leather and making the whole pant lighter and cooler.

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The next sample will be a non-waterproof, in-the-boot, stretchy, soft-shell pant that works for trail riding and enduro-touring. In wet/cold weather, it will pair easily with a waterproof overpant like the Deluge or Rak.

Ectotherm Insulation

The insulating layers are coming along well. We have two new prototypes. Both are currently heated, although we might convert the smaller one to a standard insulated jacket, and only put heating elements in the warmer one.

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Here’s what they look like packed up, compared to three standard heated liner jackets by other companies. Our jackets both have high quality insulation in addition to the heating elements, so they work as a warm layer both on and off the bike.

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Scott found these cool zipper pulls with a SIM card tool and storage sleeve for international travelers. Yeah it’s a little geeky, but still… cool right? Why not? If you don’t need it, don’t use it.

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New Office Space

Things are getting pretty cramped in our current shop, with up to 9 people, several dogs, and a bunch of bikes and mannequins all stuffed into 1,000 sq ft. For telephone calls, when it’s warm we go outside. Here we are on a conference call with our buddy Dave Wachs in Bend, getting feedback on the Basilisk riding kit.

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For private meetings we go down the block to our storage space.

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Now we’re expanding into some additional office space upstairs. The upstairs of our current building is all separate artist studios, three of which recently became available. Two are connected directly to our current space by stairs. We’re turning one into a product showroom, one into a meeting room, and one will become the customer service office. As an added bonus, there’s even an unfinished deck.

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Other Stuff

Andrew is in the middle of a Reckless 40 redesign.

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We just ordered a batch of custom Voile straps. Giant Loop also stocks these (the Pronghorn straps) and Upshift Online has a cool logoed version as well, so we’re not exactly breaking new ground here, but soon you can get your Voile Straps in Mosko blue too 🙂 They’re handy for attaching a tool roll, tire tube, rain jacket, or pretty much anything else to your bike.

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We’re also working on some cables for the new locking bar on the Backcountry 2.0. These designs are done, they’ll be available sometime this winter.

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Saying goodbye to our awesome summer intern Jesse, we had a final all-hands Wim Hof in the White Salmon.

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Next week we’re returning to Colorado for our company ride, starting and ending in Grand Junction. Can’t wait for that!

Now We Make Apparel Too!

July 15, 2019

On June 7th, the apparel went live on our site.

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Ash and our developer Karl stayed up till the wee hours of the morning putting the finishing touches on the product pages. We woke up later that day to see that our first apparel order came in at 1:21 am, about 20 minutes after the pages went live.

Tom B: thanks for being such an early-riser and becoming our first apparel customer!!

We have a limited number of apparel kits and we can’t get more till next Spring, so we’re not in a huge hurry to sell through. We want to have some inventory for the shows this Fall/Winter, and we especially want to make sure all the early-adopters are well taken care of and totally stoked. The initial spike in orders/inquiries has already stretched our small CS team to the limit, especially with Sarah and Ames on the road so much for shows and meetups. Sarah recently posted for a new customer service position, which we hope to fill ASAP.

Things are busy here at Mosko HQ. It feels like we need to expand our team, but aside from customer service (which needs to happen ASAP), we don’t want to make long-term hiring decisions at the peak of the riding season right after a big demand spike. Better to chill for a bit, let things settle down this fall, and reevaluate our capacity then.

Huge thanks to all the apparel early-adopters. You are legends at Mosko. If you need anything please don’t hesitate to ask. You might be surprised how far we’ll go to stoke you out.

BMW MOA

In June, we shipped all our mannequins, garment racks, bag samples, and show kit out to Lebanon, TN for the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association meeting (aka MOA).

By the time we realized how much additional space we needed to properly display apparel (at least a 35′ wide booth) it was too late to get anything that big inside and air conditioned, so we went with an outdoor booth instead. We got lucky at the MOA this year, with cool temps and mostly perfect weather throughout the weekend. It was an excellent venue and an excellent weekend to be outside.

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@Nikoutdoor on advrider: thanks for making the 550 mile trek, running on only two hours sleep after a late shift, to try on the new apparel in person and hang out with us at the booth! We really enjoyed seeing you!

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June 14th was Ash’s birthday. Ames/Roel surprised her with balloons and a cake. Thanks for that, guys!!

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This is actually how you move a mannequin. All the other parts come off when you grab them. Seriously.

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We learned that two of the Primus 1.5L fuel bottles fit in the side pockets of the Reckless 10 harness. We were located right next to the guys from Green Chile Adventure Gear, and they had a bunch of these bottles in stock. For anyone carrying extra gas on a dirt bike, these would be handy.

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BMW MOA was our first experience with selling apparel in person at a show. We thought it might be slow, just because ADV/Enduro bikes are a small portion of the total attendance at MOA. Boy were we wrong about that. We had 5 people with us – Sarah, Roel, Ames, Ash, and I – and we could barely keep up with the traffic. It was awesome. When we totaled the orders on Saturday night, we realized we’d had our largest show ever. Thank you MOAers!!

Mosko Road Show

In the past, when the entire booth and a few display bikes could fit inside our enclosed trailer or toy hauler, we would drive to any shows within 1,500 miles, and ship the booth everywhere else.

Now that the booth has grown, we need to reevaluate that. The shipping cost to Tennessee and back was $6,200, and many things were damaged in transit. We probably could’ve done a better job of packing up at Overland Expo, but with a storm coming and the lack of any packing supplies, our options were limited.

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Seeing the damage highlighted some of the challenges with shipping vs driving. A friend of ours arrived at MOA to find one entire pallet of inventory missing, and another seriously damaged. Plus, with shipping, we have to hunt down loaner bikes for every show, and we make a lot of compromises in our booth design to reduce weight and bulk and fit everything on pallets.

Driving to the show with a larger trailer would make some things much easier. A trailer would also be handy when bad weather comes in, as it often does. There’s also the issue of how to secure things at night, or before/after the start/end of a show. At BMW MOA, after the show ended, we left everything in the parking lot unattended overnight while we waited for the shipping company to arrive. Nothing has ever gone missing, but that doesn’t mean it’s a great idea.

Our buddy J.C. volunteered to help find and setup a trailer, and to help with driving it around for the first few months while we figure out how this is all going to work. Last week we bought a 40′ gooseneck we found on craigslist (it was being used as a go-kart hauler) and a dually pickup to tow it around with. JC picked up the trailer in Denver and delivered it 1,200 miles to the Gorge, arriving Saturday.

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We want to try merging all our shows and meetups into a single combined, continuous year-round calendar, and driving this rig from show to meetup to show to meetup. For shows that are closer to home (a 1,500 mile radius) we’ll also bring the toy hauler with a second vehicle, so we have onsite living quarters for the team. For anything further than that, we’ll fly-in, meet the trailer, and stay at an Airbnb.

Now that we have this new trailer, we can make some improvements to the booth. We’re not trying to get too crazy, we just want something a little sturdier, especially for outdoor shows. The vinyl EZ-UP backdrops we’ve been using turn into giant sails when the wind blows, and the wooden backdrops we’ve been using for the mannequins are just as bad.

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The new backdrops, the truck, the trailer, the merging of the meetup and show calendar: it all feels like the start of a new direction for the Mosko road show. We’re pretty excited about it. Hope it pays off!!

DirtDaze #Uninvited!

We won’t be at DirtDaze in Vermont August 15-18 as originally planned. The Touratech East rally merged with DirtDaze, and we were uninvited for competitive reasons. We’re reshuffling our summer plans to accommodate the opening. After the GS Giants Rally in Dolores, CO August 1-4, instead of heading east for DirtDaze, we’ll stick around the Rockies to do some riding and maybe plan some Meetups instead. We already have one scheduled in Denver August 12th at Meta Magazine. From August 4-12 we’ll be hanging around Colorado with the truck, trailer, and camper.

Is there anything else going on around that time? We’re mobile and we have our bikes. Let us know!

East Coasters: sorry about the DirtDaze mixup. We were so stoked to be there. It would’ve been a great long-haul shakedown for the new kit. Since we can’t be there, we’ll run a nationwide “#uninvited” special to make up for it, and we’ll put some additional east coast shows and meetups on the calendar for Fall/Winter.

Are there any other big/growing East Coast events that we should know about?

Other News

Product Videos

Pierce Hodges (Video Kid Productions) is helping with product videos for the new apparel. We’ll also be selectively updating videos for existing products, some of which are getting quite old. With the new warehouse space, it’s awesome to have a spot where we can set up the samples and do videos without a ton of distractions.

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The Woodsman Pants

Yesterday I went riding with the first prototype of a new soft-shell enduro/trail riding pant that we’re calling ‘The Woodsman.’ It’s still pretty rough, and the patterning is a little off on the knees (note how the leather wraps around to the front of my knee in the pic below) but they are actually pretty good for an early proto. The revisions are big, but few and simple. I crashed on them several times with no visible signs of wear, although my body hurts ha!

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Fit Mannequins

We picked up this used fit-mannequin from a friend of Scott’s at REI. This is an REI size ‘large.’ Scott’s building a collection of fit-mannequins to ensure sizing consistency from season-to-season. Using ourselves as the fit models was a good way to start, but it’s not a great long-term solution. Unlike real humans, fit mannequins don’t change in size from year to year, meal to meal, cookie to cookie.

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Insulating Layers

We also got new samples of our Ectotherm insulating layers. We’re particularly interested in experimenting with different collars, since this garment will usually be worn under body armor with a waterproof jacket. We can’t have extra material bunched up against the throat, but we also want it to look good (i.e. not look like a jacket liner) so it can be used off the bike on a longer trip.

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Basilisk Storage

We were messing around with some Voile straps, and we came up with this cool way to attach the Basilisk jacket to MOLLE webbing when it’s stashed on the bike. We’re thinking of adding a couple dedicated pass-throughs on the jacket. One of our favorite things about separate body armor is the ability to remove your jacket when things get hot. But then you need somewhere to store it. The beavertail is one option, MOLLE could be another.

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Jesse the Intern

It’s been great to have Jesse back for the summer! It feels like he’s part of the Mosko team now, except that he disappears in the winters for design school.

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Jesse has a couple projects going at the moment. First, he’s working on a much-needed update to our small and large MOLLE pouches.

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Second, he’s working on a project for a small/flat MOLLE tank harness, so you can mount our soon-to-be introduced cell phone holder (also Jesse’s design) directly to your tank. I made a rough mockup by cutting up a warranty-returned Pico. I’ve been using it on my trail bike and it works great. For anyone using a cell phone as their primary navigation tool: we have some cool stuff coming!

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Scout 30 Duffle

Lee just returned from a marathon pavement trip on the GSA out to Montana and back using a prototype of the new Scout 30 duffle (which is replacing the Scout 25). He had a few revisions after the trip, but surprisingly few.

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Backcountry Cinch Strap v2.0

We got a final prototype of the Backcountry Cinch strap with two cam buckles, rather than a cam buckle and a ladderlock like v1.0. We’ve seen the ladderlocks snap when using the BC straps as a bike tie down or tow strap. This is now one seriously burly strap. Maybe it’s overkill for holding a duffle on your bike, but it’s awesome because it has so many additional uses.

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Reckless Mounting Cleats

Lee is updating our Reckless mounting cleats. The new ones use thicker aluminum, and have quick-access slots so you can mount the R80/40/10 without fully disconnecting the ladderlocks on the harness.

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ABR Festival, UK

Sarah & Roel spent the weekend at the Adventure Bike Rider Festival at Ragley Hall in Alcester, Warwickshire, UK. We just heard from Sarah that we had a fantastic show there. It sounds like this is a pretty major event, and growing quickly. I love how they made an impromptu outdoor booth from a vinyl sign, two flags, and some indoor backdrops. Great work guys 🙂

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Riding Season is ON!

Ash and I managed to get stuck on the Alvord Desert for the first time over Memorial Day weekend. That 20,000+ pound toy hauler is a BEAST to pull out. We got back to dry ground with a 25,000 pound snatch strap, and made some new friends in the process.

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We’ve been having an absolute blast on our dirt bikes so far this year!

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A few weeks ago, after riding all day in Nevada, we got back to the truck and realized we had three flats on two bikes. I thought for sure we’d hit some kind of gnarly cactus, but actually it was three different causes: a thorn, a pinch, and a puncture. We didn’t even realize we’d flatted until we parked. How ’bout that.

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Hope everyone’s having an epic summer!

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Riding Apparel: Nearly There

May 27, 2019

Ash and I are currently camped-out on the western shore of the Alvord Desert in Southeastern Oregon. We’re returning from Overland Expo in Flagstaff, where we displayed the new Mosko riding apparel for the first time. We stopped here on the way home to catch up on work, emails, and the blog, and also to do some scouting for the UNRally. 

In today’s post I’m going to focus on apparel. The history of the project, its current state, and where we see things going in the future. We’re very interested in your input.

Apparel History

Andrew and I first started working on apparel because we couldn’t find a kit for the type of riding that we like to do: unsupported, multi-day camping trips through mostly offroad terrain. We call it ‘Enduro-Touring’ because it fits somewhere between traditional ADV – which covers longer distances with more pavement – and singletrack day-rides on a dirt bike.

The typical ADV kits with integrated armor, dozens of pockets, and adjustable waist belts don’t work very well on that kind of trip. We’re wearing separate offroad body armor – usually a pressure suit or roost guard – and we need the ability to remove our jackets and stash them on the back of the bike in tough terrain. Most ADV kits are too big and bulky for that – meaning they don’t stash well – plus they’re hot and heavy, and we don’t need all the pockets and features.

On the other hand, the generic, semi-disposable dirt bike kits that are sold in nearly every powersports dealer in the country don’t work very well for enduro-touring either. These kits are designed to fit with body armor, but the garments themselves are poorly constructed from cheap fabrics, and they’re covered in bright colors & logos for motocross and racing. They’re designed for day rides on the track and trail, not continuous travel through variable weather and terrain.

What Andrew and I really wanted was a high quality, durable, waterproof/breathable hardshell, without all the extra stuff that comes with most ADV jackets. Something that Arc’teryx or Patagonia would create if they ever made moto gear. Something with clean design lines and the best waterproof/breathable materials you can get; that’s strong enough to survive repeated crashes but small enough to pack on a bike; and sized for body armor. It didn’t exist.

At first it was just a nagging thought, like: “why isn’t anyone making this?” Then it became a project. We knew we didn’t know what we didn’t know about apparel. We also knew there were a lot of skeletons on that road. We decided to try it anyway and see where that took us. We thought ‘maybe’ it would be a two year project. That was five years ago.

Our first apparel meeting was on October 31, 2013 at our friend Galen’s house in Portland. You can see it in this blog post. Mosko was barely even a business then. Galen has since moved from Icon to Klim. Since then we’ve had three major resets: first when we moved production from Shin TS in Vietnam to October 4th in Bangladesh, second when S Group started helping with design, and third when Scott Bryan joined our team last year, bringing his apparel experience from Patagonia and Dakine.

Now our designs are finished and in production. Everything should arrive in Portland via air freight in early June. We’ll have new pages on the website shortly. If you’ve been following this project, you know how many obstacles we’ve crossed so far. It is an exciting moment. Thanks for your support!!

The Basilisk

The Basilisk is the Enduro-Touring kit that Andrew and I were picturing when we started this process 5 years ago. It’s designed for extended, multi-day trips through variable weather on primarily offroad terrain. The Basilisk takes the premium materials, clean lines, and minimalist design of a high-end mountaineering jacket, and applies them to moto.

Materials

The Basilisk’s main body fabric is a highly abrasion-resistant eVent DVExpedition 3-layer, using eVent’s proprietary direct venting technology. It’s waterproof to 30,000mm on the water column (100 feet of pressure), with MVTR of 10,000 g/m/d, .06 cfm air permeability, and DWR.

If there’s a more waterproof moto jacket out there, we haven’t seen it. To geek-out on the materials, do some Google research and you’ll see the many advantages of eVent. It’s incredibly waterproof and also incredibly breathable. On the Basilisk, we back up eVent’s intrinsic breathability with extensive mechanical venting: there are 6 vents on the jacket and 6 additional vents on the pant.

In high abrasion areas like the shoulders, elbows, and knees, we added SuperFabric ceramic platelets on a 600D waterproof/breathable base, sewn as an overlay over the main body eVent for added strength. With two layers of waterproofing through the shoulders, chest, back, arms, and knees, you can crash repeatedly on this jacket and still stay dry, even if the outer layer of fabric is damaged.

Our zippers are top-of-the-line water resistant YKK Aquaguard Vislon. They won’t clog with dust and grime like old-school zippers, and they’re easy to operate one-handed.

Separate Body Armor

The Basilisk is our full-throated endorsement of separate offroad body armor for enduro-touring style trips, where integrated armor is more of a liability than an asset. If you’ve never ridden with separate body armor, here are the two main reasons we love it:

  • Temperature Management: Riding hard in a hot climate with separate armor, you can remove your jacket without losing your armor protection.
  • Impact Protection: Separate armor has better coverage, and holds the pads closer to your body, so they’re exactly where you need them in a crash.

Track and trail riders don’t wear big jackets with integrated armor and tons of pockets for a reason. Imagine summer riding in Moab in a big ADV jacket? You’d die! For the best protection and temperature control, separate body armor is the only way to go. There’s a ton of information about this topic online if you want to do your own research.

Less is More

The gear that accomplishes its mission with the least features, is best. That’s the Basilisk. It’s light, nimble, and breathable, with the pockets and vents you need and nothing else.

We eliminated hanging liners entirely, reducing weight, bulk, and heat. There are two external and two internal pockets on the jacket, and two thigh pockets on the pant. Vents are placed strategically for maximum airflow, with exhaust vents on the back to eliminate ballooning.

The Deluge

The Deluge is our ultralight, packable, 100% waterproof/breathable rain layer.

It works in tandem with an already-waterproof riding kit like the Basilisk – for double-layer rain protection in a sustained multi-day downpour. Stuff the Deluge in your pack for trail riding, or bring new life to an old ADV suit which maybe isn’t as waterproof as it once was.

The Deluge jacket can be worn as either an under- or over-layer (sized up/down accordingly), while the relaxed fit overpant features extra reinforcements in high-abrasion areas around the knee and calf. It packs small: stash it and forget it. It also works off the bike, as an ‘around camp’ or ‘around town’ rain kit.

The Deluge’s main body is an eVent DVApline 3-Layer fabric with direct venting technology, rated at 20,000mm (66 feet of pressure) on the water column, 20,000 g/m/d MVTR, and 0.1 cfm air permeability. It’s made from a sturdy but lightweight 40d nylon ripstop with a 20d tricot backing. Zippers are YKK Aquaguard Vislon.

Armor Layering

Our armor layering consists of a base layer, an armor pressure suit, and a mesh jersey on top. This is what we wear all day every day, rain or shine, hot or cold, offroad or on. The base layer sits next to your skin, the armor sits in the middle, and the jersey goes on top. Air flows freely through the jersey, through the vents in the armor, and right up against your skin.

  • Imbricate Base Layer: A 4-way stretch, medium weight base layer with antimicrobial and anti-stink technology. It wicks moisture, breathes freely, washes easily, and dries fast.
  • Forcefield Body Armor: We offer the Forcefield ADV Harness (max protection), the Forcefield Pro Shirt (max comfort), and limb tubes for knees and shins. To learn about Forcefield check their website. It’s ventilated, comfortable, and strong.  In our opinion, it is the absolute best armor you can get.
  • Signal Jersey: The mesh Signal Jersey wicks moisture while protecting your skin and armor from sun, dirt, and wind, while also protecting the tricot lining of your jacket from internal abrasion caused by armor.

2020 Apparel Development

The RAK

RAK comes from ‘Anorak’’ a pullover-style jacket, like the kind you see in offshore sailing and mountaineering. The RAK pairs a riding-specific anorak with a heavy duty overpant, using as few seams, zippers, vents, and pockets as possible.

The core principle of the RAK is ‘too simple to fail.’ There are lots of riding kits out there with tons of features and gadgets. With the RAK we’re going to the far other end of the spectrum, adding as little of everything as we can. How cool would it be to have a simple, indestructible jacket, built from the absolute best materials you can get, at an approachable price?

With the RAK, we want to revisit the old ADV concept of double pant/jacket kits: one layer that’s comfortable for everyday riding, and a separate rain shell for cold/wet weather. The RAK pairs well with a non-waterproof riding kit, for touring or overnight trips in a variety of climates and terrain. It lives in your luggage, coming out only when needed.

Waterproof, breathable, and strong enough for RTW, but packable enough to carry on a dirt bike. That’s what we’re going for.

Ectotherm

We think heated gear is due for a reset, both in the heating technology itself, and also the garments it’s applied to. A single heated garment should be a shining example of moto minimalism, eliminating several layers so you don’t have to bundle up like the kid in ‘A Christmas Story’ every time the temperature drops.

Most of the heated gear we’ve used is big, clunky, and old-school. It feels like my grandma’s electric blanket. The garments themselves are ugly and low tech. On a long trip, you still need a second jacket to use when you’re off the bike, because the heated gear is so awkward and uncomfortable. Plus it barely insulates when it’s not plugged in. With the Ectotherm, we’ll fix all that.

Picture your favorite packable outdoor puffy, but heated. That’s what we’re going for.

Enduro Soft Shell

We’re developing a super tough, super comfortable soft-shell trail riding pant. All the day-ride dirt bike pants we collectively own are made from the same cheapo, old-timey pack cloths, either 600d polyester or 500d cordura. Technical soft shells are tough, breathable, stretchy, and comfortable. Why not use them in a riding pant?

Soft shell mountaineering pants by Scandinavian brands like Fjallraven, Haglofs, and Norrona are providing inspiration. I used these Norrona pants on my dirt bike last Fall, and they were the best offroad pants I’ve ever worn. For a month in Ethiopia this winter I wore these Fjallraven touring pants and again: fantastic.

Future Apparel Direction

We want to continue focusing on the type of gear that we ourselves actually use and understand. Which means more dirt, more travel – less pavement, less racing. It feels like the sport is headed that way too, with smaller bikes, rougher terrain, and remoter destinations on everyone’s mind.

What should we develop for 2021? If you have an idea that’s consistent with the above… we’re all ears!

Apparel Prototypes

Here’s the latest prototype of the Rak. Unfortunately it was sized too small for me – a large – to wear over body armor so I haven’t been able to ride with it yet. It fits me great without armor though. It’s a cool jacket, I wouldn’t mind wearing it around town when we’re done testing. Hopefully one of the ‘medium’s’ on our team will be able to ride with it this Spring.

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Here’s the latest prototype of the Ectotherm. I used it on a desert trip a few weeks ago and it worked great, especially in the cold mornings and evenings. It needs a few small tweaks, but even in it’s current state, it’s already the best heated jacket I’ve ever owned.

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Here’s Scott, hooking up the Ectotherm to a bike for the first time. In the back of my truck right before a trip ha!

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On the soft shell enduro pant, we only have one leg to play with at the moment, but it’s a really nice leg. It’s made from a combination of different high-end Schoeller soft shell fabrics and leather.

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Here’s a pic of the very first Basilisk jacket from the production line in Bangladesh. Check out the factory floor in the background. This is one of the nicest sewing factories any of us has ever seen in any country. It’s the same one Ash and I visited a few years ago when it was still under construction (covered in This Blog Post). Scott just returned from the factory, where he snapped this pic. Big shout out and thank you to Taufik, Biswajit, and all our friends at October 4th. Great job guys!!

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Here we are inspecting it at our shop in White Salmon.

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Displaying Apparel

Now that we’re about to have a warehouse full of apparel, we’re working on displays and hand-outs. Ash worked with our graphic designer Dan Cox and Scott Norton at Image Pressworks in Portland, to come up with these really nice printed pieces that we can distribute at shows. The folding hand-outs for bags and apparel are printed with short lead times and smaller runs on a digital press, whereas the Mosko brochure (which is less likely to change during the year) is printed in larger runs on an offset press.

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Martin finished the new booth benches and mannequin display/storage boxes, just in time for us to do a test-setup before we packed everything up for Overland Expo.

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Overland Expo West

There was no way that all this stuff plus three display bikes was going to fit in the 12′ garage on our toy hauler. Fortunately Roel was in town for a visit, and he was headed to Overland Expo too, so we rented a 15′ UIhaul and he agreed to drive it 1,000+ miles south to Flagstaff. Thanks Roel!!

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Ash and I were a day behind Roel with the truck and camper.

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There were strong winds in Flagstaff when we arrived, gusting to nearly 50mph, so we decided not to setup until the morning of the show. We also bought a bunch of plastic 5 gallon buckets and filled them with water to hold down all our apparel displays and EZ-Ups.

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Then – since we had the day off – our buddy Mark (who lives right down the street from Fort Tuthill Park in Flagstaff) took us riding. There’s an awesome and extensive singletrack network directly across the street from the park. Who knew? What a treat. Thanks Mark!

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Andrew and Scott flew to Flagstaff from Portland, and we all woke up early to build the booth. It was awesome to finally show our apparel in person after so many years of development. We weren’t taking orders at Overland Expo, just showing and test-fitting. Also we didn’t have the pants, only the jackets. Still, it was an excellent dry run and quite motivating to see the respone. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

Even with 4 people and a 40′ booth, we’ve never been so busy. It was nuts. It seemed like we hardly even had time to check in with each other during the day. Like we started at 8, blinked, and then it was 6. We had a record year for orders, even though we weren’t selling apparel yet. THANK YOU to everyone who showed up! And thanks also to everyone on the OX team who made this year such a resounding success.

22,000 people came to Overland Expo this year, which is amazing. We had good weather on friday/saturday (despite some wind). On Sunday we (and most of the other vendors too) tore down early to avoid a wind & rain storm in the afternoon.

Here’s what the booth looked like:

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Here’s a video interview I did at Overland Expo with Chris from Cafe Racer Podcast about the new Basilisk kit. If you want to geek-out on details, many are covered in the interview.

Here’s Chris, about to take his first-ever ride on a Onewheel.

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We got everything torn down and packed just in time for the wind, sleet, and rain on Sunday afternoon. Last year we learned the hard way not to pack up samples when they’re wet, otherwise when you unpack everything a week or two later, it’s all covered in mold.

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On Monday morning, the shipping company arrived at the park to palatalize our booth and take it to Lebanon, TN, where we’ll be for the BMW MOA Rally from June 13th-15th.

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With the booth loaded up, Ash and I started the long trip home, in unseasonably cold/wet Arizona weather.  What a great year at OX. I seriously don’t know what more we could ask for.

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Other News

Lee is working on a new ‘low profile’ mounting puck for the Backcountry and Scout panniers, on bikes with tight clearance behind the racks. This thing is cool!! I wonder if all our pucks should look like this?

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Since it’s dirt bike season – we’ve had gear bags on the brain. I think a Mosko Gear Bag is in our future.

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We had a few ‘singletrack fridays’ at the office.

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We got a huge delivery of 30,000 stickers. They’re going out with every shipment now. Soon they’ll be available on the website too.

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The UNRally

Also in the sticker shipment were these awesome new UNRally stickers.

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UNRally planning is coming along well. We’re expecting more people this year. Sarah & Ames found some additional couches, and we collected some old windsurfing gear from our friends at the CGWA to build two dedicated UNRally landsailing boards.

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