October 12, 2015
A few months ago we engaged The S Group, an apparel design and development firm in Portland, to help get the Mosko riding apparel across the finish line. While Andrew and I have been busy redesigning the Reckless 80, creating new bags for next year, and traveling to various shows, S Group has been working on finalizing the apparel designs. Last week we met to review their progress.
We’re still searching for a suitable 3-layer outer fabric with the abrasion, comfort, waterproofing, and breathability characteristics we need. Most off-the-shelf waterproof/breathables are designed for sports like skiing, snowboarding, cycling, and mountaineering, none of which have the extreme abrasion-resistance requirements of motorcycling. S group is working with a mill to create a custom face-fabric for this application, which would ultimately be incorporated into a 3-layer laminate. Last week we saw the first sample.
To us it felt less like an outdoor sport fabric and more like something you’d use for a hoodie or sweatshirt, plus the pattern was a little more pronounced than we’d like. S Group will take this feedback to the mill and generate a new sample, which hopefully will be closer to a finished product.
We also looked at some fabric samples that incorporate a special fiber called Dyneema, which is known for its abrasion resistance. We think this fiber has a lot of potential for moto gear.
Then we looked at some new fabrics for the moto jersey. We like the idea of something water resistant on the outside – so mud/dirt cleans right off – but moisture wicking and anti-microbial on the inside, so you can wear it for many days in a row without washing. We dripped water on various fabrics to see how it beads.
On the jersey, we’ll be using a combination of mesh and/or laser-perforation throughout to maximize air flow.
We also looked at some fabric options for smaller components of the kit. Andrew “stubble tested” some potential fabrics for the inside of the collar.
S Group has been reviewing issues/options/features on our current prototypes, as well as some of the other riding gear we have available. Here are a few examples.
We want to make some design connections between our bags and the apparel, since the colors and fabrics will all be completely different. Here’s an example of how the mounting wedge and basilisk lizard (our logo) could inspire design lines on the jacket and pants.
We looked at 4 different jacket concepts, with the goal of picking & choosing components of each, and generating a final concept for the next round of prototypes. All these concepts would build on the same design framework we created last spring.
For color, we’re looking to natural elements and landscapes for inspiration. Here’s a few of the colorway options that we reviewed:
S Group translated the colorways into a spectrum of layouts. Going from left to right in the pic below, you can see how each drawing takes the jacket from a three-tone version on the far left to a single-tone version on the far right. In most cases we found ourselves favoring one of the three two-tone options.
These are just experimental concepts to start a dialog, nothing’s final. We’re happy to finally have the apparel project back in motion, and it’s nice to have some additional help as well!
In other news:
- Dusty was at Overland Expo East but unfortunately a passing hurricane essentially shut down the event.
- Lee attended the Apple Valley Rally in Hood River the weekend before last – just to ride, not as a vendor – and had a blast.
- Tiffany completed a motorcycle training course this weekend. She’s out today, but we’re all looking forward to hearing about it when she gets back.
- I’m headed out for a moto trip with some buddies on the far northern section of the WABDR near the Canada border this weekend. Looking forward to that!
- Lots of design progress on other items: more on that stuff in the next post!