More New Stuff Coming

March 11, 2016

Josh and I returned from Africa last week. I started a ride report on advrider.com – click here – which I’ll be updating over the next few weeks. It’s trippy to go from riding a motorcycle in Africa one day, to my normal home routine the next. Already evaluating destinations for next winter’s trip.

Andrew and I laid out the two Reckless 80’s from Africa and inspected them for issues. We put these two prototypes through a lot of abuse on this trip and they held up great. There was one minor issue on a drybag (known issue, fixed in the new version), and a few other things on the harness that we can address in production.

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You can see where the heat shield was pushing against the bag on the left side of the pic. There’s always going to be some hot spots on the underside of these bags. Even if abrasion eventually works its way through the outer fabric, it will rarely if ever get through the internal polyethylene sheet. Still, never a bad idea to inspect the bottom of the bag after the first ride and address any potential abrasion issues sooner rather than later.

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Of the 10 bolts connecting the new three piece design, one was a little lose when I returned, and the remainder were all as tight as when I left. We’ll recommend using loctite on these.

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There was one spot where a leg bag seam showed signs of possibly separating from the harness in the future. We already made some changes to address that, including adding webbing to support the leg bags and disconnecting them from the beavertail. To further prevent this from happening, in production we’ll be wrapping the fabric all the way around the edge of the bag, so it’s double-sewn for a really solid connection.

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With the narrow profile of the 200 cc bikes we were on, the metal bar on the harness bent & contoured to the bike, which is what we want it to do, but in this case, after bending, it became too short for the webbing sleeve that holds it. We’ll make that bar a little longer in production. Also, the aluminum bar we’re using in production doesn’t have the same sharp edges as the steel bar in this prototype, so the wear in the pic below won’t happen in the production version.

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New Products

For our tank bag connection, we’re going away from the separate harness/bag approach we’d been playing with before, and leaning instead toward a system where the straps are permanently connected to the bag. We’re experimenting with a side release buckle connected to the bike’s frame with heavy duty zip ties. We mocked up the prototype below.

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Up front we’ll do some kind of simple collar that connects around the bike’s yoke, and has two side release buckles that connect to the bag. On the bag I used in Africa this year and Asia last year, it was annoying to reach down and connect a strap all the way around the yoke every time I want to connect/disconnect the bag. The collar addresses that issue.

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The extremely rough prototypes in these pics are just to dial in the size, dimensions, and general layout of the bag. These then get combined with computer specs, and sent to the factory for ‘real’ prototypes to be made. This particular one is ready to go.

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The second tank bag we’re working on is this funky kayak-hatch concept. The idea is to make a waterproof bag without a roll-top or dry-suit zipper.

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We like the idea of an external headlamp pocket, where you can click your headlamp from outside the pocket to illuminate the inside of the bag through a clear vinyl panel. As an added benefit, you’d always know exactly where your headlamp is, because hunting for a headlamp in the dark sucks.

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For both tank bags, we’re playing with a two-sided map pocket/MOLLE panel, which can be flipped, depending on how you want to use it.

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Other New Bag Concepts

We have two other new bag concepts underway. The first is a ‘Reckless 15,’ which is a smaller reckless bag designed to carry extra fuel, tools, and tubes on the back of a dirt bike. All the small bags would be welded-seam roll tops, no sewing or zippers, so they’d be fully waterproof. The two side bags would be permanently attached to the harness, while the rear center bag would be removable. The straps connecting the rear center bag would line up with the webbing loops on the new Tracker 10/20 drybags, so the system can be expanded if needed.

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The second new concept is a simple bolt-on holster that holds a removable drybag. This would be a simple, economical, weight-conscious side bag solution for people with hard pannier racks and tight budgets. The holster would stay permanently attached to the rack, and the drybags would slide in/out.

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Lots of new stuff in the works!

Here’s a couple more pics from the last segment of our trip in West Africa.

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17 thoughts on “More New Stuff Coming

  1. advgrrl

    GREAT honest review of your own product. Your company is showing its customers that you guys are truly working hard at providing us with durable ADV gear. I appreciate that a lot. Keeping an eye out for the tank bag as well as any other soft luggage you come out with for my F8. Thanks for the post.

    Reply
  2. Explorer

    Cool! You’re passion shines through in everything you do and is why you cannot help but be successful. Thanks for that.

    Reply
  3. lecler7

    Awesome! Followed on FB and what an adventure. You guys looked like you were having the best sort of business trip ever imaginable. Great products and looking forward to the tank bags and clothing lineup. Keep it going!

    Reply
  4. Brian Patterson

    Great stuff i jave your reckless 40 on my bike and love it was wondering if you were gonna come out with something smaller for day trips looks like the reckless 15 solves that. I currenty use the wolfman daytrippers but not waterproof and i need something that is. Only issue i would see is the roll top might be a pain in the ass would have to take everything out to get at a tool in bottom. I think it works good and simple for the bigger bags cause when you setup camp everything comes out but for trail side repair i think it would be a hassle.

    Reply
    1. moskomoto Post author

      yeah the roll tops on the smaller bags are a little clumsy, no doubt. The trouble is that zippers are never really waterproof, plus they’re always the first things to break on the bag.

      Reply
  5. Stephen Barnes

    Love the way you guys think!!! As an outdoor gear designer/product manager, I can totally relate to the trials and tribulations of the process and your wish to prove out your designs in real world settings is awesome, and then be critical and constructive!
    While I commend the desire to get away from a simple roll-top, they are a pretty simple solution for dusty and abusive environs. I’ve spent many a moon on river trips and trying new ideas for mechanical solutions (screw tops, zippers, etc), and they all get a little dicey in dirty and wet surroundings, as I am sure you are discovering. Kudos to you for thinking outside the norm and testing the crap out of your stuff.
    Big fan!!
    Keep smiling!

    Reply
    1. moskomoto Post author

      Right on thanks Stephen! We use roll tops everywhere else. And we’re open to going that route on a tank bag too for sure. Our thought was just that we should at least try something else, because tank bags are all about quick access, plus it’s a small bag. People are used to zippers on tank bags, which for all their faults, are at least quick & easy. If it doesn’t work, no sweat, we’ll do a roll top. These hatch cover thingies are pretty cool tho! – Pete

      Reply
  6. Paul

    Love your gear guys.! Your research trips look very rewarding for customers as well as yourselves(in the name of product evaluation!) can’t wait to try your gear out.!

    Reply
  7. Aline Garant

    Best corporate team-building, product-testing exercise EVER! Are you hiring?!?
    All the thought, effort and creativity that goes into your product design is appreciated…it really shows in the end product!

    Reply
  8. Cowgirl

    While I’m waiting with bated breath for the new Reckless 80 I’m loving the idea of the Reckless 15 for daytripping. I currently have a GL Mojave for that but the more I use the GL products the more I dislike them. Can’t wait!

    Reply

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