December 22, 2016
It’s the end of our second full year at Mosko, and on behalf of the Mosko team, I want to send a huge THANK YOU to all the riders, supporters, sewers, patternmakers, factories, advriders, advisers, funders, prototypers, photographers, riding coaches, friends, BMW Motorrads, and everyone else who has played a role in making this wacky and awesome adventure real.
Sometimes I think Mosko is more of a ‘project’ than a company. That’s how it feels. It’s something we work on, not for. Like we’re on a trip together, crossing new terrain, no itinerary, doing what seems right and going where it takes us. This blog is our trip report. These 105 posts are like my personal journal. In my whole life I’ve never been able to keep a journal for more than a few months, despite multiple attempts, but for some reason the blog has stuck. Snapping phone pics of everything has become second nature. I truly look forward to every new entry. Thanks for reading, or at least scrolling through the pics 🙂
2016 is ending on an awesome note. It’s been a great year. Sales are up, there are lots of new products in the pipeline, and the stoke level and chemistry of our team are at an all-time high. In 2016 we introduced the Reckless v2.0, the new drybag collection, and the BMW Atacama bags. In 2017 we’ll have the new Scout 25 pannier, the Nomad and Hood tank bags, and the Fatty tool roll. Maybe even riding apparel. Everywhere I look in the Mosko shop right now, I see prototypes.
This is the most fun I’ve ever had doing anything. THANK YOU!!!
We got final approval samples (known as the ‘Golden Sample’ at our factory) of the Nomad Tank Bag and the Fatty Tool Roll. These items are done! We placed production orders this week, sewing will commence in the New Year. We’re hoping to have everything in stock by May if not sooner.
Nomad Tank Bag
The Nomad golden sample looks great. The Nomad dates back to February 2015, when we sewed tank bag straps on my DaKine hydration pack for a trip through Southeast Asia on a 125cc two-stroke. It’s a complicated little bag, two years in the making. We finally have the rain cover, map pocket, and finished bag sample in hand.
Andrew came up with a cool way to attach the map pocket without having to weave it through all the MOLLE webbing. There’s a snap between each MOLLE strip, just push the snaps closed and it’s attached. Super easy, bomb-proof connection. In the pics below, the green area will be blue in the production version.
The main change to the bag itself is that we ditched the sealed zippers. Sealed zippers provide additional water resistance when the rain cover is off, and they also look cool, but they’re harder to operate and much more prone to failure, especially when dirt and grit are present. This is especially true on the Nomad, where the zipper has to navigate several tight corners. So we went back to large unsealed zippers. They slide so much easier. It felt a little weird to do this, sort of like ‘de-tuning,’ which isn’t something we normally do, but zipper failure is one one of the top complaints from long-term travelers about their tank bags. These big, unsealed zippers will have a much longer lifespan.
We also added a zipper to the hydration port, so you won’t have to remove the hydration hose when inserting a hydration bladder.
We’re developing a solution for the vent-tube pinching issue I experienced when Ash & I were riding in Eastern Oregon this Fall. This is a common issue on aftermarket tanks, like the Safari tank on my 950SE. The Nomad has a very long torso, so we designed it to sit much farther forward on the tank than a normal tank bag would. On my bike it pushes almost all the way to the handlebars.
First we tried reshaping the vent tube with a heat gun.
That didn’t work. Even with bent tubing, the pressure of the bag pushing down on the tube still caused a crimp.
Lee found several neat 90 degree tube fittings to experiment with. This one would work, but it requires drilling, tapping, and sealing the gas cap.
This next one is designed to fit a 1/4″ opening. Unfortunately, the vent tube fitting on my gas cap is slightly larger than 1/4″. We carved it down with an exacto knife and attached the fitting with adhesive. We like this solution better, no drilling and tapping. For bikes with a 1/4″ opening (like Lee’s) the fitting works perfectly as-is.
I love the way the Nomad fits on my bike. Plenty of space while standing or sitting, which is impressive for such a long-torso bag.
Roll a Mosko Fatty
The Fatty Tool Roll is also done. We removed the magnetic panel in favor of a clear zippered pocket. We’re also working on a waterproof cover, which may not be ready at the same time as the roll itself, but it’s in the works and should be ready shortly thereafter.
Tees & Hoodies
The new tees & hoodies arrived! Special thanks to Rick Lieberson at T Line Design for getting these done in time for Christmas!
I’ve been wearing a different Mosko tee every day since these arrived. The new American Apparel shirt blank we’re using is really soft and comfortable. Lots of new colors, everything’s in stock. The Running Lizard, Sunset, and Lizard Hoodie are available in Women’s sizes as well.
We took some quick & dirty pics for the website. To order, here’s the link:
Use the discount code SHIRTSHIP16 for $10 off. That discount code cancels out the cost of domestic shipping ($10), or reduces the cost of international shipping. The shirts themselves are $20 each, hoodies are $45.
Running Lizard Tee
(also available in black, not shown)
We redesigned the front panel on the Scout 25L pannier drybag with daisy chain loops to accommodate Steelcore Locking Straps. The locking straps run through the two daisy chains on the front of the drybag, and then around the back of the pannier rack, which locks the bag closed and also locks it to the bike.
Andrew made a new pattern for the Scout 25 removable MOLLE panel. We decided to make these MOLLE panels an optional add-on thanks to a suggestion on advrider from a rider who pointed out that if someone already has rotopax for carrying water/fuel, the MOLLE panels would interfere.
Lee has been developing a new adapter concept for curvy pannier racks, like the BMW OEM racks. This new system would use a series of stacking aluminum blocks, so it can fit different sized pannier offsets. A customer recently ordered 28 of our elongated washers to create something similar. Cool idea!
And Andrew showed us how to safely run shop wiring.
Mosko World Headquarters will be closed for the week between Christmas and New Years. We’ll still be processing orders, but not on a same-day basis. Email and voicemail response times may be a little longer than usual. Ash and I will be riding moto in Moab, Andrew will be backcountry skiing in British Columbia, and Lee & Tiffany will be skiing on Mt. Hood.
Tonight (Thursday, 12-22-16) we’re meeting for drinks from 5-7pm at the Tarwater Tavern in White Salmon, WA. Join us!!