What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been

June 2, 2017

After 2+ years in development, the Nomad Tank Bag and Fatty Tool Roll are finally in stock and available for sale on our website! Also the Backcountry 30 Duffle is back in stock.

We only have limited quantities at the moment. There’s more arriving in 4-6 weeks, but if you want one from this first batch, please order soon (i.e. in the next couple of days). In the meantime we’ll do our best to get additional inventory in the warehouse as soon as possible, including air freight shipments if necessary. The demand in the first 48 hours was well beyond our expectations. We thought we had enough inventory to last a month or two, but instead, 48 hours later, we’d already sold-through 2/3rds of the first delivery. A temporary stockout seems inevitable.

Thank you so much for the support and patience. We truly apologize in advance for the stockouts. With new items, we have to place our production orders 4-6 months in advance, and we don’t have a historical pattern of orders to forecast from, so nailing a forecast is tough. Plus, with new products, we always aim low in the interest of conservatism. Sometimes that results in a stockout. We had a similar experience with the Reckless 80 v1.0.

Long Strange Trip

Ash and I have been traveling for seven of the last nine weeks, definitely the most we’ve been on the road since Mosko started. We kicked off this latest stretch with three days at the PNW Dual Sport Season Opener on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. From there we headed south to Flagstaff, Arizona for Overland Expo, then north to Southeastern Oregon for the first-ever Mosko UNRally. After the UNRally, we went south into Nevada for our annual team ride.

It was a long strange trip, and a total blast.

At the moment, it feels great to be home, catching up on emails, sleeping in a proper bed, and soaking up summertime in the Gorge. In a couple weeks though, I have no doubt that we’ll be itching to get back on the road. Just in time for the Touratech Rally in Plain, WA June 22-25th. Hope we see you there!

PNW Dualsport Season Opener

PNW Dual Sport is a riding community based in the Seattle area, incorporating riders of all abilities from all over the Pacific Northwest. We started following them on Facebook and Instagram a while ago, and then became great friends with the founder Jesse Felker. When Jesse said he was hosting an event on the Olympic Peninsula, we signed up immediately.

Last year they had 60 riders, this year it grew to 150+. There were so many new signups that they relocated to a larger venue – Skokomish Park on Lake Cushman – at the last minute. Jesse and his crew have something really cool going. If you live in the area, I highly recommend checking out PNW Dualsport. Their Facebook & Instagram is a good place to start.

Ninkasi Brewing sponsored happy hours at our booth on Friday & Saturday night. Thank god for that, because much beer was drunk.

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That’s Ash in the pic below, reading out the raffle winners for a Reckless 80 and an assortment of Mosko drybags.

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Lee & Chris from Mosko joined Ash & I for the event, and we all went exploring together on Saturday. Ash took a 30+ mph tumble, flying over the handlebars into a ditch, and crash-testing her brand spankin’ new Klim helmet. She also crash-tested our injection-molded wedges (minus the bags). The helmet and wedge held up great. Even though she face-planted hard, the visor didn’t break off the helmet. The rest of the bike fared worse: it’ll be in the shop for a while.

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The pics below were taken by Jackson Carpenter (Insta @jack4carp). Thanks for documenting the event Jackson.

The is Jesse Felker.

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And Kyle Walter.

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And Jackson.

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The crew.

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Thanks, guys, for throwing an epic event! We will be back next year for sure.

Overland Expo West 2017

From the Olympic Peninsula, Ash and I headed 1,370 miles south to Flagstaff, AZ for our fourth annual Overland Expo. This is always a neat milestone for us, because we got our first-ever orders as a brand new company at OX back in 2014. Every year that we return it feels more and more like a family reunion.

This year there were over 12,000+ attendees and 300 vendors. OX is becoming a huge event, the largest of its kind that I’m aware of. This year it was held at a new venue – Fort Tuthill County Park – with tons of additional space for expansion. There was even an 8 mile mountain bike loop around the outside of the park, which Ash and I (and Brady) took full advantage of. The sun was out, temps were warm, and aside from a little wind, the overall conditions were perfect. Much better than the snowpocalypse we experienced a few years ago.

We cranked out the drive in short-order, and were the very first vendor to setup in Motorcycle Village.

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We tested the new Scout 25 panniers many times, running errands and getting supplies in town. It’s amazing how much you can get into the Scout harness with the drybags removed. Here’s Ash with $270 worth of groceries.

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And here’s Andrew with a 7 gallon water jug.

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Andrew flew down with the first batch of the new 2017/2018 Mosko catalog in his checked luggage, so we got our first look at the printed version when he arrived. Really happy with how it turned out. Catalog prep was a bit stressful this year, since we had to assemble everything on a tight timeline between road trips. I haven’t found any typos yet, so that’s good.

This year we printed 30,000 copies, 21,000 of which will go via snail mail. The remainder will be handed out individually at shows, or shipped in boxes with outgoing orders.

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Tracy Motz from REV’IT got the very first catalog.

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Ninkasi Brewing again sponsored happy hours at the Mosko booth in the afternoons (thanks again Ninkasi!), and we had a steady stream of riders and friends stopping by the booth all day. In terms of orders, OX 2017 was hands-down the best show we’ve ever had. Which was particularly surprising since, despite overall increased attendance, foot traffic in Motorcycle Village seemed slow. We attribute that to the larger size of the new venue, which resulted in fewer overland (as opposed to moto) people wandering over from the truck & van section. The lower foot traffic didn’t seem to have impact actual orders. Several other vendors we talked to also had banner shows.

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A couple times over the weekend we had so many bikes parked in front of the Mosko booth that it was blocking the main thoroughfare. I love it when we have a bunch of dirty Mosko-equipped bikes parked in front of the booth.

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Mark from Ural Dealership in Prescott (Scooter & Auto Source) brought over this bike for us to test-rig a Reckless 80 and Backcountry 40. This is the first Ural I’ve seen with Mosko bags. A perfect fit: the bags almost look like an OEM product. We liked it so much we left the bags mounted for the rest of the show.

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David stopped by to show off his new “Kit Kube” internal organizers to help keep stuff organized inside your panniers. Great to see a fellow entrepreneur getting started with his new bag business. He loaned us a couple samples to use on an upcoming trip in northern Nevada (they worked great).

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Another cool find was Tacrider. Jesse and his team pulled into OX at the same time we did, and we hit it off with them immediately. They make a really comfortable, stretchy, Polartech mid-layer riding jacket. Ash and I each bought two. I’ve been wearing mine every day since. It’ll be fun to watch these guys expand their product line in the years ahead.

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A rider came by and showed us this cool spacer system he puts between the Mosko mounting wedge and the mounting puck. Al Jesse from Jesse Luggage helped him make this. It’s a cool way to add some back support behind the wedge. This is something we might consider adding to our puck sack in the future.

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Ruth Belcher stopped by, and we all got to sign her jacket. That’s our friend Francois with the pen in the pic below. He also has a new company in the works. They’re making a really delicious new snack called Natti Bar, with only one ingredient: bananas. They’re awesome for riding because bananas don’t travel well. We helped Francois hand out samples at the show. Everyone loved them.

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Our friend Tommy Gunn showed up for his first OX with his custom overland vehicle, called Big Momma, that he built from scratch, starting with a 5-ton military flatbed. Everything was made by him, by hand. It’s one seriously incredible vehicle, and also a work of art. Definitely the most awesome vehicle I’ve ever ridden in. Check out the roof deck in the pic below. There’s even a CVT rooftop tent up there for guests.

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We have some of the nicest customers ever. Paul hooked us up with a bottle of Blanton’s bourbon, Rick & Betsy brought over a bottle of Glenlivet 15yr scotch, and Dan stoked us out with a Cuban cigar. Y’all really know how to make a bag company feel special. Thank you!!! Whiskey donations are always very much appreciated 🙂

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For me personally, a major highlight of the week was running into Gerardo, owner of ViaVia Cafe in Copan, Honduras. Before we started Mosko, I met Gerardo when I was riding through Honduras en route to Panama. He previously ran boat tours to the remote Mosquito Coast region of Honduras. He turned me on to the idea of trying to cross the Mosquito Coast with a motorcycle. Through a wacky series of unexpected circumstances, that excursion led to Andrew and I starting Mosko. It’s also where we got our name.

Gerardo: awesome to see you, man! Hope to visit Honduras again sometime soon.

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We rolled out of OX Monday morning in high spirits, and with a folder full of orders. That’s as good as it gets. Can’t wait for next year.

Road to the UNRally

From Flagstaff, Ash and I headed toward the Alvord Desert in Southeastern Oregon for the first-ever Mosko UNRally. We caravaned with Bill & Lynn Godwin, making a few stops along the way. Bill & Lynn have been on the road since March, traveling with their truck, four-wheel camper, and black lab Sage.

We stopped at this ittle bar in Austin, Nevada in search of food, called the ‘International Cafe.’ The kitchen was closed, but we drank some delicious Serbian brandy and shot the shit with Victor (the owner).

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Now there’s a Mosko Moto dollar on the ceiling. If you stop in for a drink, please send us a pic!

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We camped on BLM land just off the main road outside of Winnemucca. The next morning we woke up to a torrential downpour. This was troubling because, this time of year, the Alvord Desert alternates between being a dry lakebed and an actual lake. It’s a whole lot more fun when it’s a lakebed.

We were confronted with the very real possibility that the first-ever UNRally might happen on an UNDesert.

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Our concerns deepened Wednesday morning, when we awoke to a desert covered in snow. We were looking at a wet, muddy, messy lake.

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Thankfully, the snow melted quickly. Bill, Lynn, Ash, & I hiked up the western shore to get a better view. The entire desert was covered in water. At this point I was busily making alternative plans, racking my brain for backup venues.

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As usual, all the worrying turned out to be a big waste of energy. In its own special ‘Alvord Magic’ kind of way, the entire southern end of the lake bed dried out as the day progressed. By afternoon, we could ride all the way to the eastern shore on bikes. It was muddy, but navigable.

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By the time we woke up Thursday morning, most of the Mosko team had arrived overnight, and the entire south end of the lake was dry.

The first-ever UNRally was ON!!

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4 thoughts on “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been

  1. Charlie

    Cliffhanger! Looking forward to hearing about the happenings at the UNrally once the masses arrived!

    Reply

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