Post from the Road- Saigon
Another quick update from the road. Thanks for all the feedback on tank bags. We’ll be going through all this in detail when Andrew and I are back in the shop.
I’m in Ho Chi Minh City working with the factory to get the Reckless designs finalized and then taking a little bit of time off and doing some bag testing. Anton found a couple vintage Minks for us to ride. We’re going to head up through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos and then to Hanoi to meet with the apparel factory and work on the jacket/pant protos.
It was great to fit the bags at the R&D office with all the sewers there because we were able to make some tweaks on the fly. Especially webbing lengths. Some webbing had to be added/subtracted here and there, but pretty much everything fit great. We’ve already tested these bags on bikes back home but the Minsks are kind of unique so I was happy everything worked.
Amarett took a bunch of pics.
I modified my DaKine Nomad mountain bike pack to work as a tank bag. We sewed on some extra webbing and buckles so it clips on/off the tank easily, and still works as a backpack.
Andrew and I have been talking about a kind of “transformer” bag for moto-backpacking trips (like this one) or fly-to-ride trips. It would convert from a backpacking pack into two panniers and a rear duffle, with the three pieces zipping apart. The factory had this rough mockup which I thought was cool.
Factory hardware wall
Visited with Christiaan who has a sheet metal shop nearby. He’s making our mounting washers and brackets. Had some BBQ Water Buffalo for lunch. There was a table full of uniformed police right next to us getting nice and hammered at lunch time.
Checked out his facility. They were working on our prototypes while I was there.
This is an aluminum cleat for the Reckless bags.
Next I visited with the company who makes our buckles, mounting pucks, and logo plates to look at some of the new stuff for 2015 and discuss some issues they’re having with injection molding HDPE for our mounting plates.
We met up with Trung (aka Viethorse on advrider) who gave us some great info on where to ride. Also what looks to be an interesting route out of HCMC without taking the highway. Trung is an awesome moto-ambassador for Vietnam. If you’re crossing Southeast Asia I highly recommend contacting him.
Then it was time to get ready for our trip. Amarett got her first taste of HCMC traffic. On a decades-old, two-stroke, kick-start, 125cc bike. If you’ve driven over here you know how it is: crazy. She was aprehensive for the first few minutes and then all smiles after that. It’s pretty fun. Like dirt-biking, but in the city.
Amarett found a helmet.
And a face-mask. Fendi. Ha! Guess that’s why it cost $1.
Got our new Reckless protos packed and ready for their inaugural journey.
I’m using the tent pole holder for my air pump on this trip. Had to cut the straps down to size.
Amarett packs a lot lighter, and more artistically than I do.
Started thinking about where we’re going to go. Today we’re running around HCMC picking up some tools and various other BS. Tomorrow: on the road.