Long Journey to the Middle
July 27, 2018
Ash and I just returned from the national BMW MOA event in Iowa. At 1,700 miles, this was the farthest we’ve ever driven for a show. Normally we fly to anything over about 1,200 miles. Flying is nearly as much of a hassle as driving though, because we can’t bring display bikes, it doesn’t save all that much travel time, and cost of the flights plus the pallet shipping is comparable to the cost of driving.
So instead of flying we loaded up the Mosko trailer and headed east, on some of the least interesting roads in the world. On the bright side though, it’s straight and flat, so we made good time and only got one $200 speeding ticket.
We were happy to have an indoor, air-conditioned booth. It was exceptionally hot and humid. Open your car door, instantly pouring sweat. This was our first time setting up the new Mosko indoor booth.
Here’s what the final booth setup looks like with all four bikes. Really stoked. It’s a little more work, but it looks great, packs small, and was surprisingly affordable. I feel like, because we sell direct, it’s especially important to put our best foot forward at shows and make a good first impression. It’s worth a little extra work and expense to achieve that.
I dug up this pic of our first booth at the BMW MOA in Minnesota 5 years ago. We had only our first few samples to display. I remember running around the fairgrounds searching for pallets and extra tables/chairs to make a quick & dirty display.
Ash painted her nails BMW rallye blue for the event.
We ordered footpegs, a luggage rack, and a skid plate for our new Mosko R1200GS from Kurt & Martha at Black Dog Cycle Works. I installed it all the night before the show. Everything went on super easy, good instructions were included in the box. We could learn something from these guys. I’m always impressed with the quality of everything we get from BDCW.
Check out the difference between the Black Dog and the OEM skidplate in the pic below. Man it is so much better it’s not even funny.
Our friends at GS Giants will appreciate Bruce Sanderson’s tee, for the new BMW 310GS.
Forrest Bault stopped by on his way west, after finishing the MABDR on a Honda Ruckus scooter. We were trying to figure out how to get our little trailer back to the campsite, and Forrest came up with this solution.
We were busy the entire time. Three days flew by.
Lee and Tiffany flew in on the last day to help us tear down the booth, Ash and I flew home, and Lee and Tiff towed the Mosko rig back home to Washington. It was great to split up the drive.
Backcountry 35 v2.0
Back in the office, we got our first look at the latest sample of the new Backcountry 35 pannier v2.0. With all the incremental, inline changes we’ve made over the last 4 years, plus the injection molded plates and frames, I had previously been referring to this as v3.0. But Andrew & Lee corrected me, the new BC35 is officially v2.0.
The rear pocket on v2.0 is removable, these pics are of the pannier only.
We’re using these custom-made molded buckles, which slide better than the stamped aluminum G clips we’re using now.
The side compression straps that connect to the roll top will have these break away buckles, in case you forget to attach them and they get caught in your chain and break off (which is pretty common).
We’re messing around with some different logo treatments. We were kind of ‘meh’ on this one. Scott nailed it when he said that the little dotted panels at the bottom look like ‘fake tech.’ Plus the blue color is off. We like the way the words look though.
This embroidered patch looks cool, but the edges are a little sloppy.
On the new version, there is MOLLE webbing behind the beavertail, and also a large-tool holder.
We added some additional reflective material on the sides and bottom.
The side MOLLE is made from hypalon. The bartacked holes are for attaching the removable pocket.
On the inside of the pannier, we have these little velcro flaps to protect the inner drybag from abrasion caused by the mounting hardware on the pocket bolts.
We’re also working with our factory to redesign the attachment latch. We want a latch that a) locks the bag closed and b) locks it to the bike with a single device.
Reckless 80 v3.0
The most common warranty return on the Reckless 80 is seam separation on the rear seam of the leg harness. We keep beefing up our construction with every production run, but ther’s only so much we can do with the current design. Ultimately we’ll have to redesign the legs to fully eliminate it. A fully loaded (or sometimes overloaded) R80 bouncing around in rough terrain exerts a ton of force on the seam stitching.
In the next prototype, we want to experiment with making the harness as two completely separate assemblies, connected by webbing and stitching that wraps all the way around to the back of the harness, like in the mockup below.
Cell Phone MOLLE
Jesse, who is interning at Mosko this summer while on break from studying design at Utah State, is working on this cool new vented MOLLE cell phone holder for the Nomad and Hood tank bags. It connects with a large MOLLE velcro patch, and has a sun cover, which when combined with the vents, should help prevent your phone from overheating on hot, sunny days.
We started out designing a waterproof phone bag, but then we remembered that all our modern smartphones are already waterproof from the factory, so waterproof cell cases are becoming a thing of the past. With new phones, overheating is a bigger issue.
In Other News
Ash is working with our web designer Karl, our digital agency Foghorn Labs, and our graphic designer Dan Cox to update the Mosko website. Our site is 5 years old, and we all feel like it could benefit from a face lift.
Jesse & Andrew snapped some quick catalog/website beauty shots of our new 2018 items, which are currently in production. Unfortunately, the delivery date for the Reckless 10, Pinner Tool Roll, and Pico/Hood tank bags keeps getting pushed back. We expect to have them in stock by late September.
I completely dunked my dirt bike in a river up at Mt. Adams a few weeks ago. I’ve dropped bikes in water before, but I’ve never had one get fully submerged while running, let alone watched my bike actually float downstream.
Here’s a few more pics from a fun day of Pacific Northwest riding.
At the MOA event in Iowa, our booth was directly across from our friends at Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental. Ash and I booked a couple 650s for the holiday week between Christmas and New Year, when the Mosko shop will be closed. Can’t wait.
Man, summer is flying by!