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Now We Make Apparel Too!

July 15, 2019

July 15, 2019

On June 7th, the apparel went live on our site.

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Ash and our developer Karl stayed up till the wee hours of the morning putting the finishing touches on the product pages. We woke up later that day to see that our first apparel order came in at 1:21 am, about 20 minutes after the pages went live.

Tom B: thanks for being such an early-riser and becoming our first apparel customer!!

We have a limited number of apparel kits and we can’t get more till next Spring, so we’re not in a huge hurry to sell through. We want to have some inventory for the shows this Fall/Winter, and we especially want to make sure all the early-adopters are well taken care of and totally stoked. The initial spike in orders/inquiries has already stretched our small CS team to the limit, especially with Sarah and Ames on the road so much for shows and meetups. Sarah recently posted for a new customer service position, which we hope to fill ASAP.

Things are busy here at Mosko HQ. It feels like we need to expand our team, but aside from customer service (which needs to happen ASAP), we don’t wan to make long-term hiring decisions at the peak of the riding season right after a big demand spike. Better to chill for a bit, let things settle down this fall, and reevaluate our capacity then.

Huge thanks to all the apparel early-adopters. You are legends at Mosko. If you need anything please don’t hesitate to ask. You might be surprised how far we’ll go to stoke you out.

BMW MOA

In June, we shipped all our mannequins, garment racks, bag samples, and show kit out to Lebanon, TN for the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association meeting (aka MOA).

By the time we realized how much additional space we needed to properly display apparel (at least a 35′ wide booth) it was too late to get anything that big inside and air conditioned, so we went with an outdoor booth instead. We got lucky at the MOA this year, with cool temps and mostly perfect weather throughout the weekend. It was an excellent venue and an excellent weekend to be outside.

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@Nikoutdoor on advrider: thanks for making the 550 mile trek, running on only two hours sleep after a late shift, to try on the new apparel in person and hang out with us at the booth! We really enjoyed seeing you!

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June 14th was Ash’s birthday. Ames/Roel surprised her with balloons and a cake. Thanks for that, guys!!

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This is actually how you move a mannequin. All the other parts come off when you grab them. Seriously.

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We learned that two of the Primus 1.5L fuel bottles fit in the side pockets of the Reckless 10 harness. We were located right next to the guys from Green Chile Adventure Gear, and they had a bunch of these bottles in stock. For anyone carrying extra gas on a dirt bike, these would be handy.

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BMW MOA was our first experience with selling apparel in person at a show. We thought it might be slow, just because ADV/Enduro bikes are a small portion of the total attendance at MOA. Boy were we wrong about that. We had 5 people with us – Sarah, Roel, Ames, Ash, and I – and we could barely keep up with the traffic. It was awesome. When we totaled the orders on Saturday night, we realized we’d had our largest show ever. Thank you MOAers!!

Mosko Road Show

In the past, when the entire booth and a few display bikes could fit inside our enclosed trailer or toy hauler, we would drive to any shows within 1,500 miles, and ship the booth everywhere else.

Now that the booth has grown, we need to reevaluate that. The shipping cost to Tennessee and back was $6,200, and many things were damaged in transit. We probably could’ve done a better job of packing up at Overland Expo, but with a storm coming and the lack of any packing supplies, our options were limited.

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Seeing the damage highlighted some of the challenges with shipping vs driving. A friend of ours arrived at MOA to find one entire pallet of inventory missing, and another seriously damaged. Plus, with shipping, we have to hunt down loaner bikes for every show, and we make a lot of compromises in our booth design to reduce weight and bulk and fit everything on pallets.

Driving to the show with a larger trailer would make some things much easier. A trailer would also be handy when bad weather comes in, as it often does. There’s also the issue of how to secure things at night, or before/after the start/end of a show. At BMW MOA, after the show ended, we left everything in the parking lot unattended overnight while we waited for the shipping company to arrive. Nothing has ever gone missing, but that doesn’t mean it’s a great idea.

Our buddy J.C. volunteered to help find and setup a trailer, and to help with driving it around for the first few months while we figure out how this is all going to work. Last week we bought a 40′ gooseneck we found on craigslist (it was being used as a go-kart hauler) and a dually pickup to tow it around with. JC picked up the trailer in Denver and delivered it 1,200 miles to the Gorge, arriving Saturday.

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We want to try merging all our shows and meetups into a single combined, continuous year-round calendar, and driving this rig from show to meetup to show to meetup. For shows that are closer to home (a 1,500 mile radius) we’ll also bring the toy hauler with a second vehicle, so we have onsite living quarters for the team. For anything further than that, we’ll fly-in, meet the trailer, and stay at an Airbnb.

Now that we have this new trailer, we can make some improvements to the booth. We’re not trying to get too crazy, we just want something a little sturdier, especially for outdoor shows. The vinyl EZ-UP backdrops we’ve been using turn into giant sails when the wind blows, and the wooden backdrops we’ve been using for the mannequins are just as bad.

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The new backdrops, the truck, the trailer, the merging of the meetup and show calendar: it all feels like the start of a new direction for the Mosko road show. We’re pretty excited about it. Hope it pays off!!

DirtDaze #Uninvited!

We won’t be at DirtDaze in Vermont August 15-18 as originally planned. The Touratech East rally merged with DirtDaze, and we were uninvited for competitive reasons. We’re reshuffling our summer plans to accommodate the opening. After the GS Giants Rally in Dolores, CO August 1-4, instead of heading east for DirtDaze, we’ll stick around the Rockies to do some riding and maybe plan some Meetups instead. We already have one scheduled in Denver August 12th at Meta Magazine. From August 4-12 we’ll be hanging around Colorado with the truck, trailer, and camper.

Is there anything else going on around that time? We’re mobile and we have our bikes. Let us know!

East Coasters: sorry about the DirtDaze mixup. We were so stoked to be there. It would’ve been a great long-haul shakedown for the new kit. Since we can’t be there, we’ll run a nationwide “#uninvited” special to make up for it, and we’ll put some additional east coast shows and meetups on the calendar for Fall/Winter.

Are there any other big/growing East Coast events that we should know about?

Other News

Product Videos

Pierce Hodges (Video Kid Productions) is helping with product videos for the new apparel. We’ll also be selectively updating videos for existing products, some of which are getting quite old. With the new warehouse space, it’s awesome to have a spot where we can set up the samples and do videos without a ton of distractions.

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The Woodsman Pants

Yesterday I went riding with the first prototype of a new soft-shell enduro/trail riding pant that we’re calling ‘The Woodsman.’ It’s still pretty rough, and the patterning is a little off on the knees (note how the leather wraps around to the front of my knee in the pic below) but they are actually pretty good for an early proto. The revisions are big, but few and simple. I crashed on them several times with no visible signs of wear, although my body hurts ha!

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Fit Mannequins

We picked up this used fit-mannequin from a friend of Scott’s at REI. This is an REI size ‘large.’ Scott’s building a collection of fit-mannequins to ensure sizing consistency from season-to-season. Using ourselves as the fit models was a good way to start, but it’s not a great long-term solution. Unlike real humans, fit mannequins don’t change in size from year to year, meal to meal, cookie to cookie.

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Insulating Layers

We also got new samples of our Ectotherm insulating layers. We’re particularly interested in experimenting with different collars, since this garment will usually be worn under body armor with a waterproof jacket. We can’t have extra material bunched up against the throat, but we also want it to look good (i.e. not look like a jacket liner) so it can be used off the bike on a longer trip.

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Basilisk Storage

We were messing around with some Voile straps, and we came up with this cool way to attach the Basilisk jacket to MOLLE webbing when it’s stashed on the bike. We’re thinking of adding a couple dedicated pass-throughs on the jacket. One of our favorite things about separate body armor is the ability to remove your jacket when things get hot. But then you need somewhere to store it. The beavertail is one option, MOLLE could be another.

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Jesse the Intern

It’s been great to have Jesse back for the summer! It feels like he’s part of the Mosko team now, except that he disappears in the winters for design school.

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Jesse has a couple projects going at the moment. First, he’s working on a much-needed update to our small and large MOLLE pouches.

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Second, he’s working on a project for a small/flat MOLLE tank harness, so you can mount our soon-to-be introduced cell phone holder (also Jesse’s design) directly to your tank. I made a rough mockup by cutting up a warranty-returned Pico. I’ve been using it on my trail bike and it works great. For anyone using a cell phone as their primary navigation tool: we have some cool stuff coming!

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Scout 30 Duffle

Lee just returned from a marathon pavement trip on the GSA out to Montana and back using a prototype of the new Scout 30 duffle (which is replacing the Scout 25). He had a few revisions after the trip, but surprisingly few.

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Backcountry Cinch Strap v2.0

We got a final prototype of the Backcountry Cinch strap with two cam buckles, rather than a cam buckle and a ladderlock like v1.0. We’ve seen the ladderlocks snap when using the BC straps as a bike tie down or tow strap. This is now one seriously burly strap. Maybe it’s overkill for holding a duffle on your bike, but it’s awesome because it has so many additional uses.

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Reckless Mounting Cleats

Lee is updating our Reckless mounting cleats. The new ones use thicker aluminum, and have quick-access slots so you can mount the R80/40/10 without fully disconnecting the ladderlocks on the harness.

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ABR Festival, UK

Sarah & Roel spent the weekend at the Adventure Bike Rider Festival at Ragley Hall in Alcester, Warwickshire, UK. We just heard from Sarah that we had a fantastic show there. It sounds like this is a pretty major event, and growing quickly. I love how they made an impromptu outdoor booth from a vinyl sign, two flags, and some indoor backdrops. Great work guys

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Riding Season is ON!

Ash and I managed to get stuck on the Alvord Desert for the first time over Memorial Day weekend. That 20,000+ pound toy hauler is a BEAST to pull out. We got back to dry ground with a 25,000 pound snatch strap, and made some new friends in the process.

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We’ve been having an absolute blast on our dirt bikes so far this year!

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A few weeks ago, after riding all day in Nevada, we got back to the truck and realized we had three flats on two bikes. I thought for sure we’d hit some kind of gnarly cactus, but actually it was three different causes: a thorn, a pinch, and a puncture. We didn’t even realize we’d flatted until we parked. How ’bout that.

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Hope everyone’s having an epic summer!

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