September 20, 2013
Ten years ago, on my first major overseas moto trip (Vietnam), I strapped a backpack to the passenger seat and hit the road. That worked ok, but when it rained my stuff got wet, and the center of gravity on the bike was way too high.
Since then I’ve used all different types of moto luggage including aluminum boxes, plastic hard cases, and soft bags. After many trips with the hard cases where I returned with my $1,000+ panniers dented and deformed, being held to the bike with straps, and being held shut with bungees, I decided that hard luggage is great for pavement riding, but it’s a disaster offroad. For offroad adventure touring soft panniers are the only way to go.
Last winter I traveled through Central America for three months living out of one of the most popular brands of soft panniers. These burly panniers were made from waterproof PVC material and were very reasonably priced. Living out of them for three months doing some pretty heavy offroad riding through Baja, Mainland, Guatemala and Honduras, I came to love certain things and hate others.
I also began to wonder why cyclists, climbers, skiers, and backpackers have such a great assortment of technical bags available to them, but dualsport motorcyclists do not??
I decided that when I got home, I was going to make motorcycle luggage. Stuff designed for the kind of riding I do: multi-day, unsupported trips deep into the backcountry. The bags will be space and weight efficient, 100% waterproof, and have totally bomber construction and technical materials. They will be more than just an empty sack to stuff gear into: they will have an assortment of features focused on the needs of hardcore dualsport riders. For example: fuel storage, tool/tube storage, water storage, external gear storage, compression capabilities, etc.
So that’s what this blog is about: making those bags. And (I hope) building a business at the same time.