April 27, 2016
There’s been a lot of progress on our backpack-style tank bag in the last few weeks. Andrew has been at the factory working on the first production prototype, and it’s looking really good. This design is based on our mountain biking & trail riding hydration packs, adapted to tank bag dimensions and mounting. We’ve been calling it the ‘Nomad.’ There will be at least 1-2 more iterations of this bag before the design is finalized, so if you have additional input, we’d love to hear it on the Mosko advrider.com thread. We only have a few more weeks to make revisions.
Here’s what it looks like on a KLR.
And on my KTM 950SE.
There are a bunch of cool features on this bag. On the top of the beavertail, we have MOLLE webbing, which can be used to attach an infinite variety of MOLLE accessories. The bag will include a map pocket that goes over the webbing, so you can choose between MOLLE or the map pocket. The removable map pocket attaches with velcro, and there’s additional velcro inside the beavertail gussets, so the map pocket folds around the edge of the beavertail and connects on the sides as well.
Top down view on my 950, this is with me seated in my actual riding position.
Off the bike, the Nomad turns into a backpack with stashable mesh backpack straps that tuck away into a storage compartment on the back. The same straps that connect the bag to the bike also double as a waist belt. We want this bag to look & feel like a real hydration pack when it’s off the bike, not like a tank bag that’s been awkwardly strapped to your back. For me this feature really comes in handy on international trips, when I want to grab my tank bag (with camera/water/wallet), put it on my back as a backpack, and go walk around a village or check out some tourist thing.
The Nomad has a beavertail on top for quick-stash items like a smaller DSLR camera (in it’s protective case) or as a place to stash gloves, sunglasses, etc when you stop for gas. Also a great place to tuck a redbull or snacks or whatever. I had one of these on my tank bag on the last two big international trips and it was indispensable.
Inside the beavertail we’re adding a neoprene sleeve for a Delorme InReach or InReach Explorer Communicator, so the screen is protected by the beavertail, but the antenna remains exposed. Plus that way the communicator is always within reach and accessible.
Most ‘toaster-style’ tank bags are big open buckets with a lot of vertical space. Some bags then divide that space horizontally using camera bag-style velcro dividers. On this bag we want to divide the space vertically into layers, because when we took a poll last year, the vast majority of what people said they store in tank bags are small items (headlamp, wallet, batteries, chapstick, sunglasses, charging cables, etc). So instead of one big toaster-style bucket, where all those little things get mixed and tangled up together, the Nomad has its vertical space divided into two compartments, each with a variety of small-item stash spots.
This is the top compartment.
This is the bottom compartment, which is a little more spacious, and has zippered mesh pockets for additional small item storage.
As a convenient add-on for riders with contact lenses (like Andrew) there’s a spot to hold your contact lens cleaning solution. It velcros to the side of the bag, and the velcro holder can be rotated so it’s always vertical.
This is from the bottom of the bag looking up. There are two pockets down there.
The top one is really shallow, for change and chapstick and stuff like that.
The bottom pocket is bigger; it runs the entire length of the bag. We added this with two purposes in mind. First, it’s a hydration sleeve, so you can add a standard hydration bladder and run the drinking hose through an outlet hole on the side of the bag. That way you can drink water while riding, and not have to wear a hydration pack on your back. As a secondary use, we received a lot of requests for a concealed carry pocket, and this pocket can also be used for that. One thing we’re not sure about for CC: what kind of internal attachment or fasteners would work best here? A velcro patch? Elastic band? Belt loop? It’s too tight in there to use MOLLE.
If it’s used for a hydration bladder, we added this little zipper opening at the top of the bag, so the hydration bladder can be connected to the top of the bag with a clip, so it doesn’t sag inside the pocket.
At the top there’s a pocket for the raincover. This bag is sewn-seam, so it needs a raincover to be waterproof, even though the materials and the zippers we’re using are water-resistant.
Here’s what the bottom of the bag looks like.
The side straps connect to these side release buckles, which are attached to the frame of the bike with heavy duty zip ties.
This harness goes around the yoke of the bike, and also connects to the bag with side release buckles. So the entire bag can be disconnected by unclicking just four side release buckles. Super fast & easy.
We’re compiling a list of edits to this prototype right now, and building them into a new spec pack for the factory. There will be at least 1-2 additional rounds of prototypes before this bag is ready for production.
Big thanks to Rick Lieberson at T-Line Design for coming by the shop and helping us develop these cool new hats! We got the first delivery from Rick and will be adding these new items to our website shortly.
A big project here at Mosko over the last few weeks has been creating our first real product catalog for the 2016 season. If you’ve seen us at a show before, you probably received either a home-printed, stapled handout, or more recently a slightly more professional tri-fold brochure. With all the new products coming in June, we’re stepping up to a real-deal, 16-page catalog. Dan Cox is doing the design work, and he’s been in & out of the shop a lot over the last few weeks. We’re hoping to have these printed in time for Overland Expo in May.
Our riding buddy Scott Norton runs a printing company in Portland called Image Pressworks. He’s doing the printing.
Last Friday, while Andrew was still in Asia, Lee, Tiffany, and I took the day off and went for a ride.
Next week we’re loading up the Mosko trailer and heading to Baja, where we’ll meetup with some friends to ride/camp for a week and do some bag testing & photography. From there we’ll go to Overland Expo West in Arizona, and then from there to the Alvord Desert for Memorial Day.
Back on the road!