Soft panniers vs hard panniers? I’d read all the articles about hard versus soft panniers and I could see a case for both. My problem? My bike already weighs a ton (to me) and adding boxes that weigh more – and into which you put more things that weigh even more – made the whole packing thing and subsequent weight attached to the bike somewhat terrifying. However it helped that Chuck liked hard panniers – so soft panniers it was for me – and as a team we would get to enjoy the benefits of both. (Hard panniers are certainly nice for wine bottles!)
In what seems to slowly be turning into a (obsessive? Virgo trait?) habit of mine the “process” started: I researched soft panniers til the cows came home! But even with all the research, making a choice about which ones wasn’t easy.
I am a huge fan of Wolfman luggage they certainly got the first look (and yellow is such a cool colour). The pricing is all right and you can get them here in Australia, but something made me dig more.
Then I thought I should support Australian products and looked into Andy Strapz Expedition and/or AvDuro Pannierz. They looked a bit boring in all black – but had great reviews from those that had them. Next I found Steel Pony, a micro-company in Western Australia and I loved their Steel Pony Luggage “Gascoyne” Throw Over Seat Panniers – cool look, awesome logo and designed for large adventure bikes – but to my total disappointment, not available. Hopefully one day they get stock back!
There was no soft pannier brand or bag on the internet I did not find or read about, from bags on racks to over the saddle but nothing was quite was I wanted: something different.
Mosko Moto is a young, start-up company, founded in 2013 by two guys in the US, Pete and Andrew. With a passion for motorcycles, a degree in industrial design, and 15 years of action-sport design experience, both boys put their heads together and came up with some awesome soft panniers, soft duffle bags and more – look into their website – (http://mosko-moto.myshopify.com) – I think you will like what you see! The other great thing about Mosko Moto is that they sell direct to the rider – when you order, you talk to the boys who created and manufactured the products.
Now I had found what I was looking for: the Mosko Moto Backcountry 35L hardcore, bomb-proof soft panniers. To top it off, they have a dinosaur design on them! (Oops! The boys at Mosko Moto have pointed out to me it’s not a dinosaur, it’s a basilisk lizard – which is also awesome!!! – Andrea) Could it get any better?! Oh, yes, there was more – the panniers have an awesome front pocket design called a “beaver tail” – I think that did it for me.
The order went in but a slight hick-up occurred when I changed bikes from my BMW 650GS Sertao (with straight forward mounting racks) to the new F800GSA with a slightly different right rack. Now the boys had to create a different mounting bracket that accommodated the “kinked” F800GSA rack in order to fit the mounting plate … and that was a tough job.
But just in time for the Australian MarchMotoMadness event in NSW, panniers and brackets arrived, were fitted expertly by Chuck (installation is incredibly easy – Chuck) – and the bags loaded to the hilt with camping gear, food and clothing (and a camping rug under the Beaver tail!). Actually, the bags are so roomy, we nearly ran out things to but in. The kitchen sink was considered! I also got mine specc’d with an extra pouch at the rear that will accommodate a two-litre bottle!
I can only recommend my new toys. Mosko Moto, you have created a fantastic product and I hope I will see a few more dinosaurs – umm, basilisk lizards! – on panniers in Australia in the months and years to come. The panniers are certainly not the last purchase, with cool duffle bags and even clothing appearing on their website. – Andrea