Luggage reviews. Yes, I know they can be boring unless you're in the market for new panniers for your motorcycle. If that's the case, what could possibly be more interesting?
Mosko Moto was founded in 2013 when the founders left the corporate world to make moto gear. That's probably a move we have all wanted to make at some point—throw off the shackles of working for someone else and start new and fresh with bold ideas.
Their name is an abbreviation of "Mosquito Coast" (aka "La Moskitia"), a remote and sparsely-traveled region in Eastern Honduras and Nicaragua. A few years ago, one of the founders was wandering around La Moskitia when he crashed in an isolated section near the Nicaraguan border. It was a "twist of fate" moment because even after he returned to the U.S. to recover in the Columbia Gorge, he'd made up his mind to return. A year later, after countless hours of thinking, talking, cutting, sewing, riding, and revising, Pete made it back to the Mosquito Coast with prototypes in hand, to retrieve his bike, and ride it out to Panama. (Courtesy of Mosko Moto).
What is truly unique is that every aspect of their design is detailed online via a blog and forum thread at Advrider. So, here you have a couple of guys who threw caution to the wind, embraced capitalism, and built their own corner of the American dream. In the meantime, they created a new soft luggage, and worked directly with the consumer for immediate feedback to refine their product.
We say they should run for Congress.
But What About the Bags?
External beaver tail to hold additional gear.
Six side compression straps enable you to expand or compress the volume, which keeps your gear snug and in place when trail riding. The front beaver tail allows you to store more than the 35L size as long as what you store is not affected by water. It creates an even compression area and acts as an armored surface as well. This makes it easy to replace the beaver tail due to damage, and it will hopefully protect the main waterproof bag in case of a spill. There's also a rear pocket to provide another stash spot for necessities like tools, tubes, or rain gear.
Extra gear pocket for items you need easy access to.
There is a removable internal dry bag made from 22 oz PVC with seam welded construction. It works very well and keeps your gear dry as long as you close it properly. Using a MOLLE expansion system, you can add capacity as needed. This is the same system used by backpackers, the military, police, and off-road enthusiasts on 4-wheels. It's secur, and there are a ton of accessories you can add from all kinds of manufacturers.
MOLLE and PALS straps
The other simple, yet stunningly intelligent feature is pictured below. Small amounts of velcro are stitched into each loose strap so they can be wound and secured in place once you cinch them. No loose straps slapping around, no tying a knot that will never stay knotted. Your straps will always kept out of the way.
Stitched Velcro strap keepers!
There is a handy carry strap that makes it easy to remove the bags and to take the bags into a hotel or your tent after a day of riding. When it comes to additional soft bag features, there are some very small components that make a difference, but aren't significantly different than those included on other similar bags.
That is, Until You Remove Them
This is where the Mosko Moto panniers are a massive upgrade to every other soft bag on the market. Like the Kriega Overlander bags, we recently reviewed how they use an HDPE back plate. Unlike the Kriega, these are dead simple to remove and invite you to take the bags off often.
Just watch the video to see why!
That machined bevel locks the bags into place over, and over, and over and .... well you get it. They are as secure as any hard bag, but offer the benefits of that smaller softer bag when riding off-road. Instead of a leg-breaking hazard, they provide a soft pillow and protect the bike—and you—from damage.
I personally own four sets of moto luggage as of this writing—all of which are for sale by the way. So, I've tested a ton of motorcycle bags, and I must say that the Mosko Moto setup is the ideal blending of hard mounting and soft bag versatility.
Check out their YouTube channel for a ton more info.