Finally, my first opportunity to do a formal Mosko Moto product review for wBW… it’s been a long time coming. The situation is somewhat of my own making, in having one or two earlier Mosko Moto products pass through as travel loans or for short term viewing, without having done anything formally.
My interest in Mosko Moto products is two-fold: anything new and technically oriented is to be investigated; and, as a long time multi-discipline rider, my interest and participation in most adventure-based moto activities on and off the beaten path remains undiminished and as such, Mosko Moto is just one of those ‘go-to’ sites.
The 2020 plunge taken early spring saw the purchase and delivery of what was then the newly released Mosko Moto Reckless 80L (V3.0) Revolver system as a soft-system solution (Jim Pruner and I are collaborating on a future review of this product) for use on the F 850 GS Adventure in Rallye trim and whatever other platform might join the home fleet…
Since then, the COVID-19 environment has been guiding life, with virtually all planned activities put on hold or severely modified, although there is hope that some of our too-short riding season up here remains viable. In the meantime, short day and weekend trips remain the norm. Hey, riding is riding and self-isolating to boot.
The Reckless 80 system mounts up without issue on the F 850 GSA and from a limited use perspective, it is a great solution. But in getting the new motorcycle itch and with other options in mind for a smaller lighter off-road oriented machine that could also use the Reckless 80, the Rallye got replaced with a 2020 BMW F 900 XR with all the goodies.
In not being surprised at the result, the Reckless 80 system was put in place on the back of the seat of the 9XR and ten minutes later the system was fully and securely mounted; and, it looks great to boot – that was easy.
I expect good gear to be versatile and adaptable – good gear is good gear; and, this fitment is particularly valuable right now as most of the basic desirable accessory pieces are not (yet) available for the 9XR – a known situation.
And wouldn’t you know it, a week after purchasing the Reckless 80 system, Jim Pruner got me connected to a Mosko Moto rep for the first of what I hope is a first but not last products for review – the Pico Tank Bag (V2.0) and the (new) Navigator Cell Phone Pocket pieces were on their way.
The Mosko Moto story is well known to many adventure oriented riders, particularly through their informative and entertaining blog posts and advrider threads, so we’ll dish out the short version here.
Way back in 2013, the two principles left their corporate jobs to make moto gear. Between the two of them were decades of design and manufacturing experience for leading global outdoor brands and years of riding dual sport motorcycles into and through remote corners of the world.
The name, Mosko Moto, comes from a mash-up of ‘Mosquito Coast’ aka “La Moskitia”, a remote region in Eastern Honduras and Nicaragua (there is a story here) and of course, ‘Moto’ is kind of self-evident and most apropos, no?
Outside of direct production, the Mosko Moto team does everything. They are all avid moto-enthusiasts; a fact that shows in their approach to business, their product line, the adventure riding aspects of motorcycling and, their customers.
They only sell direct to riders – no dealers or distributors, with added value in the use of innovative features, premium materials, and strict quality-controlled production. Their business is generated from on-line sales and word of mouth marketing from enthusiasts – of which there are many.
Mosko Moto Pico Tank Bag v2 Breakdown
The Mosko Moto Pico (Spanish for ‘peak’) Tank Bag (V2.0) is not like most other products in the current lineup, although it is obviously based on the same intuitive design and production approach as other Mosko Moto products.
The Pico Tank Bag (V2.0) kit includes the Grey with Blue and Black trim Pico Tank Bag with its built-in top MOLLE panel, an easy-off front mounting harness, two-piece back connection straps, an internal adjustable removable divider and four heavy duty cable or zip ties with metal closure for reusability.
“Darn, this thing is small”, or something like that is the first observation coming to mind in removing the Mosko Moto Pico Tank Bag (V2.0) from its wrapping. But then I’m admittedly, biased towards larger stash n stuff tank bags usable for commuting, long haul road travel and forays over non-paved surfaces and sometimes, less is more…
Other observations – its small footprint (not a bad thing on some motorcycles) and a seemingly limited interior space (proven to be somewhat deceptive). Was I skeptical over its value? Yes.
The most positive of the first impressions was seeing and feeling a combination of well proven materials, excellent build and near flawless finishing – this is a quality piece. It is solidly made and strong with good flexibility; characteristics common to all Mosko Moto products – trust me.
This multi-piece low-profile waterproof case, like the Pico v2.0 bag, provides a so-so first impression but then seemingly morphs into a totally functional piece of valued gear with time, and use. Good products tend to do that…
100% waterproof – welded seam construction and YKK Vislon AquaGuard Waterproof zipper
Low profile back cable pass-through port – discrete access while keeping moisture out
Hypalon MOLLE web mount panel is compatible with the Navigator Cell Phone Pocket
Built-in flexibility for give, shaping and some stretch
Low profile with tapered shape – totally unobtrusive to the rider, sitting or standing
Removable internal ‘tub’ component fits into the outer shell
Internal divider in the tub is adjustable and removable
Under-lid slip-in stash spot for money, credit cards, ID, etc.
D-Ring as added safety lanyard or key-ring holder
Easy On/Off use – common Mosko Moto mounting harness
Size and Weight Specs: 12.6cm (8.15in) Long, 12.6cm (5in) Wide and 9cm (3.5in) High with a weight of 498gr or 1.1lbs
Materials Used: Nylon, PVC, Polyethylene and POM
Pico Tank Bag (V2.0) Form & Construction
The Pico Tank Bag (V2.0) is a self-standing but pliable product formed of two main components: the exterior shell; and, the internal and removable main body piece. Both components, along with the small adjustable divider, utilize 1000D Nylon with TPU coating on both sides and welded seams.
UV-resistant TPU, or thermoplastic polyurethane is a plastic with elasticity, transparency and resistance to oil, grease, etc. This, along with the other materials used, makes for a strong but lightweight piece.
The exterior shell is strong and flexible but lacks side wall reinforcement when the internal insert or tub is removed. An easy pulling almost full circumference YKK Vislon AquaGuard Waterproof zipper secures and completely seals the lid to the lower body of the shell.
The second main component is the formed internal insert or ‘tub’ that has side wall stiffeners for shape and strength. The inner front wall of the tub has a small key or security cable clip, and elastic straps on the floor and front sides provide the means to hold small things in place.
When not in use the adjustable removable and lightly padded divider sits in the back curve secured in place with two small Velcro tabs.
A small low-profile slot in the back floor of the outer shell is located to be effective in keeping the wet stuff out while providing a convenient device connectivity pass-through.
A shaped Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment or MOLLE panel made of Hypalon (a type of synthetic rubber) covers the entire top of the Pico Tank Bag for optimal effectiveness and efficiency in attaching other compatible pieces – like the Navigator Cell Phone Pocket or other things; more on this later.
A four-point Mosko Moto harness common to all their tank bags is used. It is somewhat excessive regarding the size and load capabilities of the Pico, but it maintains the standard component and strength approach – not a bad thing, especially for compatibility and adaptation purposes.
Flat plastic buckle connectors are securely stitched into the front left and right sides of the tank bag pad, while the back points utilize metal clamp style pieces. All the strapping is xx flat strap and all the connectors utilize heavy-duty stitching for strength and durability.
The front or neck flat strap layout features removable matching connector pieces, elastic sliders or strap holders to secure excess strap and a short flat crossover strap of the slightly narrower flat strap.
At the back, a two-piece approach is used. Two matching straps with long full-length Velcro strips stitched firmly in place loop through the metal clamp buckles. The ends of these two straps end in flat plastic buckle connectors, with their counterparts found on the second shorter straps.
These short pieces are the actual motorcycle mounting straps, with the appropriate plastic buckle connectors found on one end and a flat reinforced multi-stitch pass-through section on the other end, for use with the provided zip ties.
I’ve seen some media and reviews that identify the ability to remove the whole bag off the sturdy EVA foam tank pad…not so, at least not the Pico v2.0 – the tank pad is riveted at four points to the outer shell, although the inner shaped ‘tub’ with stiffener sides is removable, secured in place by its shaped fit and a length of Velcro used on the bottom.
Overall Assessment: Excellent. The Pico Tank Bag V2.0 may be small, but it sure is mighty, at least from design, build and strength perspective, despite its diminutive sizing and very lightweight; this is one very well-made product that should go the distance.
Pico Tank Bag (V2.0) Installation
The Pico Tank Bag v2.0 is truly a universal mount tank bag with a specific design focus on secure fitment to oddly-shaped tanks – stock or otherwise, such as the (replacement) fuel cells available on the market for desert or distance travel applications.
Everything needed to mount the Pico is packed tightly into the Pico – where else? After pulling everything out, doing an inventory and the usual layout photos, the tank bag is first installed on the (now departed) BMW F 850 GS Adventure. I didn’t expect any issues and there weren’t.
As identified earlier, the mounting harness used for the Pico is the same basic layout used for all their tank bags, although I was originally expecting that the tank pad and straps would or could be fitted separately and the tank bag itself taken off leaving the tank harness in place.
This is a feature that I really (really) like on other products including all the aging SHAD tank bag pieces and the frequently used Kriega Universal Tank Pad (one for each motorcycle) and various sized drybag as tank bag combinations; oh well…
But I digress. After checking out the neck strap, it was passed through the front frame section from the left and brought up on the right side while making sure that nothing in way of OE pieces and accessory wiring would be disturbed or damaged by the strap routing and resultant pressure.
The Pico tank bag and pad sit perfectly positioned, essentially centred over the fuel cell filler with lots of fore, aft, and side to side clearance; this is where a small footprint pays off on many motorcycles.
As positioned, it’s a simple matter to connect the left and right front tank pad connectors to their removable counterparts on the neck strap, pull one or both sides of the strap tighter so there is light pressure against the front of the tank pad – this is now the start point for fully securing the tank bag.
Moving to the rear mounting points, separating the Velcro strips on the upper long sections of the back straps allows lengthening of the connector ends to facilitate connection to the lower back strap sections.
These short bottom sections are secured to diagonal sections of the rear subframe just above the foot pegs using two of the provided (reusable) zip ties.
I left the zip ties a bit loose so the lower strap sections could be moved or adjusted if needed and when the Pico tank bag is not in use, the straps tuck away behind side plastic and the frame.
With the two sections of each back strap snapped together, the upper straps are adjusted (shortened) using the metal clamp buckles until the desired tension and security is provided by the straps.
Finally, the Velcro strips are aligned and secured to each other; these pieces are not going anywhere, easily.
Hint – if the back straps fit or sit between the fuel cell and the seat, leave a bit of slack in the back straps as pressure from the front of the seat (once installed) typically takes up the excess play, providing the desired tension without undue stress on the straps or the seat.
Observation – the zip ties, packaged separately, provide an expedient solution especially for round or square tubed trellis framed motorcycles, but a set of frame-loop straps, like the pieces provided with the Nomad Tank Bag and most other related products on the market are an equal or more effective secure solution, albeit at perhaps a slightly higher cost.
Overall Assessment: Excellent. The universal mounting approach works every time, or should; and, in this instance it does. Everything about the mounting components reflects the ‘stronger than needed’ approach. The common mounting strap approach usable for other Mosko Moto tank bags makes a lot of sense (a trait of all their products), although, having this as a stand-alone leave-on-the-motorcycle-if-desired- harness would be even better.
Pico v2.0 Function & Performance
This is where we debate whether, or not, the Pico Tank Bag V2.0 has the goods to do what it claims to do and if so, did it go the distance in proving its worth or not.
And when less is best, much of what might otherwise and not always wisely be carried in an unsecured jacket or pants pocket can (now) be securely carried – in the Pico Tank Bag. A partial listing includes wallet, clutch purse, sunglasses, lip balm, earplugs, energy bars, phone and, USB power brick.
The Pico is currently used on a rotating basis with a Mosko Moto Nomad tank bag, on loan from a fellow Beemer rider (he expects to get it back…) using the common harness fitted to the 2020 BMW F 900 XR, which does spend a fair bit of time on surfaces other than pavement.
And like the other three motorcycles that have hosted the Pico (F 850 GSA, R 1250 GS and a KTM 790) all with varying shaped and sized fuel cell decks, the Pico tank bag is proving to be a great fit – small footprint, well made, good looking and, far more functional than first impressions provide…
Its role to date has been as a compact but usable sized well placed and totally unobtrusive tank bag for all the small light compressible, high value or sharp pieces that are better stored in it than in an external pocket on the riding gear.
And everything stashed inside is easy to access, thanks to the full-size encompassing side-opening lid and the smooth running and totally waterproof YKK Vislon AquaGuard zipper that absolutely seals the whole tank bag.
Along with this role the Pico is now treasured more than ever in a complementary support role in providing the means to mount and utilize the Mosko Moto Navigator Cell Phone Pocket; this little gem of a product sees constant use and is the subject of a wBW companion review to this submission.
It is true that the little Pico has not (yet) been subjected to long-term exhaustive travel or prolonged off-road riding, but that will occur and my hunch is that the Pico will cope just fine; I know the MoskoMoto crew do their homework and walk the walk in testing and using their products.
But in appreciating its intended use and thus its design, I could only wish that the little Pico become a mas grande (larger) Pico, perhaps to 1.5 or 2.0L capacity; the ability to hold a small tool roll and/or a regular bottle of water would be perfecto.
Overall Assessment: Excellent. This assessment is a bit reserved in that the Pico is small and a little bigger footprint for a little more volume would be the ideal. But in its current form, based on its intended function, stated function and, proven versatility, the little Pico makes a grande impression.
Busted Gear Warranty
Motorcycle gear, out of most necessities, must be well designed and well-built to (hopefully) take everything thrown at it, sometimes literally. But it is also a fact of life that motorcycle gear can and does fail – sometimes at an accelerated pace due to unforeseen incidents.
And whether the weaknesses or failures are due to design, production or perhaps the unforeseen incidents – like when your motorcycle, or both of you, decide to take a nap on the side of the road or path, a warranty of some type can become most relevant.
A good indicator regarding a company’s approach to business, products, and customers is how well defined and supported their warranty program is; Mosko Moto hits all the right buttons here with their ‘Busted Gear’ approach, one of the best defined and trusted support activities in our industry.
MoskoMoto provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty for all products except welded seam bag products. The welded seam products, like internal liners, roll-top drybags and certain tank bags come with the Limited 2-Year Warranty.
But in addition to the limited warranty coverage identified above, they also have a ‘Crash Care’ Program that goes above and beyond the normal limited coverage and the Busted Gear link provides detailed information and FAQ listings so terms, conditions and limitations can be understood.
Overall Assessment: Outstanding. MoskoMoto lives to design and build great adventure-oriented products while taking care of their customers; an approach and attitude well reflected in their comprehensive warranty program. In an age of mass marketing where so much is built to cost, and product, distributors and resellers abound, individual customer relations are often lost or neglected; not so with MoskoMoto.
So the short succinct answers to my earlier statement, “This is where we debate whether, or not, the Pico Tank Bag V2.0 has the goods to do what it claims to do and if so, did it go the distance in proving its worth or not.”, are – Yes and Yes.
The Mosko Moto Pico (V2.0) Tank Bag has some pack limitations, and it reflects a slightly different cut or approach vis-à-vis many other Mosko Moto or related products on the market. But it also reveals a whack of insight and experience along with the usual attention to detail and over-engineered approach synonymous of Mosko Moto products.
With continued use, it is easy to appreciate the Pico’s design, build, looks and functionality, especially with the Navigator Cell Phone Pocket mounted – a combination that should be marketed as a bundle…
I stated earlier that good gear should be versatile and adaptable and that, is exactly what the Mosko Moto product line (apparel and luggage) is.
The company does have a definite focus on off-road and long-distance adventure travel, but most of their products are adaptable for other riding activities and other types of motorcycles, like the F 900 XR that is shod with Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tires so I can continue exploring secondary roads and trails.
The Bottom Line – the MoskoMoto Pico Tank Bag (V2.0) is an excellent ‘less is more’ solution regarding footprint, essentials packing and versatility when hosting the Navigator Cell Phone Pocket. And its ability to be swapped out for another Mosko Moto tank bag when requirements change is more value-added. If needing or looking for a small tank bag with added versatility, no matter on what you ride or where you ride, this one should be on the shortlist. A highly recommended product.