Elspeth Beard rode around the world with a set of hand-fabricated aluminium panniers. But today, light is right, and adventure riders are ditching hard, heavy boxes and opting for soft sling-over systems. US-brand Mosko Moto is a pioneer of the toughest ‘backcountry’ kit, and through quality products and a strong marketing strategy has made a name for itself among the most hardcore of riders.
The Reckless systems - a play on the riders’ own nature and the bags’ frame-less fittings – is the ultimate in its off-road offering, and I put the 80 to the test on a Trans Euro Trail expedition.
First things first, it’s not cheap. At €561.16 (£466.86) before VAT and import fees, it weighs in at almost £100 more than an equivalent Kriega set, and £200 more than Enduristan’s offering. However, the durability and clever design more than justify the premium.
Comprising a 1680D Ballistic Nylon yoke with leg holsters and three removable drybags (2 x 25l, 1 x 22l), the system is packed with pockets, straps and MOLLE loops, offering adaptability that isn’t seen anywhere else. The ‘beaver tail’ top flaps allow you to carry large/unusual loads, such as the tyre that I ended up porting on my trip. Two 4l drybag pouches on the back of the leg holsters offer additional, quickly accessible capacity.
It’s a bit of faff to fit, but easily customisable to your bike, thanks to adjustable leg angles and padding (I slung it over my long-term Tiger 900 Rally Pro). The yoke attaches securely via four webbing straps, which don’t loosen under even the most relentless of riding. When you reach your destination, the three main drybags are quickly removed from their holsters (although don’t overpack them, as it is a tight fit).
It’s worth noting that if you’re leaving the bike overnight in a theft-risk area, you may want to remove the yoke, although this shouldn’t bother the riders that the Reckless appeals to – there’s unlikely to be hotels where they’re going.
The only malfunctions have been through my own overpacking – the first when a zip hopped off its runner, and then a clip breaking when I hadn’t correctly seated it before tightening. Hypalon armour panels (the kind of rubber you’d find on RIBS) adorn impact spots, and five days on the TET failed to scratch my set.
Ultimately, small details make the Reckless 80, with features such as the rear-fuelling hole, removable map/document pocket and the straps on the bottom of the dry bags and corresponding hole in the holster showing the depth of R&D that has gone into the product.
Thanks to its adaptability, it can be combined with other Mosko products to accommodate anything from 50L of luggage (weighing 4.7 kg) to 88L (7.7kg). In Woodland green, it looks pretty gnarly, too.
Like: Rugged, adaptable and incredibly cool