Knocking and nailing a product together - philosophy
Motorcycle gear for adventure-enduro-overlanding is a bit of a black art.
In fact, designing all outdoor, overland gear for most activities can be a bit of a challenge. Riders demand that gear must last while being dragged through mud, withstand the brutal Sahara sun, scrape down rocky roads and keep their stuff dry when riding in torrential downpours.
At Turkana, we intend to meet those demands by designing and offering gear that can take all of the above. Our design philosophy incorporates the need that our gear will be used in extreme riding conditions, fit universally on more than just one type of motorcycle, be used for other applications, and not cost a fortune.
Our products have to offer a great experience for our customers
Turkana Duffalo (duffel bag) for example can be used as part of your motorcycle luggage, or be a gym bag keeping miff odours at bay, used as an overnight travel bag, an everyday outdoor duffel and or even when you rob a gold market in Sudan, it should be the best gangster duffle! We expect you to get get more out of our gear than just using this during motorcycle trips.
Designing for repair, endurance and reliability
The products are repairable by almost anybody in a small village with a sewing kit if you temporarily run out of talent skills on a small remote dirt road. You can customise your bags to the need for it if our design is not 100% to your liking, i.e., if you want to remove cut straps to fit different or sow on extra pockets if you prefer that.
We use a modular system so it can be customised for personalised packing needs.
We incorporated the MOLLE (similar in pronunciation to the name Molly) which is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It is used to define load-bearing equipment and backpacks used by a number of NATO armed forces, the British Army and the United States Army.
This system makes it easy for riders to customise their saddlebags, duffels, backpacks, tank-bags or tail packs with different size pockets and bags. Customers can even use standard-issue military pouches, pockets and bags to attach to our gear.
Our manufacturing is focused on small local businesses where the owners are as passionate about and invested in their production as they are with working with us. Our relationship with our factory in South Africa goes back more than a decade. We chose them as they are true specialists in what they do, and they understand our need for products that will be dragged to hell and back by our customers. Each of our products is hand-made for the most part, genuine craftsmanship.
In fact, we believe so much in the way our products are manufactured that we offer a Lifetime Warranty Commitment to our products. Having such dedicated manufacturing partners leaves us more time to be free to ride, develop, design and create new products with the focus remaining on our customers.
KISS - Keep it simple stupid
It took us, like many other experienced motorcycle adventurers and overlanders, some time to come full circle. We started using over-engineered heavy stuff and eventually over time evolved back to uncomplicated yet functional gear. If something does not have a valuable function, it must go, if a feature can perform more than one function, it is a win. Fabrics, construction and every other feature on the gear must add value.
We have tested and used many different fabrics and materials to find a perfect balance between robust, abrasive resistant, long-lasting materials, weight and price.
It is never a win to overcomplicate a design in an attempt to create that perception with the customer that it is a great product when a simpler, less complicated solution will do the same work but at a lesser cost.