OUR STORY SO FAR
Here I would like to share a bit of the history how I came to flexible panniers idea, first product of TARK.
Tark panniers have not came from nothing. Before starting with motorcycle luggage, I already designed and built backpacks and bicycle panniers. And before that as a kid, I designed and built model airplanes, ships and cars.
Early spring trip in 2007 which turned into winter trip. My first bicycle saddlebag design.
First motorcycle panniers made in 2009. Nylon/PVC combo.
These panniers are still in use and have covered more than 30000km for now in Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tadzhikistan and more. Overall a success, but not totally waterproof because unsealed seams. These panniers teached me also that zippers are not an option for gravel and offroad – dust and mud will soon block zippers and make using them a real problem!
For 2010 season, I replaced PVC with HDPE. I found out that saddlebag construction is not convenient to use, because center of gravity is much higher than with side panniers and they also block access to underseat tray.
During this 5000km trip to Murmansk in 2010, HDPE was confirmed as a suitable material for future designs.
2011 I returned to side panniers concept. Great results, I got confirmation my concept is feasible – when hitting rocks with panniers you don’t even notice it, and no problems with deformed panniers afterwards like with those made from aluminium. But construction needed improvement, covering panniers with fabric seemed unnecessary – it made panniers more difficult to clean and it also made them much more expensive. So I started to investigate different methods to make satisfactory design. Tested during 7500km trip to Georgia.
2013 I made first vacuum formed and welded pannier prototype from HDPE. This concept was almost everything I needed, very light, tough, waterproof and convenient to use. During 3 years I have improved my concept and different prototypes have been used for more than 40000km. Some destinations: 2013 – Armenia, 9000km, 2014 – Arkhangelsk, 6000km, 2015 – Kazakstan and Tadzhikistan, 15000km.
And that’s only beginning! We are already working with many new and innovative ideas for luggage, tents and more. Many ideas are on paper, but for some we already have prototypes too. Be prepared for more!