With great power comes great responsibility. It’s kind of crazy knowing that the ultimate moto-packing tent is attached to Abel Brown. It wasn’t our first guess for the best-selling item, but we carry the title with pride. What’s even cooler is seeing where the tent takes you, and all lovers of AB.
An important facet of our products involves the story behind them. If closely examined, everything has a story – whether it has been told or not. The Nomad is no exception, and the story behind it originates in the 1940s.
The American Motorcycle Association was founded in 1924. It began as more of an enthusiast-based group and then evolved into its form today as a platform for motorcycle rights campaigns and as an organization entity. While numerous riders would meet up through the AMA, it wouldn’t entirely be classified as “outlaw” behavior. Outlaw gangs we know today originated around the 1940s.
As the Allied powers closed WWII up, troops started coming home at an increasing rate. Troops heading home didn’t anticipate the struggle of losing the intense brotherhood that was created. This was what birthed the modern-day biker gangs we have today. Due to the massive increase in war jobs, the labor market wasn't home to many open doors.
The lack of jobs caused veterans to feel even more ostracized than they already were. They needed adrenaline, they needed substance to live. This is where motorcycles came into the picture. Before WWII bikes topped out at around 40 miles per hour, but bikes from the war could get up to 125 mph. Clearly, this was a draw for veterans. The draw to customize your bike became ever more present as well, so outlaws could easier identify each other based on the build of their bike. These customs became the blueprint for modern-day motorcycle design.
Fast forward to the late 60s, the dirtbag outlaw movement was in full swing. A sleeping bag shaded by a chopper on the side of the road was normality. Pillows were a fantasy, and sleeping pads barely existed. Hardware store tarps were the common shelter from the elements, while wind and temperature were at your doorstep.
There is something novel about this lifestyle. Embracing the uncomfortable nature and danger of posting up on the road is what fuels this lifestyle to this day. However, what if you could blend the lifestyle with some efficiency, or maybe a little more comfort?
This was the inspiration for the Nomad. It was designed to travel light, and fulfill all the needs any moto-packer needs. We had to put ourselves in nomadic WWII vets' shoes, find the problems they experienced, and capitalize on them.
*Special thanks to collaborator Joe Suta for the push to bring this to life.