In the loop

| Print |  Email
Articles - April 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012

BY DAN MCMILLAN

0412_GamePlan_GiantLoop
Bend-based Giant Loop makes saddlebags, tank bags and other motorcycle accessories.

Giant Loop’s founders set out to make motorcycle saddlebags that are functional and rugged, that look good strapped to a motorcycle and that would find an immediate audience among motorcycle adventurers worldwide. So far, the founders are three for three.

The Bend company’s line of saddlebags, tank bags and other accessories are made of a 22-ounce, extra heavy-duty vinyl coated polyester wrapped in ballistic-strength Cordura nylon and held together with highstrength straps and clips, says co-founder Dave Wachs. Wachs and co-founder Harold Olaf Cecil took their inspiration from the gear used by outdoor enthusiasts in Central Oregon. In fact, friends at Bend-based Metolius Climbing, which is best known for its rock climbing harnesses, helped the pair design and build their prototype products.

The goal, says Olaf Cecil, was to make “an internal-frame backpack for a motorcycle.”

“Everything available looked super dorky, but motorcycles are really cool,” Wachs says. Rather than big, bulky bags, Giant Loop focused on slim, sleek bags that don’t affect the performance of the motorcycle.

As for sales, the company went live with its retail website in September 2008 and sold its first bag within two hours of opening. Today, the company has 120 dealers nationwide and another eight international distributors. Giant Loop, which takes its name from the term for a long-distance motorcycle tour that begins and ends in the same place, now has eight products and has added two full-time employees.

Giant Loop was profitable from the first day by necessity as much as by choice. The company has no line of credit, no loans and no outside investors. What it does have is an enthusiastic customer base that inspires Wachs and Olaf Cecil to keep coming up with new ideas. Just don’t expect anything dorky.

 

 

More Articles

College Hacker

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KLINT FINLEY

Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson builds a 21st-century trade school.


Read more...

Green Endeavor cleans up

News
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
080614 ULnew greenendeavorBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.


Read more...

Startup or Grow Up?

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JON BELL

Startup culture is all the rage. Is there a downside?


Read more...

Portland rises

News
Monday, August 18, 2014

IMG 2551Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.


Read more...

Back to School

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

By now we’ve all read the headlines: Starbucks is giving away free degrees. Except it isn’t.


Read more...

A Good Leap Forward

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Agriculture businesses ramp up to meet international demand as workforce and succession challenges loom.


Read more...

Managing family assets: The importance of planning ahead

News
Friday, August 22, 2014
Unknown-1BY CLIFF HOCKLEY |  OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

When business intersects with family, a host of  situations can arise. Without a clear vision and careful planning, hard-earned investments can become stressful burdens.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS