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

What I'm Reading

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nick Herinckx, CEO of Obility, and Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, share what they've been reading.


Read more...

Powerlist: Law Firms

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with leading partners at law firms in Portland and eastern Oregon, followed by October's powerlist.


Read more...

Knight Vision

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Travis Knight wants to release a movie a year. Can he pull it off?


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 26, 2014
0926 iphone6-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

This post focuses on the recent release of the new Apple iPhone as well as Alibaba's IPO, the largest U.S. IPO in history.


Read more...

Launch

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

September's Launch article features Orchid Health, BuddyUp and Inter-Europe Consulting.


Read more...

Podcast: Turn Things Around with David Marquet

Contributed Blogs
Friday, October 17, 2014
davidmarquet thumbBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

How can you move from a command-and-control leadership model to one of true empowerment and accountability? David Marquet did, and he took notes along the way.


Read more...

Innovation: a critique

News
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
1008 innovation thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A Design Week panel discussion raises questions about how innovative we really are.


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