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  #46  
Old 8 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by adventure950 View Post
one further question for everyone - on the rear of the bags will be two bottle carriers, what would be the preferred option as a standard fit ?
2 x 1 lt bottle carriers,Or larger bottle carriers or 2 x 2ltr plastic jerry can holders or a mix of one of each on each bag.
The bags have built in (1) storage pouch per bag on the front edge for an ortlieb 2 litre water bag so that gives 4 litres water capacity-before adding the bottles on the back.
I favour being able to carry both extra water and extra fuel, or even better, being able to have all of one or all of the other.

Geoff
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  #47  
Old 8 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by adventure950 View Post
one further question for everyone - on the rear of the bags will be two bottle carriers, what would be the preferred option as a standard fit ?
none for me, stuff like that has "steal me" written all over it
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  #48  
Old 9 Feb 2010
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Some Ideas, Perspectives

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventure950 View Post
Hi Ted, shandydrinker and Motorieter, I think we are all thinking along the same lines here and the ideas and suggestions you are making are exactly along the lines I was initially wanting and am trying to put together. I hope to pull it off but there are quite a lot of hidden costs that you start to find out about when you start putting them together - this has a knock on effect, I also need to sink a good few bob into this once I start - still I will in any case be making the prototypes soon in the new year and see how they work out. All the ideas are coming together fairly well but making them work in a manufacturing process is like I say similar to wading through deep snow in the fog - uphill - so onwards and upwards - hope there is a pub at the top.
This is an uphill battle for sure. If you look at how some other companies work you see that the initial design and prototyping are done in the US, UK, Germany, Italy or where ever the home company operates from.

Once designers have got a product to a certain stage and have had feed back from staff, experts, travelers and the like, they then go back and make improvements and make arrangements for production and cost it out.

If the project is Green lighted, then at this point they typically send the whole project to China, Korea, India, Pakistan, Vietnam or Croatia. Deals are stuck, prototyping begins (again) and once the principles sign off on the final design, major production begins.

Like you have said, most larger companies engage in huge production numbers. Really hard to compete with that when just starting out.

Look at a company like Klim. This is a small US based outdoor gear company that a few years ago got into Motorcycle apparel. They did Snow Board/Ski stuff before that. Very crowded market. Their strategy was to sponsor high profile Adventure Riders on the ADV rider forum, sponsor and partner with KTM and get the stuff out to key MC people in the media, on the forums, get visibility in Rallies and other popular events. They already had success doing this in the Snow Board world. Same basic formula.

Now Klim are into helmets (they don't make any of them, they only design the graphics, all Chinese made). Their off road riding apparel is doing pretty well it seems and is becoming known internationally, in big rallies, and is used by "famous" and well known world travelers and now even average riders are buying the stuff in droves. (some post here)

ADV rider has a claimed regular readership of about 100,000. (500,000 members, not all active) Nothing to sneeze at! Remember, they also have a Vendors forum there and reach 100 times the riders as HUBB.

All of Klim's gear is made overseas, not in the USA. They now make Jerseys, Enduro jackets, gloves, Enduro pants, Helmets and who knows what else by now.

If you feel you have a good design that is really new and a breakthrough, first of all, try to patent it. ($$ good luck with that! $$). Then perhaps approach a company like Klim that is expanding their line every year, getting into new products constantly and growing. Just a thought.

Look at US companies like Tour Master and First Gear. Both make not only riding apparel but also soft luggage, tank bags, and the like. You could approach them (very carefully) with your idea and hope they don't simply steal your design. "Selling" your design to them would be tough and risky, but if it's really good, they will know it and may partner with you to produce it .... most likely in China or India.

Keep in mind, the RTW Adventure/Dual Sport/Traveler motorcycle community is a tiny spec when ALL riders are looked at. We are probably less than 3% overall. They will be wanting a product that appeals to a broader range of riders. Can't blame them I guess.

But there is a niche here, just not a very deep one. One thing to consider is how cheap Brit RTW riders are. One look at Sam Manicom will verify this. (I've read his books ... and no, I didn't pay for them!

It's very unlikely your product will ever be made in the UK unless you open your own work shop. But Andy Goldfine did it and look at him now!
(Aerostich)

The USA used to have a booming garment industry. I saw it first hand growing up in L.A. We've thrown it all away for profits for a few big international companies who exploit .10 cent an hour workers in the 3rd world working in conditions that would be illegal here. But that is another thread, another story.

You have to decide what you can morally put up with.
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  #49  
Old 9 Feb 2010
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Hi Mickey thanks for your comments and input. However I am not into mass produced, profit only manufacturing. I really don't think this product would justify such a large marketplace and I also prefer to keep the build in house, where quality control,customer specified changes and constant improvements and revisions can be built into the system - therein lies I believe one of its selling points. I think Keeping it British, using as I am German and UK manufactured quality materials help with a quality product are much more important to me and hopefully my customers. Here in the UK we have a large tradition - which is coming back into favour of Cottage industry that supports local workers and suppliers - ethically and morally these are important factors in my business plan. I realize other people do things other ways but global industries are not for me.
Best regards Jake.

PS Mickey, Sam Manicom is a friend, along with being a real and genuine Gentleman. I feel it is a pity you could not have contributed to his work/income/effort of which he lives off by writing - by way of buying his books. Not that Sam would voice such a thought he is far to pleasant to do so.

Last edited by adventure950; 9 Feb 2010 at 12:59.
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  #50  
Old 9 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by adventure950 View Post
...Sam Manicom is a friend, along with being a real and genuine Gentleman. I feel it is a pity you could not have contributed to his work/income/effort of which he lives off by writing - by way of buying his books...
While you said this in a very nice way, I don't agree at all that we have some kind of obligation to contribute to his income--what is wrong with getting the book from a library, or borrowing it from a friend?? Why on earth should I feel compelled to buy someone's book?
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  #51  
Old 9 Feb 2010
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I agree with you that you don't need to buy the book and as you say borrow it from a friend or library - that's fine - i have lent my copy of his books to friends no problem. But Mickey makes it a point of his statement that ... no he didn't pay for them - which is an unnecassary addition to having read the book, it sort of implies a negative within the statement.
It may have been more appropriate to just say I read Sam Manicoms book.
Still it is of little consequence - I simply think in a nice way it is where possible good to try and support the people that do the work and try to make a living when we gain knowledge/entertainment/enjoyment etc of their experiences.
Nothings compulsory here - If I had meant it in a nasty way then I would have said so and been more direct indeed. (Thus you mention I said it in a very nice way - as that is how it was meant)
Sorry if I have upset anyones sensibilities and apologise forthwith.
Tchus Jake.
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  #52  
Old 10 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by adventure950 View Post
Hi Mickey thanks for your comments and input. However I am not into mass produced, profit only manufacturing. I really don't think this product would justify such a large marketplace and I also prefer to keep the build in house, where quality control,customer specified changes and constant improvements and revisions can be built into the system - therein lies I believe one of its selling points. I think Keeping it British, using as I am German and UK manufactured quality materials help with a quality product are much more important to me and hopefully my customers. Here in the UK we have a large tradition - which is coming back into favour of Cottage industry that supports local workers and suppliers - ethically and morally these are important factors in my business plan. I realize other people do things other ways but global industries are not for me.
Best regards Jake.
You have some very admirable ideals for your business plan. Great to hear Cottage industries are reemerging in the UK. Nothing better than supporting your local community. I saw this working in the Italian shoe industry (Ancona) when I was there doing documentary work for the Harvard Business School/Fortune magazine. I've done many shows for them world wide.

So how many units do you want to sell each year? 6 sets? 100 sets? I think you'll find that the market in the UK is very small, no matter how good the product is. Spreading the word by word of mouth can work but takes time.
How much have you got? I assume you want to make some profit, at some point? Or would you give it all to charity? I assume you would use Union workers and pay all their benefits as well. (I am an Union member myself and very pro-Union) If you care about your workers dignity, I'd assume you'd pay them a living wage? Do they make all the best materials you would need in the UK? How are those costs?

I tried to show you a few different approaches to kick starting your effort.
Maybe you missed my example of Andy Goldfine? Do you know who he is?
Do you have any idea what his business is? Based on your very egalitarian ideals, I'd take a lesson from Andy if I were you. He started out in a very similar manner with similar ideals.

Another example:
Wolfman in Colorado is another small, independent company built from the ground up by a couple people. Here is their latest product. Notice the special being offered now. Buy the bags and you get the racks FREE!

Wolfman Motorcycle Luggage

Wolfman Motorcycle Luggage

Wolfman Motorcycle Luggage

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventure950 View Post
PS Mickey, Sam Manicom is a friend, along with being a real and genuine Gentleman. I feel it is a pity you could not have contributed to his work/income/effort of which he lives off by writing - by way of buying his books. Not that Sam would voice such a thought he is far to pleasant to do so.
I found one of his books in a Hostel in Guatemala, another a friend lent me .... never asked for it back! (Distant Suns) Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Have you ever seen Sam buy a round for the boys? Or for anyone? Seems like when Sam travels he is only on the receiving end of things: Free drinks, meals, lodging, bodging on his BMW. But never returns the favor. This from sources who met him in S. America, and I'm putting this in very polite terms. Word is he is so cheap, he squeaks.

I could actually kind of "feel" this in his writing. I've never met him but won't be buying anymore of his books. Quite a bit of marketing Chutzpah to publish a book about a ride that happened ten years ago.
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  #53  
Old 10 Feb 2010
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Have you ever seen Sam buy a round for the boys? Or for anyone?...I'm putting this in very polite terms. Word is he is so cheap, he squeaks.
It's not surprising, given that he's probably on a limited budget because not enough people buy his books...but anyway, let's get back to the rather interesting topic of adventure950's proposed luggage, so for diverting this thread off track...
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  #54  
Old 10 Feb 2010
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Hi Mickey, once again thanks for the links to see how the business have set up I will follow them up and see what you mean, It seems that you are well informed in the business world, where as I am really am not so - on the scale you talk about, although I have worked for myself for many years this has been in a different industry with totally different objectives. I Think it is very nice of you to point me in the direction of some of the small set ups who have grown into the various names and to see how I am going to do whatever. Really its great but for the moment though I have to learn to walk in this business never mind run I have a long way to go in finding my feet and before that I have to have my prototypes tested and any problems that come to light ironed out That is where I am at now. I believe the luggage will work as I hope and yes I may need to source materials else where. But if you look at smaller companies likes of Andy strapz, Iron pony and Metal mule they all started very small to get their products right in the first place. It will be some time before I get to the mass market stage. I have however already sourced a small manufacturer here in the uk who makes luggage for the MOD (armed forces) who would be willing to manufacture the bags on my behalf - but like everything that has a cost implication something I do not need to sort out yet. Please don't feel I was being bombastic towards you I was not and I am very grateful for opinions and advice on this forum - that is why I asked for it. As for Sam we will have to differ in viewpoints i think - I have seen Sam buying rounds of Drinks when I have been in his company and paying his way at the table buying food and so on. I think the hearsay of his scrouge like qualities may have been exaggerated - but many travellers are on very tight budgets and need to live off tiny amounts of cash or do without things. I know when I first rode my bike through America in the late 70's I was actually reasonably well financed during my travels but it was hard if not impossible to spend money, buy a round or a meal when in company of many of the American people who I met, they would not hear of it - I was a guest of them and they would not let me pay for anything try as I may. I think maybe it would be good to leave Sam out of any further talk here we know of him from very different paths in life. With Best regards Jake.
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  #55  
Old 10 Feb 2010
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Hi mickey looked at the links great luggage and rack system. Excellent. Cheers.
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  #56  
Old 20 Jul 2010
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Hi adventure950, how is the developing and testing going, any news about the bags, and possible release dates?

Thanks and I hope that you'll get the bags done
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  #57  
Old 7 Aug 2010
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been looking for a set of tank panniers for a while for carrying waterproofs a bit of food and maybe a waterbottle is the anything planed would rather buy a british made product a mini vertion of the rear panniers would be ideal
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  #58  
Old 8 Aug 2010
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Its been great to get all this feedback and interest. Although I made several prototypes the last set were pretty near to what I wanted -so I thought but they failed in a few areas under evaluation and I have had to start re designing these fail points. Development takes for ever !. In doing so I have run out of both finances and steam to carry the project forward at this time and have shelved the project until I can pull in some other work to make a living and pay my way for a while. Otherwise I will sink financially before the project is ready for sale. I am also looking at an alternative material as Its almost impossible for me to get the costing down on this product and since the change in value of the pound / Euro the material costs on one of the material products (made in Germany has risen by 20%) soon we will also have a rise in VAT to add to that - Like Mickey D told me from the beginning maybe the only way is to go to Asia to make them cost effective - I naively pushed that train of thought aside as it is something I am not willing to do but the reality is that appears the way to make products cheaply, I am still not willing to go that route so am stuck at the moment. So sorry to say do not hold your breath it will be at earliest next year if I get this product gets going and to be honest I am starting to lose the plot a bit with it. I will come back to everyone if and when I make further in roads on the next stage of development, production and costing. Thanks for the encouragement and interest. Jake.
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  #59  
Old 8 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by adventure950 View Post
So sorry to say do not hold your breath it will be at earliest next year if I get this product gets going and to be honest I am starting to lose the plot a bit with it. I will come back to everyone if and when I make further in roads on the next stage of development, production and costing. Thanks for the encouragement and interest. Jake.
Jake,
Just remember its your ideas and designs that really count. Where a product is made gets political. I admire you're honorable intentions to do a UK based product. But as you found out, ain't easy. And the fact is your countrymen won't drop everything to support you. We see the same here in the USA.

I learned a bit about this from two long time friends in the luggage and bag business. You may have heard of them:

RKA Products Page

I've known Richard since about '92. He was one of our first advertisers.
They've really struggled in the last five years. Almost went out of business, but some how hung on. Barely breathing.

RevPack Soft Luggage for the Motorcycle Touring Enthusiast.
Jim Reverly and his wife have been making good gear for decades. Once again, small business and very tough going. Also long time advertiser, now neither of these two can afford an Ad.

Jim owns property in Central California. We've been camping and partying there for over 20 years.
Songdog Ranch; camping facilities, rallies, music & rural life enthusiasts.

Songdog Ranch is just North of Santa Barbara, CA. Just a bit too close to L.A. for me, but a beautiful area none the less and world famous among motorcycle touring riders.
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