About 3 years ago, I set out to do something not most sane people would think of doing – create a product that has an extremely small market share, has some huge competitors, and at most I’d be able to sell maybe 20 units — if I was lucky.
To go back some time before that, I was unfortunate enough to see the most beautiful street motorcycle I had ever laid eyes on — The Honda Rune. The problem: If I got one I had to make it functional in that on nice days it would be my main mode of transportation, so I had to be able to carry my messenger bag, lunch, some dress shoes, slacks in case of meetings, and other stuff. Also, room for a passenger helmet would be nice too.
The Need: A nicely designed motorcycle bag that wasn’t square, was designed to look like it was a natural part of the Rune, fit a full size helmet, needed to be aerodynamic, and wasn’t ugly.
The Problem: There are only 3,300 Runes. At best 1% of the owners would buy these. There were a lot of other after market manufacturers that made motorcycle bags, BUT only one who was going to make them for the Rune. So, I had to contend with some of those buyers would get theirs. On a side note, I ended up selling 10 units, in about the same time frame as the other maker sold theirs and about the same amount.
The solution: Something organic looking, fiberglass, lightweight, can be easily taken off when needed, and lots of room inside. I started with a Photoshop mockup which I then showed to other Rune owners. This was the first mockup:
Everyone thought they looked cool. So I designed about 5 different iterations in illustrator and ended up with this:
Then for fun I did some 3D modeling, though the Illustrator art was used for the models:
Then came the fun part- making the model! We did this using the templates from Illustrator and good old modeling foam.
After a few mods, tweaks, shavings, etc., molds were made and the first bags were pulled:
They looked great!
And fit a full size helmet without being too bulky:
One thing I did as a backup: Make the design work so someday we could pull bags for the Honda VTX from the same mold, using plugs for Rune specific features. What the bags would look like: