RunePaks -Industrial Design

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:

2 thoughts on “RunePaks -Industrial Design

  1. Hi Greg, I am getting an Illusion Blue Honda Rune in January 2011. I am interested in the bags you designed, and have a few questions. How much does the bike need to be modified for fitment of the bags? Do the bags come in Illusion Blue? What is the cost? Thanks, Sincerely,

    1. Lots of questions. The only mod needed is cutting the turn signal wires in the fender and adding some connectors. This way if you take the bags off you can easily hook the original signals back up.
      The bags were available in all 3 Rune colors, or unpainted for those people who had custom paint jobs or wanted to have them covered in leather.
      When I was making them, I was selling them for something like $1400- I don’t remember.

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