The Oregon outback is where Giant Loop gets most of their R&D work done
Like a small island in a sea of Italian companies, one of the cooler things to see at the Milan show was the American Pavilion which was home to a couple dozen American companies looking for a foothold in the European market. The American Pavilion was the brainchild of Vince Marazita who has been funneling American and Italian moto companies back and forth the respective countries bike shows for over a decade.
One of the companies that seemed to be attracting a fair amount of attention was the Giant Loop booth that was manned by the two company founders; Dave Wachs and Harold Cecil. Based out of Bend, Oregon, Giant Loop has been in the business of making a unique style of soft saddle bags to be used for both on and off-road applications since 2008.
With a sugar spiked espresso acting as an intermediary in the Pavilion’s well stocked café (thanks Vince!), Dirt Bike sat down with Harold to find out more about their products, but also the business side of an upstart company trying to make it big on the international playing field.

DB: So tell us about the development of Giant Loop bags.

Harold: We started up three years ago. Dave and I are both avid off-road riders up in Oregon and Dave made the first design, but it bolted to the bike and a lot of people didn’t like the idea of drilling into their side plates so we came up with a new attachment system that uses sturdy buckles. The original bags were also made entirely out of ballistic nylon, but now we use are built with a combination of ballistic nylon and trucker’s tarp to be water resistant. The bags are all U.S. made by three different companies, each with their own specialty in the manufacturing process.

DB:  And what as the business side of the company been like?

Harold: Things are going well for us and recently Dave and I were able to add two employees to the company. We’ve gotten some good exposure by supplying bags for the Johnny Campbell team and they use our 10 liter bag for all their Baja pre-running. It’s definitely been a steep learning curve, but when it’s combined with something you’re so passionate about, it all makes sense. Right now we’re both taking business classes part-time and from the very beginning Dave and I promised each other not to let ourselves get in the way of being successful. We need to make sure that we listen to our customers and not let our own opinions or egos get in the way. In fact, we once got a great suggestion from Malcolm Smith about the bags which blew us away – it was Malcolm Smith!

DB: What about the Italian show – how has it been going?

Harold: The show has really been great and the scale of it is so far beyond anything we could’ve imagined. The Italians have such a great appreciation for the aesthetic  and they have a real passion for motorcycling as well. Our goal was to try and get in front of new customers and expand our distribution and we’ve accomplished both of them.

Giant Loop makes a variety if saddle and tank mount bags with panniers soon on the way.

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