Over the past decade, there have been times when it would have been prudent, one might say essential, to have a pair of waterproof pants—and waterproof bag for electronics—with me. Alas, we are not always so forward thinking and sometimes find ourselves far from home caught in a downpour.
It was this very dilemma that led me to thinking about mounting a saddlebag onto my motorcycle. The trouble was, my motorcycle is extensively customised and none of the available options seemed right for the unusual design. The answer, as it often is in these circumstances, is to commission something specific for the bike.
This led to asking around and I was recommended an industrial designer—Iain—who runs leather workshops in his spare time. A meeting was then held and a plan agreed upon. Iain would design a bag for the triangular section of my frame and handcraft it out of hardwearing leather. Sketches and calico prototypes followed before the bag was constructed and finally fitted.
The saddlebag fits nicely within the frame bolting onto various tabs with an extendable strap for ease of access. Overall, this is a great solution being functional, aesthetically pleasing and sympathetic to the original Deus Customs design.
Below is the experience from the designers point of view.
‘The brief from Dennis was quite simple. He wanted the bag to look like it belonged on that bike. On the one hand, that was extremely easy for me. Mostly because Dennis and I were on the same wavelength long before we had even met. We don’t suffer fools and demand honesty; in people and in design. We both appreciate utilitarian style and want things that work, and look good. So yes, on the one hand that was easy.
But on the other hand, this was the first bike to roll off Deus Custom’s workbench. This bike, this very bike, started something huge. And for someone who reads the story behind the story and knows a thing or two, designing to match this is not something you agree to lightly.
Skip to the end and we have a small, simple, unassuming black bag. It fits the frame. It is lockable, yet easily accessible. It doesn’t interfere with the rider, and to my eyes, looks like it belongs on that bike. And like the bike it is made well, so it will last a lifetime, if cared for.
We both like nice things and nice things often take time.’
You can find Iain on Instagram: iaindesigns