Bend Motorcycle Accessory Maker Seals Deal with German Distributor

Business Oregon export assistance, through both the Oregon Trade Promotion Program (OTPP) and coordination with federal agencies has helped a Bend motorcycle saddlebag manufacturer to access overseas markets.

Business Oregon's global trade specialist helped Giant Loop, LLC access export insurance guarantees through the U.S. Export-Import Bank, introduced the firm to the US Commercial Service and its overseas services, and provided financial grant assistance to help the company defray costs associated with exhibiting at an international trade show. The company attended the EICMA 2011 trade show in November in Milan, Italy where it successfully finalized a distribution deal with Touratech AG in Germany.

"This was one of our primary objectives for EICMA," said Harold Olaf Cecil of Giant Loop. "For Giant Loop, this represents a significant milestone, as we have always regarded Touratech as the leader and 'top prize' in our category."

With the Touratech distributor in place, Giant Loop traveled to Sweden in January 2012 with the help of a State Trade and Export Promotion program grant from the Small Business Administration and Business Oregon.

Giant Loop designs and makes tough, high performance motorcycle packing systems for adventurous riders. The equipment is manufactured to military-specification quality standards. Giant Loop saddlebags (panniers), tank bags and soft luggage require no racks, mounts, hardware or braces to install. Instead the bags simply strap on and off in seconds, fitting a broad spectrum of motorcycle styles from dirt, dual sport and sport bikes to adventure touring machines.

Some of the top motorcycle riders in the world use Giant Loop gear, including current Baja 1000 winners Quinn Cody and Kendall Norman of JCRHonda, off-road racing legend Malcolm Smith, former Indy car racer Johnny Unser and the world's most traveled solo woman motorcycle traveler Tiffany Coates.

Business Oregon also helped the company obtain a list of potential export partners in the United Kingdom, including major motorcycle distributors and their contact information, at no cost. Business Oregon also helped the company access an affordable federal insurance program that covers 90 percent of a contract if he's not paid for product shipments to a foreign distributor.

The Global Trade Specialist in the Business Oregon office in Japan prepared an on-line directory listing for Giant Loop. Giant Loop is not prominently advertised in Japanese on the Oregon Japan Web site and a search is underway for a foreign distributor.

"We were really excited to find out these programs existed and that there's this whole team of people whose job it is to help small-business people like us" and others, Cecil said. "I guess I'm favorably impressed that our government is using taxpayer dollars to help small businesses. We're the people who most need the help."