About The Company and Al Jesse
Over 20-YEARS AND GROWING!
Jesse Luggage has been pushed, pulled and tested world-wide by riders from all corners of the globe. Built for the conditions the world hands you, this is the ultimate luggage system for the weekend rider of for that ’round -the-world trip of a lifetime!
Now in our 20th year and growing, we take pride in our handmade products. Manufacturing “in house” allows us to control the quality and keep costs down. When you talk to someone at the shop, you are talking to someone who’s had their hands on your boxes! We are even able to do our own crash repairs — and most crash damage can be repaired!
The whole idea of making aluminum luggage and touring accessories really started on my trip through Africa. I had flown to London and purchased a brand new R80ST, which I planned to ride through Europe and into Africa, following the Paris-Dakar route that year.
While traveling, I envisioned a sensible set of luggage; big enough to pack everything I wanted with me, sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of harsh riding conditions, secure enough to keep out the dust and rain and the eyes of the curious, and versatile enough to be used for any kind of riding. After ten months on the road, I returned to the US and started playing in my garage. I came up with a rough design and headed down to Central America to test them out.
After making about a dozen truly handmade sets of luggage for travelers passing through my California home, I was approached by Andy Goldfine of Aerostich fame. He was putting together a catalog of adventure motorcycle gear and wanted my bags in it. I was skeptical that these handmade bags could be produced in any quantity, but was convinced that it was worth a try! I put together a few sets and took them on the road, to the National BMW rally in Durango, CO. It was here that I discovered that people liked my idea and I started to realize that I was going to make some bags!
While testing the bags, I decide that a few things would be very important to work into the design of my boxes. The weight must be kept low and centered. The boxes themselves must be narrow, in order to fit through some of the spots I found myself in. The brackets must be strong – stronger than anything I had seen up to this point. I like top-loading boxes, as I could stuff them full of the essential items I needed to carry with me. I wanted more carrying capacity than I had in the boxes that were available. I started working with a 2mm thick pliable aluminum, which I found to be very durable, and easy to repair if necessary. I added a hinged lid that I could use as a table or a holding area. Stainless steel fittings and bolts were necessary to keep things from rusting.
After spending three years in Iowa, building and refining the luggage and manufacturing process, my wife Julie and I moved to the sunny warmth of Arizona. Here we have continued to improve the boxes and the process of making them. Now in our 10th year of producing aluminum luggage and accessories we have grown in order to meet the demand for fine quality handmade adventure luggage. Between our three fabricating locations, we are able to make virtually every piece that goes into our luggage. This ensures quality parts made to our specifications and no need to scramble for alternatives when suppliers can’t supply!
Our most recent refinements can be seen on the Odyssey system of bag. The hinges are machined 70 series aluminum with stainless steel dual pivots for proper operation and seal. The handles are also machined of aluminum and have the cam-over and lock mechanism in one clean piece. The opening to the box is wider to make for easier packing. And the lid itself is packable with the use of our spring loaded lid packer.
We are now headquartered at our shop on the west side of Phoenix, in Glendale. We spend a great deal of time at our shop here, but still manage to ride our bikes whenever possible. And we are exploring some of the back roads around here during our great winter weather. We call this “Product Testing!”