Hard Parts

Jesse Lug­gage Sys­tems Odyssey II

Motorcyclist - - Contents - —Matthew Miles

AL JESSE NO LONGER man­u­fac­tures the ad­ven­ture-style hard lug­gage that he cre­ated and con­tin­ues to carry his name (seen here for Honda’s Africa Twin). For years, Jesse farmed out the sheet­metal fab­ri­ca­tion for his util­i­tar­ian side cases and top boxes to a com­pany in Mesa, Ari­zona, while he han­dled fi­nal assem­bly. This past June, Jesse sold his business to the owner of that com­pany, Sean Derivan.

“Al is look­ing for­ward to semi-re­tire­ment and trav­el­ing—he wants to do more rid­ing—so he asked if I was in­ter­ested in buy­ing the com­pany,” Derivan ex­plained. “We have known each other for a long time, and I un­der­stand his phi­los­o­phy. Our in­tent is to take his prod­ucts a step fur­ther. We’re go­ing to con­tinue with the same dura­bil­ity and make some im­prove­ments as well.”

Ma­te­ri­als re­main iden­ti­cal, Derivan noted. The boxes con­tinue to be made from 0.080-inch 5052 alu­minum and the lids are 0.060—durable and easy to re­pair should you huck your BMW or Honda or Yamaha off a cliff. Ba­sic shape and black, char­coal, or sil­ver pow­der­coat­ing are like­wise un­changed. Derivan has tar­geted im­prov­ing the latches and seal­ing of the lids. He would also like to add more ac­ces­sories, like tie-down points.

Derivan, who learned to weld in the Army, has been study­ing the grow­ing small-bore mar­ket. “Al and I worked to­gether on a new more eco­nom­i­cal con­cept called the ‘Baja Se­ries,’” he said. “We’re try­ing to bring the price down for do-it-your­selfers who want to han­dle fi­nal assem­bly and even get them pow­der­coated in the color of their choice. We are also mov­ing for­ward with a slight re­design of the Odyssey II.”

Nar­row to fit in tight con­fines, deep to hold all but the kitchen sink: Black pow­der­coated Odyssey II side cases ($980, plus $300 for mounts) are avail­able in 8- and 10-inch widths.

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