It has been 8 months since I posted a teaser, suggesting a breaking story on Chinese manufacture of Wagnerian breastplates. It’s time we heard the fat lady sing.
Moulds for the “cups” being readied in China, but not for opera.
Friend Peter Sever has been developing these hand guards for Honda Goldwing motorcycles for two or three years now. I feel privileged to have had a “front row seat” via email exchanges and hands-on viewings, from initial concepts, through mockups, to finished product.
Beautiful, aren’t they?
Peter will tell you how well they are made. I will praise the maker. First, his credentials are impeccable. He rode his Goldwing all the way around the world, between 2008 and 2010. Practical experience, in every kind of condition imaginable. [See Wheezyrider.com]
Knowing the need for decent hand guards, but unable to find any good ones to buy, Peter began to develop his own, two or three years ago. He made rough prototypes first, to figure out attachment possibilities, then had CAD (Computer Assisted Design) files made. After much tweaking, it was time for real prototypes, made on a 3D printer. Can you imagine a better way to become educated about the state of contemporary manufacturing?
At last, steel injection moulds could be made … in China. Economics demanded that choice. The patience and attention to detail required was eye-opening. We consumers take a lot for granted. Samples made from the moulds needed adjustment, then more adjustment. Peter even flew to China once, to mother the project along. More time and money.
All this has only been about the hard plastic shell. Peter also had to dive onto Alibaba, to shop the world for his stainless steel fittings, work out packaging and shipping details and develop marketing materials. Can you see why I’m impressed? He has dipped into all kinds of modern technology, using hired talent when required, but doing an amazing amount of the work himself. ThePerfectRide website and videos? Made, shot and edited by Peter.
He used a free Sketchfab account to host this 3D interactive drawing, too.
Move the image around with your mouse or touch. You can zoom in and out with your mouse wheel.