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Topshop Bagger Products
Bags on a motorcycle are supposed to store stuff, not look great, right? Wrong. Topshop Bagger Products has built a business manufacturing fiberglass motorcycle bags that not only expand storage capacity but also make your bike look sleek and smooth.
Topshop is a family owned and operated company that started in 2003 but their history in the carbon fiber and fiberglass design industry stretches back even further. The Mitchell, SD firm began designing and fabricating over 160 products including flat sheets, custom bags, headliners, cargo covers, door panels, door inserts, door sills, custom wrapping, hoods, and various other pieces. They have designed pieces for manufacturers such as Bentley, BMW, Viper, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Mercedes and others.
Owner, Tony Schoenwald, says, “We’ve now decided to work strictly with the bagger market to design and create only top-of-the-line fiberglass accessories for your Harley-Davidson.”
The company started as a body shop in 2000. Tony began making car parts and moved into bike parts. The company started with bag extensions and in 2006 they designed a full stretch bag and a couple of years later came out with their current bag. “People took notice of our work and the business grew from there. We take pride in our quality and use only American made materials in all of our products.”
“We started out in a very small spot in my dad’s mechanic shop on Duff Street in Mitchell and we have been in our current location on west Havens since 2010.”
Sturgis Bike Debut Topshop designed and built a bike, featuring their extended bags, fenders, gas tank extension and gauge housing and debuted it at this year’s Sturgis Bike Rally. The bike is a show bike and all one off. “You will not find another one like it. It features full front and rear air suspension. The bags on that bike are probably the longest in the world. We wanted to make a statement with this bike to let people know what their bike can look like and I think we accomplished that.”
Topshop designs and manufacturers other bike parts in addition to their extended bags, including fenders, gas tank extensions, and gauge housings. “Being known around the world as a quality designer and manufacturer of custom carbon fiber graphite products has definitely not changed our ability to build true custom art for baggers. We’ve been featured in many articles in cycle magazines. That’s why we have decided to focus on Harley-Davidson bagger products. Who else is going to make sure your bagger is not some stock bike just like your neighbors. You want the lines and sleek looks like you see in those biker build off shows you watch on TV don’t you? Well guess what...Who do you think builds those bags for those builders on TV?”
“We don’t skimp on our products. All of our products are American made and we offer a lifetime warranty on every product we produce. We use the best materials.Our bags sell for around $800, which is cheaper than some but more expensive that others but the quality and design of our bags is unduplicated. All of our products are oven cured so the sunlight does not damage it. Examples of our quality products include a high-temp no-shrink Vinyl Ester resin. If you are looking for a set of bags that will last as long as your bike, don’t waste money and time with those $400 to $600 bags. They use cheap polyester resin with regular chop strand materials. You get what you pay for. We use 350-degree Vinyl Ester resin, Aerospace fiberglass and four thick coats of Evercoat Slick Sand Primer. You’ll appreciate the difference and quality in our materials. With Vinyl Ester Resin you eliminate print through, shrinkage and warping. The temperature range of the most common bags are; ABS Bags - rated at 185 degrees, polyester bags - rated at 180 to 195 degrees, PPO bags - rated at 200 to 230 degrees and our Vinyl Ester bags - Rated at 350 degrees. That’s the Topshop difference. Brad Smith, of Smitty’s Custom Painting in Tea, has done all of our paint for years now. He does an amazing job with custom motorcycle painting, pinstriping and airbrushing.”
“We can custom build anything to a customer’s specs. We build parts for regular riders and radical riders. Our style is different from a standard bag. There is a lot of competition in the market and we had to set ourselves apart. When somebody sees our product, we want him or her to know it is a Topshop bag.
We have really grown in the last couple of years. 2013 has been a record year for us. We have sold over 2,000 parts including 800 sets of bags. “We sell directly to customers on our website and also through a network of dealers. We sell to Harley dealerships all over the world as well as bike builder shops. We have sold our bags to a lot of big name builders. Our Facebook fan page (Topshop bagger products) has really exploded over the past couple of months. Customers can see on our Facebook page the progress on new designs.
We are also on choppedbaggers.com, which is an online forum where people can discuss products of all kinds. We get good exposure with this.”
“What really put us on the map was our lifetime warranty on our bags. Our Black Death Kit (made winter of 2013), which is the extended bike bag, is an example of our innovative product design. There is more room in our stretch bags and they look really cool. Our bags also hold up very well if you lay your bike on its’ side because they are built with quality materials. We want to expand this year and get into manufacturing other company’s products.”
Topshop employees are crucial to the success of the company. “Vern has been with me for a long time and Jeff and Travis only for a couple of years. However, we all share the same passion for quality and design and I think it shows in our products.”
“Our customer service is second to none. If you are not happy you will not recommend us to your friends. Every part might be the same but it is a different story for each customer we have. We want each one of them to enjoy the experience with us. We build everything in house including all the tooling and the prototypes.”
“Our products have been out there for years but we have just recently started getting recognition for them. It is important for us that our customers have the best product possible and we feel that is what we produce. People work hard for their money and we want to give them the best product at the best price. We donate to a lot of good causes locally and nationally. We feel it is important to give back to the industry and to the people less fortunate than us.”
Topshop is here to show you how easy it is to deck out your ride and truly make it one of a kind! You can either stop by their shop on West Havens or give the guys a call to discuss all the options for your next Topshop design. TMM