About 25 years ago, Alan Dalton decided to make himself a leather tool bag because he didn’t like any of the products then on the market. He knocked one up on an old sewing machine that he had and he started to use it when he went riding. This was just a basic bumbag comprising a simple single pouch closed with a zip and with a webbing belt.
Some of his mates saw it, liked it and asked Al if he could make them one too. And thus started Kelly Enduro products. Al continued to refine the product based largely on customer feedback, and after some years, came up with the pouch/tool roll combination that forms the basis of the current Kelly bumbag. At the same time, Al was producing tank bags for enduro bikes, along the lines of the ones that were standard on Bultacos, but these bags lost favour and eventually became totally out of fashion.
Al also began to produce rear tool bags similar to the ones that were standard on XR Hondas at the time (only better!), and they began to get as good a following as the bumbag, largely because of the quality, reliability and long life of the products.
Al produced thousands of the bumbags over a 20 year period and eventually, figuring it was time to move on, decided to advertise the business and see what happened. Which is where I came in.
I had bought one of Al’s bags to go to the ISDE in France in 1988, and I was still using it in 2000 when I saw the ad in ADB. I knew they were good things, so like I say in the ad, I bought the company! Al trained me well to carry on the business, because after all, it was his baby and he didn’t want the reputation he’d built up for a quality product trashed by some opportunist. And so I started to carry on the fine line of products that were the hallmark of good enduro gear. That was in 2000 and since then, I have introduced the fender bag and the rag bag as additional product lines.
But the main thrust of Kelly Enduro products is the bumbag. Used by some of the best riders in Australia, (and even the world. Stefan Merriman and Shane Watts have Kelly bags), they have stood the test of time in the most rugged of conditions, developing the reputation for long life and strength that makes them the best in the business.