Europe’s leading bench and suitcase manufacturer SHAD in the company profile

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Europe's leading bench and suitcase manufacturer SHAD in the company profile
Stefan Wolf


Europe’s leading bench and suitcase manufacturer SHAD in the company profile

Europe’s leading bench and suitcase manufacturer SHAD in the company profile
Seat and space!

We have to put it so clearly: What these two gentlemen and their colleagues do is completely for the ass. And then there are people there who are regularly allowed to declare that they do not produce fish boxes. A visit to Europe’s leading bench and suitcase manufacturer.

Klaus Herder


The thing about finding a name was actually very clever. In 1973 Jaume Xicola Gascon (then 27 years old) and his six employees sit together near Barcelona and think about what to call their young company that produces bicycle and moped accessories. A Spanish name doesn’t work at all, because “Made in Spain” had a rather bad reputation at the time. So in a nutshell, international: NAD – that’s it! It doesn’t have any real meaning, it’s not the abbreviation for anything, but it sounds technical, international and always fits. In 1992 the Catalans, who now specialize in the production of bench seats, are faced with a similar task and are looking for a brand name for their new motorcycle suitcases. Same approach as 19 years earlier, similar solution: SHAD – short, succinct, international and actually meaningless. Well, not exactly: “Shad” is the English name for the allis shad, a type of herring that is rarely found at least around Barcelona. But no matter what happened, and that English-speaking suitcase buyers are not dealing with a fish box manufacturer can usually be clarified very quickly.

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Europe's leading bench and suitcase manufacturer SHAD in the company profile

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Seat and space!

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NAD with its SHAD brand has long been a major player in the motorcycle accessories business. And the likelihood that you, dear reader, have already put your bosom on a product from the company, which is now run by Jaume Xicola Serrano (34) and is still family-owned, is quite high. NAD customers include Aprilia, BMW, Honda, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha. Around 75 percent of the seats that are completely developed and produced in Spain end up as original equipment on motorcycles that are produced in Europe. The rest is installed in Thailand (Triumph) and Brazil (BMW, Honda). 80 percent of the suitcases are produced in Spain, the rest comes from China or Indonesia. The background to this division: The transport costs would otherwise simply be too high, because it is in the nature of things that when transporting suitcases, mainly air is transported through the area. NAD is a fine example of the fact that the so often vaunted and regretted “industrial sell-off to the Far East” does not have to be automatic, and that classic family businesses definitely have a future. This is made possible by clever product planning in connection with our own research and development capacities as well as an extremely pronounced vertical range of manufacture. In short: The clever Catalans do everything themselves, including prototype and tool construction. Almost everything, because the injection molding machines for the case housings are from external suppliers. Which in turn are located in the immediate vicinity and thus practically belong to the “family”.

Tried: SHAD top case SH58X

On the one hand you need a lot of space now and then, on the other hand you don’t always want to gondola through the area in a giant container. A real conflict of interest – for which SHAD has a clever solution: the height-adjustable top case.

Two easy-to-use levers inside the case make the difference: flip the lever, raise or lower the upper part of the case, fold the lever back – done. The whole thing can be done for three positions. In the flattest position L, the top case holds 46 liters, space for two open face helmets plus some small items. In the middle XL position, 52 liters fit in, so enough space for two full-face helmets. In XXL it can be a little more: 58 liters, which corresponds to two lavishly shielded cross helmets plus extras. Multifunctional products sometimes have the unpleasant quality of being a bit rickety and tinkered with. Not so with the SH58X, which has a carbon look cover. The part looks very valuable and solid, the further operation (opening / closing, mounting on the supplied carrier plate) works fine – a top topcase. For 295 euros, for example at Polo (Tel. 02165/8440400,

MOTORRAD verdict: very good

In addition to the enormous vertical range of manufacture, the top-staffed development department is a special asset with which the company can thrive: of the 175 NAD employees, around 40 are busy developing new products and optimizing the existing program. The result is, for example, very special heating systems for motorcycle seats or sophisticated transport solutions such as the height-adjustable top case. This enthusiasm for innovation makes the buyers of the relevant motorcycle manufacturers prick up their ears, who always look at the price when procuring OEM parts (“Original Equipment Manufacturer”), but they are of course also interested in top products. So you can be relatively sure that the NAD troop will continue to produce a lot “for the ass”, among other things.

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