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Local Small Business Takes off with University Assistance


March 10, 2005

MESA, Ariz. — After years of sharing ideas about motorcycle parts, Chris Garby and Linda Hale's vision of creating custom parts that appeal to motorcycle aficionados became a reality with the establishment of their company Bones, Inc., based in Tempe.

Bones specializes in custom gauge mounts, brackets that mount to the handle bars to securely hold a speedometer or tachometer on a motorcycle.

"We came up with the idea after looking at many custom bikes and realizing that initially everyone who mounted a gauge on their bike used the same type of plain bracket," said Hale. "After researching the market, we realized that there were few options and no custom styled gauge mounts."

The pair decided to start designing custom gauge mounts and would follow with matching accessories later. Once their initial drawings were on paper, they needed to take it to the next step.

"After doing some research with local specialty machine shops, one of them suggested contacting Arizona State University's Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Technology to help create an actual prototype from the designs and provide us with a finished part and CAD drawings for each of our designs," said Hale.

While ASU's assistance is not free, it was affordable for Garby and Hale, and it allowed them to prove if their designs were feasible, without the high upfront costs associated with manufacturing parts from scratch.

With the growing interest in customized automotive vehicles, and the facilities available to ASU students to design and fabricate such parts at the Polytechnic campus, the match up was a perfect fit.

"This project was a win-win situation," said department chair Scott Danielson. "The project provided students with a real-world experience, and we were able to help Linda and Chris realize their dream. ASU students and professor Russ Biekert worked over several months on the different innovative designs and are always open to other projects and may even assist on future projects for Bones."

Currently, Bones conducts all its business online because it's economical. The company is looking at ways to grow its business through other retail outlets and new cutting edge product designs for parts that allow the bike enthusiast to customize their ride with a line of Bones products.

"We have always had a love for motorcycles and machines, this gives us a creative outlet in designing parts and accessories, allowing us to only be limited by our imagination," said Hale. "We would not be in business today, without the help of the ASU manufacturing program, the Small Business Administration and the year of development we needed."

For more information about Bones, Inc., visit www.bonesusa.com. For more information about ASU's Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Technology, visit http://www.poly.asu.edu/ctas/mmet.