Why are you selling apparel instead of the helmet?
Great question! Our goal is to self-fund in order to manufacture our long awaited helmets. We’ve had to switch our business plan around and work backwards. That is to say, products that we had originally planned to introduce AFTER the helmet will now be introduced BEFORE the helmet. Our strategy is to sell various safety items as well as offer some shares in the company in order to build up capital. The gloves are the first of those items.
On that note, any item we sell or plan to sell is subjected through the same intensive quality control process. If we set out to make a helmet, it has to outperform every other helmet in production, that same mindset has to extend to every product in our line, including gloves. We first assumed most gloves out there would have already met or exceeded their respective safety standards. We were extremely surprised to learn that nearly all manufacturers have failed to make actual protective motorcycle gloves. Most people know which standards to look for when purchasing a helmet, most however don’t realize that all other safety gear have their own standards as well. Manufacturers will knowingly sell safety gear that is rated to the lowest possible standard or none at all. Their marketing certainly gives you a different impression. Safety standards for each product are confusing, and definitely not something the average consumer can make sense of. Many companies know this and they would certainly love to keep it that way, how else can they charge you $300 for a pair of gloves that don’t work?
When can I buy a helmet?
We’re working hard to get there as soon as possible! We’ve decided to self-fund through product sales and we'll make announcements on our social media accounts each step along the way. It’s been a long saga. Throughout these few years we’ve been dealing with investment firms and banks on the funding. Many times coming very close to final contracts. However, giving up complete ownership of the brand is not something we’re willing to entertain. We have a long-term vision for the company in terms of advances in safety and technology. We simply can’t risk that strategy being compromised. This course comes at the risk of great public scrutiny, but it is completely worth it for us to work from the ground up and fund ourselves. We think a little time and a lot of our own elbow grease will be completely worth it!
Why is it so complicated to just build a helmet?
In reality, if we wanted to build a helmet similar to what every other company has now, we could do that with a two to three month turnaround window with no problem. The global manufacturing landscape and especially the Internet make fabricating these things a snap. With the funds we have now, we can build a typical helmet not only with the similar or better quality than what’s out there. Conventional helmets are not complicated whatsoever. Their designs are simply carryover technology from the late 60’s. There’s many superficial design changes to make them look modern but most of all it’s clever marketing.
The difference with our helmets is that we have redesigned how every part acts and behaves, from the impact dynamics to the aerodynamics. We’ve gone to great extremes to tailor safety to react to the way the human body is affected in an impact. We don't use a single part that is similar to any other part on other typical helmets. Thus, we have to tool and mold each and every single part from scratch. Cumulatively, it’s a tall and expensive order. Add line items like engineering, safety testing on multiple models, site rentals, labor costs and domestic assembly and it all adds up.
I like the designs I see on the net. Will you be changing those?
Yes and no, but no worries! We have a plan for those. It’s been quite a few years since we publicized the designs you see on the Facebook page. There’s plenty more where those came from and honestly we're kind of tired of looking at them. Those designs were made for some quick modeling and investment meetings. They were not 100% completely realized to be honest. Many of the features still had to be added in. We’re extremely appreciative of the positive input many people have shared regarding the designs, we don’t take any of that for granted and it would be insulting not to let people choose to buy something they like. We’ve moved far beyond those designs through the years but we will indeed have a plan for the fully fleshed out “classics” along with all the new items.
We don't put anything new up on social media for many reasons, we’re sure many of you already know what they are. Intellectual property maintenance is incredibly expensive, it’s also something that has to be closely guarded up until the last moments. Competitors have and will always look elsewhere for fresh ideas. It’s understandable when you have to keep trying to refresh the same tired product year after year.
Are you considering HUD's
We've had a few of the Heads Up Display "HUD" questions come across recently. Many new products implement displays of some form or another. You can buy a helmet with a display that includes basic telemetry data, to rearview to side-view. We definitely are throwing a few ideas around along those lines. However, there are many things to consider.
An HUD system adds bulk to the helmet. We also don’t want to do anything similar to what anyone else is doing. Most companies implementing HUD’s use common or sub-par helmets and pair them with seemingly high tech gadgets inside. Neither the helmet nor the HUD systems are as advanced as we'd like.
As you know our helmets will have a much smaller cross section, the HUD would have to work within that size and shape without adding bulk or restricting peripheral vision. There is a minimum up/down and side-to-side requirement. The vision for the wearer needs to be unobstructed and able to see all the colors in the spectrum, especially stoplights.
Lastly, the visor also needs to be a smooth, solid piece all around. Current HUD tech requires that the display be projected on a type of "matte” surface, much like a movie projector. These two surfaces are for the moment contradictory. We need to have a clear, tough visor so it is safe for the wearer, yet have an unobtrusive and practical screen material that can be projected on. This is why you see most HUD systems confined to a tiny corner on the bottom quarter of the visor or helmet, not directly in front.
Like all things we’ve done, it’s not impossible, just takes a lot more work to make something spectacular and far beyond anyone else’s, we’re working on it!...
Why not just do a "Kickstarter?"
We've been asked this quite a lot. A Kickstarter or similar crowdfunding site isn't an option for a few reasons. Some reasons are theirs, some ours. Kickstarter's reasons are very simple. In their agreement there are many clauses as to what is permissible on the site and what isn't. Safety items are not permissible on the site due to liability purposes. Imagine someone selling a bulletproof vest on the site, if for any reason that product malfunctions, they could be held liable along with the maker, it's just not worth it to them, in that regard, it's understandable. All other Kickstarter-like sites have the same clauses.
Our reasons for not doing a typical crowd funding are very different. Typically the way the system works is through several "donation" levels. Five dollars would get you some small knickknack, $30 would get you a shirt or something like that, then some more cash would actually get you a pre-order on the item and so on. For starters, the helmet would just be too expensive to crowdfund, each person would have to kick in hundreds of dollars just to be able to pre-order. We also don't want to take your hard earned cash for small items that have nothing to do with what you really want.
There is an alternative however. In a few months the JOBS act should be finalized (https://wefunder.com). This little bit of legislation would permit start-ups to sell shares in the company. This means that instead of giving money to a small company in return for small gifs, you would own a part of the company, much better deal in our opinion!