Lawsuit against founders of Skully, the failed connected helmet-maker reportedly dropped.
The dream of an augmented reality projecting, heads-up display motorcycle helmet has been offered by a few companies over recent years, but there have been none more famous and fabled than Californian technology Start-up Skully.
Launched via Indiegogo in 2014 the company managed to raise $2,446,824 in crowdsourced funds to help them deliver their AR-1 helmet. However despite securing another whopping $11 million in additional investor funding, after much delay and negative press, the company announced in August of 2016 that they were closing; and that few (if any) of the helmets promised would be delivered.
Of the many reports with regards to the company’s inability to ship a final product, the most voracious and damaging of all where the ones surrounding the alleged misappropriation of funds by the two founding brothers of the company, Mitchell and Marcus Weller.
In a lawsuit filed by ex-employee Isabelle Faithauer who claimed wrongful dismissal, Faithauer filed a complaint claiming that the ‘Wellers used Skully corporate accounts as their personal piggy banks’ and that they had demanded that Faithauer ‘conceal the true nature of the expenses by entering them in Skully’s books to make it appear that the expenses were incurred for legitimate business expenses, which in fact they were clearly not’.
Amongst the list of falsely claimed expenses, the lawsuit detailed such payments being made on a variety of items, from Grocery Bills through to a pair of Dodge Vipers and a $13,000 trip to Las Vegas.
Once news of the lawsuit broke – and the details within it emerged – forums, message-boards and Indiegogo themselves were inundated with hundreds of customers and product investors furious at the alleged misuse of their funds; not to mention the lack of actual helmet that they had paid for.
Whilst it may not have been the absolute reason for Skully’s failure, there is no doubt that the negative press and legal expenses surrounding the case did not come at the best time for the company and had played a significant role in the ultimate closure of the business.
However it’s been brought to Motofire’s attention – via an anonymous message online – that the plaintiff for the case, Isabelle Faithauer herself has now withdrawn her claims that and has in fact admitted that her accusations made in the lawsuit could be construed as being ‘without merit’.
According to the document that we have been sent, Faithauer states that after her dismissal from Skully, Inc in December 2015 she was ‘upset’ and that during the discovery phase of her case by her attorney she soon came to learn that ‘many facts, documents, and information th’ uncovered ‘could lead a reasonable jury to conclude that [her] claims were totally without merit’.
She states that it is for this reason that she dismissed her claims against the Wellers in an agreement to settle for mutual release of claims. The document is signed 28th of December 2017.
Motofire have attempted to contact both Faithauer and her Attorney to confirm the veracity of the statement we have received but at the time of publishing have not received reply.
It’s another intriguing twist in a company tale and story that seems to refuse to lay down and die and whatever the truth, there is no doubt that Skully tapped into the desire for motorcyclists to utilise greater technology within their day-to-day riding, and that the heads-up technology envisioned by the company will eventually be developed successfully.
In fact, since the initial closure of Skully helmets, a new consortium have taken ownership of the brand and have promised to release their version of the AR-1 helmet – now appropriately titled the Fenix – in the summer of 2018.
Neither of the Weller brothers have any involvement in the new setup.
Review: Pando Moto Boss jeans are the most comfortable we’ve ever ridden in
Everyone makes abrasive-reinforced denim these days, but Pando Moto are quietly changing the game.
We’ve written about Pando Moto before here on MF. Back in January we were impressed by the quality of their offering – seen only through their catalogue – and their direction that seemed to be ‘making motorcycle clothing for real people’.
But is that promise kept all the way through to riding with them on the bike?
(Pando Moto wanted us to check out the quality of their new jeans, they sent us a new pair to wear – and keep.)
The first thing that grabbed us about the Pando Moto denim on the Boss Black jeans that we were sent, was the stretchy’ness of the denim. For those people who like to wear their slim-fit denim on the bike, but find the cut of most of them unable to keep up with the demands of fast riding, the freedom of movement offered by both the tailoring and the extremely stretchy 13oz denim was a huge benefit.
Armour is provided by knee inserts from Knox and there are hip inserts available too (although you’ll have to buy those yourself – they’re not provided in the box).
With a myriad fabric choice now being available in the ‘abrasion resistant’ arena, the comfort of knowing that your legs are going to protected by good, reliable DuPont Kevlar can’t be understated and – although thankfully we can’t vouch for their strength within a crash – the furry, yellow fabric is positioned in all of the right places and we’re certain that it’ll keep our skin happier than just wearing denim on its own.
There’s no denying that Kevlar is hot however, so whilst the slim-fit of the denim might be welcome, the lack of airflow and warmth from the kevlar next to your skin will mean that you’ll find yourself with a sweaty set of pins by the time you’ve reached your destination.
But whilst the skinny fit might make you a slave to fashion, the little details of the jean show that Pando Moto have thought things through with more focus than most; the one feature that impressed us more than perhaps it should have with the Pando Moto Boss jeans was the clever little reflective strip on the inside seam of the bottom of the legs… When you turnover the jeans – as our little legs AND fashion dictate is a must – that reflective ribbon provides a fantastic extra nod to safety.
We’ve spent just a few days riding in the Pando Moto jeans now, but we honestly haven’t ridden with a more comfortable, more pleasing pair of motorcycle denim than these.
Dainese’s 3D custom leather configurator is ridiculously brilliant!
You too can design the best – or most hideous – custom leathers available.
If you were wondering why the quantity of articles on Motofire has recently slowed to a snail’s pace, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s to do with the fact that we’ve put the site up for sale.
BUT if we’re being honest, the last couple of day’s worth of articles didn’t get published because we were too busy messing about with Dainese’s new custom works configurator for their race leathers.
Seriously, go and take a look, it’s brilliant… And you can pretty much alter every component of your race suit.
Accessible via the website, the brand-new 3D configurator allows each motorcyclist to completely personalise their leather suit, jacket or pants in real time, with a simple, set of interactive toggles and widgets.
You can even upload logos and words.
Once it’s all done, you then just need to make an appointment with your local Dainese custom works centre who will then take your measurements and get you on the way to one-off Dainese suit heaven.
OR you could get the design we produced made in honour of Motofire and you’ll be well on your way to the Milan catwalks!