Such a beautiful trike! We had numerous orders for these to be delivered in the “limited edition of 10 with signed certificates of authenticity.” There were several different design choices available and you could “have it designed as one desired.” This particular design was the most popular choice of those wishing to purchase.
Some of our customers chose other alternative designs.
The legitimate question from our customers shall remain which is, not one of those who attempted to purchase the trike which was being offered by the company received an answer as to why their purchases were not honored. Why were these trikes never built? The orders were legitimate, existed and the promise of delivery had been made by the company to deliver as proven by abundant sales literature provided on a daily basis by management to drive the national sales program.
This question has never been answered to this day..
It had been established at the end of our selling campaign for the Papillon that there weren’t any trikes produced or for sale though we were continuously assured they were. As all of this became apparent we were introduced to a total piece of vaporware, the Scarlet trike. In hindsite it seemed clear to us that we were a part of this in order to “test market the product.” Having “drank the kool-aid” we were up for the task.
The Scarlet tricycle premarketed well and was extremely popular in bike shops across the nation. We had many prospective orders and the only problem was that there were never any trikes made available.
We were told that the Scarlet utility trike was a design concept and we were told to go get prospective orders and it would be delivered. In that sense we had gone forth through an act of pure faith in management from that time. There were comments from others “How could you sell something that did not exist?” This was pure belief in management by us. The Scarlet trike was attractive and we sought and received orders. Many bicycle shops wanted to purchase this trike in production. There were to be two frames produced, one light frame for the U.S., one heavy frame for Asia.
This was not the case with the Papillon. We had been “promised” delivery of the Papillon. We had been assured that the Papillion was being delivered to our customers in a limted signed series of ten. Nevertheless, not one of these trikes was actually delivered. This established a pattern of promises not fulfilled. We decided to have a closer look..
We had interest from a certain famous BMX bike mechanic in Anaheim, Ca for these trikes. He wanted to recommend them to a theme park of fame in Anaheim. He informed us that the theme park was currently using the Workman trikes which he described as a piece of junk. He was impressed with the Biruni utility trike and requested a demo model to test. This would lead to an order for 100 trikes and ultimately for 1400 units, first replacing the 700 utility trikes in use then following with the larger order. This was exciting for us. This turned into the same familiar story. There was no contact from management to our lead.
The problem dealing with management and prospects together was like dealing with something out of Kafka’s Castle. Management was not responsive at all to the requirement for input. It was similair to Susanna’s experiences in the financial district. Our customers came away frustrated because they were not properly contacted or handled by management.
The selling of the utility trike established a few things fully. It was clear that there was a market and demand for the company and it’s products. Secondly, it would appear we were being iced out of this process.
Another point, it seems to establish clearly as with the Wall Street experience that we are being told we were selling bicycles for commission but when management was pinned down to sales there was no product for delivery and no commission was being paid. It would appear that what we were being used for was market research. We were being cut out of the sales.
The only problem was that we were never offered payment for our contracts which were for sales. There would seem to be the appearance of malfeasance here, as we had contracts.
In December of 2012 we were informed we should shift our focus and sell the “Scarlet Twin.” This was a bicycle which was also never to be produced or delivered either. This was a product that was referred to by management as “the bike that will pay the bills.” We were assured that we were taking preorders and that these bikes would be produced. While these pronouncements for all these bikes and trikes which were never delivered created skepticism by all still we were giving it one furthur shot. It was decided that the company must be held to its word.
When the delivery date of the trikes on December 24th came with many prospective orders they were not delivered. At this point we demanded that the promise for delivery of product be met. We were assured that 700 of the Utility Trikes would be delivered on January 7, 2012.
February, March 2012 it was clear there were no bikes or trikes for delivery. We then went to work to make it possible for the company to have inventory because it was clear that it did not exist.
After all of this had occurred we continued to believe in the company. We made the introduction of the investor who underwrote the delivery of the first 100 bicycles in inventory of this company. For reward we were actually being squeezed out. Our selling experience was misrepresented and we were shuffled aside. Nevertheless, we had on the table some half a million dollars in prospective sales. The management of the company seemed not interested in the sales of the company. Could it be that management did not want to do the sales along with the sales team as to not wanting to pay their commission? It certainly makes one wonder.
Ralph and Susanna Copyright 2015
Press Release 1
For Further Information:
Biruni Motorbikes Announces the “Papillion”
A Fully Electric Trike Designed for Tomorrow’s Needs, but Available Today
Hayward, CA October , 2011 –Biruni Motorbikes, a division of Biruni Motors, today announced the arrival of the Papillion Special Edition, a single-seat recumbent trike powered by a 2,000 watt 60 volt, 60 amp electric motor. The Papillion Special Edition is street legal and
designed for in-town driving under scooter/moped registration regulations. It has a 37-45 mile range on a single charge and a top speed of 35 mph. “The Papillion is a safer, more robust and
stable alternative to the electric moped,” Ken Salehi, Biruni’s President and CEO said in making the announcement.
“With its full suspension plus rack and pinion steering on the two front wheels and standard turn signals as well as head and tail lights, this is the quietest and one of the most futuristic body styles of any vehicle currently on the road.” Salehi said. “In addition, for those who are
striving to lower their environmental carbon footprint, a totally electric vehicle means no petroleum products are burned and air and noise pollution are reduced because power generated at grid centered power plants is much more efficient and produces less pollution
than an internal combustion engine.”
Salehi indicated that the primary markets being targeted for this one of a kind new vehicle are environmentally conscious individuals and those with short in-town commutes. “We are also convinced that the futuristic styling will be attractive to everyone from the youth market – high
school and college commuters who currently use mini-scooters to individual commuters and retirees who make short trips. In addition, we are encouraged by the interest from those who use vehicles for recreation at the lake or the beach as well as companies involved in vacation
rental fleets for self-guided tours at tourist destinations.”
Biruni Motorbikes is offering a limited production of 21 Papillion Special Edition trikes for EV enthusiasts and collectors. Price points for the Papillion Special Edition start around $9000 for the base model, but as each Trike is created for an individual customer, there are add-ons and
upgrades planned by the Biruni Motorbike design team. These include more powerful motor for greater torque, larger batteries to extend range, thicker and wider tires for potential off-road use, as well as a range of alternate body panel styles. Also, plans are being completed for
a consumer model as well as a hybrid that will incorporate a bio-diesel front wheel drive.
“The Papillion Special Edition is truly the next step into the future for individual transportation,”
Salehi concluded. “It the culmination of more than 10-years of design and development and
will lead the way for Biruni’s expanding line of electric and hybrid vehicles.”