It’s always the gargantuan company that takes advantage of the little guy with the brains. Don Richardson fell victim to Suzuki’s lavish treatment when they discovered his revolutionary shock absorber. Not only did the shock absorber do a better job than any other shock in existence, but it also allowed motorcycles to do things that they couldn’t originally do.
Richardson patented his invention at the age of 19, and Suzuki sought him out in the late 1970s. He divulged his technology to Suzuki because they made it clear that he was being brought on to the development team. Well, Suzuki took Richardson for a ride and let him off while it began raking in the profits. Suzuki placed the shock absorber, which completely cuts out all vibrations at high speeds, on all of its bikes.
In the mid 1980s, Richardson saw a Suzuki advertisement marketing his invention. The ad showcased how bikes wouldn’t bottom out on long jumps because of the shock and its placement, which Richardson developed. A brutal seven week lawsuit ensued that went in Richardson’s favor. Suzuki made the case that his patent was not applicable outside of the US. Well, that argument failed, and Richardson was awarded $19 million.
To this day, his shock absorber is still used and remains the best on the market. Know more.