Pre-Emptive Layoffs At Big Dog Motorcycles

Big Dog Motorcycles just announced that is has cut its work force by 7 percent because of slow sales of its custom motorcycles. In March of 2006, the company stated that it had 320 employees.  The company said in a press release that it had overstaffed in anticipated of its normal seasonal increase in demand, but the increase was weaker than expected. The company said the entire motorcycle industry is experiencing a sales slow down this spring. Big Dog Motorcycles described the layoffs as pre-emptive. The company remains healthy and is moving ahead with new models.

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14 Responses to “Pre-Emptive Layoffs At Big Dog Motorcycles”


  1. 1 Hotrodbiker Apr 1st, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Not a surprise. The V-Twin market is in a phase of restructuration. What goes down will go up. There were too many “fake” bikers, bad builders, opportunist manufacturers. They disappear? Good.

  2. 2 Solo Sam Apr 1st, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    I agree , no surprise to me either . Guys think it’s cool biking when it’s 80 degrees and sunny but when it’s raining and you can see you’re breath it usually weeds out the pussys in a hurry . I like the guys who buy a hard tail chop for their first bike in 25 years . After about 300 miles they are crying …

  3. 3 Dan Apr 2nd, 2007 at 10:34 am

    “I like the guys who buy a hard tail chop for their first bike in 25 years . After about 300 miles they are crying…”

    Ya! What the hell are they thinking?!

    Haha…

    Anyway, it’s a shame whenever someone loses their job. Especially today–when the average guy is having a really rough time.

    But the V-Twin market is really over-saturated. There are SO MANY bike builders and bike manufacturers out there… Inevitably, when the chopper fad runs its course (thanks for that one Discovery Channel), and the Baby Boomers think twice before getting a rigid, the party will be over.

  4. 4 Steve Apr 2nd, 2007 at 11:53 am

    I agree Dan. It’s sad when people lose their job. But I consider that the tv build-offs are responsible for making people think it’s easy to build a bike, for making new bikers think that a chopper is the right motorcycle for all, for giving the illusion that owning one will make you some money later at resale. A lot of people are disappointed by bikes incorrectly built, by bad bike kits, by bad builders, by unreliable motorcycle parts. The ones who are disappointed and who really love the sport go now to baggers. American Iron Horse and Big Dog are in for big trouble. None of them has a true cruisers or baggers line. As always, only the best will survive.

  5. 5 Ron Bartone Apr 2nd, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    I have a feeling you will see a lot players in the 30K plus range slowing down quite a bit this year, some probably closing there doors if they did not invest profits wisely. The one offs will still be strong……….. it’s the Mfg’s in that upper end that will be effected. The well established folks like Harley will do fine, 20k and under is still affordable. There’s too many players in the 30K and above market.

    It’s not fun getting laid off, but hopefully these folks will find something soon.

    Anyone out there no how Big Dog’s bikes hold there value?

    Ron

  6. 6 Steve Apr 2nd, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    Big Dog has a bad resale value. Same for AIM. And getting worse. Too many for sale.

  7. 7 Mike Kenny Apr 2nd, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    All the above comments are correct. Only stock bikes and pure custom bikes (one-off) will survive.It’s the end of the Harley clones. I think it’s a good thing.

  8. 8 Mike Apr 2nd, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    I live in an area that alot of twinkies live and I see aleast 2 really nice bikes a day that are in the 30 thousand. They ride them up and down the drag and the kids all wave to them, but ask one if they want to cruise to a rally they flee saying they do enjoy riding for any distance. With the instant gratifacation mentality what do builders expect. This is the market share they have aimed their produce at and in a year it might be unicycles if the tube has a fighting family to build them. It is a shame the workers have to shoulder the burden. I just lean back on my shovelhead and hope these wantabes don’t get in my way.

  9. 9 CJ Apr 3rd, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Everyone responding to this “layoff” article are dead on. I must admit that the TV show brought the motorcycle and especially the chopper to the masses. But, it has pushed the industry to fast to soon. Leave it up to the media to cram it down our throats. The problem is most swallowed and swallowed big. Now everyone has a chopper. It is great if you’re on TV. These guys can fetch $60K plus for their bikes when there are only worth half. After watching the 1st motorcycle mania w/ Jesse James, that is when it started. For me, I was intrigued and hooked. I always wanted to build a custom, but, like many of you, I wasn’t nieve thinking it was going to be easy, cuz it wasn’t. I spent many months researching and talking to people before I started. It was a long road, but the pride and satisfaction knowing what you did is priceless. I admire you guys that do it for a living or for the love of it. I’ll give my business to the little guys.

  10. 10 DONNIE Apr 3rd, 2007 at 9:43 am

    C J’S COMMENTS ARE QUITE ON THE TARGET ,, TV HAS BROUGHT A NEW AWARENESS TO THE MOTORCYLCLE INDUSTRY AND OPENED A LOT OF DOORS ON BOTH SIDES, BOTH FOR THE RIDER , CUSTOM SHOPS AND BUILDERS . THAT BEING SAID, A GOOD SHOP WILL ALSO MAKE SOME ATTEMPT AT A LITTLE EDUCATION TO GO ALONG WITH THAT BUILD ..AND CREATE A LONG TERM CUSTOMER …NOT JUST MAKE A SALE …. ” SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CUSTOM SHOPS “

  11. 11 Jennifer Apr 3rd, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    I agree with Mike, only stock bikes and pure custom bikes will survive.

  12. 12 DJ Chopper God Apr 4th, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    I have to add to the chorus of comments all of which I agree with, though I do like rigids. I won’t say the specific issues a motorcycle tow service guy I know comments on with regard to Big Dog, but there are ones that come up again and again. I hope all the layed off people get new jobs of course. The point I most agree with is the idea of small shops developing a relationship with customers for the long haul. Bikes are about fun, and nothing is less fun than finding out the hard way that some people will grab every last buck from some guy who just wants a kool bike to enjoy what little free time he has after busting a%s all week.

  13. 13 Nicker Apr 11th, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    You-all said it, not me:
    “…too many “fake” bikers, bad builders, opportunist…”
    “… buy a hard tail chop for their first bike… …weeds out the pussys in a hurry …”
    “…the V-Twin market is really over-saturated…”
    “…when the chopper fad runs its course the party will be over…”
    “…tv [is] giving the illusion that owning one will make you [somebody]…”
    “… [building] was a long road, but the pride and satisfaction knowing what you did is priceless…”
    “… A lot of people are disappointed by bikes…”
    “… The ones who… really love the sport go [elsewhere]…”

    To be a 1%er when you have to be a minority.
    So is it going back to “you meet the nicest people on a Honda”……..????

  14. 14 Howard Apr 11th, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Good analysis, Nicker.

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