Big Dog Motorcycles Adjusting Its Production. Not Stopping It


Unfortunately, it is in human nature to gossip and launch rumors. Relying on the economic context that we all know,  some even try to use the popularity of my Blog (and the freedom I give to comment in it), as an amplifier to give some legitimacy to their “first hand” news. So below is a statement made to me this morning by Paul Hansen, Marketing Director of Big Dog Motorcycles.

“Make no mistake: Big Dog Motorcycles is NOT stopping production. Starting Monday, April 6, we are temporarily halting some areas of
production for two weeks due to a combination of temporary parts delays on the newly designed 15th anniversary bikes and the all-new Bulldog, our high performance bagger model. Such delays are common on projects of this large scale due to the engineering releases and testing programs.

All corporate departments (customer service,
sales, marketing, engineering, finance), as well as paint, bike shipping, and others are not affected by this. The two-week delay affects only 25% of the workforce. Assembly
interruption will allow parts for these popular, highly anticipated
models to come in and other departments (such as paint) to catch up, so assembly personnel can work at full and complete capacity after the two-week shut
down … just in time for the peak riding and selling season.

All affected personnel are eligible for unemployment or can take any
available personal leave.
We have great anticipation for the rest of 2009 with the launch of the
Bulldog, the first season of the Wolf, 15th anniversary bikes, and
international distribution. Plus, we are working on an awesome 2010
line” Big Dog Motorcycles.

70 Responses to “Big Dog Motorcycles Adjusting Its Production. Not Stopping It”

  1. 1 Ron Alfonso Apr 1st, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Stop the gossips. Support your motorcycle industry. Go Big Dog, Harley, Indian and Cyril’s blog!

  2. 2 Jeff Nicklus Apr 1st, 2009 at 10:03 am

    If I recall correctly this is a very similar statement as that issued by American Ironhorse at one point. I sincerely hope this is not the beginning of the end of Big Dog.

    Over & Out,


  3. 3 Yakety Sax Apr 1st, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Big Dog Motorcycles went from owning maybe 50% of the high-end custom American cruiser market, to the 80% that they currently enjoy. Although this segment of the motorcycle industry continues to struggle in this challenging economy, some of the small time players and some of the bigger guys (American Ironhorse) who don’t have deep enough pockets have either closed up shop or will soon.

    It is my opinion that once this economy rebounds (and it will), BDM will be once again sitting at the top of the mountain looking down at the competition. This will be the result of common sense approaches to dealing with production challenges like these.

    Big Dog ain’t going anywhere.

  4. 4 Believer 45 Apr 1st, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I agree with Jeff Nicklus.

    Unfortunately for BD, many of it’s dealers are suffering very badly right now from lack of sales due to many factors. Obviously, the economy is a big one. However, if you surf the web blogs for BD tech and product quality complaints you will see an abundance of it. Most people complain that the quality of the bike is not what it used to be. Dealers are sitting on 07 models and many 08 models as well. As I matter of fact all that you have to do is check ebay and you will see just that. Floor planning will kill a starving dealer quickly. The BD brand alone cannot carry a dealer right now.

    The last that I heard is that Big Bear is doing fairly well considering the state of the economy. In my opinion, not that I am a Big Bear fan, but, I feel as they build a higher quality and better styling bike than BD.

    Like Jeff said, I hope it’s not the beginning of the end.

  5. 5 Bobfather Apr 1st, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Gotta call BS to a couple of items. First would be calling anything either BD or BBC makes custom. They’re production cookie cutter bikes. Nothing remotely custom about their product line.
    Second would be that BBC builds better quality than anyone. Run a check on the NHTSA recall by BBC and you’ll see how poorly made and designed their frames really are. Not only are their designs unsafe but the way they’re handling the recal fix is crap too.
    For the prices they’re charging for both brands you can get something really custom built to your specs and with better quality parts. BD will probably survive, after all there is a lot of Coleman money to keep them running. Their dealers are hurting because of the economy and the flooring they have to use to keep the inventory on hand. As those discretionary dollars get tighter it’s harder and harder to justify spending that amount of money on a production bike.

  6. 6 Rick Fairless Apr 1st, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Hey Jeff, comparing American IronHorse to Big Dog is like comparing a peewee football coach to Tom Landry! I hope you’re doing well my friend.

  7. 7 Gunrunner Apr 1st, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Believer 45,
    Yes, some dealers are suffering slow sales, and some are not. What has been stimulating Big Dog sales is the healthy incentives that they have been supporting their dealer network with.

    Here is a fact: In order for a manufacture to support and generate healthy incentives – they have to be healthy themselves. In IronHorse’s demise you did not see any manufacture support to their network. Even when IronHorse offered sales incentives it was only rewarded upon buying more units from them.
    As well as you don’t see any healthy sales incentives coming from BBC manufacture today, so you cannot compare all of these companies just because they produce custom v-twins.

  8. 8 MAS Apr 1st, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    And here is another fact: BDM had a production shutdown last year for the exact same reason. Sometimes production schedules have to be adjusted due to market demands and the availability of parts become an issue for manufacturers who operate in a JIT environment. When the shutdown is over, the parts are on the shelf and the production line can resume operating efficiently. Manufacturing 101.

  9. 9 Brenda Fox Apr 1st, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Well put and good comparison “Sage Rick Fairless” : )
    (Heck NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson has a Big Dog K-9 at his house)

    It’s easy to understand how one may be concern that underneath the custom v-twin umbrella many of the lesser quality bikes have fallen to the way side. But BDM has always approached things differently than the others. From the quality of bikes to navigating thru this economic pinch I have no doubt BDM will stay strong and lead the pack as they always have even when the economy sucks.

  10. 10 Jeff Nicklus Apr 1st, 2009 at 3:20 pm


    You crack me up! You are absolutely correct in you analogy! My apology to Peewee Football Coachs across America, Tom Landry and Big Dog!

    See you in June!

    Over & out,


  11. 11 South Side Kustoms Apr 1st, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Personally, I think this is just one of those things that everyone likes to talk about, Is Harley going under, Is Bigdog going under, will GM file Chapter 13 or 11. Ultimately who cares? Really and seriously? I think all us (especially anyone who hasn’t) need to get our noses to the grind stone, and do what we do best, not worry about what everyone else is doing…and judging the economy.

    This is alot of MEDIA HYPE ON A WHOLE (no offense Cyril) If you tell people your company is hurting (example GM) How can you expect people to come and buy your vehicle/product? They can’t trust that you’ll be there tomorrow. Do you want to spend 30K on vehicle from a company that is RUMORED to be hurting and may not be there tomorrow or are going to look at the company not whining they are hurting? With the potential to not be there tomorrow? Ofcoarse the economy has slowed down, the media has done nothing but BRAIN WASHED everyone into thinking it’s terrible. The only one’s really hurting are the investment firms and companies with stocks/bonds out there. People are scared to buy/invest, because of the amount of money other people lost – people who in my opinion could afford to loose money…obviously you have liquid money in your hands, if your placing a lump sum of money in a market, and hoping you have a return, with the knowldge you may loose your ass—it’s a chance you take. Then the media gets a hold of this, and blows it out proportion. They don’t tell the public that the average investor who lost his/her ass in the market made/makes six figure income. Yes some readers here I’m sure lost their butts with their 401K’s – why because you believed some investment firm, that they would make you money from your retirement. Most of which people knew by the package they choose. start off as aggressive and then tone down to less aggressive investments for the last 10 years of your employment. But people still knew this was a chance they were taking, instead of taking their money to the bank and buying and IRA or Hey what was that thing called when we were kids? OH YEAH A SAVINGS ACCOUNT. Investment firms who weren’t making any money BUT still handed out bonuses. Gee when I worked in the private sector, if my company didn’t do well—we didn’t get a bonus.

    Yes I know, unemployment is up…but by a small percentage of the people in this country as a whole. People still have jobs, still getting paid what they were….people need to stop following the heard worrieg about what everyone else is doing, and just do them.

    These big businesses that are hurting, are mostly UNION COMPANIES…I don’t want to offend anyone, but these are the corporations that between Corporate Big wigs making 6 figures and high paid union workers who on avergae with overtime average 60k-80k a year plus full benefits plus a pension. They want to save their company and insure they have a job, that’ll be there tomorrow or 10 years from now, take the pay cuts, put that money back into the corporation that pays your bills – because chanes are if the plant closes tomorrow – and you’re only skilled in that job you had at that plant – what are you going to do? Like the 3 guys that were in welding school next to my wife getting their ceritification, been at American Axle 15 yrs – found themselves on the street. With no knowledge on how to do anything else. Save your butts, save your job – negotiate keeping your plant open.

    Just like our state – they can’t figure out how to tax fast enough, to get themselves out of a defficet – Tax bottle water/ tax soda pop (Yeah I’m in NEW YORK) but yet NY STATE has 500-600 AUTHORITIES (why in God’s name is there a DMV / DOT / NYS Thruway authority – these couldn’t be one department, with one budget and less spending?)

    Point I guess I am trying to make is get back to basics, the way we were raised, savings accounts, hard work, do yourself not worring about what everyone else is doing, because if you worry about everyone else too long— pretty soon your sinking too. And people buy – now is a buyers market for everything from appliances to cars and motorcycles…

    Instead of people crying saying it’s bad–DO SOMETHING–hold those in power accountable–get involved–go to town hall meetings, write your senator – don’t invest with the company who lost your money,.

    Personally, as a business owner and builder I think prices are as low as you are going to see them go. If in doubt, contact your builder ask for a quote. With the tax incentive, low costs (I believe we builders and dealers have slashed prices as much as we can) – This is probably the best time for you to buy, before this low economy starts to turn around and prices start to rise again. Just like with car purchase / appliances / etc. – low economic times are the best time to buy because you’ll find the best prices on any major purchase. People kill me they cry it’s too expensive, then prices drop, then they cry the economy is bad. Only problem that people face is if they don’t have the money saved, they may have a hard time getting a loan, but if they do qualify – You’ll probably get the best rate. Whoever is left standing– it is what it is…Build your customers confidence – We done just that–in all this “Hard Economic Times” South Side Kustoms is moving into a new larger facility – why cuz we do us, we support our vendors, we keep costs lower and we work hard and do a good job….everyone needs to do this. Dont’ buy stock–buy a hotrod- buy a motorcycle – because in the right market (when I say that – I mean -people who collect–those items never loose their value—it may for the first 10 years but if you take care of it–restore it it comes back up in value—and then your have atleast an investment people will buy) – A 1959 Cadillac in mint condition during the 70’s wasn’t worth much – but what is it worth now? See the point.

    Just my 2 cents.

  12. 12 Blue Sky Rider Apr 1st, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    I can’t wait to get on a Wolf!
    Big Dog is the leader of the pack and fighting the tough economic tide!
    They will survive!
    What the h ever happened with American Ironhorse any way?

  13. 13 No Nothing Apr 1st, 2009 at 4:50 pm


    you know everything dont you……..

    everyone please pay some atention to “bobfather” he is not getting enough at home

  14. 14 raycwheeler Apr 1st, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Its a beautiful thing .
    Picked up a new Big Dog recently , this morning my lovely bride of many years says its me or the Big Dog , ya got 24 hours or else .

    Fairly low mileage , at times starts easily , occasionally backfires after extended periods in the saddle , up-graded top end ( very solid ) , lower end requires servicing after extended down time .
    Accepting offers , lovely bride comes with an attitude .

    Any questions feel free to call tomorrow .


  15. 15 Fred Apr 1st, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Ray. Keep the bike and send the lovely bride to Big Dog. They are looking for a new PR person with a lot of attitude. She may agree.

  16. 16 FUJI Apr 1st, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    South Side Kustoms
    Apr 1st, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    It’s called free speech and freedom of the press that is why we insert our opinions. some people make sense some don’t but I still listen.

    Without editorials I personally would not know what happens in the world of motorcycles and the great jokes from Jeff Nicklus. It is healthy.

  17. 17 Lee Wimmer Apr 1st, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Blue Sky Ridder

    AIH is alive still. New ownership and new people dedicated to making a go of it. So far they have been helpful in taking care of a few of the older bikes that we have worked on. I personally hope all the manufactures do well and can regroup through this tough economy . People need to get out there and think positive! Stop believing everything you see on CNBC

  18. 18 Gunrunner Apr 1st, 2009 at 7:09 pm


    You stated: “They’re production cookie cutter bikes. Nothing remotely custom about their product line.”

    If anything the Big Dogs are different. There is not another custom manufacture that has Big Dog Motorcycle’s hand controls, grips, foot controls, foot pegs, mirrors, air cleaner, coil cover, gas tank, fender struts, primary drive, or their exhaust system either.

    You have to produce constructive data other than your old cookie cutter comment that you use every time you bash on manufactured custom v-twins. It doesn’t make sense. Why don’t you bash on Harleys, they all look the same? Why don’t you bash on Retro Bobbers, they all look the same? Why don’t you bash on metrics, they all look the same for that matter too.

    Look at raycwheeler he has the hard facts…

  19. 19 Bradley K Apr 1st, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Good luck Big Dog. I believe you will survive. Solid bikes mechanically & style-wise. As for the electronics……..I would have to gut the stock wiring & re-wire it myself to trust it on any long haul. Those EHC’s are pesky and far & few between depending on where in the country you are at.

  20. 20 Big D Apr 1st, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    South Side Kustoms……

    You should be on Obama’s cabinet….I’ve never met anybody as smart nor as successful as you…..Maybe you should run for President on next go around cowboy. You and Sarah Palin on the same ticket. You have all the answers all mighty one.


    The hand controls, foot controls, mirrors, coil covers, ect on a BD are JUNK. If you consider plastic and cheap castings a quality product you obviously lack reasonable standards. The electrical system on the bikes are a disaster. Just ask any BD owner….they will tell you.

    In reality, a BD is a cookie cutter, wanna bee, cheap custom with plastic and cheap castings. They all look the same other than the paint and everybody is sick of them. The American public has caught on to their out dated and overpriced charade. You are better off spending a few dollars more and have a nice custom built by a reputable builder such as Jeff Nicklus or even the new AIH.

    One more thing….Bobbers have personality and are iconic. BD’s are for wanna be tough guys that think that they are better than the typical Harley rider. They fail to do proper research and end up impulse buying do to a identity crisis.

    Believe me, just ask Mr.Personality John Nazi from BD…..he will gladly tell you…..and how would he know you ask??……………he’s one of them!

  21. 21 Nicker Apr 1st, 2009 at 11:33 pm


    “…bash on manufactured custom v-twins. It dosen’t make sense…”

    Regardless of one’s industry perspective (visa vi “bashing” & “production cookie cutter bikes”)
    a term such as “Manufactured Custom V-Twins” is nonsense.

    By definition an item can not be both “Manufactured” and “Custom”….
    Obviously, this is simply a contradiction in terms.

    Not to belabor the point but,…..
    Just as there is no such thing as a “Suicide Shift” …. 🙂 ……
    there can be no “manufactured custom v-twins.”

    Words mean something (at least they should).

  22. 22 fred Apr 2nd, 2009 at 12:12 am

    I attended the first day of Arizona bike week and AMERICAN IRONHORSE factory truck was there with 2009’s.
    Other major manufacturers were, H-D,Triumph, Star Motorcycles, Big Bear, Indian,Yamaha, Bourget, Boss Hoss.

  23. 23 Spackler Apr 2nd, 2009 at 12:36 am

    South Side Kustoms, I hope you make motorcycles better than you make sense. Stick to the bikes; stay away from thinking.

    quote: “The only one’s really hurting are the investment firms and companies with stocks/bonds out there.”

    Tell that to people in California where the unemployment rate is over 10% statewide and over 15% in two dozen counties. Tell it to people who are losing weeks and weeks of pay to furloughs, slow business or no business, or who’ve been laid off. Tell it to the man or woman who thought they could retire soon and now have little or nothing left. Tell it to the guys trying to unload their Harleys on Craigslist to try to save their home.

    I don’t think you are living in the same world as the rest of us.

  24. 24 Sick of it all Apr 2nd, 2009 at 1:04 am

    Big D,
    Why do you have to be an idiot? The hand and foot controls are billet aluminum. The coil cover is cast because it would be ridiculous to manufacture that from billet. You obviously don’t understand metallurgy because there is nothing plastic about that.

    “Everybody is sick of them”…? Then why have they been the biggest and highest selling v-twin custom motorcycle for the last 15 years. How could they have sold over 26,000 motorcycles into the mainstream marketplace! I’m sure you think that was an accident, right?
    Sure Nicklus makes some nice bikes, but why on earth would categorize him with a failing/failed company like AIH? I’m sure he does not appreciate that.

    “Bobbers have personality and are iconic.” Well, that is true.

    “BD’s are for wanna be tough guys that think that they are better than the typical Harley rider.” What are you talking about!? If anything the “Bobbers are for tough guys that know they are better than the typical Harley rider, and what is wrong with that?

  25. 25 BlaBlaBla Apr 2nd, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Big D,
    You’re so tough behind yer keyboard. I can imagine what do you do fer a livin’ ?

  26. 26 HD GM Apr 2nd, 2009 at 1:19 am

    What is wrong with being a good personality behind the good company you believe in?

  27. 27 Big D Apr 2nd, 2009 at 1:35 am

    I seem to have ruffled some of you guys’ feathers……..

    Yes, fellaws, truth hurts. BD might have done well a few years back. As a matter of fact, they peaked back in 06. The rest is downhill from there. Like I said, check ebay. You can’t give them away right now. Actions speak louder than words!

    The BD good ‘ol days are gone. The public has caught on. The public is well aware of the low quality product that BD is building.

    I agree with Nicker. There is no such thing as a custom production. Either it’s custom or production. I wish BD would stop the sales propaganda.

    Nicklus builds true custom bikes. His reputation speaks for itself.

    BD builds widgets and calls them “customs”

  28. 28 Rick Apr 2nd, 2009 at 6:54 am

    The guy commenting with the username Gunrunner is John Nasi from Big dog. So evident.

  29. 29 Patrick Hemsley Apr 2nd, 2009 at 8:09 am

    It is my opinion that Big dog manufacture motorcycles. They are not custom bikes. You don’t manufacture custom bikes. Big Dog was born from yuppies desiring something fancier than a Harley with easter egg paint jobs to pretend that they own a custom bike without the wait and the price of a true one-off custom bike built by a good builder. Big Dog gets its inspiration (late) from the true custom builders. Big Dog, AIH, BBC etc never designed or created anything. custom builders do all the designing work. Harley will always have the best resell value because they are Harley-Davidson, an iconic brand all over the world. Big Dog, AIH, BBC and others are worth peanuts as used bikes. A true custom bike correctly built by a builder with a name keeps its value because of the builder’s name and the fact that there is only one of each. There is a market for Harley, 1 or 2 companies like Big dog, and a small nche market for custom builders. As simple as I just stated.

  30. 30 Believer 45 Apr 2nd, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Hey Fairless…….nice work on your bikes.

    As far as you comparing BD and AIH to Pee Wee football and the NFL………it’s like comparing you and Jeff Nicklus……he builds 5 times more custom bikes than you……..time for you to go cut those dried up weeds of yours that you call hair. And your T-dyes T-shirts are making me dizzy.

    Yes, AHI is not as big as BD, only due to the fact that they are just getting started again. The only reason why you are sticking up for BD is due to the fact that you are their poster child. You know darn well that the BD’s are junk. You would never admit it due to the fact that you sell them and you are profiting from BD.

    And as for John Nasi……….he loves wearing his breakfast shorts…..”eggs to the left….sausage to the right”

  31. 31 Cade Apr 2nd, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Hey Lee Wimmer ,
    We are thinking postive….Thinking postive that the economy and taxs are screwing everyone to tears and we do not watch CNBC to know this. And as far as all you BD,IH bashers,and Belliver 45…UP YOURS ! These are American companies doing the best they can to hang in there in these f…k times. I my self am not neccesarly a BD,IH type but I am pulling for them to make it.

  32. 32 Out There Somewhere Apr 2nd, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Hmm, slamming Fairless for his comments on AIH, wasn’t he one of th top AIH dealers back when AIH was in business and not selling old inventory to Canada?

    BD being a “cookie cutter”, I guess you can call it what you want but from what I have seen they do have a segment of the market and have a good percentage of happy and loyal owners. (Even the defunct AIH still has a loyal following). Yes BD is not a true custom builder in the true sense of the word but at least if you pull into the biker bar on a Big Dog your not going to look like the 100 Harleys that all look like Harleys setting there. Yes you probably can get a “true custom builder” to build you a bike for about the same amount of money but for that amount of money are you going to get the 2 year warranty, 90+ dealers and over 100 service centers around the nation to honor the aforementioned warranty? I don’t own a Big Dog because they are out of my price range but I do admire them, have ridden a few of them and even though they aren’t as comfortable as my Road Glide on long hauls I would buy one if I could afford it. Maybe they are serving to the wanna be rider with a big ego and little information but aren’t there a number of other companies(not just motorcycles) that do exactly the same thing? I guess I have a big ego and little information as well it’s just too bad that I also have a small budget.

    As for calling Gunrunner out as John Nasi, he posts under the name Firetire.

    I wish Big Dog all the best, I doubt they are going anywhere anytime soon as Sheldon hasn’t got where he is in life by making poor decisions. There’s always going to be speculation about what decisions are being made but unless you are in the room when the decisions are being hammered out very few of us, including myself will really understand them until months or years down the road.

    And one last thing, Big Dog is also at AZ Bike week. I spoke to one of their reps and they chose to work other venues not West World. I have seen their bikes and show rigs all over the Phoenix area the last week. If they were out at West World I wouldn’t have seen them because I’m not going to pay $18.00 to get in the gate just to buy junk and t-shirts. To each their own but I think it’s kind of ridiculous to charge vendors outrageous fees then turn around and also charge the consumer to get to the vendors.

  33. 33 Firetire Apr 2nd, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Big Dog did reach its peak back in ’04 actually. As well as several other motorcycle manufactures, and everyone has been “downhill from there”. It is clearly not because of lack of quality – it’s called the economy.

    And, what is even on ebay that isn’t being given away – is that not the purpose.

    Great observation on all points, Out There Somewhere.

  34. 34 Brembo Apr 2nd, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Firetire is right. The top of the industry was 2004. It’s the economy, stupid!

  35. 35 Rick Fairless Apr 2nd, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    WHAT? Believer 45, are you nuts? You don’t like my hair!

  36. 36 dark tan superman Apr 2nd, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    The X-Wedge motors on the BD bikes are the ugliest things I’ve ever seen………they look like Honda Shadow motors……….nice choice BD.

    You guys are so custom it’s crazy!

  37. 37 Believer 45 Apr 2nd, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Hey Fairless…..can’t you read between the lines??!!!

    I’m JEALOUS!!!….. I’m JEALOUS of your hair dude!

  38. 38 hoyt Apr 2nd, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Spackler – your points are true, but so are some of South Side’s points in regards to the “herd” mentality in a declining economy.

    The declining economy is compounded to a degree by those (who can spend) are not spending as much due to uncertainty. This is not news to you.

  39. 39 MAS Apr 2nd, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    What do you put in your bikes, DTS? An EVO? But I bet you put a really sick pointed air cleaner on it to make it look ‘different’.

  40. 40 Lee Wimmer Apr 2nd, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    What a great country this is that any idiot can jump on their computer and bash people and companies. I wonder if our for fathers could have ever envisioned this when they framed the freedom of speech into the constitution. I think some of you bloggers would never have anything good to say about anything……. but hey what do I know?

  41. 41 spackler Apr 2nd, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Wimmer, You are exactly right. But I still say, screw Myrtle Beach.

  42. 42 Believer 45 Apr 2nd, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Truth of the matter, it’s sad to see any American company do poorly.

    During tough times, you adjust and make positive changes for the better.

    I wish them the best.

    DTS out…..

  43. 43 fred Apr 2nd, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Hey, firetire, are you in Arizona for bike week? Where’s the truck parked? I missed it at hacienda h-d (out of town) Where ya hiding that Big Dog Truck!!!!

  44. 44 Lee Wimmer Apr 2nd, 2009 at 7:35 pm


    I totaly agree Screw Myrtle Beach, just not the sourounding towns, that LOVE bikers! That ASS hole of a mayor and city council have really f**ked up things for a lot of good people.
    And I’ll bet the dog and the ranch they will all be run out of office when the people see just how much money is lost. Hell I don’t blame anybody for not coming, but I wish it were not so.

  45. 45 hoyt Apr 2nd, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    I like the X-Wedge engine choice. Looking forward to seeing one in person soon.

  46. 46 Dave Blevins Apr 2nd, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Speaking of that X-Wedge motor, I’ve been curious why BigDog chose it for the Wolf… was it a genuine attempt to break out into new territory or a scape goat to blame if the Wolf didn’t sell well?
    I haven’t had an opportunity (meaning a customer that specified the X-Wedge) to get my hands on one, but would like to check one out sometime. I’ve used the Mid USA Powerhouse in the past, and even had a buddy try a Super-Vee several years ago, these were also interesting & powerful engines that just didn’t catch on. I wonder if the Wedge will break the v-twin mold.

  47. 47 burnout Apr 3rd, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Tie-dyed shirts…………………….. that”s where the money is!! peace

  48. 48 South Side Kustoms Apr 3rd, 2009 at 6:34 am

    BIG D – THANK YOU! (wasn’t claiming to be smarter than anyone–guess you missed the part about “My 2 Cents” Opinions are like assholes–everyone has one)

    SPACKLER – “South Side Kustoms, I hope you make motorcycles better than you make sense. Stick to the bikes; stay away from thinking.

    quote: “The only one’s really hurting are the investment firms and companies with stocks/bonds out there.”

    Tell that to people in California where the unemployment rate is over 10% statewide and over 15% in two dozen counties. Tell it to people who are losing weeks and weeks of pay to furloughs, slow business or no business, or who’ve been laid off. Tell it to the man or woman who thought they could retire soon and now have little or nothing left. Tell it to the guys trying to unload their Harleys on Craigslist to try to save their home.

    I don’t think you are living in the same world as the rest of us.”

    ++++I was talking about companies that are “hurting” not people. I know there are people hurting, yes California’s Unemployment rate is higher – You have, what one of the largest populations out of the country, with a large per capata. As a whole nation though the unemployement rate is what 14% (sure someone will correct me if I am wrong). BUT for the bulk of people who are’s because they in a way, did it to themselves, with muliple car payments a mortgage, credit card debit, financed motorcycles, boats etc – with no plan for what happens tomorrow or just incase. Believe me I know first hand I had to reinvent myself some years ago, I was a warehouse manager up until 911, the money for the government contracts that funded our projects was funneled to New York City, business for the company I worked for came to a crawl–I was the fat on the steak that had to be cut. So i found myself jobless, and unemployed for awhile, until I decided to reinvent myself — stop building cars and bikes as a hobby and helping friends with theirs, untilize my machinist education, went and got my welding certification and started this business. That’s just what the rest of this nation may have to do. Reinvent themselves Instead of crying about what they lost–start planning for tomorrow.

    “JUST MY 2 CENTS – My Opinion” – take and do with it what you will

  49. 49 LostDog Apr 3rd, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Dave Blevins, BDM chose the X-Wedge for the Wolf because that motor was developed by S&S in concert with BDM. BDM is S&S’s biggest customer and when they decided they wanted to develop a new motor that could possibly correct some of the inherent problems of the EVO, they went to BDM to gauge interest and see if there would be a platform for it. And by the way, the first X-Wedge looked like an air compressor pump. It was the BDM designers and engineers that sculpted it into what it is today. That should also answer an earlier comment that BDM doesn’t design anything. I guess they don’t unless you consider the designs of the foot controls, hand controls, grips, pegs, fender struts, fenders, fuel tanks, oil tanks, triple trees, exhaust system, air cleaner cover, coil cover, seats, primary drive, wheel designs, belt guards, fender mounts, rotor carriers, motor mounts, speedo mounts, electrical side covers, wiring harnesses, and the frames and swingarms (every tube, gusset plate, axle block and cross-member) which they also manufacture utilizing robotic welders. While it may be true that they don’t manufacture each of these items, they do design every one of them in CAD and then have them built to print. They also powder coat their frames in-house and have their own polish shop, body shop, and paint facility which turns out some of the finest paint (be it a solid color or heavy with graphics) in the industry. To me, that makes their bikes much more custom than the guy who strips down an old Sportster frame and then covers it with catalog parts.

  50. 50 Wrench Turner Apr 3rd, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Let me tell all you guys something, Big and small, builders, non-builders.

    Just SHUT THE F___ UP Already!

    There is only 2-3 people that know whats going on and they are the people at BDM.

    Everything above is all the same stuff from all the same people.

    A bunch of “know-it-alls”

    Shut up and mind your own back yards, maybe we can get this country back in order…

  51. 51 raycwheeler Apr 3rd, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Hey wench turner ,

    Since you ” know it all ” .

    Who are the other 1 or 2 that knows what is going on ?

    Quite obvious that you might be one of the two ?????

    Our back yards need minding and your elected to straighten this mess out , please provide contact info for all questions and suggestions when your willing to assume the position .

    What size wrench will address this mess ?

    Thanks , Ray

  52. 52 Firetire Apr 3rd, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Hey Fred – I’m back in the freezing flatlands here, but the show truck is still out there.

    Since the Hacienda Kickstart party the truck has been at the Hideaway Grill in Cave Creek, Fort McDowell Casino to support the TASER foundation (support the families of officers that have fallen in the line of duty), the Billet Bar in Scottsdale, and now they will be at the Victory of Mesa dealer for the rest of the weekend.

  53. 53 Wrench Turner Apr 3rd, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I rest my case “Ray”, you just proved my point. A meaningless comment directed at someone who does not know anything about this subject at all.

    Just like I said Just SHUT THE F___ UP Already!

    Go sell some rotors, and mind your own back yard.

  54. 54 dark tan superman Apr 3rd, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Hey Lost Dog…….

    Why don’t you tell everybody that once BD is done with the so called “design” they send the parts to China and Korea so they can casted and mass produced by the rice folks……….so that the american worker gets taken out of the equation and therefore quality, integrity can be sacrificed.

    Take it like a man……the American rider knows better by now. It’s either going to be Harley and one-off custom builders who will be in the mix. The cookie cutter, widget bike with the Easter egg paint job days are gone.

    I’m sure Coleman has lots of money, however, he’s also a very shrewd and successful business man than knows when a “good thing runs out of gas. Believe me, he’s being very, very cautious right now and watching the market very closely before he starts investing any more money in a losing proposition.

    I agree with some of the other posts about the X-wedge is the ugliest F..cken motor I’ve ever laid my eyes on. It’s one step away from a Suzuki Maurader motor. As a matter of fact, the V-Star motor looks ten times better. I’m sure Smith senior looked at Junior and asked him what the F he was thinking when he designed that sewing machine motor. Maybe that was the tip on the iceberg for the release of junior at S and S.

    It will be interesting to find out what happens next………….we will stay posted.

  55. 55 hoyt Apr 4th, 2009 at 12:36 am

    There is a market segment for something in between HD and the local garage, regardless of the state of the economy.

    Big Dog executes quite well in the wide world of motorcycles, regardless of all the negative posts.

  56. 56 Out There Somewhere Apr 4th, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Hmm that’s really strange dark tan superman, I have a friend who works at a machine shop in Newton, KS that does nothing but machine Big Dog parts from the fender struts to the speedo housings to the wheels and just about everything in between except the driveline. They run something like 12 CNC machines around the clock just doing BDM parts and accessories. Last time I talked to him (a week ago) Newton was still in Kansas and hadn’t moved to China or Korea.

  57. 57 Wrench Turner Apr 4th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Another Fine example of someone who need to go the “Know-it-all” Hall of Fame.

    dark tan superman

    Sounds like a gay name to me.

    Just like I said Just SHUT THE F___ UP Already!

  58. 58 X BDM wrench Apr 5th, 2009 at 11:18 am

    You folks give way too much credit to SC and the staff at BDM. After working there for more than 10 years, I watched the quality go down as production went up. They canned all of the experienced technical people and filled the ranks with engineers that don’t know shit about motorcycles. As far as the x-wedge engine, bdm may have designed some stuff to make things prettier, but the test department went through three “wedgies” before they had 500 miles on them (cam belt issues). I didn’t seen any that didn’t leak oil or sound like a sewing machine. The coil cover routinely reached temperatures over 300 degrees (F). All of the other things that make Big Dogs warranty queens are still applicable (crappy wiring, ehc issues, etc). Any BDM built after 2002 should be considered a 1:1 scale die cast collectable. Last I saw, BDM had processed over 80,000 waranty claims…spread that out over 25,000 or so motorcycles. they were looking for a cheaper tranny to replace the baker with and have been looking to Korea to have Bakers tranny knocked off!

  59. 59 just my opinion Apr 5th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    X BDM wrench
    Sorry to hear you lost your job but if it was so bad why did you stay for ten years? Are you the kind of guy that will make shit as long as your being paid or maybe you were part of the problem as far as quality so they fired you. Personally I think its about time we all stop bashing American companies. Or maybe you all would rather be riding bikes made in Japan. Big Dog is doing something right or they would not still be around. As for the comparison between Big Dog and American Iron Horse what a joke. Iron Horse was not paying there bills or warrantee claims thats is why they had to bankrupt.
    So far as I know that is not the case here. I say Big Dog has a place in the motorcycle business and good for them. I hope they continue to build American made bikes and do well.

  60. 60 cooldaddy51 Apr 5th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how many self proclaimed experts there are in this industry!
    I will be the first to admit that there will always be somebody out there that knows more , is better
    at what he or she is doing or has more money than you.I Don’t resent them but learn from them.But what I’m hearing here is a few guys that are commenting out of their anal aperture.BDM is truly the number one manufacturer of custom V Twins. No brag gentlemen just fact.Okay you don’t consider them customs because they are not one offs . Fine but they do need a classification and it still isn’t considered an OEM.They fall into a “grey area”. So its a production custom accept and get over it. BDM does not have to prove anything to anybody anymore. They have more proprietary parts on it than any other company in its “category”. Their warranties go beyond the call of what any other company would cover . As far as American made lets talk HD. How american made are they nowadays? We have twenty two bikes in our service area as of yesterday .seven Big Dogs for performance and dressup upgrades, five for regular service, four custom builds ,bobbers etc. and the rest are HD’s with major issues. This is typical during the season. A lot of you group Big Dog present to Big Dog past.This is about as fair as grouping Harleys AMF years to what they are producing now. We have been a BDM dealer since 03 and I can tell you first hand that warranty and QC issues in the past are now just that a memory of the past. Whole different animal now . Even back then every issue was handled by the factory quickly and efficiently with the least amount of inconvenience for the customer. This was a very refreshing experience after being a Gilroy era Indian dealer and having to wait days for a return warranty call. Being in the industry full time since 1973 I have seen my share of the good ,the bad and the ugly. Right now we are going through an ugly economy with a lot working against us. But we’ll get through it .Just stop watching TV for a week and see how much better you feel! Seriously I tried it and it worked . Actually had customers stop in and ask why I was smiling. Crank up the tunes instead and fit in at least a laugh a day!

  61. 61 Bradley K Apr 5th, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Big Dog will be around 10 years from now. The proprietary parts are domestic last I heard. Newer style wiring (I believe 05 & later) sucks. Scaling back production is expected & makes sense if you wanna squeak through the tough times.

  62. 62 Nicker Apr 6th, 2009 at 12:35 am


    “… BDM is truly the number one manufacturer of custom V Twins…..Okay you don’t consider them customs because they are not one offs … they do need a classification and it still isn’t considered an OEM…..They fall into a ‘grey area’…”

    How good (or bad) the product is no skinn of my nose. However, the “category” thing is interesting for a number of reasons. Seems that some more “standard” nomeclature would help both customers and vendors in terms of product representtion and expectations.

    Take the old California Surf Board industry as an example.
    Hand made boards that were hand-shaped by a Pro-builder (like Hobby) for a specific person were understood to be a “Custom Board.”

    On the other hand, surfboards that were poured and popped out of a mould were understood to be “pop-outs.”

    The values, performance and prices were established accordingly.

    Point is, regardless of BD quality or part-sourcing, the industry needs to sort out this “grey area.”
    The ambiguity of what is or what is not a “Custom Motorcycle” does both the customers and the buildres a disservices.

    Some preditable, universally understood terminology would be helpfull.
    Quality, dealer support, etc. asside…………
    Hand crafted motorcycles are simply not the same as assembled products.

    Just an observation…….


  63. 63 Old cars Apr 6th, 2009 at 2:01 am

    Big Dog Motorcycles is the leading producer of custom, American V-twin motorcycles, American manufacturer of semi-custom, mid-priced motorcycles, based in Wichita, Kansas.

  64. 64 LostDog Apr 6th, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Hey Dark Tan Superman,

    foot controls (Kansas)
    hand controls (New York)
    grips (Nebraska)
    pegs (Nebraska)
    fender struts (Kansas)
    fenders (Michigan)
    fuel tanks (Michigan)
    oil tanks (Kansas/Missouri)
    triple trees (Kansas/New York)
    exhaust system (Ohio)
    air cleaner cover (off-shore)
    coil cover (off-shore)
    seats (California/Kansas)
    primary drive (Illinois – casting and plating)
    wheel designs (Kansas)
    belt guards (Kansas)
    fender mounts (Kansas)
    rotor carriers (California)
    motor mounts (Kansas)
    speedo mounts (Kansas)
    electrical side covers (Kansas/Minnesota)
    wiring harnesses (Kansas)
    frames and swingarms (every tube, gusset plate, axle block and cross-member) (Kansas/Minnesota)

    and a few I missed

    brake calipers (California)
    handlebars (Minnesota)
    speedometers (Michigan)
    hardware (Kansas)

    Now, why don’t you GFY.

    And X BDM Wrench, it’s too bad that you lost your job after 10 years but your post calls your character into question and maybe thats the reason you don’t still have it. Clearly, you have no loyalty at all for a company that took care of you for a decade. BDM has given a LOT of people a great place to work when they wouldn’t have been given a second look anywhere else. Maybe you’re starting to realize that now.

  65. 65 cooldaddy51 Apr 6th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Interesting comments from the dark tan guy about the x wedge. Does everybody really object to the design and overall looks of that motor? Seems to me I heard alot of the same grumblings from shovel owners when the evo came out. It’ll never last, never be accepted, its not true harley unless it leaves a spot,etc,etc, etc. some humor for the day! I welcome any and all opinions of the wedge!

  66. 66 Bradley K Apr 6th, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Not a fan of the X wedge personally but I ave seen some cool customs based off of the motor. Chopper Dave’s comes to mind first & foremost. Kind of like Matt Hotch’s V-Lux, dont care for his choice of motor but damn that bike looks good. Time will tell if the X wedge was a gamble worth taking for S&S!!!!

  67. 67 Low Down Apr 6th, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    I’d just like to say that BDM has done an awesome job building bikes. I have owned a couple and will continue. Nobody backs and stands stronger & taller, behind a warranty, like BDM. They ALWAYS take care of their customers, in warranty and a lot, out of warranty. I would say that BDM has more American made parts on their bikes than most garage and “custom assembled” bikes do!

    When was the last time you bought a Harley part at an HD dealer and it sayed “Made in America” or better yet, how much of a HD motorcycle do you think is actually made in the USA? Nobody can bash any American made product, from HD to BIg Dog, BBC and AIH. We need to stand behind ALL these companies and stop bashing any of them or the soon to be buyers will all buy Import S**t and run this econemy even further down the tubes.

    All manufacturers, builders, suppliers and retailers are ALL hurting now and you can pick ANY company, distributor, or shop and tell people they are hurting because their sales are down. It is true, everyones sales are down and they will be until the tight wad, money horders start spending some cash!!!

    But as long as all you negative talking bashers keep it up, it does nothing but continue to disrupt the motorcycle industry in a negative way!

  68. 68 Good Dog Apr 7th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    WOW…. an active thread with a lot of opinions… Opinions is the key word….
    I own an 05 Big Dog.. yes i have had a few problems nothing big and nothing that made me question weather or not i made the right decision on purchasing a BDM… I would and Will buy another.. and while the frames are the same the owner is the one who makes it unique as with any bike, truck or car..
    I have worked in 3 New car dealerships over the past 25 years as a wrench and have seen a lot of poorly engineered applications and seen a lot of premature failures due to that… But we are talking about mechanical things here some times they will break. If you don’t own the product that you are talking about what good is your OPINION?

  69. 69 Big Dog Wolf Nov 29th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Amazing reading all these post’s, I Own a 2009 Big Dog Wolf with the fuel injected 121 inch s&s and that bike is flat out fast and a quality built bike period. I bet alot of people on here trashing big dog have never owned or ever rode a big dog. I have owned a halrey and 2 big dogs, 2007 mastiff (bad ass) and the new wolf and i will tell you first hand there is no comparison between the 2 when you ride a harley it clearly doesn’t have the same craftsmanship or quality and engeneering thats put into a big dog. Now im not hating on halrey there an american icon no doubt and i love them but for my money il take a big dog with supposed wire issue that by the way have been reengeneered and fixed a few years ago over a harley any day. Now for the funny part i read earlier about america being sick of BD LOLOLOLOLOL, I can tell you when i pull up on my BD wolf and my gal pulls up on her Big Bear Sled the harley riders swarm our bikes admiring them and thats the truth and also to the guy who said big bear is better than Big Dog i forgive you for you know not what you talk about big bear is a nice bike but engeneering wise not even close to a BD.Either way I love all bike heck my younger brother rides a honda as far as im concerned if you ride your in the club and if you dont then to bad so sad for you.

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