Recall On 2005 Big Dog Ridgeback Motorcycles

ridgebackFirst, I want first to mention that when I publish a Recall it’s never intended to express any negative opinion about any manufacturer. All brands, one day or the other will have to issue recalls. Publication is only about safety concerns regarding my readers.

Big Dog Motorcycles is recalling 1257 model year 2005 Ridgeback motorcycles. The rear wheel may have weak spots in the design, which may make the wheel to crack under certain operating conditions. If undetected, this condition may lead to a crash. Dealers will inspect the wheels for evidence of cracking. If the wheel exhibits evidence, BiG Dog will replace it. And if the wheel shows no signs of cracking, customers will be advised to bring it to their dealer for a free inspection every 2500 miles. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to


8 Responses to “Recall On 2005 Big Dog Ridgeback Motorcycles”

  1. 1 moto 1 May 4th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    The current recall call count on 2005 Big Dog Motorcycles as of May 4, 2009.
    Bulldog # 9 Recalls
    Chopper # 7 Recalls
    Mastiff # 8 Recalls
    Pit-bull # 5 Recalls
    Ridgeback # 6 Recalls

    There are 46 various types of Service Bulletins on the 2005 model line.

  2. 2 Grayhawk May 5th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Moto1, would you happen to know if the recalls are the same on the different models as commonality of parts could over lap between models and what are the specific recalls if you know ,may give a clearer picture of issues or not.

    On the rear wheel recall I do take exception with the companies position whereas a dealer checks for cracks and replaces the wheel if cracked if no cracks visually seen just check back in 2500 miles. Really could be a bad choice from a safety to the rider standpoint and a libelity nightmare to/for the company. Just recall the wheel if it is at issue and not wait for the if, or might or when to happen. Risk Management assessments and decisions should always error on the rider safety side. Rubber side down always.


  3. 3 Troy May 5th, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I for one think it is great that Big Dog Motorcycles stands behind their bikes & resolves these issues. The list goes on and on of OEM bike manufacturers that have closed, switched names in the dark of night, or just hide from resolving issues with their bikes. A bike is only as good as the people behind it.

  4. 4 Brenda Fox May 7th, 2009 at 1:28 am

    I agree with you Troy.

    There will always be things coming up with ALL the manufactures and props the Big Dog for always
    standing behind there product.
    Takes an A+ operation to consistently to do all they can to resolve and correct issues.

  5. 5 Out There Somewhere May 7th, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Lets see Grayhawk, 1257 bikes times $2300 (I’m only guessing on the price based on what I see in the Drag catalog) per wheel is $2,891,100.00. I can see why they don’t just replace the wheels across the board. I also see your point of it being a liability to the company as well as the rider. I guess in this current economic time they are taking the measures necessary without breaking the bank. I can only surmise that it may be a design flaw combined with a metallurgical issue on some of the wheels. Maybe all the blanks were not 100% and therefore they may just be a few that are cracking and rather than throw out 1200 good wheels they are looking to find those few that are bad.

    I have an aquaintance in Virginia with a 2005 Ridgeback and he had his wheels chromed back when the bike was new. His wheel cracked early last year well after the factory warranty had expired and had been voided due to the chroming but BD replaced the wheel free. He had to pay for the chrome but that was a bargain compared to the cost of a new wheel.

    Anyway, no matter how many or few that has got to hurt the bottom line during this economy.

  6. 6 Grayhawk May 7th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    I understand the pain to the pocketbook of a company , Out there Somewhere, but it is not the retail number you quote as it does not cost the numbers you reflect, not even close, Retail, Wholesale, and Manufacturors costing deltas down to real cost as profit and cost is not one and the same, but recalling of product is a cost just not anywhere close to retail numbers.

    Additionally Big Dog to my knowledge do not make their own wheels so they Big Dog turns to wheel Manufacturor and receives/will go after compensation accordingly for a flawed product design product from its supplier.

    How much is your or your friends life worth as 1 or 2 serious law suits and they will be forthcoming with incidents and I assume incidents have happened that identified the issue and resulting recall in the first place.

    Risk Assessment on front end money only does not always align itself with good common sense, company reputation, final cost, and user end impact.

    Final costs IMHO will surpass the costs associated to in real numbers in this situation. A clear recall of a part at issue IN THIS SITUATION looking at it from a purely financial viewpoint may be financially less of an impact , not to mention the bad name associated with major product failure with safety consequences.

    Also Not a knock on shops visually looking over a wheel but oversight is easy and as there are no single party lawsuits in todays day and time thus association with issue has possible legal liabilities/ramifications to said shop doing the work as well.

    Yes they, the lawyers, will go after the deepest pocket but not just the deepest pocket. So what is the real cost at issue end. The words listed in the post that identifies, design flaw, failure and possible crash with recall puts the companies associated at risk. All the legal system sees is neglect in a court of law if the deemed right steps are not taken to prevent or advert the situation.

    Big Dog is a good company and like all compamies goes through this and weighs all options I just see it this way.


  7. 7 Out There Somewhere May 8th, 2009 at 5:03 am

    I really have no idea what the cost per wheel is to Big Dog but I do know the machine shop that cuts the wheels for Big Dog and aside from a few special edition bikes Big Dog is actually the wheel manufacturer. They buy the blanks and contract a machine shop to cut them to their specs so I don’t think they have any recourse against the original manufacturer of the blanks unless of course they can prove the blanks were somehow flawed.

  8. 8 Grayhawk May 8th, 2009 at 7:10 am

    You make a couple of good point notes, Out There Anywhere, athough I am not aware of any Big Dog rear wheel that retails for $2300 on a production bike but have been wrong before.

    Costs as you describe it should be way less than $2300 and solidifies my opinion in my opinion of pathforward, they should just replace the wheels at risk.

    Wheel blanks are wheel blanks with metalurgy spec’s the same for wheel blanks of kind so if metalurgy is lacking it is lacking on all involved.

    From your statement the recourse still has two directions, the Contractor who is making/turning out the wheel to/for Big DOG has an issue of workmanship or Big Dog design and/or specification may be lacking. Either way libel suits go after and it costs to defend by all parties involved. just end result/impact in regards to extent of contribution to fault as to amount of libel per incident per party is weighted.

    If it is Big Dog only issue then Big Dog has Product Liability Insurance against suits but premium goes up. Again IMHO probably lesser cost to eat the wheels in long run. If lawsuits follow.

    In case of fault to Contractor whereas design or specification was not followed or quality control is at issue then they the Contractor are bonded, etc. But Big Dog has/does quality assurance prior to acceptance of finished product. Again weighted impacts to companies.

    Real issue still IMHO is Rider Safety but also smarter, better for Company Reputation, better Businees Decision. “as this is not a chrome flaking issue but possible rider crash issue”.

    Safety should always be first and foremost.

    Used to be a saying, “IF YOU DON’T LIMP YOU AIN’T SHIT”, I limp and would rather not have gone through it or have anyone else go through it if preventable.

    Good Blogging

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