Big Dog Motorcycles Introducing A $21,000 Chopper Today At The Indianapolis Dealer Expo.

bigdogmotorcyclechopperYou remember the letter of Sheldon Coleman, CEO of Big Dog Motorcycles, that I published on January 6th. In it, he explained the reasons why Big Dog Motorcycles decided to skip last weekend Cincinnati V-Twin Expo and instead took the decision to exhibit its line up at the Indianapolis Powersports Dealer Expo. Well, the show just opened today and Big Dog Motorcycles is introducing a new $21,000 budget price chopper that will be available in July.

A surprise? Not really. As you know (I explained many times) all manufacturers are courting the just under/just above $20,000 market segment. This shot taken at time of setup on the Big Dog booth shows you a “no surprise” classic lines production custom chopper with a solid paint job, solo seat, a right side drive setup using an S&S 111″ engine (well enough power for this type of bike) and a 6-speed transmission.  For the rest, I don’t have more details, but it seems to me that Big Dog is in Indianapolis to test how well this model may be received by both American & Metric bike dealers, and I suspect that the final list of components is not definitive and will be adapted depending of their reactions and expectations. Do you think Big Dog Motorcycles got the right approach? Would you sell (if you are a dealer) or buy one like that at this price? Big Dog Motorcycles

76 Responses to “Big Dog Motorcycles Introducing A $21,000 Chopper Today At The Indianapolis Dealer Expo.”

  1. 1 Big Wheelie Feb 12th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    They should have made a bobber, paint it in black, call it Dark Dog and price it at $15K. They are not going to save the DOG HOUSE with a so year 1999 chopper with no soul.

  2. 2 NOTTUSMTL Feb 12th, 2010 at 4:19 pm


  3. 3 Bill Skoros Feb 12th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    It wouldnt hurt to do both! If someone is out shopping for a bobber, they are not going to give a chopper a 2nd look. Same if they are out looking for a chopper. They should also have it on their website to see if there is any interest…

  4. 4 stephen Feb 12th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Looks good to me. A classic chopper, pretty much the sort of bike I would build myself.
    Good move. I’d buy one, especially when you consider a “kit” bike with the same parts would cost about 18,000. Then add paint, a few bits here and there and you’re up to 21,000.

    Get them out to Arlen in Dublin CA so I can have a look.

  5. 5 Low Down Feb 12th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I think Big Dog hit it on the head. They sold tons of the Chopper models before they discontinued it a couple years back. I don’t think Big Dog will have any problem selling a $20K any less than a builder selling a $15K bike, it is all dependant on lenders loosening the riegns a bit so guys can buy them.

    There will be alot of guys glad to see this bike at this price, I think.

  6. 6 Dave Blevins Feb 12th, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I think this is the best idea Big Dog has had in years. I’ve never really liked the Big Dog cookie cutter look, but they will probably sell a lot of these at that price.
    Certainly a better choice for the chopper market than that ugly shaft driven thing Honda is pushing.

  7. 7 gabehcuoD Feb 12th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Smart idea….. old looking bike… not to be negative, but you can get a used one for half the price on flee bay. The style is 100% the same, your buds would never even know……… Or get an Iron Horse that looks the same for dang near free on flee bay.

    Bad part with this is you have to have $21 large in cash. Banks aint lending 20K … unless you have A+++++++ 9,000,0000 credit score.. LOL And they can hold your jet for collateral.

  8. 8 Rob Feb 12th, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    I think it’s a great idea. Both Big Dog and Big Bear both will have a budget chopper for sale now (let the competition begin). It’s cheaper than the original and seems more affordable for those that can’t shell out an extra six grand or more above $21,000. I would say they done very well! Where can you get a ready to ride bike with a 111 Cubic Inch S&S motor (Plenty of power)? The only thing missing is the custom paint and I could deal with a solid color. Big Dog low budget chopper, I say, “Welcome to the dog pound”.

  9. 9 bikerspaceman Feb 12th, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    At least they got rid of that junk assed “balanced drive” primary drive set up and went back to a Harley style primary…..still the “Same Shit Different Day”. If they didn’t change the electrical system and correct the premature fork bushing wear (they wear out in under 10,000 miles) then they are still warranty queens! Looks like a 2003 model….I guess retro is in.

  10. 10 In the Industry Feb 12th, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Got to agree with Bikerspaceman. 90% of our BD customers have had major electrical system problems. Once we rewire the entire bike they are ok. Those harness controls (and the harness)are FUBAR.

  11. 11 stella blue Feb 12th, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Dave Blevins:
    “Certainly a better choice for the chopper market than that ugly shaft driven thing Honda is pushing.”

    Not so sure there Dale- the honda is 13k, has abs, decent power; and it’s a Honda. That means no major problems, full support, dealers (where’s YOUR BD dealer?). Have you ridden the Honda? Just curious as most here make blanket statements without experience.

    I won’t knock you rich guys, but 21k is still a lot of grip. Especially for a bike made by a company that isn’t doing well, and has closed dealers in huge market.

    I hope it works for BD, time will tell.

  12. 12 golfish Feb 12th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    IMWO, BD has always made nice stuff. I wish them the best of luck and hope they make it through these tough times. Its nice to see them sticking with an American made engine.

  13. 13 Seymour Feb 12th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    “Would you … buy one like that at this price?”

    No, nor at any price. You asked.

  14. 14 Kber45 Feb 12th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    This bike is crap. I hope these guys go under soon like the rest of this fake store bought chopper trend.

  15. 15 bikerspaceman Feb 12th, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Looks like the front brake line is too short too! But there is only one photo to nit pick!

  16. 16 I mean really Feb 13th, 2010 at 1:10 am

    “This bike is crap. I hope these guys go under soon like the rest of this fake store bought chopper trend.”
    Crap compared to what?
    What denotes a fake or real store bought chopper?

  17. 17 KillBill Feb 13th, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Hey bikerspaceman (Don Grizwald) / ex-BDM employee, what are you up to these days?

  18. 18 trent reker Feb 13th, 2010 at 1:15 am

    okay, let me get this straight. 20 grand for a big, fat, overblown motor in a frame with a neck rake that makes it impossible to ride my usual route of surface streets from my house to my favorite bar and back? sign me up! it looks like everything i’ve seen everywhere for the past decade so it must be cool! it gets shitty mileage but i don’t care. i ride 500 miles a year. disposable income, indeed.

    seriously. how many of you ride big dogs more than 500 miles a year? say it right here. ridden more than 50 miles in one day on one? say that, too.

    might as well have that hardtail, spring-seat bobber for a fraction of the price. then you can ride up to your favorite bar fast and have more money to spend on drinks for the hot chick who just slid up beside you because she knows you have a custom built just-for-you by somebody like saint or ardcore or garage company customs.

    wanna be cool? original? a trend-setter? this bike isn’t it. the girl has seen it before and she knows it’s boring sheep crap. at any price.

  19. 19 Fluke Feb 13th, 2010 at 2:44 am

    If I wanted to buy a bland conservative looking chopper I would go with the Honda instead, save 8 grand and have a bike that was reliable and 10 times better engineered.

    Maybe this bike wont save big dog alone, but it can’t not help, hardly like they need to do any real R and D, and most of the bike could be built out of unsold stock.

    I like the colour/chrome combo though. simple, cheap and classy. It should appeal, better in a dark copper though IMO. I have gotten sick to death of overblown graphics that blind your eyes to the fact the bike is unrideable and badly designed.

  20. 20 Todd Feb 13th, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Obviously you’ve never ridden one, otherwise you would not possibly make such outlandish and untrue statements. Or perhaps you are just another hater? Riding several hundred miles a day is childs play…and honestly if the neck angle gives you a problem on your usual route (again you havent ridden one, as there is NO wheel flop on a Big Dog) then you probably shouldn’t be riding one at all. I have seen photos of friends scraping their k9 pipes on “The Dragons Tail”. You either have what it takes to do it, or you don’t. These bikes aren’t for everybody…they aren’t supposed to be, and we understand that. It’s the ones who dont get it that have the problem. Some people don’t have the stones to pull 220 on a ‘busa…and if not, thats cool, because then they shouldn’t!

    Last I checked the Big Dog “Iron Butt” record was somehwere around 900 miles…in one day.
    Im betting you’ve never done that on ANY bike..

    Also, pulling 40 mpg cruising @ 90mph is not bad at all, but as you probably ride something that was never made by AMERICAN craftsmen, I dont expect you to understand the true feeling of torque, the joy you get from it, or the compromises it takes to achive it.

    And yes, it is in fact cool. How many people have rolled down their window to tell you how awesome your bike was while you were stopped at a red light? PLEASE tell me , truthfully…because I am betting it has NEVER happened. I cannot begin to remember in the 10,000 miles (on my 2006 chopper…oops not quite 500 miles a year now is it?) that this has happened to me. I can say that it happens at least once, every time I ride it. I have seen the jealous looks of enough other bike owners, when these bikes draw all the attention in the parking lot. Hate us because you dont understand, but DONT hate us because we are beautiful!

    Now Stella Blue? Reality check, A plastic “FURBY” is no match for a Big Dog, and does not have decent power. Have you ridden a Big Dog, or are you making “blanket statements”? If you have ridden both there is NO WAY you could call the furby “decently powered”.And yea a Dog is more expensive, but you do get what you pay for. Also, Big Dog did NOT close any dealers. Unfortunately, just like many car dealers, as well as dealers of all recreational “toys”, the credit crunch has had tremendously negative effects on them, and as disposable incomes are down, they have been forced to close…but not by Big Dog. My local Powerhouse Honda Dealer just laid off almost half of its workforce…so Honda must be in trouble right? That is the exact same logic you exhibit. As the U.S economy is in the tank and obviously will be for some time ,Big Dog is expanding its dealer base worldwide, and making solid plans for a brighter future, once things turn around. Very few companies are not hurting right now…but Big Dog is alive and well, and taking steps for a brighter tomorrow.

    Major Problems? NEVER had one, in 10k miles, and the majority of owners who properly care for their bikes have not either. And, given that Big Dog offers a superior warranty to most makes in the class, usually these things are all taken care of ot no expense to the owner, in the event that they do occur.

    These bikes, unlike Hondas, are not your average bike. They are HOT RODS, pure and simple, and as such they will require a bit more attention from time to time. It is part of the package, it is expected, and is a small price to pay for what Big Dog owners know is a superior riding experience.

    And in case any of you are wondering…no I don’t work for BDM. I am just one of many thousands of proud owners who feel this way. We are pretty easy to find, considering that Big Dog has sold more of these class of bikes than anyone else in the world…for a reason.

  21. 21 Boss Hawg Feb 13th, 2010 at 7:00 am


    Couldn’t have said better myself. Sheldon/BDM manufacture some mighty fine bikes. Do like me, go to a rally, pull in a fine little Babe, spank em on the ass and load em up for the ride home.

    For all you other nay saying wanna be tractor drivers, go on down to the coffee shop and have a little fun with Flo please.

    2010 Daytona Bike Week here I come….vroom vroom vroom

    Boss Hawg

  22. 22 jatinder pal Feb 13th, 2010 at 7:13 am

    I love this bike,the classic lines,powerful engine and coming out the major manufacturer at 20 grand…i think its better than a any kit bike and ofcoarse Big bear.

  23. 23 Freedomlaw Feb 13th, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Let me put in my two cents here. I am 55 years of age. I say this because my custom bobber which looks like the best bad ass bike on the road is a miserable ride after 30 miles or so of hardtail drag-bar back-breaking ride. On the other hand, my Street Glide is fun 200 miles into the day of riding. I love having tunes so much I just upgraded the sound system. Anyway — it’s all good. But, over time, the riding experience really matters if you love motorcycling.

    That said, If somebody wants to ride a chopper, god bless him (or her). They look great and they are fun from bar to bar. But for us middle-aged men who plan to ride (and not pose), I like having a place for my jacket and chaps and I like riding 100 – 120 miles to lunch and back.

    And guys, I say hello to anybody on two wheels. It is all part of our hobby and lifestyle. Ride on brothers. See you on the road or standing next to your fine looking chopper at the bars. It really is all good. (Dreaming of riding in Maryland when the second blizzard is cleared.)

  24. 24 Cade Feb 13th, 2010 at 8:59 am

    stella blue ,
    your talking jap crap. Bet you also drive a Toyota.

  25. 25 Woody Feb 13th, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Careful there, pretty soon folks will be pointing to Harleys and saying, “I see you ride China crap”.
    That bike isn’t for me, but I think they are doing what they thing will sell. better than doing nothing and waiting for Obama to send a check like some banks and realtors. If I had an extra $20k for another bike I’d probably pick up 2 used late-model Harleys 😉
    I’m 54 and I don’t think that bike was targeting my demographics anyway, so saying I wouldn’t buy it may mean they are doing the right thing, hee, hee.

  26. 26 Peebo Feb 13th, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Unless you had the experience to truly compare, then your opinion about a Big Dog is, well, nothing but an opinion. Some of you guys are questioning ride quality, or comparing power and styling to a …. can’t even say it… a Honda Furby?! I’ve owned all major brands of motorcyles, and I am now the PROUD owner of a Big Dog. These bikes are comfortable to ride. You guys, yound and old, who think these things ride rough have obviously never ridden one. The BDM’s are VERY balanced and VERY comfortable to ride, even for long distances! And the power, well, nothing but amazing! Cookie cutter?…Baloney! Many companies have tried to copy BDM and most all have failed. I wouldn’t even consider the Furby a copy, a wannabe, or even a reasonable facsimile. And as far as the price, you need to understand what you’re getting here to understand the price…and I think it’s an excellent price for this new bike! And for you guys wishing for BDM to go out of business, are you guys Americans? You should hope all American owned companies prosper! So before you posers start throwing around your half-wit opinions about BDM, go out and ride one…you may never get the grin off of your face!!!

  27. 27 Jim C Feb 13th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Todd and Peebo,glad you guys stood up and told us what you think after riding BDM. Most guys who are expressing have never ridden one. I hope that BDM does well with these. The problem will be that it will drive the prices down on the more expensive bikes utilizing more expensive parts-there is a difference. A lot of people don’t know the difference though it is up to the saleman to point out the difference to the prospective buyers. I am not a dealer for BDM but I wouldn’t mind being one if the floor plans,ect were right. I have seen way too many dealers go down the tubes in part because of their floorplan and getting bikes shoved down their throats. Saxon is also trying to bring a less expensive bike to market that is also built with quality components.
    I hope that the worst is over and we are are on the other side of the swing. I am thankful to still be among the standing. Of course I have not made a dime in over a year but at least I am still around and looking forward to the new year. I for one need to look at BDM’s dealer program and see whether or not it might work for us.

  28. 28 doc Feb 13th, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Wife and I have been riding Big Dogs for a decade. Have also had FJR, FZ1,and Harleys. We both ride and have settled on BD as the most fun for us and that is what it is all about. Bikes are toys for most of us and should be fun. We have found BD to be responsive to any problems and think there is great value in our a Big Dog motorcycles. The Chopper is synonomous with Big Dog.

  29. 29 bikerspaceman Feb 13th, 2010 at 11:09 am

    hey KillBill,
    You spelled my name wrong! Other than that, I’m doin fine, getting the bike ready for riding, in the process of fabricating some new exhausts. It’s good to be an ex employee, Now I don’t have to feel any responsibility for the low quality crap the factory is trying to shove down the consumers throat. It’s funny that the company couldn’t build a Pitbull for under $20,000 and now they have a Chopper for $21,000. They must be purging inventory! I’m surprised that they still have enough people on the payroll to even build a bike! Power to em!

  30. 30 biker Feb 13th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I went threw the comments, You guys ever hear of credit unions they have and do lend money.
    The problem with the buying market is there is no buying market the consumer is blind running scared to spend any money. We have to go out and buy to turn this market around,
    I am a Bigdog Dealer and have bben for some time. I only had one person that had a decent credit score to get turned down the rest of you didnt even try, get off the porch. And Bobbers are for people with fused spines or no brains like Bikerspaceman.

    Bigdog Motorcycles the bike looks great and I would buy it, good job Bigdog way to go.
    BikerSpaceMan you sound like a wounded pup maybe if you had done a better job at the factory you would still have your job cause I hear they only let the lame employees go.

  31. 31 Steve Kelly Feb 13th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Want to keep a good few grand in your pocket and get a better looking motorcycle? Then go to Lightning Rod Motorcycles for your off-the-shelf custom bike. That said, I’ve liked every Big Dog motorcycle I’ve ridden, and wish them every success with this new model.

  32. 32 Bobfather Feb 13th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I think they’re making an attempt. I’m still baffled as to where they think the market is headed. I build 26 different models myself and still think most riders are looking for a bike they can put a passenger on, ride anywhere they want to and in comfort. Take a look at which models HD is selling. Baggers and rubber mounts. We’re in the process of re-vamping our entire line to reflect better pricing and better value we’re getting from our major parts suppliers.
    Would I sell it? No. I’d rather build my own. Is it the best value? Not for me personally. If I were a customer I’d want something more versatile to ride on a daily basis.

  33. 33 eric Feb 13th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    your kidding right,,,, a furby will never compaire to a bdm,, get real.. just ride a big dog then you’ll know…

  34. 34 Aaron Feb 13th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I am the business manager at the number 1 selling Big Dog dealer in the nation. I think that this is a GENIUS idea on Big Dog’s part. Just like it was said before, Big Dog are hot rods. They might be a little more quirky but go ride a BAD custom sometime (not name dropping, there are some terrible ones out there though) and then ride a Dog and see the difference. Does a Dog vibrate? yes! Does a Dog make engine noise? yes! Could you ride one a long distance or in the mountains? who wants to see pics of me dragging pegs off a 330mm tired Ridgeback on a local mountain? My point is this guys. There needs to be a quality custom bike on the market. If Big Dog wasn’t here, every fly by night garage monkey would be trying to put bikes out to fill the niche. With BDM you get a 2 year warranty, no questions asked. I have had Dogs traded in with 30K plus miles that STILL run like new. It’s all about how you take care of the bike. If you haven’t ridden one in a local setting, like a bike night, then take one out. Hell if you are an absolute hater of the bikes, come to Ringgold, GA., jump on one of ours and ride down to the Nightfall Concert series with us when it warms up. After seeing everyone’s reaction to the bikes, then tell me they suck. Oh and if you still want to whine about quality and refinement, we sell Victory too so that should silence any issues that you have. 😉

  35. 35 bikerspaceman Feb 13th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I don’t ride a bobber. As far as brains, I ran the engine department for 4 years, Was tech support for three years, and was the senior test tech for two years. What have you done? You obviously know about my surgery but wtf do you know about motorcycles? I lectured at the annual tech summit for 4 years on topics such as trouble shooting and Early model electrical diagnostics (before the current EHC was introduced). I tried to get fork bushing wear issues on the chopper and ridgeback addressed ( the lower fork bushing will errode the aluminum in the bore of the lower leg), as well as frame flex on the Ridgeback. How about the lower neck bearing that bind up on any of the bikes with long front ends The lower bearing inner race doesn’t rotate with the fork stem like it should which is evident by the scoring that occurs on the internal fork stop plate that mounts tio the lower triple tree. That’s been an issue since the chopper first came out. I wasn’t the guy with no brains that had the fork stem/ bearing clearance increased to make the front ends quicker to install on the assembly line. At least my comments are about the bikes, not the people

  36. 36 stephen Feb 13th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Interesting comments regarding the Honda Fury and the Big Dog. I think the big dog looks great, good price and if it is the same quality as other big dogs I’m sure it will be fine.

    As to the Fury, well I have one and I have a home built chopper with an Ultima 127 cube V-Twin, very similar to this big dog and the K9 except I have a 250 rear. The Honda is a great bike, it is the best bike I have ever ridden period. It has plenty of power and if you don’t think so then go and ride it or shut up. The Honda handles well, rides well and does not overheat in rush hour traffic in a Sydney summer. Not to forget the largest dealer network in Australia.

    If I am going to ride from Sydney to Brisbane (about 1100 KM) and I do twice a year, then I’m taking the Honda because if I break down there is a Honda dealer in every big country town and if they don’t have the parts in stock it’s overnight from Melbourne. Honda are good like that.

    So for all you arm chair experts stop bagging Big Dog and Honda and get out there and ride. If you don’t ride then get off this blog. Both are good brands, OK.

  37. 37 Kber45 Feb 13th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Big dog…..makes me laugh! I can’t believe anyone buys this crap.

  38. 38 Buell 1 Feb 13th, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    This bike looks like the company is making sound decisions to move away from the balance drive system.

    Most customers would like a compensator on there bike and the handle bars to not vibrate at over 150 G forces. How will they build them. The Wichita Eagle reported the company went from 340 employees to less than 20. The best improvement would be 12 volts in the handle bars like a bike should be.

  39. 39 Dan Feb 13th, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Kber45, why in the world would you like to see Big Dog go under? It’s an American company building American motorcycles and it’s run by an American businessman. Even if you did not like the Big Dog line up of bikes, you are wishing the demise of an American company that is employing people. What is wrong with you? Can I ask what brand of motorcycle you ride or are you just on here hating Big Dog? I for one like the new model chopper and hope that it brings tons of sales to the dealers that are trying to survive these poor economic times. I hate to see an American business close their doors for any reason. I am an American, I like American built motorcycles. I have owned several Harleys and Big Dogs. If you Kber45 do not like anything about Big Dogs then that’s your opinion but to call them crap and wish to see the factory shut down is just wrong.

  40. 40 Chili Feb 13th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    trent reker said:
    Feb 13th, 2010 at 1:15 am
    okay, let me get this straight. 20 grand for a big, fat, overblown motor in a frame with a neck rake that makes it impossible to ride my usual route of surface streets from my house to my favorite bar and back?

    it looks like everything i’ve seen everywhere for the past decade so it must be cool! it gets shitty mileage but i don’t care. i ride 500 miles a year. disposable income, indeed.

    seriously. how many of you ride big dogs more than 500 miles a year? say it right here. ridden more than 50 miles in one day on one? say that, too.

    this is a great idea from BDM factory,

  41. 41 stlmikie Feb 13th, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    I dig the bike. I wish they would come out with a budget bobber as well. God bless and I hope they pull it out!

  42. 42 outdoorsman Feb 13th, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    ok…… I keep hearing these bikes are crap,junk,ect I have 15,000mi on my bike and I live in WI so I can only ride 8 maybe 9mo of the yr my bike is a yr and half old. problems I guess these bikes have them… but the people that are saying they have problems dont and cant (prolly cuz their wives wont let them own one!!) I guess I have had a problem my headlight blew….darn that sux. anyway I have riddin ALL day and even wanted to ride longer than my harley buddies. Im sure and I know there are MUCH more comfortable bikes out there and to each there own, I still look at newer bike and think they are cool, there is a reason they make soooooo many different brands/makes of bikes its so everybody can get what they want. and I totally agree with dan thanks to all who give their all!!!

  43. 43 Chihuasbigdog Feb 13th, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    ill be applauding any attempt of any company to pull it out, but being a PROUD BIG DOG OWNER I ll join the celebration on this one!!!!

  44. 44 Cade Feb 14th, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Who cares if you ride a home built chopper with an Ultima 127 cube V-Twin.
    With the Big Dog the money stays in the US and with the jap crap the money goes to japan.
    stephen= poser

  45. 45 Fredp Feb 14th, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    My only thoughts on these manufacturers coming out with a “lower end priced” motorcycle (Big Dog, Big Bear) is what the effect is in moving their higher end products still sitting with dealers or reordering the “higher end” bikes from them in the future. I would think this hurts a manufacturer in the long run on NADA/Kelly resales book.
    Any thoughts on this, guys?

  46. 46 Dave Blevins Feb 14th, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Fred P,
    A good point… unlike an auto maker such as GM, the Chevette does not affect the NADA of a Cadillac even though they are made by the same company. The models are very different.
    However in the case of Big Dog, introducing a low cost model that is very similar to the higher priced models within the product line might cause a value differential (sticker shock) that makes the more expensive bikes hard to move.
    It still is better to sell some motorcycles at a lesser profit, than to sell no motorcycles at all, which brings me back to my original comment that I think this is a good idea for Big Dog.
    While I still don’t really like production customs such as Big Dog, they are an American company so good for them, and I make no apology for disliking the Honda Fury… I think it is ugly and I just don’t understand anyone (an American anyways) wanting to buy a bad copy of what is distinctly a product of American culture.
    Just cheapens the whole experience in my opinion.

  47. 47 Doc Robinson Feb 14th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    As a bike journo I’ve test ridden several of the Big Bear bikes, including spending a week on one putting considerable miles on one around SoCal/Arizona, not just around the block. I like ’em and the fact that BBC use quality American products such as S&S, Baker Drivetrain, Wire Plus etc.
    FredP and Dave Blevins both raise the issue of whether releasing a budget priced model is likely to have an adverse affect on the sales/resale value of their high end models and it is a good point to consider. Obviously both Big Dog and Kevin Alsop are well aware of this possibility and no doubt feel that likelyhood of this happening is worth the risk to get their ‘base’ models selling out there. Only time will tell. However, I spent some time on a BBC Bear Bones bike last week and I feel that the guys who will buy it are real riders who want a chopper that goes like stink and that you can wash and put away wet. Flat black paint and raw aluminum don’t need much care and look mega tough. As for trying to make a Bear Bones look like a top end BBC chopper, it would cost a truckload of money for chroming, polishing and so on. I think it is distinctive enough to not be a worry and I reckon both BBC and Big Dog are on to a good thing with these price points. One last word and it comes from Sugar Bear – re the choppers versus bobbers thing: “A short bike with a Sportster tank and a flat fender is not a ‘bobber’ – it’s just a short chop”. Sorry Dar …

  48. 48 Stephen Feb 14th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    The point of mentioning that I had both a home built chopper and a Honda Fury is to illustrate that I can comment on both Jap and US custom style bikes. Yes I have a 127 cube motor so what, Ultima had a special deal any motor 100 to 127 cube for the same price. The 127 has a much higher resale value so I got it. I built my bike in my garage and it took me a year to finish. So building my own makes me a poser does it? I doubt other riders who built their own bikes would consider doing the hard yards at night and on weekends in their garage posing.
    So Cade what have you built???? OK The Big Dog = made in USA, Fury = made in Japan and my Chopper = made in Australia. Using your logic my home built bike is crap because the money stays in Australia…….. HMM I don’t think so.

    I have no time for people who bash good bikes where ever they come from. I like US bikes but I also like my Honda Fury. It was some of the folk here who felt the need to start bad mouthing the Fury. If you read my post carefully you would see that I was standing up for the Big Dog…as well as the Fury. A good bike is a good bike no matter where it comes form.

  49. 49 RamJetter Feb 15th, 2010 at 12:41 am

    For the record in 2004 Honda Motorcycles Corporate based in southern California bought two 2004 Big Dog Motorcycle Choppers from the local Santa Ana based dealership.
    After five years, it is no wonder that the Honda Fury resembles the BDM Chopper.

    Quite flattering I would say for a young Kansas based manufacture to drive a major multi-million dollar company to realize that they are missing a market that BDM captured.

    They saved copies of the checks.

  50. 50 stephen Feb 15th, 2010 at 7:18 am

    RamJetter is on to something.
    In all the marketing blurb about the Fury they make no secret that it was designed in California. Now what were the anti Honda people saying? That’s right the Fury is ugly. Ugly only because they thought is was designed in Japan and not the USA.

  51. 51 Northeast Beast Feb 15th, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Sounds alot like the Ironhorse story. Didn’t they come out with a couple of low priced bikes before they went under? Too Little. Too Late!

    This bike is the same chopper that they started building in 2003 and quit building in 2007 because it wouldn’t sell. Do they think lowering the price and putting a smaller motor in it will make it any better? I doubt it.

    I hope they do a little better building the chopper frames this time as well. I have a chopper that they recalled and “fixed” the frame. Now the frame is broke right where they fixed it. I sure as hell won’t send it back to the factory this time for a fix. They don’t have anyone there to fix it right this time. (Not that they fixed it right the first time) I’m sure my bike isn’t the only one that came apart again. I spoke with several frame builders and they said Big Dog should have known that they would have come apart again by adding that much heat to the area that they “fixed”. The last time they recalled all of the choppers, it cost millions. I don’t think Sheldon has the money to do it again.

    Good luck. I will not buy another one. I think the public has read the writing on the wall as well. Big Dogs days are numbered. I don’t want to see an American Company go down, but face the facts, Sheldon Coleman has ran the public confidence into the ground by taking too many short cuts on the quality of the bikes.

    From what I’m hearing, he should probably be treating his dealers better as well. Not just the ones that are selling bikes. Good Luck to all of them. I still need to get my bike serviced once Big Dog is gone.

    R.I.P. Big Dog Motorcycles

  52. 52 rough rider Feb 15th, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Big Dog needs to concentrate on fixing there mechanical and electrical problems to keep what customers they have left before introducing any other trash bikes on the market, I’ve seen to many big dog owners not being able to ride because of problems with electrical and more. They don’t stand behind there warrantee work, and it’s all about money, as far as I’m concerned they should close the doors, enough is enough already, either shit or get off the pot…

  53. 53 Vrodder Feb 15th, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Talk is cheap everyone. The bottom line is who is going to buy it or get a loan for it? Also Big Dog is suffering from the same problem all the other bike companies have… a cheap used market.

    Who is buying a new bike right now? The used market is plentiful and extremely well priced. This bike is at least 2 years too late. I honestly don’t see how they are going to make it. They would have been better off with a super custom bagger at $22 – $25k.

    Oh to Todd who hasn’t had any issues with his BD, you are fortunate. I had a 2001 Prosport that Big Dog bought back from me due to impending Lemon Law action. 30 of the first 45 days of ownership were spent at the dealer for repairs… oil leaks, starter issues, parts vibrating loose (this was a rubber mount bike to boot), and my fuel reserve wouldn’t work on the bike. I never rode the bike when it didn’t have a problem or came back with one. Worst ownership experience of my life. I will give them credit that they took the POS back, but they depreciated it 10% for the 2,000 miles i was able to get on the bike between repairs.

    This is just slow death in my opinion.

  54. 54 tom Feb 15th, 2010 at 11:32 am

    i liked the look of the older Big Dogs and like the looks of rhis one too! i`d buy one….matter of fact, think i will!!!

  55. 55 Northeast Beast Feb 15th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    To those of you that keep bringing up the fact that Big Dog is a “US Company”, I agree that you should buy American, but a “Turd” built in the USA is still a “Turd”. You can scream built in the USA all day, but if the product is junk, I wouldn’t want to put the USA label on it. I’m sure there are a few people out there that love their bikes. When you build as many as they did, there will be happy customers. I would bet the majority of them are very unhappy with the quality of their bikes for the amount of money they spent. If they are happy with their bikes, it is probably the local dealer that made them happy, not Big Dog. My dealer went out of busines several months ago, I went directly to Big Dog in Wichita and got nothing but excuses and runaround. It wasn’t until I went to another dealer that was 200 miles away before I got any kind of service.

  56. 56 Gene Feb 15th, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    BDM is an American company, however this bike is less an “American” bike than a Honda or Toyota built in the USA, at least these cars have some parts that do not come direct from overseas. Wait till this bike hits the show rooms and people start to post what parts are overseas and what are American made. You could probably fine 90% of this bike in an “Unnamed” Taiwan company catalog and build it for 40% less. As stated it looks like the 2004 Chopper, why do you think it is so much cheaper, it is not because BDM is making less money on the bike.

  57. 57 just my opinion Feb 15th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Some of you guys are comparing the Big Dog chopper to the new Honda Fury. I have riden both and can tell you that they are both great bikes but they are totally different bikes as well. Comparing the two is like comparing a good hamburger and a good steak. They both are beef, they both taste good, they will both fill you up but they are totally different. The big Dog has much more power, it has metel fenders, it is a Hot Rod as stated above. But the Fury is also a great bike it cost eight thousand less but you do see it in the quality, the fenders are plastic in fact most of the chrome on the fury is plastic but it rides and handles well and has plenty power for most people. But as for the big Dog it truely is a great bike for twenty thousand and would be hard to beat for the price.

  58. 58 Buell 1 Feb 15th, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I would like to correct the statements made by “Northeast Beast”

    The last year Big Dog used the conventional H-D style primary and not the Balance Drive system was 2004.
    I personally would not own a Balance drive system. I personally know all the problems it has.
    (This bike is the same chopper that they started building in 2003 and quit building in 2007 because it wouldn’t sell. ) Not Correct

    The frame recall in 2003 was for the Rolling Thunder frames ONLY. Big Dog used two frame manufactures that year Daytec and Rolling Thunder. Big Dog lost millions on the rolling Thunder frame recall. The result was Big Dog purchased robotic welders and started making most of there frames in house in Wichita Kansas. They purchased Daytec frames on a limited basis.
    ( hope they do a little better building the chopper frames this time as well) “Big Dog added a brace and did not repair and cracked frames”.

  59. 59 blackdog Feb 15th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    As somebody who has sold Big Dog Motorcycles for the last 8 years, I’m not sure I getting my bikes from the same place as all these “problem bikes” I keep hearing about. I certainlly agree that there were problems from 04 thru 06 with electrics but I honestly contend these were worked out and since 07 the bikes I have sold have had few issues. I have lived thru the bad times and I am not aware of any warranty Big Dog has not stood behind, many they they shouldn’t have fixed. I’ve got the computor readouts that show who has abused their bike and who hasn’t. I would like to see the readout on the bikes some of these “haters” are talking about.

    What was the old saying ” I’d rather push my Harley than ride a Honda “. Enough said.

    Good Luck to Sheldon and all the crew.

  60. 60 D.Davis Feb 15th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Bike looks good.

    I really have some good memories of tooling around w/ the first Big Dog Chopper during Summer of 2002, as I remember it was Black w/ the Blue Mastiff fender on it. It was always a very enjoyable ride with its seating position and nice on the Highway with the Headlight and Tank acting to block the wind a little bit better at 80+ (Right before you had to pay attention to keeping your feet on the pegs if you were wearing Jeans). Made little kids jump for joy, and always got thumbs up. It was the best.

    I’d probably buy a 2004 Chopper here in the next couple years as finances settle down. The 2004 was the year to have, with the Proprietary Air Cleaner/Coil Cover/Controls and still had a pretty good clutch with minimal lever effort. Really nice motorcycle.

    Looks like this 2010 Chopper will be a nice thematic upgrade, with the Right Hand Drive and the Benefits it brings. I just hope it helps Devalue the previous Choppers also, for us bargain hunters.

    Little disappointing about loosing the Balanced Drive and Hand Controls as they are Brand Identifiers for BDM Products. I can understand that Economy of Scale makes it better to use Industry-Standard parts though.

    Good to see some projects and products still coming out of BDM World Headquarters.

  61. 61 Curt! Feb 15th, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    blackdog “What was the old saying ” I’d rather push my Harley than ride a Honda “. Enough said.”

    Hate to break it to ya’, but Big Dogs are not Harleys.

    We’ve got a lot of Big Dogs around here, being from Kansas and all. I have never met anyone that was unhappy with theirs. Some have had warranty issues, but I think they’ve taken care of their customers pretty well.

  62. 62 Curt! Feb 15th, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Oh, Yea.

    I’d rather push my Harley than ride a Honda.

    Oh the shame that my son rides a Kawasaki.

  63. 63 Mikey Feb 16th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks Big Dog for listening to our customers!

  64. 64 Bike Lover Feb 16th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    If Sheldon Coleman would have come off of his high horse and built a lower priced bike several years ago, lots and lots of good and talented employees would not have lost their jobs. He also turned a blind eye for years to many of the issues his bikes had because he was only worried about QUANTITY and not quality!!!! Believe me, I had a front row seat!

  65. 65 Low Down Feb 17th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    trent reker,

    I have owned more than one Big Dog, and they ride and handle better than Harleys I have ridden. I ride my Ridgeback 400 miles to Daytona every year. Anything less than a 100-150 mile ride isn’t a ride. This new Chopper Rides and handles better thamn most production bikes on the market by far.

  66. 66 Low Down Feb 17th, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Bike Lover,

    Actually, it wasn’t Colemans (or BDM’s) fault that all those employees lost their jobs, it was because so many guys bought bikes, Big Dogs and Harleys, that they borrowed against their homes to get and couldn’t afford to buy in the first place. Then they handed their homes back to the back, sold their bikes for half that they were worth and now NOBODY can get a loan for a bike even with a 700-800 score!!!

    It isn’t BDM’s fault that those jobs were lost!

  67. 67 Bike Lover Feb 17th, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    What you said goes partly with that quantity and not quality thing that I wrote about. When the economy was still going good, Sheldon got greedy and was building 25 bikes a day resulting in the Big Dog’s dealers being saturated with inventory. When the economy did start to dive and sales slowed down, many of the dealers had so much inventory that they were selling new bikes for less than what you could buy a used one for. In the mean time, Sheldon kept raising the prices of the new year’s models. This resulted in many dealers closing their doors. If the greed had not have been there and the production would have stayed at a much lower, steady stream a lot of Big Dog’s problems could have been averted.

  68. 68 Yours Truly! Feb 17th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Do they not remember the look of the AIH choppers?? Looks just like them mixed with some parts from the early 2000s but with a new paintjob… I don’t see much hope for the future of BD

  69. 69 DAHAMMER Feb 18th, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I have been a big dog dealer in the past and am going to be one again here in the near future and as a dealer of h-d and big dog i have found that even if the bike breaks the dog haus takes care!!.As far as “ride-ability “the bikes are excellent for the long haul or short hop and if you grow some balls even unimproved road conditions are not a problem .I have put thousands of miles on my dogs without any sort of major problems and my Harley’s as well
    i have ridden most any bike you so called riders and haters have and all of those are better than what ever jap crap you ride .My K-9 was by far the best preforming bike, riding and great looking of any of the 5dozen or so bikes that i have owned .(none of which were made overseas). In short people that have so much negative crap to say about a truly all American company probably never even rode one!!! If you owned the bike maybe your bull shit might hold water. But ill bet that your probably some broke dick sidewalk commando who just wishes he could ride or are trying to build some piece of shit in your basement for the last 5 years that will probably never run for another 5 when your done!!! see ya on the road losers!!!
    in short big dog builds one of the finest custom built production bikes in the world and have been doing so longer than anyone in the US bar none!!

  70. 70 Conrad Nicklus Feb 19th, 2010 at 2:46 am


    ….If you owned the bike maybe your bull shit might hold water. But ill bet that your probably some broke dick sidewalk commando who just wishes he could ride or are trying to build some piece of shit in your basement for the last 5 years that will probably never run for another 5 when your done!!! see ya on the road losers!!!….

    I have ridden just about everything out there, now the question is have you rode one of our bikes? Yea probably not, as I had suspected. I would say that the above quote from you is almost a challenge yet at the same time a rude comment…..????…. Anyways, as a Harley dealer I would hope you don’t mix BDM in on the mix, I know for a fact Harley would not allow that as we have had several HD dealers try to carry our bikes and HD would not allow it.

    Conrad Nicklus

  71. 71 Spencer Feb 19th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Buell 1

    The recall did cost a lot of money, both for Big Dog and Rolling Thunder and we sure have taken our licks on it over the years. However,it was both our people and their engineers who designed that model frame and the problems that arose from it. We have admitted fault and accepted blame for our part and it would be nice to see Big Dog do the same. For all the years we made frames for them (2000-2005) the recall was the only time they gave us credit for anything.

  72. 72 OutThereSomewhere Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Conrad, you’d better do some more of your always accurate (in your eyes) investigation. There are a few HD dealers around the country that carry Big Dog. Bergen County HD, Hacienda HD, Ft Worth HD just to name a few.

    You seem the be the expert when it come to the very private financial health of Big Dog but you can’t even make a factual statement about something so public such as the dealers carrying the bikes.

    Go back to your books and managing your bustling bike business!

  73. 73 Jeff Nicklus Feb 24th, 2010 at 12:32 pm



    (1) Conrad has absolutely no ownership position here (Desperado Motorcycles or Jeff Nicklus Customs) so it is not his “bustling bike business”
    (2) Conrad is my Son and works here during his off time from college.
    (3) In reference to your comment about the “Bustling bike business” …. actually we (Desperado Motorcycles ) are doing better, from a business stand point, than we have at anytime in the last two years. We have started rehiring laid off employees (6 to date) and orders have more than tripled in the last two months. No, it isn’t as good as it was once but I would venture to say none of the other big guys are doing any hiring currently.
    (4) Conrad’s opinions or statement of fact(s) are strictly his opinion(s) and his comments are not necessarily the opinion of either myself personally or the corporate position of any my company’s.
    (5) Conrad does build about 10 bikes a year on his own for friends and people who request his bikes.

    Just a bit of information to bring the record straight.

    Over & Out,


  74. 74 Jay Mar 8th, 2010 at 12:28 am

    After owning several H-D’s that looked exactly the same as every other one out there (even after spending thousands in custom parts)
    I made the switch to BDM. Best decision I ever made ZERO problems
    after 5 years of riding. 2700 mile trip to Sturgis in 6 days, no
    issues, and as comfortable as my old springer softail. There is a reason H-D over the last couple years started putting bigger motors,
    6 speed trannys, wider rear tires, and LED lights ect. on their bikes. Anyone thinking about buying one, GO FOR IT! Best bang for the buck.

  75. 75 Tim Mar 12th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I love my NEW 2006 Pit Bull. I got the two year warranty. I spent two years shopping before I put down my money(October 16, 2009). I spent the last two years riding my 1979 650xs to as many bike events as I could find. I bought that bike new as well. It has had electrical problems for the past 28 years that I finally got fixed. I wanted to see what people in my area ride, what kind of riding I liked to do and what turned me on that I could afford. I also wanted to see who would snub me or my old ride before I rolled up on something new.

    No one snubbed me on my old ride. One chick at one bar yelled out as I was kicking my 650 to sart it that’s **cked up. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeverybody else was cool.

    I used turning 50 as an excuse to buy a new toy for myself. This bike came back from a dealer in Amytville New York who went out of business and didn’t sell it.(That is the story anyway.) I looked at the Road King, Yamaha Roadliners(wife) and Wicked Customs out of Florida. I hate wrenching and wanted a warranty.

    This winter was the third worst on record in Kansas. Low temperatures and snow on the ground. I still managed to put 2,500 miles on this winter. Last weekend was the closest to good weather we have had. Took the bike to Cassoday Sunday Breakfast ride 100 miles away. Rode back and still had not had enough saddle time. Spent the rest of the day riding.

    I was worried about saddle time with the rigid frame. Not anymore. The bike is great around town here and even better on all the two lane asphat roads in the Flint Hills.

    How are the others guy’s treating me now that I have a newer bike? Exactly the same man. Yeah I get the “nice bike” at intersections from cagers and look over from the other riders in the parking lot. Okay really it is an attention whore 🙂

    Mostly I am just smiling because I am not at work and I am riding.

  1. 1 Big Dog Motorcycles New $21,000 Chopper at Cyril Huze Blog Pingback on Feb 16th, 2010 at 7:59 pm
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