Big Dog Motorcycles® Announces European Distribution Of 4 Of Its Models

Legends Motorcycle Group GCV, with headquarters and warehousing in Belgium, will be distributing four of Big Dog’s models in Europe: the chopper-styled K-9; the long-and-low Wolf; the stylized Pitbull; and the high-style Coyote.

For a US motorcycles manufacturer it’s not easy and it takes quite a long time to go through the European legislation maze to get all authorizations and modifications required approved to make your models street legal.

I think that it is now several years ago that Sheldon Coleman, founder and CEO of Big Dog Motorcycles, expressed for the first time the desire to enter the European market. The good news is that the exchange rate between the US dollar & the Euro is still favorable for exportation. While completing the certification process, Legends Motorcycle Group has succeeded signing 7 dealers (Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Portugal, and Luxembourg.)

31 Responses to “Big Dog Motorcycles® Announces European Distribution Of 4 Of Its Models”

  1. 1 nicker Jul 7th, 2010 at 9:10 pm


    All the talking heads suggest European Union members are tightening their collective belts.
    Hows the price point for these models compare to those sold here (in constant dollars?)….??


  2. 2 Kurt Kreiz Jul 7th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Nicker. What means constant dollars? The competition of Big Dog in Europe is Harley-Davidson. Both exporting at the same exchange rate, the difference of price between both brands is the same. than in the US. A low dollar versus the euro since many years has advantaged the europeean consumer for all US products they buy (about 30% lower than in 2000) The problem is that the market for Big Dog is very tiny in Europe where Japanese sport bikes overwhelmy have bikers preference. In addition I understand that Big Dog has some difficulties providing US dealers with warranty parts. Something to take in account if you intend to buy a Big Dog in Europe. And you are right, it may be too late for Big Dog because all EU countries are entering a period of austerity, possible recession with consumers beginning to be very worried for their jobs and savings. 5 years late…

  3. 3 Wall Street Guru Jul 7th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Dealers in Italy & Portugal? 2 of the europeean countries (with Greece & Spain) on the brink of economic disaster. If a big bank fails in Europe, it’s a repeat of what we have lived here. Good strategy, Big Dog, but it should have been a plan for year 2000, not 2010. Ask Indian and Saxon how many bikes they sold in Europe. I bet they will never tell you.

  4. 4 Shifter Jul 7th, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Hey Cyril. BD should hire you to save them in Europe. Do you know these people, Legend Motorcycle Group? Their site say that they built 25,000 motorcycles? They don’t say which brand. Strange. Are they going to assemble Big Dogs in Belgium? Sheldon Coleman needs to explain to us and to your europeean readers.

  5. 5 nicker Jul 7th, 2010 at 11:32 pm


    “…What means constant dollars?…”

    Sorry, i’m not an economist, probably used the wrong term….. 🙁

    What i meant was to compare the impact of a purchase in Europe to the impact of a purchase in the US.

    What is the cost to the buyer in terms of every-day buying power.
    How many pounds of butter, loves of bread, gallons of gas…. etc. does it take to make the purchase.


  6. 6 John Jul 8th, 2010 at 4:05 am

    This is the price for the Big Dog K9 in France : €37.727 = $47.750.
    the Wolf : €46.290 = $58.600, the Pitbull : 35580€ = $45.000
    nice bikes but expensive price for a very little market in France.

  7. 7 Jay Jul 8th, 2010 at 6:54 am

    As of today, 1 dollar = 0.7936 Euro.

    It is expected that the us dollar is going to come back to its parity of 1 dollar = 1 euro during the next year or two.

    It means that the prices of the Big Dog bikes above are going to increase by 20% for europeean buyers.
    For example a K9 in Europe will cost a europeean buyer the equivalent of $47750 + 20% = $57,300

    Good luck!

  8. 8 Huh? Jul 8th, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Distribution, yes? But how many models have been SOLD to these dealers. Where’s that number? All this press release suggests is that BDM has dealers named and achieved EU compliance. I suppose the company is just trying to get some positive news out there. I can’t say I blame them. But let us not forget that its website probably has over 80 dealers buying/selling nearly nothing. The same is no doubt true here. More spin.

  9. 9 SideCar Jul 8th, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I know they are just getting started, so only 20+ Big Dogs are on EU soil right now. Production finished 8 to 12 bikes, and they shipped last month, and have already been dispersed to the EU network.

  10. 10 JimC Jul 8th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I hope that Big Dog does well over there. That would mean more people needed here to build bikes and anytime that something like this helps US workers,then I am all for it.

  11. 11 1550tc Jul 8th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Guys what’s a honda fury over in europe.

    Hard to imagine some rich euro white trash shelling out 47k euros for a bdm especially if he reads this blog :)……..cant see him slipping out of an amg 500sl and onto a K9 bdm

    Wall Street Guru the greeks have the only economy broke over there, dumb f–kers want an a socialistic state and dont want to pay tax……….its like their looking for the perfect female, who can suck and blow at the same time 🙂

  12. 12 Terry Mansour Jul 8th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Wish BDM the best but I am very skeptical for all the reasons expressed above by others. In Europe, if you want to buy “America”, you buy a Harley or even a new Indian, but nothing else. Not a Harley clone motorcycle.

  13. 13 martin Jul 8th, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    In my opinion it is the wrong move at the right time ending in the demise of Big Dog……

  14. 14 Roaddawg Jul 8th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Hey I think it is great that Big Dog will be on foreign soil. As previously mentioned, every bike built for sale over there will result in employment here in the U. S. That is a good thing by any standard. And though I don’t understand the dollar to euro conversion as stated here, I do know that the price of Indians, some Harleys and Big Dogs are going to be about the same and depending on model (such as the Coyote), the BDM will be less.

    Combine that with a one of a kind custom look, unmatched by HD or Indian and I think there is a lot of potential for Big Dog overseas. Much like here in the USA, there is always going to be that discriminating rider that wants to deviate from the status quo and that is where Big Dog fills the void. Go anyplace where bikes are parked and you will see several of the same model Harleys, often in the same color, lots of HD clones by Honda, Yamaha, etc. and maybe an Indian, which is a striking resemblance to the HD. Park a Big Dog there and it you will quickly notice that it stands out as a one of a kind. Even if there are more than one, they will be the attention getters, that’s for sure.

    Good luck to BDM in their oversea endeavors!

  15. 15 White House Jul 8th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    BDM overseas endeavors: Thanks to the stimulus package, we can put 0 in “jobs created” and 4 in “jobs saved”

  16. 16 Jeff Reid Jul 8th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I for one would loved to have seen BDM address major failuers in bikes they’ve already sold on this side of the pond to customers like me who can’t ride them due to parts being unable to obtain!!!!

  17. 17 Raymond Jul 8th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    What I think. It doesn’t take more than 1 year to get EU approval. So, it was already too late when BDM made its application for Europe 1 year ago. Now they are in much more trouble here in the US than 1 year ago, didn’t find an investor/partner/etc, can’t support their dealers with warranty parts and during this time get approved for Europe. So, they send PR’s like they already almost conquered the old continet. Sorry, it’s too late because of both BDM financial and Europe economic situation. Selling 20 or 50 BDM in Europe will not solve anything. BDM building bikes when they are ordered from Europe. Are you kidding?

  18. 18 Copper 1 Jul 8th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Lets look at the real picture.
    The Big Dog Factory in the last couple of years has fired 99% of its employees.
    last week they fired the Vice President, Warranty manger, Customer service manager There entire fabrication shop quit. Does this look like a company ready to take over Europe? Should they sell a bike in Europe what person would you call for a warranty problem.

    All this information is listed on this web sight. Just makes you wonder?

  19. 19 John martinez Jul 8th, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Copper 1. Agree 100%. It’s possible that S. Coleman expects, one more time, to attract an investor with this European news. But what investor will put his money in motorcycles? It’s not going to happen. Like others I think it’s way too late by 5 years.

  20. 20 1550tc Jul 8th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Selling 20 or 50 BDM in Europe will not solve anything

    more like loading dealers with 20 or 50 BD’s

    These 2nd gen rich dudes should stick to what they know or just live of their PHD’$

  21. 21 Rider2 Jul 8th, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Copper 1 summarizes the situation very well… selling 30 bikes in Europe to a very unknown company won’t work. In countries where unemployment is over 15% and with limited finance programs for outsiders like BD, I don’t see this happening in a way that it will create jobs back here in the US to build those.
    Pretty much everybody that tried failed: Saxon, Ness, Indian etc… It even took HD a good 10 years to figure this out and they spent millions trying to adapt.
    I deal with Europe everyday. They are not ready for another bike manufacturer selling its stuff at $47,000. And if the potential dealers read this blog, you would think they would look at this twice before ordering even one bike for their showroom.

    Europe is still riding the wave of the bobber. They haven’t even touched the bagger section yet (not like here), mainly because those bikes are too expensive. They sell for around $28,000-$30,000. And people can’t afford it. They sell the crap out of XLs because of the price point.

    I am not sure who did the market research at BD (well, nobody works there anymore) but thinking a $40,000 chopper will sell there is purely stupid. Unless of course, they are going after 0.02% of the HD bikers in Europe that can afford to drop this kind of money and ride the bike 3 times a year.
    However, betting on BD’s survival with “attacking” the European market is probably not the best way to go.

    Wondering who they will fire when this doesn’t work.

  22. 22 Emilio Jul 8th, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Evidently Sheldon Coleman has no knowledge (nor anyone at BDM) of the european market. Typical of an American businessman thinking that his products are going to sell because they are American. So, he finds a distributor and thinks the job is done. The distributor in Belgium takes no risk. BDM takes no risks. So, nothing will happen. I wonder how many countries Sheldon Coleman visited, how many market studies he read, how many dealers he met, how many trade shows in Europe he went to? I bet, zero. Failure.

  23. 23 1550tc Jul 9th, 2010 at 11:37 am


    Typical of an American businessman thinking that his products are going to sell because they are American.

    Works great if your selling Lebron”s new Heat jersey

    Good points you bring up, BDM just seems like a rudeless ship which floated into a new country. How did they last this long?

    I only met Nick M and Paul H, a few times in 04-07 and in trying to deal with them, it was a lil ????……Nasi seemed the only guy with roots back into the bike industry……….BDM seemed like a typical 90% HYPE driven company with a soso product .

  24. 24 maroco Jul 9th, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Big potencial for Europe, E.U already proves that we can work together and do good for people lives.
    But we need more adaptasions in many things, luckely our liders make some progress, and some “mess” to
    offcourse. The World is now more close and it´s very important thing.
    Hope BDM. Portuguese dealers goes at M.C Faro Event, i belive that many bikers (Motards) gone liked very much. For maitenance the dealers are very capable i guess. The price? if i have money i buy a top bike because they are simple beutyfull, i don´t have money i buy a 2ª use bike, and ride it like if it best of the world, and wait for better days.
    We love American bikes hope Americans love ours to.

  25. 25 Jeff Nicklus Jul 9th, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Personally, competitor or not, I wish Big Dog well and I hope this works out for them. This industry doesn’t need any more motorcycle companies failing! It is time for some positive news for a change in this industry and in this economy!

    Over & Out,


  26. 26 bikerspaceman Jul 10th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Since the factory has yet to address current warranty problems let alone have the parts on hand to cover production or warranty (last I saw there were over 93,000 warranty claims since they went to AWS in 2004) Imagine getting a bike fixed in Europe.

  27. 27 1550tc Jul 10th, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    (last I saw there were over 93,000 warranty claims

    at what 2-3?? hrs per claim at what ever door rate $$, they pay dealers, what’s the total approx payout in $$$$

  28. 28 emonat Jul 12th, 2010 at 10:02 am


    Where do get your information – 93,000 warranty claims? You do realize that they’ve only built around 25,000 bikes? It’s one thing to dislike a brand, but it’s absolutely heinous to spread misinformation. Regardless, we’re talking about a company that is trying to stay alive and ultimately keep Americans employed. I for one wish them luck…..

  29. 29 bikerspaceman Jul 12th, 2010 at 10:52 am


    Where do get your information – 93,000 warranty claims? You do realize that they’ve only built around 25,000 bikes? It’s one thing to dislike a brand, but it’s absolutely heinous to spread misinformation. Regardless, we’re talking about a company that is trying to stay alive and ultimately keep Americans employed. I for one wish them luck…..

    I worked for the company. and had access to AWS (Automated Warranty System) that is where the information is. It’s not misinformation if the numbers are correct. BDM went to AWS in 2004 so the total number of warranty claims listed were based on claims generated after implimentation of the new system. Prior to 2004 BDM used a system called “Dog Tracker” and wararnty claims on that system were not transfered to the new system. Any dealer with access to AWS can access this information. Personally, I was proud to work for the company…until quality didn’t seem to matter anymore.

  30. 30 Jeff Nicklus Jul 12th, 2010 at 11:08 am


    I now fully understand why all of my employees sign a “Confidentiality Agreement” as part of our employment process, which I should add we will fully enforce. Maybe, after reading your posts herein, Big Dog should consider following our lead with that subject.

    Over & Out,


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