Exclusive. Big Dog Motorcycles Is Closing.

Another very sad day in the motorcycle industry. Last week I was informed that Big Dog Motorcycles laid off or furloughed a few more workers and that the company would probably close its doors in the next few days. This morning, Big Dog Motorcycles started to call its remaining dealers to inform them that they are done…Big Dog main lender would have already taken over the company. Practically it means that all Big Dog warranties have stopped. Big Dog Motorcycles, LLC, started production in 1994 and it is estimated that since then it has built over 25,000 motorcycles, becoming at one time the world’s largest manufacturer of custom motorcycles. The company surfed the booming years of the motorcycle industry by providing an entire line of chopper motorcycles using S&S engines, 6-speed transmissions, stretched one-piece steel tank, super fat tires, chrome components, steel fenders, and an extensive variety of custom paint colors and graphics. All models were designed and manufactured at the company’s headquarters in Wichita, Kansas. 

Since 2006, like many companies in the motorcycle industry, Big Dog Motorcycles was struggling to adapt to new economic realities. President Sheldon Coleman tried different approaches, shrinking the number of employees by laying off employees or ordering furloughs, trying without success to sell out his business or to find a financial partner, launching a more reasonable priced bare-bone chopper, adapting by proposing a new bagger model, courting the Canadian and European markets, even recently trying to sell rolling chassis on eBay. It was not enough or too late. The disappearance of Big Dog Motorcycles after many of its competitors is the symbol of the end of an era that many call “The Chopper Craze”.

Big Dog Motorcycles now belong to its bank. So, what’s next? Sheldon Coleman is probably going to  try to achieve a new business plan that others in the same situation have tried before him. Launching a new company (for ex. Big Dog Parts) providing to actual owners of Big Dog motorcycles the parts they need to maintain their bikes on the road. For this, Coleman would have first to get from his company ‘s main lender the stock of parts that he has used as collateral for loans. Coleman owns the building across from the current headquarter, ready to be used as a base for such new business. Manufacturing of new parts would follow, which is good news for all Big Dog riders who want to continue to enjoy their bikes. A core of  Big Dog Motorcycles remaining employees will probably be re-hired for the new parts business (to follow…)

163 Responses to “Exclusive. Big Dog Motorcycles Is Closing.”

  1. 1 Gas Man Apr 4th, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    It’s a sad day. From #2 under HD, to this.

    Thanks for helping flush out this news. Glad to have helped how I could.

  2. 2 RKBrent Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Where did all the Big Dogs, American Ironhorse, and other “customs” go? I’m in North Florida and they used to be everywhere. Barely ever see one on the road anymore. Big Dog dying is a nail in the coffin of a over commercialized fad.

  3. 3 Roberto Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    No surprise…Sad.

  4. 4 durgam Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Sad. But proof that evryone needs to adapt. And nobody is secure without evolution of the brand.

  5. 5 Gas Man Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    It’s not a surprise you could see it in it’s slow and painful death. I agree with RKBrent, it’s the final nail. Now even the big boy has fallen. I don’t know if we will ever see $30k biker bling bikes selling in this country again, perhaps no where.

  6. 6 jolee Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    ALL I CAN SAY IS!!!!

  7. 7 LENA FAIRLESS Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:19 pm



  8. 8 2Low Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Jolee. What Obama has to do with Big Bog Motorcycles? LOL. You are out of your mind.

  9. 9 fluke Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I have had some dealings with them this last week or so and I had a strong inkling this was happening.

    Business as usual stopped on the last day of last quarter, March 31st.

    Big Dog didn’t adapt to the new buyers tastes and move faster enough into stronger or emerging markets.

  10. 10 Ed Jungblood Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Blaming this on President Obama is like blaming your neighbor when it rains.

  11. 11 Conrad Nicklus Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Ummm. WOW….. Terrible. Wish they could have held on longer to allow the economy and industry to come back.

  12. 12 666 Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    It is really way too bad !!! These guys gave it their all to try and servive this ec onomic disaster.. They made it longer than most but I am sure this is no consolation to Sheldon and his workers. I wish the very best for each and every one of them. And YES obama does have a lot to do with this along with every other fed politician who stood by watching this once great economy fail

  13. 13 Hawk Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    They didn’t adapt to the changing markets. They were in that fad niche and now it’s gone. You have to wonder how they would have done if they had evolved and built bikes more to the liking of the average rider. Would have been interesting but sad they are gone.

  14. 14 R. Brentwood Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Sheldon Coleman persisted in wanting to be the Bentley of motorcycles and continued to hang on a wrong idea about the custom motorcycle industry. BDM success was based on copying custom builders in a booming economy, attracting RUB’s who wanted a custom on the spot…When Coleman accepted to change just a little bit, it was too late. A lot of “yes men” at Big Dog. But no true designer and no financial resources anymore for new models. The economy is responsible, yes. Coleman too for continuing in the wrong direction for so long.

  15. 15 hungouver Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    guess the honda “fury-ous” with all it’s plastic parts but similar profile and much lower price will benefit?

  16. 16 Paul Aiken Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Sad day indeed.

  17. 17 Donnie Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Cyril. Bravo again for the scoop. But can the next one be good news? RIP Big Dog.

  18. 18 Marc Mazerolle Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Feel bad for the workers, dealers and the owners, I would like to wish good luck to all.
    The industry will never die it will just go back to the way it was before. Choppers and bobbers and all customs will always be cool, they will always be around. I will do my part to make sure the industry stays alive by feed it with new blood!! The next generation of builders!
    I am certain Big Dog and all involved will still be a major part of the industry.

  19. 19 Rebecca Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I really hate to hear this! I hate to hear good friends of mine will be out of jobs. I hope Sheldon can resurrect BDM in some form. BDM has always been a class operation with awesome people running the show.

  20. 20 Ted Apr 4th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Sorry for the people who lost their jobs. But BDM also had some quality problems that contributed to a lack of trust in their product. You can’t cut corners on reliable welds, fastener torque and the correct use of loctite and keep a good reputation. I want my bike safe, not just pretty.

  21. 21 K9 Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    the fact is that the economy turned and the financing did not allow people to buy this type of luxery item. It has VERY little to do with the strategy of Big Dog – they sold a shit load of bikes and have great designs. Could they have used a reasonably priced bagger or bobber or less expensive chopper sooner – maybe but in the end it would not have saved the company.

    If you were at Bike Week this year you would have seen a ton of Big Dogs riding the streets. They are an awesome bike and unfortunately as buyers we will now have one less option in a very small American made bike market.

  22. 22 Pat H Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    This IS a sad day. For being massed produced customs, I believe Big Dog did their best to make a good quality and unique motorcycle. The outlasted all the other big companies, which says alot of good about the company. the HOPE and CHANGE keeps coming.

  23. 23 FISH Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    The problem is that Big Dog was sold as a CUSTOM CHOPPER at a CUSTOM CHOPPER PRICE. when It was a simple manufactured bike of just parts and bolted together just like HARLEY DAVIDSON. If they had a price around a Harley price they would still be in business but they were charging for the times of the chopper fad and people were getting their chopper the same day they were looking at it already made. There was no custom fabrication on those bikes that made them a custom bike in my book. Indian Larry, Jesse James, Billy Lane, Warren Lane, OCC (some of their theme bikes only), Gerry Graves, Cyril Huze, Kendall Johnson, Jesse Rooke, Jerry Covington, Eddie Trotta, Russell Mitchell, Marcus Walz, Ect… I could go on, Those are custom bike builders. If your gonna manufacture bikes then price them as a manufactured bike. Big Dog should have saved for the rainy days. Wonder how Roger Bourget is doing? Hey Cyril, how bout an update on Roger. He builds a nice bike too but also mostly manufactured too.

  24. 24 Conrad Nicklus Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Pat H,

    They haven’t outlasted Desperado.

  25. 25 NortheastBeast Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    He should have done it a long time ago. “What comes around, goes around”


    The Beast

  26. 26 Bigalyts Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Well I have something Positive to say about the sad situation for Big Dog their Dealer Network! !………………………… Anybody out there have any New Current Big Dog Invenbry for Half Price ?

  27. 27 TPEvans Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Sorry to see it end. A round of praise to Mr. Coleman for sticking his neck out and taking the chance. Seriously, I have heard nothing but good things about the man. We need more just like him. He is what many more aspire to be, but under the high tax, government first regime of Obama, raw capitalism is not only not encouraged but punished. Folks that might be the next Mr. Coleman will never see the light of day in this purposeful extended recession.

    And yes, that is what Obama has to do with it.

  28. 28 Big Mike Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    It is very sad. They struggled for quite a while trying to hang on. I feel very fortunate to have a Big Dog in my garage and won’t be letting it go anytime soon.

  29. 29 Scott Long Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    No big suprise, and more to come i am sure .!!

  30. 30 Gas Man Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Sheldon is setting up to open BDM Performance Parts to sell parts to the owners. That is what is next.

  31. 31 Jim Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I owned a Big Dog 2001 Prosport. Biggest (and most expensive) piece of junk I ever rode. 31 of the first 49 days of ownership the bike was at the dealer’s for repairs. It eventually went back under the lemon law. This death spiral started years ago.

    My best to the workers laid off. However I will not miss the company.


  32. 32 The Supreme Team Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Touche’ Conrad Nicklus.
    Still a sad day in the industry, but I concede…adapting, downsizing, and adjusting for the market was/is still key to survival. Corporate mentality, absolute denial as to the state of economy, and the illusion that it may come back quickly enough have led a few to this point.

    I’m sad for the owners of the bikes not being able to have support or warranties for their products. Now is a good time to get really familiar with the location of your local Big Dog service center.

    And TPEvans…so much I could agree with (can’t stand Obama), but so much I could not…half the people that bought Big Dogs and Ironhorses were pulling money off their home equity and buying things they could never afford 10 years ago…predatory lending went beyond just the home finance companies.

    Good luck in your future Mr. Coleman…where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  33. 33 V Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Bad news for the folks at BDM and dealers. Sorry to see this happen. I’ll do what have to, to keep mine runnin.
    Gas you’re right about throwin down $30 G for anything these days. But I have put that in a Harley before and it still wasn’t what I really wanted.

  34. 34 rogue phil Apr 4th, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Verry few people know what it is like to sighn the paychecks, and I aplaud Sheldon for doing it for
    seventeen years. Hind sight is cheap. He created a product that sold, and many jobs both directly
    and indirectly. I know, many of his customers use my product, Thank you Sheldion.

  35. 35 Brenda Fox Apr 4th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Whenever one of our own take a hit it’s a sad day indeed…

    Combining these economic times and liability lawsuits puts any motorcycle manufacture on the radar screen for a bad business cocktail.

    Regardless of the sad outcome, Much respect to Sheldon for holding it together as long as you did, pursuing your dream and simply being a pleasure to deal with.

    The people in the industry are what matter most to me and I embrace where we connect at our passion for two wheels. Sheldon , John Nasi and that one of kind Nick Messer left good boot prints in my path and I always appreciate and wish you the very best.

    Please keep us posted on the BDM Performance Parts.

  36. 36 Evo Al Apr 4th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    This economic down turn has sure taken a toll on all parts of the motorcycle industry.
    With Independent shops and manufacturers folding up in these tuff times.
    I have always had a great admiration for BDM, great bikes and great people to deal with.
    Pretty soon we will have a great choice in heavy cruisers. Witch shade of black do you want your bagger in.

  37. 37 chopmonster66 Apr 4th, 2011 at 3:21 pm


  38. 38 Ally Apr 4th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    II think that BDM was trying to hide the BDM failure by announcing BDM Performance Parts. 2 different companies. BDM is dead and did not assemble 1 bike since last year. So why did they announce 2011 models? Not very honest. No warranty anymore for Big Dog owners. This is the real story. By the way, who got warranty parts from BDM during the last 12 months? Truth is they should have thrown the towel 2/3 years ago. It was already too late. Stupid pride made them continue to hide behind a smoke screen repeating that everything was fine.

  39. 39 mike corbin Apr 4th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    They tried hard and always tried for quality..
    It hurts to see another American Company go down..

  40. 40 Mark Apr 4th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    It’s easy for armchair critics to point to “what went wrong.” But even us working there, although at times frustrating, I truly enjoyed the job and working with Sheldon. BDM was my second favorite job of all time.

    There were always pressures to change styles and types of bikes, but in the end I don’t know that it would have made any difference. I mean, if we’d produced a great cafe racer, would have saved the company? The truth is the US has just experienced (and still is in most ways) the second greated recessions in history (after the crash of ’29). Many many companies have closed in almost every sector. And the most common trait isn’t the product design in those bankrupt companies, it’s company size.

    I did, however, see Obama dressed in full black breaking into the building the other night to steal parts and reset the air pressure regulator… So it IS Obama’s fault!

  41. 41 Pizza Paul Apr 4th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    A former employee just sent me a text, gloating that Sheldon closed the doors. As another former employee, fuck them and all the naysayers. Nick Messer and Sheldon hired me in 2003, which started an amazing journey for me in an at-the-time very vibrant industry. Wonderful career lessons and friendships ensued. I was laid off in one of the many, and left quietly through the warehouse…and was fearful of my personal future all the way home. The economy sucked. The market was competitive. And it was the end of the year. What were the chances. By the grace of God, I received another job within weeks… making Big Dog my SECOND favorite job. I believe, in part, this happened thanks to the experience I gained and the glowing letter of recommendation from a well-respected business leader. Some owners, dealers, employees, vendors, and others can look back and gloat, flip Sheldon off, or whatever their black, bitter heart desires. I say “thank you” for making Big Dog a great part of the motorcycle industry and an opportunity to be immersed in it. I sincerely wish Sheldon, his family, and all who worked at Big Dog the best of luck in their futures.

    Sure, he made mistakes. So did engineering. So did sales. So did marketing. The sad part is none of us can go back and fix it. We all just learn from it in hopes of improving the next part of our journey.

    Now, quit reading the internet. Go ride (it’s springtime!). Find a Pizza Hut, and try the Ultimate Stuffed Crust. It’s a steal at $12.99.

  42. 42 Chief Waldo Apr 4th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    It’s a shame to see an American manufacturer close, but choppers were a fad. Big Dog rode the wave, but this wave’s closed out.

  43. 43 blackdog Apr 4th, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Sad to see it happen. I was a dealer for 8 years and enjoyed most of it. They always treated me well and were a cut above anybody else I dealt with in the industry. A lot of good people and I will miss them, good luck to all.

  44. 44 Rob Campbell Apr 4th, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    My brother-in-law has a Big Dog. Nice bike, really. A real bummer for Big Dog owners, riders, and employees. Seems much good has been said about the man in charge and the business. I suspect he’ll surface again somewhere in the industry that is good for him and folks fortunate enough to work with him.

  45. 45 Five Five Apr 4th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I have nothing but respect for you Mr. Coleman from my perspective you built a great line of custom motorcycles….. I love my Big Dog it’s a daily runner.

  46. 46 chopper john Apr 4th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    had a texas chopper and a big dog pit bull- loved both bikes. Could not believe when I heard AIH went out of business-same w/big dog… who’s next?

  47. 47 v-twin 47 Apr 4th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    This is a said day for the motorcycle industry. I had the privilege to serve as a Manager at Bog Dog for over five years. In the beginning things were great and customers were happy. When the company went to 30 bikes per-day the quality went south. I was overwhelmed with customers requesting there bikes repurchased under the lemon law. The recalls and service bulletins were out of control for the number of bikes manufactured. I would come to work and have 30 phone messages on my answering machine and all of them involved the F-word. Some states have Lemon Laws for motorcycles if you lived in these states and had the days out of service I probably repurchase your bike. I always tried to be professional and courteous with all the un-happy customers.

    I will always have good memories of my co-workers and the wild ride of the Rise and Fall of Big Dog Motorcycles

  48. 48 Clayman Apr 4th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Its like any thing we buy, If you have to many people selling Chocolate Cookies them the price goes down, soon people get sick of chocolate chip and buy Fig newtons, those who continue to make chocolate chip get them on there face.
    Supply what the customer wants, not what you think they want !

    Its sad when any buisness has to close but life is hard, we all complain about buying American then buy the cheapest one we can find, Its our greed that fuels the supply of cheap knockoff stuff.

    As to President Obama’s fault, No one will tell you that if you purchased $1000.00 of every share on the NASDAQ 100 list the day the latest administration took office today you would have $178,000.00 thats around 35% increase.

  49. 49 Jason Apr 4th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    West Coast Choppers,
    Iron Horse,
    Big Dog,

    …am I missing any? There are certainly some talented people that have gone away…but not for good. Everyone on this site (no matter what they ride) has one thing in common…we all have motor oil running through our veins. There werent a million asses for all the seats that were being made but damn there sure has been some talent pass through in front of our eyes in the last 10 years.

    I bet some of the above come back stronger than ever and some will quietly re-enter their lives…but when they look in the mirror there will be no way to erase the lines, the scars and the tattoos EARNED making their own American dream come true…if even for a moment.

    We all have to wake up sometime right?

  50. 50 Nunya Apr 4th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    If you take something that’s totally sub-par, copy it, chrome it and over-price it…Then you have a Harley-Davidson. The question many should be asking is how did the banks get “influenced” into ever loaning the ridiculous amounts some of those bikes sold for ? Just like bogus mortgages, no bank in the world should have been lending $ 30 – 50K to a bunch of dudes wearing Old Spice.

    The big guy in Wisconsin can’t be too far behind, a Dinosaur that seems unable to adapt more than adding and swapping existing parts (in most cases) to make something unique ? Give me a break…

  51. 51 NUB Apr 4th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    RIP Big Dog

  52. 52 bdmridgeback Apr 4th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Sad Day to say the least….

    I have owned 2 Big Dogs and BDM has stood behind them all the way. I can’t say that there is any other manufacturer that would do what BDM did for me under warranty, in the time I owned these two bikes. I hope Coleman can supply parts and maybe, someday come back with a vengance!

    I hate to see an American builder go down like this. It is the americans own fault. I also do work in the auto industry and the American auto market is heading in the same, sorry direction because every damn american thinks they have to go out and buy a Japanese car because they are “Built in America” now!!! It’s pathetic!!!

    RIP…. USA till the end!

  53. 53 666 Apr 4th, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    About the last one standing… Too bad.. These guys gave it their best shot

  54. 54 DJ Apr 4th, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I for one am kinda glad for all the shut downs.. Now we can weed out all the yuppies and RUBS and get back to the basics. Bikes were NEVER a rich mans game. Keeping some broke ass piece of leaking crap running was part of the adventure. I can remember having to steal points out of a farm tractor in a field for my Shovel just to get home. There was not a H-D shop on every corner and you got the color bike they wanted you to have.. Then you painted it. Now with the influx of the Discovery channel biker genre we are dealing with the regulation, laws, and general bullshit that came with allowing these people in our lives. So now sell your scoot and buy a boat and ruin someone else’s life for the next decade or 2. Good riddens. If you are offended by this then you are one of the people I am talking about… Those of you that understand what I am saying.. I will see you in the bar sometime

  55. 55 Harry Apr 4th, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Rick Fairless at Strokers Dallas, the largest Big Dog dealer was interviewed by Dealer News and says that he talked to BDM president Sheldon Coleman. Rick confirms what Cyril wrote. Big Dog is gone for good.

  56. 56 Gremlin62 Apr 4th, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    I worked there for over 10 years. Laid off almost two years ago and was on unemployment for about a year hoping it would turn around for BD. Fortunately Ive found another job but it’s unfortunate that management wasn’t capable of keeping it going. The economy didn’t help matters but there were soooo many internal issues that went without resolve it was only a matter of time before they buried themselves. I had a great time working at the factory. Sad to see all that talent and educated workers go so long with hope that they would get one last paycheck and then get screwed in the end.

  57. 57 Little Dog Apr 4th, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    All warranties ended with BDM being owned by their bank shutting down production. The new Big Dog Performance Parts company, even owned by the same person, will have no legal obligation to honor any warranty. Today, BDM bikes under warranty lost 25% of their poor value. Do you hear some protests?

  58. 58 bigitch Apr 4th, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    buy as many as you can.
    put them in the barn.
    25 years from now pull one out and sell it at Barrett jackson.
    make a fortune cuz if you ride it and it breaks you can fix it being all proprietary parts and such.

  59. 59 Carter Apr 4th, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    That’s pretty good news for Harley & Victory.

  60. 60 Mark Whitrock Apr 4th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Well Well I remember when Harley had to sell to AMF because they were bankrupt, and all we hear is how AMF scewed up everything and made junk right? well that is TOTAL BS and so is some of the crap being said on this blog the truth is AMF save Harley and was responsible for the EVO development, BET YOU DIDNT KNOW THAT, as far as Harley today they dont even come close to the high quality of a Big Dog period….. and if you try to replace all that casted pot metal junk on your Harley to all billit parts you will have more in it then the cost of a Big Dog and you will still suck hind tit next to the looks of a Big Dog not to mention you cant keep up with your little inch black painted motor, over priced? hardly!!!! have you seen the Crap OCC is offering PLEASE!!! by the way Harley is hurting and is in trouble again!

  61. 61 Wayne Apr 4th, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Yes, it is sad to see Big Dog Motorcycles be forced into this move. But it was such a great story to see what was accomplished since old number one in 1994 growing to more than 25000 units this year. Like nearly all of the more than 300 employees of the company, I felt it was not really like a job, but an adventure to be associated with the most exciting brand in the custom motorcycle industry. The dealer network was strong and growing, the factory offered best in class dealer support, and customer service was always at the top of the Sheldon’s agenda.
    Then the economy took the dive, and financing went away. Sales stalled at a rate that no one would have predicted. However, through mid 2010, which is all I can speak to, customer service continued to be a priority even though sales continued to slide. Nearly every owner that I dealt with was pleased with their Big Dog model and proud of its uniqueness compared to other production bikes. So, today could be the end of a great story – or it could be just a chapter in a bigger one that is yet to play itself out. Congratulations Sheldon for all that you have accomplished – so far!

  62. 62 Ronnie Apr 4th, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Interesting to see ex employees contradicting each other about quality of BDM bikes!

  63. 63 E. Valooshun Apr 4th, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    hey Conrad…. comparing his bikes to Big Dog doesn’t make a lot of sense. I love you dad’s bikes, parts and posts….. but the level of production or business scope is very different. I am sure that again, your dads, motorcycles are top notch (as a matter of fact, I am a fan of HIS work) but that is kinda like comparing apples to oranges ain’t it?

    You talk a lot of smack on this board but was just wondering…. what DO YOU actually do, other than talk up your pops, ride his coattails and talk shit. We all respect your pops, but lets get it straight on what you do? Do you build your own bikes, manufacture your own parts, have you earned your own stripes in this industry?

    I know I got off track, but for shits sake, enough dude. Start your own business, pay your dues and then talk smack.

  64. 64 G. Hamilton Apr 4th, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Now you know why one month ago Big Dog refused the $1.1 million tax exemption offred to the company. They knew they would not last long.

  65. 65 Fredp Apr 4th, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    To FISH: Living in Arizona, I have not seen Roger Bourget with the company outings in over 1 1/2 yrs. Was at Arizona Bike Week last week, had a truck at the show, saw only “workers” there.
    I can’t confirm his whereabouts, other than he supposedely opened/opening a bar.restaurant in Colorado with his new wife? but his ex-wife pretty much is the spokesperson/owner of the business. She makes appearances around the valley, with other custom builders like Jim Nasi, John Shoppe.
    Anybody out there can help with some of these “rumors”? Roger did build/design some awesome bikes. Would be good to know how he is doing in life, now.

  66. 66 Del Mar Apr 4th, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I made an internet search on Big Dog Closing. Quite funny to read all other mags struggling, trying to find out your sources to confirm your news. lol. .

  67. 67 Jeff Brandt Apr 4th, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    In 1994 when Coeman started his compny, what was his experience with motorcycles? Anyone knowing the answer

  68. 68 Surfer Dude Apr 4th, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    A very sad time for sure. People can say what they want about the quality of the product but if you ride one you will not be able to wipe off the grin on your face. Sure the early models had a few problems and there were a few “hiccups” along the way to a 17 year ending but in reality it took Harley Davidson about 87 years to stop having issues including a “buy out” of their own until things were regrouped and started again. Maybe thats what BigDog needs……a fresh start or someone to start a product like BigDogs and KEEP IT SIMPLE…! Many of it’s dealers and employees have learned quite a bit from Sheldon and it has shown in some of their other business ventures and how they manage their own business. I for one have owned and still own quite a few different bikes but on Sundays when it is time to ride…….I still whip out the Dog ! Congratulations Sheldon on 17 years and thanks for all the memories.

  69. 69 RUB Apr 4th, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Hey conrad please explain why this bike is 80 K ? at least it comes with free delivery LOL !

    The famous “Bucket of Bones” is FOR SALE!
    Hard to believe but true! The “BOB” Bike can be yours for $80,000.00 OBO USD

  70. 70 Frank Apr 4th, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Oddi cycle for ever

  71. 71 Greg Lange Apr 4th, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    kids…. what can you do? Give them a roof, teach them to read and what do they do? They start crap on chopper sites HAHAHA hey Jeff its time to muzzle that boy

  72. 72 Frank Apr 4th, 2011 at 11:02 pm


  73. 73 Conrad Nicklus Apr 5th, 2011 at 12:51 am

    E. Valooshun , Greg Lange,

    Go do some research I, in fact, DO have my own business in which builds bikes as well as manufactures parts. Better luck next time. So BLAH BLAH BLAH is all you wrote!

  74. 74 Conrad Nicklus Apr 5th, 2011 at 12:53 am


    Ask the owner, not me. I think its sold as well, but I dont pay attention to that end of the business’

  75. 75 Tom Chop Apr 5th, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I`m saddened to hear the bad news of Big Dog Motors closing. From what information that I am able to glean some feel they deserved to close and some feel saddened by yhe event.
    As with any human ventre many factors comprisethe path line for the event. Unfortunately the stars frowned on Sheldon Coleman and his company through this worldwide recession. I am old enough to recall the hard times of the `80s. Believe me these times far exceed those by far. I can only assume that the business climate must be like a shark feeding frenzy when it comes to keeping a custom chopper manufacturing company`s head above water, specially in these unsure times. Many people are struggling to keep a roof over their family`s heads with record mortgage foreclosures and a myriad of other layoffs, plant closings, or businesses running offshore. The FED`s brilliant approach was to give billions of dollars to the banking system in the mistaken hope they would (out of the goodness of their hearts) help-out the people who were in need. Talk about the fox watching the henhouse, I cannot think of anyone worse to have holding the purse strings on those billions of dollars. The only way to secure a loan frm a bank is to prove that you don`t need the money. The money grubbing banks are just sitting on the money. Great idea, FOR THE BANKS. Boy we have some real Einsteins in Congress, don`t we?
    As a biker and a Big Dog owner I am saddened to learn of the demise of what is, or was an imaginative and foreward-thinking custom chopper manufacturer.
    Good Bue BDM – You Will Be Missed!

    Tom Chop

    P.S. I won`t be trading my K9 any time, any reason.

  76. 76 Tom Chop Apr 5th, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Good Bye Big Dog not Bue like I printed in the last thread.

    Tom Chop

  77. 77 JR Apr 5th, 2011 at 1:27 am

    It’s always sad when a business fails but lets be honest here. Big Dog failed because Big dog failed! It wasn’t the economy. It wasn’t the banks. It was Big Dog! When their product failed, they failed. It is truly tragic and will have a long term negative effect on the motorcycle industry . Then again… it’s long term negative effect on the motorcycle industry has been tragic!

  78. 78 Twinpeaks. Apr 5th, 2011 at 4:05 am

    At $50-60K and better per rolling sculpture, it’s no wonder. They rode the wave or rather, tsunami that was caused by Chopper Build Off and OCC on TV. In their wake they leave 1000’s of customers to fend for themselves. I’m surprised it took this long.

  79. 79 fausto Apr 5th, 2011 at 5:55 am

    Hey Frank-how`s it going!

    I remember going to BIg Dog and trying out one of their bikes with a 117ci motor-what a blast!

    It started to speed wobble when you pushed it past 100mph- I guess that was from the chopper stance,
    I think the wind would start taking some weight off the front wheel and would cause the wobble.

    Everyone that worked there was really professional and I could see they were really focused on making sure their customers were really happy.

    Maybe they should`ve taken some business tips from GM, like f$%/king all their customers with their piece of SH$/%T vehicles and then once they had burnt all of their existing customers and no one was buying their crap anymore, they could get the government to save the company with a sh/$%tload of taxpayers money so they could resume the raping and pillaging of unsuspecting consumers once again.

  80. 80 John Williams Apr 5th, 2011 at 5:58 am

    It’s just too bad about everything. A combination of all. But some things made it worse. Obama is heading us into total financial devastation. He wants us there. That’s his goal. Everything else to him is moot. He’s a Socialist-Marxist, ths closest thing you can get to a Communist. If you believe othewise, you have your head in the sand. Correct the mistake. Make Obama a OTP.

  81. 81 Marc Mazerolle Apr 5th, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Wow, amazing comments from everybody!! You gotta love this blog!! After reading everything over, again, I felt the need to say one more thing before moving on with my life.

    Calling this the “end of the Chopper Craze” was bit dramatic, those of us that lived it before the “Craze” started have many many good years of memories of the way it was before. Is the “Craze” over?? Hell no, it just won’t be “mainstream” anymore. Real bikers, real custom bike lovers will still have it, still live it and still pass it on to the generations coming up.


  82. 82 Rick Lossner Apr 5th, 2011 at 6:47 am

    sh*t happens..

    Now, less chance I’ll see any bikes like mine ( ridgeback with a 330 ) … Parts will be avail on the market so there’s no downside to current owners ( assuming you are outside your warranty period)

    HD fanatics may want to be nervous… if the economy doesn’t pick up .. its called… Dominos

  83. 83 92SC Apr 5th, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Nice bike , but made for the lawyer in town. Every fad has its day. Even HD is no longer a bike for the “real rider”.

  84. 84 Danzig Apr 5th, 2011 at 7:19 am

    I just read that BDM called their Big Dog dealer Strokerz Dallas to announce that it’s over. So Cyril’s news are confirmed. RIP Big Dog Motorcycles.

  85. 85 pete waltman Apr 5th, 2011 at 7:54 am

    I dunno what the fuss is………..building a chop was a way you could put YOUR mark onto your bike, by customising it yourself,the way You want it…
    all the big companys, BIG DOG,WCC,OCC whoever, are or at least were selling THERE take on a chop…..mass produced,clones of each other with the paint being about the only differance between them.
    the media made them leg ends (in there own lunchtime) and had you all over,
    making more green folding from the accompaning mechandised shirts,shades and loafers……than from making anyting worth putting on your bike..
    with them gone two things could happen that will be Good in the bike world…
    1) you’ll get out into the garage and build ya own bikes again…and they wont cost $50K
    2) those whe cant build there own bikes will clear off back to the country clubs,Tennis courts and Porsche dealers where they belong and let the bikers have there lifestyle back.

  86. 86 CST Apr 5th, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Pizza Paul – Those of us that know you also know that you wouldn’t eat one of those Pizza’s……….very often 🙂

    I am also one of the former Big Dog employees and for years now I have watched the same couple of dozen people trash BDM on here and over on the unofficial BD group site. Well I was actually out in front of the consumer every day unlike most of the people at the factory and all I have to say to everyone who wants to sh!t talk BDM, Piss Off, up until my last day there out of every 200 people who I would talk to at events only 1 or 2 were negative, the rest either already owned one and wanted another or could hardly wait till they could get one. I got the pleasure of riding a new BD almost every day in every part of the country and no matter where I was at I always got positive comments, people wanting to take pictures etc. I also owned a pretty bad ass HD Road Glide that had way more money sunk into it than a new BD Bagger and never got the looks, comments, stares, questions etc, it was just another Harley that had too much money sunk into it and a voided warranty.

    Working for Sheldon was never really work, we got paid real well to play with motorcycles that other people only dreamed of getting to ride. Sheldon teated us like family I had never had a job that I enjoyed so much and never will unless it’s back at another Sheldon Coleman company. Just like Pizza Paul, I left quietly through the side door one day last year, gathered my stuff and drove away without saying anything, making phone calls to the newspaper or TV stations or posting crap all over the internet. I still have close friends in the company as well as some that are former employees and everyone still considers their time at BD the best non-job we ever had.

    Some people posting here and over at the Non-Official BD group site need to get their facts straight. Especially the former BD owner who spends way to much time (to the point of it being a very unhealthy obsession) trying to find fault in the company and its bikes.

    Pizza Paul – Lets go to Laughlin again, I promis this time I won’t have pnuemonia!!

  87. 87 Patrich Hersch Apr 5th, 2011 at 8:34 am

    CST. Seems like positive comments are also posted. for example yours. You wrote “the unofficial BD group site” is trashing BDM. Why? they are all Big Dog riders! No? What about the former employee of Big dog writing in comments above that he was submerged by calls on unhappy customers filling up his office voice mail 30 a day!). How many bikes BDM had to take back under the lemon law of each state?

  88. 88 killah Apr 5th, 2011 at 9:17 am

    It was good while it lasted. Hats off to sheldon for not pulling the plug a couple years ago. i guess the important thing to remember is a an exceptionally nice, custom, luxiourious, flamboyant vehicle such as a BD should not be available to everyone so readily. Everyone that can afford a Lamborghini cant buy one; there arent enough to go around. Even if you have the money, you are either going to get a used one or get on a waiting list.

    It was a pleasure working at Big Dog; the best job I ever had. I hate to see it go down, but all good things must come to an end. (this is why harley davidson will last forever.) Sheldon, if you read this, Holla @ ya boy! I got some killer ideas from the poor folk’s side of town lol

  89. 89 WILLIE@TROPICALTATTOO Apr 5th, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Thanks to a bad economy ,When are people going to wake up .AMERICA is broke the only new stores opening up in Florida are dollar stores.These where great bikes a little on the pricey side but thanks to a bad economy there will be more to follow sorry folks maybe people will get involved in politics and vote these clown out……………. we need some real change not just words.

  90. 90 Senior Tuttle Apr 5th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I can relate. Good luck Mr. Coleman

  91. 91 CST Apr 5th, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Patrich Hersch – The person I was referring to about trashing BDM at the “Unofficial” site is ONE person, not the entire site. There is a single person who spends an unhealthy amount of time obsessing over BDM and trying to find things wrong with the bikes and the company and they don’t even own one.

    As for the person who is also a former employer with the 30 voicemails involving the “F” bomb, how manoy of those voicemails are being left by the same person multiple times a night every night because he mortgaged his house at 125% of a very inflated value to begin with. Then when the shit hit the fan and he had to tell the wife that they were going to loose the house because he bought a bike he couldn’t afford he’s left with trying to abuse the lemon-law to get BDM to buy back the bike so he can make one more mortgage payment before starting the same shit with the company who sold him the new Hummer, the new boat, the new jet-ski’s and so on. I don’t know haw many bike BD had to take back but I can say that it was a drop in a 55 gallon drum compared to the bikes they sold overall. Usually the person in the wrong is the one that will start calling all hours of the day and night making threats.

  92. 92 Whaddaguy Apr 5th, 2011 at 10:11 am

    All is not lost, folks.

    If you still want to spend obscene amounts of cash on worthless, cookie-cutter iron, there’s still Orange County Choppers and Paul Jr. Designs. Good thing they have all that free realiity show advertising to keep them from failing just like Big Dog.

  93. 93 Rick Lossner Apr 5th, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Always get a kick out of reading these posts… whether its Indian…. or BDM .. or whatever… being thrown under the bus by HD Fanatics or Rat Crap bikes….it’s all the same..

    Funny .. .whenever I pull up in a group of 100 HD’s ( of which 1 or 2 stick out ) …. a group forms around my Big Dog or Indian ….. the gals are salivating , the guys are wishing…. then they all make their way back to their undersized HDs and pat each other on the back..

    Ever wonder Why The F* a guy over 6′ and 250 rides a softail? I do… Hell , even the touring bikes’ are small compared to many customs…… these other bikes fit a niche.. they have a value and always will …
    Ex. My Ridgeback Chopper bits me correctly… while my buddies Softail looks like a minibike… but hey…he’s on an HD 🙂

  94. 94 Nick Messer Apr 5th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    It is the end of an era and I feel very fortunate to have been part of BDM’s history and work with so many great people.
    I have been gone from BDM for several years now but I have tried to maintain my relationships with many of those involved with the company.

    When I first began at BDM we had 12 employees building a few bikes for Sheldon’s friends and no dealer network or customer service.
    My job there began as Sales, Dealer Development, Customer service and test rider. I believe those who are bike manufacturers have had the same job description.
    I also think those who have been in the business can understand the issues involved in trying to be a manufacturer. So let’s not be so quick to judge.

    Within ten years we built a company that had 100 dealers, building up to 30 bikes a day and did $100 million in sales. Not bad work.
    With 300 employees we had 50 people in paint and 19 airbrush artists just trying to keep up with the constant demands of exotic paint work.

    Yes we did make mistakes many of which consisted in quality and designs of exclusive products. We were in too big of hurry to get product out the door.
    I am unaware of any other custom bike builder or manufacturer who has not made the same mistakes, especially during the boom.

    The motorcycle industry is unlike anything I have ever experienced and I have never met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed it.
    Some of the greatest and most interesting people I have ever met are in the Industry and at Big Dog Motorcycles.
    I thank Sheldon for giving me the opportunity and wish him and everyone associated with Big Dog well.

    Take Care,
    Nick Messer

  95. 95 Manny Apr 5th, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Sad to see another moto-venture fold up. Wish best to all affected. Don’t give up & ride often!

  96. 96 1550tc Apr 5th, 2011 at 10:34 am

    CST YOUR JOKING I HOPE………Working for Sheldon was never really work, we got paid real well to play with motorcycles that other people only dreamed of getting to ride.


    was never really work, we got paid real well to play with motorcycles….YOU BRAG ABOUT THAT ??? WOULD NOT SUPRIZE YOU DONT HAVE IT ON YOUR RESUME

    You have to love how success breeds arogance which you guys had lots of BDM and it ran from the top!!! or with Nick!!

    Maybe if you actually worked and played less and took 10 seconds to relaize that BDM rode the pull equity out of home economy, you might have actually built a decent product that you could at least survive and re build the company and brand during tuff times.

    as for the motorcycles that other people only dreamed of getting to ride……YEAH RIGHT like i need a look look at me bike when iam out riding……iam out riding enjoying life…..my ego and dick dont need a 30K boost or extrension!!

    My HD was here before BDM and is going now going to be here long after BDM is gone

    For the guys who blame Obama, get real, and out the crack pipes down for second OK
    you should have taken your 30k BDM money and bought some Ford, Apple stock, sold some last

    CST why dont you and the rest of the BDM guys brag about some of the events and handling issues that happened when you guys tested your bikes???

    and for these comments………….Usually the person in the wrong is the one that will start calling all hours of the day and night making threats.

    I can say that it was a drop in a 55 gallon drum

    Well deal with it and get him out of your hair if its a drop in a 55 gallon drum
    ……..then whats 30K when yourselling 5000 bikes LOL roll the guy over you 1 1/2% bad debt colum LOL and pay him out!!!

  97. 97 Jeff Nicklus Apr 5th, 2011 at 10:36 am

    It is sad that BDM has finally said enough is enough. Throughout the fight to save his company Sheldon has kept his company dealings above board and has inspired his “troops” to keep their heads held high and for that I say, Bravo to Sheldon and everyone at BDM. The closing of BDM is truly an end of an era.

    With that said, I will further say this: I wouldn’t count BDM or Sheldon Coleman out just yet. As Cyril alluded to in his statements, I also believe this is just a momentary “hick up” in the bigger picture. I don’t believe for a minute that we have seen the last of BDM.

    I wish everyone at BDM well and sincerely hope to see you all down the road.

    Over & Out,


  98. 98 Brenda Fox Apr 5th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Nick Messer – U rock.

    And I couldn’t agree more …quoting Nick “Some of the greatest and most interesting people I have ever met are in the Industry and at Big Dog Motorcycles. I thank Sheldon for giving me the opportunity and wish him and everyone associated with Big Dog well.”

    I thank Sheldon for the opportunity too!
    Great people I would never have crossed paths with if It wasn’t for BDM. I AM so lucky to have had the experiences that made for a great ride, memories and laughter.


    ps: I no longer split lanes with anyone from out of state 😮

  99. 99 martin Twofeather Apr 5th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    It’s true,it’s sad and I agree totally with Wazz………..

  100. 100 Cantrell Apr 5th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Cyril, just saw this in the Wichita paper. Thought you might like to
    read it.

    April 5, 2011

    Big Dog Motorcycles in Wichita is ceasing production and converting into a parts manufacturer and distributor, according to sources in the custom motorcycle industry.

    Rick Fairless, whose Texas-based dealership, Strokers Dallas, sells Big Dog motorcycles, on Tuesday confirmed with the WBJ comments he made to Dealernews.com. Fairless says he has spoken with Big Dog owner Sheldon Coleman who told him the bank took over and production has been stopped for good. Coleman plans to create a new business that makes and sells parts to Big Dog owners and dealers, Fairless says.

    Coleman did not immediately return calls seeking comment on Tuesday. Company president Mike Simmons was unavailable to speak.
    Fairless says the news from Coleman wasn’t good, but it wasn’t completely unexpected either. “It was something that you dreaded and hoped the day would never arrive,” he says. “Of all the manufacturers I’ve worked with, none came close to taking care of their dealers like Sheldon Coleman and Big Dog. It’s kind of the end of an era.”

    Questions about Big Dog’s future began swirling Monday after the company confirmed it had furloughed 10 more employees and industry insider Cyril Huze reported that the company was closing its doors. Big Dog’s president, Mike Simmons, told the WBJ on Monday that the business was still open, but he wouldn’t comment on the company’s future. On Tuesday, Huze told the WBJ in an email that he stood by his blog but would not reveal his sources. Fairless says he’s sold two Big Dogs within the last month, as he worked through his remaining inventory.

  101. 101 Patrich Hersch Apr 5th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    When Cyril broke the news I never doubted he was right. He always knows better and sooner. It seems that the Kansas newspapers were confused…by Big Dog!

  102. 102 Scootergirl Apr 5th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    It’s sad how fast we humans attack when someone is down, I have seen animals not get this ignorant. You know I can’t count the business’s that have gone out of business this last two years, really big chains. so how could we attack a company that is still trying to continue to do there best to take care of the few employees they have and customers and dealers, everyone here needs to think how negative this will be. most dealers wont pull thru this. the funds have been pinched for years by the internet shopper, My own customers buy thier products from online from warehouses that have prices I cant touch. So all you who are in attack mode. attack this most of this economy failure is due to your own falling short to suport your own local dealer who in turn couldnt afford to stock the newest inventory needed to keep the manufaturers fed. So yall keep feeding off each other on this ignorant blog. yall keep feeding each other crap. and yes lets continue to buy from other countries lets incourage Harley Davidson to find another country to produce more parts from instead of our own land. Come on stand up and see what we have all done. were quick to B____, but are you getting your tires from your dealer or the warehouse online who dont give a sh__ about you. This is all over bad decisions made by other manufactuers the NADA average retail is set off of HD average repo sell price, We cant trade because of the clean trade is a joke, again thanks HD for suporting we the proud the Americans who suport you. HD is the real reason they made 5 years of loans to people who couldnt afford to buy a pack of chewing gum real credit criminals. All of you get a life and remember this You cant Buy American if its bye America. I have personally met and talked with Mr. Coleman he is a normal human who had a dream, it was a big dream a dream that this internet is still crushing. so again ignorant people on here dont be to quick to attack Mr. Coleman because your job is next.

  103. 103 Scootergirl Apr 5th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Ok if you havent looked around your own neighborhoods, this isnt all Big Dogs fault we buy off the internet, we all look for the cheapest price, we all take our parts to our dealer and ask them to put it on for pennies, If our local dealer can’t afford to stock parts, it is going to effect the manufactuer, Big Dog wasnt the only manufacturer selling to people who couldnt afford the bike, Harley has been doing for years, banks continue to loan credit criminals money for a recreational loan, as long as it is a HD. for the last 2 years getting a loan for anything else is nearly impossible, So you critics keep bashing Big Dog when really its your own fault, did you go into your dealer and demand that you shouldnt have to pay for any repairs or parts due to the fact you paid 30K for your bike. Yes you did. Did you buy your parts online when you needed to suport your local dealer, Yes You Did. Did you demand to get a discount on your bike in turn getting you a really great deal but where did that leave the dealer who is now without a brand. So when its time for a part and nobody but your dealer knows where it is located expect to pay out wazoo for it. I have been in this business for many years and the crying has continued from the begining. We just lost more American jobs people, and this is going to effect many, you can all look for many dealers to claose over this. It’s never been Big Dogs fault its the its me and my way kind of attitude that this country has. well when this is all over but the crying I hope Jesus rides a Big Dog cause all the others except for Victory has sold out. so where do you see this going, lets see jobless, hungry, homeless, heck we been without insurance for some time now. Keep ordering your parts online and for sure keep letting your buddy who has a real job work on your bike cause it is good for you. but when your buddy cant get the parts boohoo for you.

  104. 104 Don Pershy Apr 5th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Agreed. But you are never going to prevent people, banks and companies of being greedy and forbid internet sales competition. So, find a way to adapt. The business model that you live is obsolete. Just adapt to new times.

  105. 105 1550tc Apr 5th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Cyril you do have some great sources of info…….thanks!

    I think BDM just broke OCC’s and Egypt’s blogs for posts LOL congrats!!

    converting into a parts manufacturer and distributor, according to sources in the custom converting into a parts manufacturer and distributor, according to sources in the custom motorcycle industry.

    WTF now, this sounds the same as what Ridley is or was trying to do?? This industry is very autonomous and people in it have memories like 10 TON elephants
    when they get f—ked over. IMO its going to be a HUGE up hill struggle for this venture!!

  106. 106 Mark Whitrock Apr 5th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    boy all the jealous morons come out and talk shit…… but the truth is they really wish they had their own DOG!!!!! WTF…………

  107. 107 Jester Apr 5th, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    In business a dream is essential. But you need one man to start a businesst, another one to grow it and another one to make it last. I think Coleman was only number one. He needed 2 other top execs to adapt and prosper. He continued the same product without understanding that it will take 10 years to recover from this bad economy, without realizing that his bikes were “marked” year 2000 and born from a fad, without taking advantage of a devaluated dollar and understanding export opportunities. As sad and cynical as it sounds, the market is always right. The bikers market was saying no to Big Bog since 2005 for reason of price and style. What was done different at BDM during the 5 following years? Nothing. No disrespect for Coleman. He had a dream in a good economy. He needs another one for today’s economy.

  108. 108 Ronnie Apr 5th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    1550tc. Yep, it’s Ridley all over again. How Ridley is doing with parts distribution?

  109. 109 rebel Apr 5th, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    on a lighter side, maybe soon i’ll be able to get that electronic harness controller a customers 2004 has been waiting on in the corner for 6 months. sorry for the jobs lost though.

  110. 110 Pratt Apr 5th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    What kind of parts Big Dog is going to sell? Frames, wheels, gas tanks, electronic stuff? Cyril, do you know?

  111. 111 1550tc Apr 5th, 2011 at 4:16 pm


    How Ridley is doing with parts distribution?

    If Jay is reading this and posts on this blog/topic iam sure he will say its not like trying to sell pussy in a mining camp 🙂 or ===== ) ~~ to a nun

    Did anybody notice or know if BDM sold that Roller on ebay??????

  112. 112 RUB Apr 5th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Rick Lossner
    Apr 5th, 2011 at 10:16 am
    Funny .. .whenever I pull up in a group of 100 HD’s ( of which 1 or 2 stick out ) …. a group forms around my Big Dog or Indian ….. the gals are salivating , the guys are wishing…. then they all make their way back to their undersized HDs and pat each other on the back..

    Rick , its about the ride , not what your riding . So if I buy a Big Dog , all bikers will wish they were me ? WOW , I’m gonna look on craigs list and pick up one of those Big Dog K9’s for 9K and be a rock star ! wooo hooo !!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey Rickie do I need to click me boot heels three times and say “all the gals want me and all the guy’s want to be me” before each ride ?

  113. 113 1550tc Apr 5th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    …. a group forms around my Big Dog or Indian …..

    No doubt they do, to see who would pay 25-35K for a bike assembled from the S&S, JP Cycles and CCI parts bin!!!

    the gals are salivating , the guys are wishing….

    WHERE are the gals are salivating , the guys are wishing???????? AROUND YOUR 02 INDIAN SCOUT???

    ONLY PLACE the gals are salivating , the guys are wishing IS ON THE YOU PORN SITE YOUR WATCHING WHILE EATING YOUR CHEETOS!!

  114. 114 Don Shoe Apr 5th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I agree with Big Mike. I feel very fortunate to have one in my garage. No one has any idea what it cost, you could tell them $40K and they would believe it. I think one of the issues for any luxury item like this is resale value. They are worse than a car! Very specialized, only a short number of people who want something this special. Could be worse, you could have actually spent $40K on a Titan! Definetly not a $$$ investment but an emotional one. When my local dealer closed he also had Victory, I really feel sorry for those people! Everything is proprietary, at least with the Dog you can get engine parts from S&S! Nice if some aspects were more interchangable,though. Kinda hate the 1-1/4” handlebars. Also dread any electrical problems, although so far this one has been good. 2002 Wolf was a different story………

  115. 115 D.L. Clementson Apr 5th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    My buddies talked me into rolling my one off “Custom” still in primer into the Custom Bike section of a local biker get together a couple years ago. Only 3 bikes could pass as a custom, mine, a Big Dog and a kids schwinn (built in the garage, no doubt). I voted for the Schwinn and most everyone else voted for the Big Dog.

    Sorry, the Big Dog ain’t no custom but the point being that the buying public back then couldn’t tell the difference and now they don’t count for much because they ain’t got any money to spend.

    Hate to see an endevor go down the toilet but grab you’re saddle bags because this ain’t the end of it. In the 21st Century everyone from the age of 14 on up should have cash to burn from the fruits of their labor, so what the hell went wrong. In one word “GREED”.

    Those in control of this once great nation have let their personal greed for excess destroy the goose that layed the golden egg and I don’t think we can fix the problem peacefully.

    Good luck to all those over at BDM looking for work and it is a sad day when another independant effort at the American Dream goes up in smoke.

  116. 116 Eric Maurer Apr 5th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    I think we can all agree that the clones had their place in motorcycling History. Ultra, Titan, Swift, Big Dog, American Ironhorse, Saxon…. whew, the list goes on. I am sad to see Big Dog go ONLY because it is another American company going out off business due to this crappy economy, but they are not custom choppers. They, just like all the others, are mass produced production motorcycles and that is cool. If you like it, ride it, enjoy it, show it off. Just don’t claim that you built it, thats all.

  117. 117 LouisianaBear Apr 5th, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Sad to hear the news but not unexpected. I’ve owned two Big Dogs – 01 Pitbull and an 06 Chopper. Both beautiful machines but each with it’s own set of problems especially the 06 Chopper. It stayed in the shop most of the time due to parts availability. Up to three months for a speedo replacement. Complete front head rebuild due to manufacturing defects. Glad I sold the Chopper in December and took the advice of the BD dealer when he said “get out of it…quick!” Now what do to with the BDM t-shirts and caps…

    Having owned 8 other Harleys over the years I’m happy with my 08 HD Crossbones and my 08 E-Glide.

  118. 118 MD_Knapp Apr 5th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Another former employee who enjoyed what I did there, the people I worked with, and the product I got to write about. Were there mistakes? Of course, mistakes like wanting the customer to be happy to the point of buying back bikes that had been thrashed beyond belief (try over 5k rev limiter hits on a 2 month old bike). Mistakes like Sheldon giving his people chance after chance, when most employers would have sent them packing. I don’t regret my time @ BDM or my R&D Bulldog (the one with all the goodies) I bought from them AFTER I left the company.

    Every company has people that don’t always get along, it was the same for BDM and I’m sure it’s the same where you work (unless you work alone). To all you internet Rambo’s saying you could have done better, start a company and show the world how it’s done.

  119. 119 El Loco Apr 5th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Sorry to hear about Big Dog. I wish them the best with the parts business.

    I wonder how Big Bear is doing? Has anybody heard anything?

    El Loco.

  120. 120 ray c wheeler Apr 5th, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    R I P Big Dog!
    There goes the neighborhood………

  121. 121 1550tc Apr 5th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    ray c wheeler, after all the BS on these up and out BDM bikes, its refreshing to see your dyna on your site.

    …..my kind of bike……the SOA crew should be brorrowing that bike for the show ASAP……..Jax needs to be on a bike like that 🙂

    Hey Nick you heard this song before??

    Turn out the lights the ride is over they say that all good things must end
    Let’s call it a night the ride is over and tomorrow starts the same old thing again

    What a crazy crazy ride never seen so many people
    Laughin’ dancin’ look at you you’re havin’ fun
    But look at me I’m almost cryin’ but that don’t keep your love from dyin’
    Misery cause for me the ride is over

    Turn out the lights…

    Once I had a love undyin’ I didn’t keep it, wasn’t tryin’
    Life for me was just one ride and then another
    Broke her heart so many times had to have my ride wine
    But one night she said sweetheart the ride’s over

    Turn out the lights…

  122. 122 fluke Apr 6th, 2011 at 12:46 am

    The US market for Big Dog style bikes died a while back, why people like Kevin Alsopp and Saxon have looked to the export market more and more. Big Dog had just 4 bikes available in my home country with the Wolf costing 46,000 euro or 60,000USD with local taxes. Insane pricing. as a comparison the Italian CR&S which also uses an X Wedge engine and Baker gearbox, though while not a chopper, is is a pretty radical custom built to local tastes and has way more proprietary parts, more original design features than any Big Dog ever had and they plan on selling it for 20 to 22,000 euro plus local taxes at approximately 20%.


    With a Big Dog costing double the price with the same US made drive train bolted to cookie cutter mass produced parts any home builder can also buy is it any wonder that they just didn’t have any sales in these tougher economic times.

    Adapt or die.

  123. 123 edeee2 Apr 6th, 2011 at 11:57 am

    It is extremely hard to sell $30,000-$35,000 motorcycles in a $ 4,000 economic market.

    Most if not all parts are over the counter after market items.

    Tiz a sad day in dogtown.

  124. 124 Bleeding Ears Apr 6th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    It will be interesting to see how much longer Indian can hang on.

    I like loud pipes.

  125. 125 WonderDog Apr 6th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    That’s the good side of a downturn in the economy. Most of the crap goes away. Now I’d like to see some of these restuarant chains close down. Good riddance for Blockbuster also.

  126. 126 Sprout Apr 6th, 2011 at 7:57 pm


  127. 127 doc Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    BDM Performance Products Call tomorrow and see for yourself Yes, it continues ala Ridley good luck guys and girls at BDM Performance Products

  128. 128 Rinke Apr 7th, 2011 at 5:01 am

    This is really sad news. Not only because we lost a competitor (competitors are co-building the market) but also a lot of people lost their jobs and a lot of people lost their faith.

    I still believe there is a market for these kind of bikes. A major issue is that there is currently a mismatch between the people who would like to have one and and the price of it (read: what they can afford). In the past it was very easy to get it financed but this changed during the recession. This had also an impact on the people for which the price is no issue, start feeling more uncomfortable in buying and postponing their purchase.

    It is known for a very long time no that the economy goes up and down and up and etc. Some companies accelerate during a blooming economy and other during a recession. Depending on the product, management and luck. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it’s not a regular sinus so we never know exactly upfront when it goes up or down. Consequently it’s limited, and not only by the sky. So when you are booming you know one thing for sure, it will go down one time but you don’t know when, so you have to prepare for it just at that moment when it is least obvious.
    I think the sinus will go up again soon but don’t when and how steep. The only thing I am very confident about, is that the amplitude will be not that high anymore.
    Ouch, long time since a did my maths.

    @Eric Maurer Saxon isn’t gone. The recession slowed us a down too but we’re still spreading our wings.

  129. 129 Stephen Apr 7th, 2011 at 7:07 am

    The current occupant of the white house has much to do with the “Obama Economy” with his Socialist Agenda and anti business policies. What positive things did he do and the Democrat Party do to help business in the USA? Only pass bills that crippled industries,

    I will now look at Indian Motorcycles for my next scoot!

  130. 130 Larry Apr 7th, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Stephen. Can you justify your statement about how Obama crippled small businesses with his new laws?!?!? Watching FAUX NEWS?

  131. 131 james Apr 7th, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Its really sad that we have such chicken shit people that claim to be americans.It’s pretty bad to get your jollies for the down fall of some one else’s demise.As far as RUB you sound like one of those chicken shit people i am referring to.If you ever go to a real biker hang out you won’t last five minutes.I thank every one from Big Dog for the fine bike’s you have built.Good luck

  132. 132 Charlie Lecach Apr 7th, 2011 at 10:04 am

    OK, I admit I haven’t read all of the previous 133 comments, but just for your general information, here’s what we got today at our Freeway Magazine office. Please note that personnaly, I have NO clue on what’s true and what’s not…



    We would like to inform you regarding the latest news on BDM USA.
    You may all seen blogs on the internet with rather less than accurate information in them – or at least not the full story, it is not our normal policy to react on this, but we feel obliged to our appreciated dealers and customers to give some more information.
    Weeks ago BDM announced to its worldwide network of dealers that there was to be a restructuring in many departments within BDM due to the changed market circumstances.
    The plan was to restructure till the end of 2011, and to enter 2012 with the new structure in place.
    However BDM have seen an opportunity to bring this forward and most leaks have not caught
    the facts. The main company has closed their activities for several reasons but created at the same time more responsabilities for the company subsidiaries.
    Big Dog Motorcycles Performance Products will be the subsidiary first to be re-engineerd
    to start manufacturing new and more parts and accessories, which is good news for all Big Dog Motorcycles riders who want to continue to enjoy their bikes.
    A core of Big Dog Motorcycles LLC remaining employees will be probably be re-hired for the new parts business. Also there is still a stock of BDM
    motorcycles for immediate availability. When receiving future orders Big Dog Motorcycles will restart production at the appropriate time.
    It is the absolute intention that BDM will not only continue to be the manufacturers of the worlds
    best selling production custom motorcycles, but will be able to produce more efficiently and better
    able to expand its horizons.

    J. Dewit
    CEO Big Dog Motorcycles Europe

  133. 133 james Apr 7th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I think I may have got the wrong guy it may be tc1550 that i made the last comment to.

  134. 134 james Apr 7th, 2011 at 10:22 am

    any way I just want all the haters of Big Dog that they can all go take a –cking jump!!!!!

  135. 135 Jeff Nicklus Apr 7th, 2011 at 10:53 am


    Ever heard of Obamacare? Just one example of what Stephen is referencing.

    Over & Out,


  136. 136 666 Apr 7th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Jeff, Don ‘t waste any time trying to explain this stuff to Larry. BRAIN DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  137. 137 Danny Apr 7th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    BUY A REAL BIKE…….That’s why you should buy a bike like Honda or Yamaha. (1) you can get parts (2) they last over a thousand miles without any maintenance (3) I don’t need to trailer mine to go some where (4) I don’t need to lock mine up (paranoid) when I get there (5) I don’t look like every other bike on the road.

  138. 138 Cyril Huze Apr 7th, 2011 at 9:20 pm
  139. 139 BillB Apr 8th, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I dont see a big problem with the repair of their bikes. learn to work on them yourself. Hell the motor S&S, baker trans,should be no problems. I dont like to see people losing their jobs. Look back at HD stocks back in 1986 .34 cents. Hell look at GM,Dodge, why dont BDM get Gov. money?

  140. 140 jatinder pal Apr 8th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    End of an era…….bad news.

  141. 141 Steve Apr 14th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I own a 2003 Mastiff and still love it!! Just turned over 15,000 miles (yeah, yeah I’m a weekend rider……4 kids make for a big SUV kid hauler during the week) and only issues it has ever had were ECM-related, and each and every time my dealer had to confer with BDM techs they either resolved the issue or sent a new ECM.

    Sure, it really sucks that the manufacturing end folded, and newer bikes still under warranty probably lost a little value……temporarily…….but hold onto the bike and keep it up……soon the value will start to rise due to fewer Big Dogs on the market…….and if yours has won as many “BEST OF SHOW” trophies as mine, not only is it a sweet ride, it’s still a sound long-term investment too!!

    And with the mix of orange and black in the paint scheme, I even get a smile out of H-D riders when I tell em THE Big Dog “…is what a Harley wants to be when it grows up!!!”

    Keep the faith!!!!

  142. 142 BUD Apr 27th, 2011 at 10:55 pm


  143. 143 BUD Apr 27th, 2011 at 10:56 pm


  144. 144 Jonathan Apr 28th, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Sad times, I’ve been riding a Big dog Chopper since 2004. But other bike companys have fallen to take for instance Tittan, maker of the Coyote.

  145. 145 sb Apr 30th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I had 2 Big Dogs and they were just that—DOGS!!!!

  146. 146 Bud May 3rd, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    So because someone works hard has the money to buy whatever bike they want makes them a RUB ? I don’t particularly have the time or desire to bust my nuckles and get all oily just to be a “real biker” who cares ? If I want to be a RUB or you want to be a greaseball ? So be it, I hear a lot of the BS when I ride up on my K-9, what a bunch of jealous insecure people ! You should and can be just as proud of the bike that you built with your own hands and I can be proud of the bike I ride paid for with the hard work of my 2 hands. Here’s the part I find funny, almost everytime I see some dude on a chopper they usually have on flip flops and hat on backwards, and fat and almost forgot shorts ! Thats real birth control if you know what I mean. As far as Big Dog I have a 2007 K-9 and knock on wood have had no trouble with it, of course I have only 5,500 miles on it. How many of you guys out there build your own cars from the ground up ? Or house from the ground up ? I don’t get it, you haters out there should live and let live.

  147. 147 joey Jun 12th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    i have a 2006 chopper, all chromed, custom paint, i love the bike ,but it doesnt surprise me there going under,,,ihad a bad experience with service, and when i called headquarters nobody cared and gave me the brush off,, now there closed, thats what happens when you get to cocky

  148. 148 Don Jul 16th, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I think that it is sad that another american company is going down the tube but they catered to the white collar american and now they are catering to the blue collar american.A buddy of mine just picked a 2001 mastiff up for 9 grand with 9300 miles the thing rips. Ya its a bummer that they are closing but ha ray for us hard working folk that keep the world ticking.

  149. 149 Bigam Jul 16th, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Love my Big Dog. I have owned 3 Harleys, 1 Iron Horse, and 1 Titan. My Big Dog has better than all of them. I have had it for over 10 years now. It is always easy tell who voted for Obama and his Democratic misfits. Why can’t people just admit that voting for him was a bad choice and his “change” was BS. I hope for better in 2012!

  150. 150 Harry Beasley Sr Jul 20th, 2011 at 10:35 am

    So will my 2007 BULLDOG be worth MORE money since they folded under or less??? I LOVE my bike but from day one the SPEEDOs were FAULTY…everytime it RAINED or you WASHEDyour bike??? the speedo would FOG UP so bad you COULDNT see for for days,,,,After about 3 or 4 days it would DRY out and be fine again…My ELECTRONIC BRAIN went out,,,,mind you I only have 3500 ORIGINAL miles on this bike…and the PAINT is DEFECTIVE on the tank,,,,Its BUBBLING UP bad around the gas cap….Other than ALL that???? I love my bike…I replace the speedo with a DAKOTA DIGITAL speedo for 300.00….problem solved…I paid 800.00 for a NEW brain from S&S….Brain fixed but NOW im still STUCK with FAULTY PAINT and 2 more years left PAYING on the LOAN…

  151. 151 Harry Beasley Sr Jul 20th, 2011 at 11:02 am

    And who is RESPONSIBLE for my 7 year PAINT warrenty now that BigDog is no more??? I need to Fix my GasTank??????

  152. 152 Rico Aug 26th, 2011 at 1:59 am

    Not to get off track from the BDM issue but there seems to be a lot of Obama bashing on here. Now Im not really an Obama fan but really a truth seeker more than anything and I just had to point out what the article says: “Since 2006, like many companies in the motorcycle industry, Big Dog Motorcycles was struggling to adapt to new economic realities.” Correct me if I’m wrong but that was way before Obama ever took office. If you think our economy wasn’t already in huge trouble under the Bush administration, well then Im sorry you are so naive/ignorant. With that being said. I am saddened to hear about the demise of BDM. Its never good to hear about an American company going out of business but the truth is the Chopper bubble burst just like the classic muscle car bubble did. Its over and probably wont ever be back to how it once was.

  153. 153 1personSOpinion Aug 26th, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Rico, so are you one of those people who believes Joe Biden when he says we (the govt) have to spend money to fix the deficit? That comment along with the rest of this administrations rush to pass laws that only constrain small businesses leave to believe they are follow the Cloward & Piven Strategy. Look it up.


  154. 154 Brian Aug 30th, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Well I hated to see this happen. I had a Hand Built 03 Husky. Great improvement over My HD.

    To address the whos at fault as a Small business owner the Policies of this CURRENT administration has alot to do with Most of the economic failures. Yeah Bush sucked too with the bail outs. I did vote for Obama (I am half black) But I wont be again. I am sorry.

    Bigdog if it returns should

    A. Actually chrome Key areas IE trees, and sprockets Factory.
    B. Dont build their space looking bikes anymore. 03 was their bst year giving you a HD look without buying an HD and replacing just about the ENTIRE bike. We all can agree thats why we all stepped away from HD.

  155. 155 sidewinder Sep 11th, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    I’d rather push a Big Dog than ride a hardly davidson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  156. 156 Pharma760 Nov 15th, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Hello! ddfbfee interesting ddfbfee site! I’m really like it! Very, very ddfbfee good!

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