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 sb Apr 30th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

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

  2. 2 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.

  3. 3 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

  4. 4 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.

  5. 5 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!

  6. 6 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…

  7. 7 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??????

  8. 8 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.

  9. 9 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.


  10. 10 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.

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

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

  12. 12 Pharma760 Nov 15th, 2011 at 7:13 pm

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  1. 1 Exciting New Stage of the Big Dog Motorcycles Story In Europe. Are You Serious? at Cyril Huze Blog – Custom Motorcycle News Pingback on Jul 4th, 2011 at 12:48 pm
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