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Original Article:
Big Bear Choppers and the State of the Production Custom Industry

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article Big Bear Choppers and the State of the Production Custom Industry in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
 

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Let me summerize: Since the toughening of the emissions rules the custom bike business is falling off like a Monty Python Holy Gail skit. There is no more market and by the summer of 2010 we will all be working the ABATE swapmeets to survive. The days of ignorant RUBs buying over-priced cloned motorcycles are over. BTW- anyone interested in buying a motorcycle factory?
 

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Let me summerize: Since the toughening of the emissions rules the custom bike business is falling off like a Monty Python Holy Gail skit. There is no more market and by the summer of 2010 we will all be working the ABATE swapmeets to survive. The days of ignorant RUBs buying over-priced cloned motorcycles are over. BTW- anyone interested in buying a motorcycle factory?
You are so wrong. With the introduction of the new Avon 640 Slidewinder rear tire, new life awaits the Custom Mass Production Sort of Like a Motorcycle industry. With the savings in kickstands alone, the average MSRP will plummet to $85,000.
 

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You are so wrong. With the introduction of the new Avon 640 Slidewinder rear tire, new life awaits the Custom Mass Production Sort of Like a Motorcycle industry. With the savings in kickstands alone, the average MSRP will plummet to $85,000.
Now that's funny;-)
 

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You are so wrong. With the introduction of the new Avon 640 Slidewinder rear tire, new life awaits the Custom Mass Production Sort of Like a Motorcycle industry. With the savings in kickstands alone, the average MSRP will plummet to $85,000.
That's just the price of exclusivity my boy, when everyone and their uncle has an Enzo and a $300 cigar still makes you look like a wanker eating a horses dong then only an $85k motorcycle you can barely ride will do...

If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand...
 

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If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand...
I thought it was "If you have to ask, well - don't ask ME - hell, I dunno either..........."
 

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Although I don't care for choppers I have built and ridden them in the past. I have no problem with people buying them and paying 35K for them. Have a ball. I do have a problem with chopper companies that build frames that flex which make the bikes dangerous. Such companies should be held criminally liable for selling such junk. However I haven't heard such stories about Big Bear's products. So more power to them.

All that being said methinks they do protest too much. Chopper companies are going to be fighting for customers very soon and only the strong, smart and lucky will survive. Just remember that Daimler claimed that their Dodge division was an important and integral part of the company just before they sold it. So BB's pronouncements that the market looks rosy are expected but should be taken with a grain of salt. Collapsing equity lines, falling home prices (hello equity lines) and tightening credit restrictions say otherwise.
 

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All you have to do is look at those spindly extended frame backbones and downtubes, plus a 101 in' rigid mount stroker motor, 15' over wide glide with skinny 21' front wheel and a 240 rear tire and you know that's going to be all over the road.

When me and my buds were building chops we kept the frame backbone and rake stock and just stretched the downtubes a few inches, that way the engine sat flat in the frame and you could go to 6 or 8 over and not f*ck up the handling..

One of the reasons I prefer bobbers is they usually handle alot better, though if you lower them too much they scrape the pipes and frame in corners
 

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When I worked at HD, they sold Big Dog, Ironhorse, and Thunder Mountain choppers. Big Dog and Ironhorse were atrocious to ride. They couldn't corner without sliding as those fata$s tires came up on edge, they barely had brakes, and the hardtails were all over the road. The Thunder Mountains were rideable, but that was because they were basically a heavily customized HD Softail. My guess would be the average time of ownership of those POS machines was less than a year, 1/3 to 1/2 of which was spent with the bike in the shop. The only good thing I'd say about them is you could make some serious change selling them...the commission could be as much as 10X what you'd make selling a standard HD.
 

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Like someone already eluded to, this sounds alot like whistling through the graveyard. Ultra Cycles is closing (auction to be held this weekend). The ads around western PA are full of these "choppers". You can almost read the seller's mind when you read the ads

"What? I paid $35K for this thing and it don't even have shock absorbers?"
 
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