It looks like Big Dog’s ride is over. Rumours have been swirling this week that the high-end V-twin builder was closing its doors after problems with the bank and layoffs.
The company denied reports at first, but according to the Wichita Business Journal, prominent Big Dog dealer Rick Fairless of Strokers Dallas claims company owner Sheldon Coleman told him the bank has taken over the company and production has been stopped for good.
That’s a lot of hearsay, but we do know this: The Wichita Eagle ran a story Monday with company president Mike Simmons saying 10 production workers were laid off and the company hasn’t made a motorcycle since sometime last year. He claimed at the time the company was still open, but when one of your dealers says otherwise, it doesn’t look good.
Where will this leave Big Dog motorcycle owners? Fairless told Dealernews that anyone looking for warranty work will be out of luck. But, he said parts will still be available and Coleman plans to start a company selling replacement bits to keep those Big Dogs running for a long time yet.
Fairless said the news of Big Dog’s demise didn’t surprise him, and if true, it doesn’t surprise us either. With custom bike giant Orange County Choppers supposedly in tax trouble and West Coast Choppers closing its doors last fall, it’s no shocker that Big Dog would fall on hard times.
It seems the financial recession may have a silver lining – killing the custom bike fad.