Already, BBC has 107 full-time employees who work out of the 20,000 sq. ft. headquarters, which includes the manufacturing facility as well as a showroom. At a nearby building, eight CNC machines are operated in two shifts. Kevin says the company is committed to keeping all manufacturing in-house. He's in talks now with S&S Cycle to develop a motor that is proprietary to Big Bear and is also aiming to produce his own handlebar controls. Aside from the transmission and a few other bits, this would allow BBC to have complete control over the design, quality and construction of its bikes.
This new direction allows BBC to take a bike from design to completion in a shorter period of time. Ultimately, Kevin would like to have a new model out every year and a half.
Drawn on paper and designed in CAD, the new Paradox is BBC's pioneer effort in this area. The bike features a 114 cu. in. S&S Cycle X-Wedge motor, a 23-inch front tire and a 20-inch, 250mm rear tire. It will be priced around $30,000.
The other new model, the GTX bagger, also features the X-Wedge engine, as well as a radical design that places the passenger in front of the rear wheel, rather than on top of it. The idea is to make the most nimble dresser on the market.
Big Bear Choppers' Manufacturing Goals:
- improve delivery performance
- make the bikes more reliable
- eliminate warranty claims, with the goal to cut claims down to one to three days
- improve tooling setup times
- improve procurement procedures
- hone quality assurance system
- streamline the manufacturing process from engineering through fabrication to final assembly
- take market share away from Harley-Davidson
- improve parts and product availability
- develop an Internet-based parts ordering system, an illustrated parts catalog
- reduce parts backorders