Big Dog Motorcycles to close after bank takes over

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Now the property of its main creditor, Big Dog Motorcycles has ceased production and can no longer honor warranties, custom builder Cyril Huze reported today on his blog.

After speaking with a receptionist at Big Dog’s headquarters in Wichita, Kan., Dealernews left a message with a company executive and is awaiting a callback.

Rick Fairless, whose dealership, Strokers Dallas, carries Big Dog, spoke with company owner Sheldon Coleman this morning. “Sheldon called me and said the bank was taking over operations, and that the bank was shutting down the production line,” he told Dealernews. “So Big Dog Motorcycles as we know it has ceased to exist. It’s a sad, sad day.”

Fairless has been an enthusiastic Big Dog dealer since opening his doors. “This was in ’96 when nobody was really doing the production custom motorcycles like that,” he said.

Fairless is down to five Big Dog units on his showroom floor and expects to take a loss on each. “But we saw this coming,” he said. “I went through this with the original Titan Motorcycle Co., and I went through it with American IronHorse, and I went through it with Wild West.”

What about replacement parts? “There’s going to be a new company formed by Sheldon that’s going to continue to make and sell parts for Big Dogs,” Fairless said. “So those guys aren’t going to be out in the cold.

“The guys who are going to be out in the cold,” he added, “are the guys who have a warranty that will be null and void.”

All Big Dog motorcycles came with a two-year warranty. The company started producing motorcycles in 1994 and has built more than 25,000. In 2010 its lineup include seven models in three classes — pro-street, chopper-style and touring.