SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - Big Bear Choppers is emerging from bankruptcy with a new factory a new owner and a new model introduction in the wings.
Though the company has moved from Big Bear Lake to San Bernardino's industrial district, founders Kevin and Mona Alsop are still involved.
Designer Kevin Alsop remains in charge of developing new products and is readying a new model called – fittingly - "Redemption."
But the new owner is Simon Scott, who bought the company out of bankruptcy.
Scott was born in England and raised in Australia, had planned on starting a BBC dealership in Jakarta, Indonesia, after a career in the mining industry in Southeast Asia.
Scott acquired BBC’s trademarks and bikes, but further details of the transaction are subject to a confidentiality agreement with the bank that controlled the Alsops' assets. The new company is Ragehard Choppers, but the bikes will still sell under the BBC marque.
"It all starts out as art and then it turns into engineering," he said. "Engineering is the most important part."
BBC can build eight to 10 bikes in a month and Scott expects to be able to build 20 per month next year. He plans to make no more than 50 bikes per month.
"We're going to have a waiting list. Similarly to if you're a Ferrari or Lamborghini customer, you don't mind going on a waiting list for your dream," he said.
The company went into bankruptcy last year after struggling with the recession and a declining market for customs. Several customers who had paid up front called in sheriff’s investigators after the company failed to deliver bikes.
The Alsops went on a Bloomberg TV show called “The Mentor” and got advice from a consultant before finally putting the company into bankruptcy.
Posted by Holly Wagner