Big Dog Motorcycles: Forced Foreclosure

Motorcycle Industry News

After 17 years in business, Big Dog Motorcycles was forced to shut down after its bank, Intrust Bank, foreclosed on the manufacturer and seized its assets.

The Wichita, Ks., custom chopper shop built 25,000 motorcycles during its run, but was forced to close due to the dire state of the economy.

The company’s president, Mike Simmons, says although Big Dog Motorcycles (BDM) is done, the remaining employees are producing parts and accessories.

BDM’s founder, Sheldon Coleman Jr., who is the heir and former CEO of the camping company of his last name, dissolved the business and created the “BDM Performance Products.” The new company is currently filling orders for BDM parts and other supplies.

In its heyday, Big Dog Motorcycles employed 300 workers, and reportedly made $120 million in revenue.

In March, Big Dog Motorcycles cut 10 production jobs, slimming the staff to 22 employees. Simmons says that the company hasn’t manufactured any motorcycles since 2010.

Big Dog Motorcycles opened its doors in 1994. Every chopper built by BDM uses a 117 CI V-Twin with a six-speed transmission. The bikes were sold through 100 distributors throughout the United States.

This is the second major American custom chopper manufacturer to shut down. In October, 2010, the famed West Coast Choppers owned by Jesse James closed its doors in Long Beach, Calif.


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