Big Bear Choppers Recalls

Big Bear Choppers is recalling a potential of 351 units of MY 004-2005 "Venom" and "Devil’s Advocates" Choppers and MY 2005 "Sled" Choppers. Some motorcycles may have inadequate weld penetration between the neck, backbone and downtubes of the frame. High loads created when riding on rough road surfaces, structural modification made to the frame by owners, and/or failure to maintain the specified torque setting of the top motor mount may cause the affected welds to crack. Consequence: the welded area could break without warning, resulting in neck separation and front-end collapse. This could result in a crash. The recall began on March 26, 08. Owners may Big Bear Choppers at 909-878-4340.

116 Responses to “Big Bear Choppers Recalls”

  1. 1 Apr 1st, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    I can only imagine how much this fix is gonna cost Big Bear. I feel for them, and give kudos for steppin up!

  2. 2 Mr. Reality Apr 2nd, 2008 at 2:16 am

    BBC only stepped up because their welds broke on one of their customers and resulted in a crash. That gentleman then attempted a remedy through Big Bear Choppers who wouldn’t stand behind their machine so he reported it to the National Highway Traffic Safetly Administration who forced the recall. He has also filed a lawsuit against Big Bear Choppers.
    He is not the only one as there is another lawsuit pending when a gentleman lost his leg through faulty workmanship of Big Bear Choppers that resulted in a crash.
    If you read their proposed remedy on the NHSTA website, they are sending out neck gussets and allowing $300 for paint and transport since the bikes can’t be ridden.
    Could you strip your bike, weld in the gusset, match your paint, and reassemble for $300?

  3. 3 Apr 2nd, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Mr. Reality,

    Maybe I spoke too soon.

    With no sarcasm implied.
    Thanks for clearing that up.

    I do custom paint and body and metal fab myself. I know I couldn’t touch my bike for that, even if I did the work myself, and didn’t consider any overhead. When I made my prior comment, “I can only imagine how much this fix is gonna cost Big Bear.”, I was thinking about a minimum $1,000.00 per bike, in a waranty “just break even” scenario.

    I’m glad that I don’t own one.

    Thanks again for the facts.

  4. 4 Icy Apr 2nd, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Big Bear is JUNK.

  5. 5 saorijohn Apr 2nd, 2008 at 9:19 am

    This problem has been doing the rounds on the clubchopper forum. Hope no more people get hurt.

  6. 6 Agnes Apr 2nd, 2008 at 11:08 am

    This is a perfect example why you want to use a Frame building company that has been in business for years and that is their sole business. Big Bear is trying to reap in mega bucks by doing everything, when they are decidely not frame builders.

  7. 7 Mr. Reality Apr 2nd, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    I agree with Agnes. When you buy a printer/scanner/fax combination, the machine is only mediocre at each function.
    By trying to do it all, they simply spread themselves too thin and great work became mediocre.
    In the case of a printer, your documents look bad.
    In the case of a motorcycle, people die.

  8. 8 Apr 2nd, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Mr. Reality, I agree. I own a printer/fax/scanner. It’s a P.O.S.

    Just glad my bike isn’t that way.

  9. 9 Rodent Apr 2nd, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Big Bear see ya joining American Iron Horse, Indian, Titian, Excelsior Henderson to name a few

  10. 10 j Apr 3rd, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Do you really see trouble for Big Bear?
    How about Rucker Performance?

  11. 11 Bobby Schonberg Apr 3rd, 2008 at 11:30 am

    I think the recall can turn into a debacle. Why? because $300 to fix a broken neck is a joke. Disassemble bike, strip paint, weld, repaint, reassemble bike. How much? I don’t know many dealers who weld or want to do it and carry the liability. So, all these 350 bikes sent back to BBC?Cost a fortune for a small company. Don’t know Rucker.

  12. 12 Mr. Reality Apr 3rd, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Big Bear Choppers has been pretty underhanded in the industry for many years. They have threatened lawsuits against everyone from Kim Suter to Brad Ruell (The Wrench) to Phantom Choppers to Paul Yaffe. Basically anyone who ran any kind of point on their swingarm. Their lawyer is Kevin’s Brother-in-law so they bombard prospective targets with a mound of paperwork making it too expensive to fight.
    In other words, Big Bear Choppers has most likely already devised a plan to get off as cheaply as possible legally and they don’t care if they screw their customers while doing it.

  13. 13 Rich Apr 3rd, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    I have an ’04 Big Bear Venom Prostreet. Does this recall only apply to the choppers or to all Venom’s? Can someone clarify becuase I have had nothing but issues with this bike and I don’t feel like getting seriously injured while riding!

  14. 14 Donnie Apr 3rd, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Unforunately, I predict Big Bear getting overwhelmed by recalls and burried under lawsuits.

  15. 15 Mr. Reality Apr 4th, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Rich- It applies to the Venoms. The neck welds did not get enough penetration and the neck literally snapped off on the guy while he was going 60 miles an hour down the road. He had no warning as the bike was riding fine. When you look at the pictures of the frame and neck on , the penetration was so little it did not even melt the chaffing marks from the tubing cutter.
    What kinds of problems have you had with your Big Bear Chopper?

  16. 16 Apr 4th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    First of all, the 04-05 units in question were sold by Custom Chrome as unassembled kits. The customers who purchased these kits, assembled them. If you look at the photos provided by the rider with the issue, you can see the weld had been ground down to nothing, then body filler was added. One can also see by the photos the rust, meaning that it had acquired a visible crack long before the break, this did not happen “all of a sudden”. Another question I have is did this guy torque his top motor mount down to spec. I seriously doubt it. Also, this all happened at 60mph??? No. How about regular scheduled maintenance? Did he perform those services?
    Big Bear Choppers is a stand up company. They are assuming responsibility, and have issued a recall of the 04-05 frames. However, I have yet to hear any responsibility assumed by the builder/owner for his shoddy workmanship and maintenance of his motorcycle.
    BBC has issued a recall that provides for disassembly, certified weld, travel time, paint, powdercoat, parts, labor and re-assembly. NOT $300.00 as was posted above.
    It personally pisses me off to see so many folks getting on an uninformed bandwagon, assuming that a man and his company care more about “getting by cheap” verses his customers well being, as was stated above. Shit happens. Mistakes happen. ANYTHING can happen on 2 wheels. How it is handled after the fact shows true integrity. Think about that.
    By the way, I dont care if you own a Harley, Big Bear, or Sucker Punch Sally, maintain your motorcycle. FOR YOUR SAFETY>

  17. 17 jack Apr 4th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    are you guys this pissed when Harley, Honda, Ford, etc. have recalls?
    think about it. you really think Kevin unethically plots to gain more money?

    i think Cat is cool.

  18. 18 PC Apr 4th, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    That is a weird spin being put on this issue so I am guessing it is from someone at Big Bear Choppers. I went to the line above and looked at the actual pictures of the break and you can see it was the result of poor welding. This brings up questions:
    1. How is a customer supposed to “maintain” a poor weld?
    2. If this is an isolated incident why did the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration start an investiagation?
    3. Why would Big Bear Choppers order a recall if it was the customer’s fault?
    4. Above, a lot of time was spent denying information but why did you not give the “Actual” information if it’s different?
    5. Didn’t Big Bear Choppers manufacture the kits, even the ones sold through the catalog company Custom Chrome?
    6. Don’t you need a frame jig to get the perfectly straight when you re-weld the neck? (Most dealers don’t have frame jigs)

    If “integrity” is how you deal with problems then this incident speaks volumes to Big Bear Chopper’s lack of integrity as they have done nothing but blame the customer for the break, but then turned around and gave enough merit to the situation to order the recall and send out neck gussets. It is easy to be a “stand-up” company when nothing is wrong but that’s not the case all of the sudden.

  19. 19 Apr 4th, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    In response to above post…
    One maintains a GOOD weld or a BAD weld by not grinding it away to nothing and then relying on body filler to hold it together.
    One maintains their motorcycle by inspecting it regularly for loose bolts, cracks in paint, oil changes and tire pressure. Well, most riders do. Then addressing any problems by the book, or by ing a qualified shop.
    The NHTSA investigates all safety issues like this. It is their job.
    Big Bear ordered the recall because it is a potential safety issue for their customers. Their frames and sheet metal are guaranteed for the life of the bike.
    I would be happy to accurately answer any questions that you may have, which I have the answers too. I was not spending my time denying anything on Big Bears behalf. My point was that I am tired of everyone bashing a good company, when they don’t know the whole story, and just believing blogs and posts.
    If a bike shop builds frames, the should have the jig. If they don’t….would you ride one of their bikes?
    Big Bear is doing a lot more than sending out neck gussets and authorizing $300.00 for repair.
    Furthermore, I have seen other big name frames crack over the years, and most of the time it was because someone decided the frame looked better with the welds ground off.
    Big Bear has not blamed the customer, they ordered a recall. You said it yourself!!!
    Personally, I am having a difficult time believing this happened “all of a sudden, at 60 mph”. I have seen a lot over the years, and that is a lie. THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES TO HIS INTEGRITY!

  20. 20 Jim Apr 4th, 2008 at 8:19 pm


    You really should take a couple of hours and read the numerous threads on clubchopper that pertain to this recall before you post again…because you really don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

  21. 21 venom Apr 4th, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Evidently you don’t have your facts straight. I talked to Big Bear on the phone and the way they made it sound was the only reason they filed the recall was because the guy it had happened to called the NHTSA and told them about it. Big Bear called in a bike to inspect the weld and it failed as well, so they had to file the recall. I have spoken to my local Big Bear dealer and they want nothing to do with the repair. Big Bear wants the dealer to use touch up paint even if the frame has been powder coated or chromed. The 300.00 that everyone is speaking of is for paint, that won’t cut it! I doubt you even have a Big Bear chopper, if you did you would be just as unhappy as we are. So please don’t blog until you have all facts straight. Thank you.

  22. 22 joe Apr 4th, 2008 at 9:01 pm


    i also should state you read all the info on clubchopper . Many ppl were backing bbc as you are then to their surprise they found out how they were getting f**ed. As far as the recall you must read the official recall . The “bashing” as you say is a result of the events that bbc caused. Get all your facts straight before you defend bbc.. Most posts on the forum are from actual bbc owners and their experience with bbc . .

  23. 23 John Apr 4th, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Have read all the posts on clubchopper and seen the pictures of the weld. There was insufficient penetration to the neck, and the chamfer looks to be unaffected by weldment. This could not be caused by customer. Bad quality weld, bbc tries to blame customer,many dealers not informed even today. No integrity to the weld or bbc

  24. 24 Cat Apr 4th, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    I will “blog” when I feel a need to speak my mind. Trust me, I don’t sit around posting to forums. I do have my facts straight and have read the official recall. Have you read the “official” recall? Do you own a Big Bear? How could you possibly know “most” of the bloggers are actual owners and assume that I am not? One would think, if you are an owner, that you would feel grateful that this issue is being addressed and a remedy is being offered. If you are not getting satisfaction from your dealer, call Big Bear and let them know. Seems to me you are more concerned with your paint, and not your weld or your top motor mount. Interesting. It is also interesting that you will welcome posts of your same mind, but have such a closed mind to a contrary opinion, to the point of asking me not to post again. Interesting…

  25. 25 Rich Apr 4th, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    I just want to know if this recall applies to ’04 Venom ProStreet models or just ’04 Venom Chopper models. My kit bike (’04 Venom ProStreet) was knocked over in a parking lot on May 29th, 2007. It was then taken to a certified Big Bear dealer in my state and was worked on from June 1st until Sept 23rd. That’s right, I lost all summer!! The damage originally estimated by the shop and the insurance adjuster was detemined to be only cosmetic. I rode the bike two more weeks in late Sept/early October of 2007 and started to notice my rear tire was shifting out of alignment. Subsequently while taking it back to the dealer my swing arm shifted so much that the tire started to rub the fender. I left the bike with the dealer in October and up until February of this year ’08 they have been discussing with Big Bear what is wrong with the frame and swing arm. Big Bear asked the dealer to ship the frame/swing arm back to them bare, so that they could see it first hand. Meanwhile, the insurance company wanted to total the bike because even if they sent it to California, Big Bear stated that they have dismantled their left-side drive frame jig for all Venoms because they have know changed to a right-side drive production line on the Venoms. So how were they going to fix my frame/swingarm or anyone elses neck on the Venoms? My frame is now being magically bent back or cut apart and re-welded by an independent engineer who the Certified Big Bear dealer took it to. Oh, did I mention that although he was ready to fix it, he had to stop because they thought the frame might be part of this recall? I JUST WANT TO RIDE!! AND UP UNTIL NOW I WANTED TO RIDE MY BIG BEAR, BUT ALL THIS HASSLE HAS MADE ME THINK I SHOULD HAVE LET THE INSURANCE COMPANY CALL IT A TOTAL LOSS AND BOUGHT A HARLEY! I work very hard for the money to pay for my bike and I feel like my dealer and Big Bear don’t care! P.S. I had no cracks in any welds on the swingarm following the 21 year-old idiot bumping into my bike and knocking it over in a parking lot! This wasn’t a high impact collision! It’s April ’08 and I still have no bike!

  26. 26 John Barkdull Apr 4th, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    I don’t think there would be any recall if Big Bear Choppers was not considered responsible. Even if some bikes were sold by CCI as kits, BBC is still responsible for the frame. CCI obliges its vendors to carry liability insurance.

  27. 27 venom Apr 4th, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    I am a bbc owner affected by the recall. Im not supposed to ride my bike untill repair is made but my local bbc dealer says there socalled repair is a joke. They want nothing to do with it. Before this recall I had nothing but good things to say about bbc. I have alot of money in this bike and the frame is supposed to have a life time warranty. Now I have to fear for my own life if I want to ride it. BBC needs to stand by there product and fix the problem right. Besides you think if one weld has poor penitration the rest of them are fine. Only time will tell untill the next crash thats how bbc is looking at it.

  28. 28 venom Apr 4th, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Hey Cat you must be one of big bears welders.

  29. 29 Rich Apr 4th, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    NO BIG BEAR DEALER OWNS A FRAME JIG! Why would they? And according to my “Certified Big Bear” dealer, Big Bear themselves no longer has the left-side drive Venom jig because they have switched to right-side production on all the new Venom’s.

  30. 30 Rich Apr 4th, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Who dismantles a jig for one of there most popular production models? And how does Big Bear know that it was just these 350 bikes? Was it one person improperly welding the neck into only ’04/’05 Venom Choppers and ’05 Devil’s Advocates? And did this person not weld any other part of the frame? How do they know what bikes to recall?

  31. 31 Nicker Apr 5th, 2008 at 12:56 am

    “…not supposed to ride my bike until repair is made but my local bbc dealer says there so called repair is a joke. ……I have a lot of money in this bike …”

    After reading the clubchopper thread the above seems a representative complaint.

    Without getting into the why, who, and how of welding problems, if i had a full-up finished $30k scooter with a potential neck weld problem, i’d think i’d try to have the neck welds X-rayed to see if there was a problem.

    Hell, they do it for pipe lines, aircraft, and atomic weapons.

    Find an engineering outfit that test welds, take the front end off and have the neck filmed.
    Can’t imagine it costing more than $300…. (?)

    Just a thought.

  32. 32 John Apr 5th, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Radiography will be much more then $300.00 done by a Level III certified NDE person and along with the expense may not show defect especieally lack of penetration into two solid peices. Pipe is hollow and penetration can been seen on the film. You may be better off having the junction ultrasound tested. It may also be less expensive. IF the crack reaches the surface and can not be seen visually and simple dye-penetrant test will work.

    In the near past, last year, I had a conversation with bbc’s lead welder and fabrication shop foreman. The discussion was the use of certified welders and qualified procedures. The reason for the was I was interested in building a bike and was concerned about structural integrity of the welding parts, ie frames, swingarms. BBC was the only shop that would even discuss the situation. Bare in mind that a welder can carry many certifications but any time an essential variable is changed or different the welding is no longer certified for that situation. BBC and I discussed the situation and actually talked about certifying a procedure and then qualifying the welders to the procedure. That’s as far as I got with the conversation but they were very interested and I believe were headed in that direction. This does not make them guilty of anything and I know so little about all the above mentioned frame problems, I wouldn’t even speculate without a ton of information and hands-on verification.

    former AWS CWI/CWE

  33. 33 Sprotter Apr 5th, 2008 at 1:45 am

    I seen the broken weld photos. The weld was not even hot enough to melt the paper thin edge that should have been ground back in the first place.


  34. 34 Apr 5th, 2008 at 2:16 am

    I have to throw my 2 cents in here. Seeing how Cat put hers in and used my web site link. She stated some of the things she had heard me say. I have been building and repairing bikes for a long time. I have seen a lot of bikes and parts break over the years. I am a BBC Unassembled dealer( my dealer # is single digit). I have not sold or built any of the affected bikes. That said so everyone know where I am coming from, I will probably piss off a lot of people but here goes.
    1) Were the welds on the neck of the bike that we have all seen crap? YES!
    2) Should BBC give the owner of a bike with a crack in there frame a new frame? YES!
    3) Is the recall repair, done properly, strong and safe? YES!
    4) Should BBC allow more time and money for there dealers having to do the recall? YES!

    That said I hope you can see that I am not just a shill for BBC. But, anyone can see that the guy with the bike we have seen rode that thing for a long time with the frame slowly cracking. It didn’t happen all of a sudden. Bad welds along with a loose top motor mount would do that. I have seen a lot of frames from all different manufactures crack and every one of them had a loose or broken top motor mount.

    I am sorry to hear that people are having a hard time with there dealers. I know that most of BBC’s dealers are not equipped or capable of doing the recall, that is why I feel that BBC should send out frames. Venom, I am sorry to hear about your problem. Your dealer just doesn’t want to loose his ass doing the job so he is not telling you the truth. Did he show you the procedure of repairing the frame? ask him for a copy and take it to a certified GTAW welder and ask him if it will be solid and strong. If you were in my area and even if I didn’t sell you the bike I would take care of you. If you can get your bike to me I will make it right for you.

    There is also the fact that these are 3 and 4 year old bikes. Almost all were unassembled bikes, that means that BBC did not build the bike. Who ever built the bike has to take some responsibility for things. Every BBC kit I have built needed the top motor mount threaded hole chased with a bottoming tap and a couple of threads ground off the bolt so it would fit right and torque properly, some also need the bolts that go into the heads shortened too. I have seen a Daytec chopper frame (which is probably the strongest frame out there) crack at the neck, guess what? No top motor mount bolt!!!! When I first started working on Harley’s in the late 70’s one of the first things they had me doing was recalls on Sportsters. Anyone out there remember how their frames were braking? Harley sent out 2 pieces of strap metal ! I was a 16 year old kid with a Lincoln buz box welding up cracked and broken frames and putting straps on then. I still see some of them bikes on the street. Shit happens, choppers break. With my name associated with BBC, I have to step up and take care of the people that buy them. If Venom was my customer he would still feel the way about his bike that he did before all of this happened.
    I have rambled on long enough to bore you, so I will not go into my feeling of how some people just love to run to lawyers. And that one has to be very gulable to believe the story about that broken DA. I don’t buy it. But he does have a broken motorcycle.
    If anyone has one of these bike feel free to me and I will do everything I can to make you happy and safe.

  35. 35 Mr. Reality Apr 5th, 2008 at 2:40 am

    Greg, You sound like a stand-up guy. Not sure who Cat is or why they used your address, but no matter. In order to do this repair correctly, a shop will need to have a frame jig.
    Do you agree with this?
    Also, if one weld has poor penetration, isn’t it possible that more of the welds on the bikes also have a similar welding problem?
    Big Bear Choppers sent out letters stating that they had new torque specs for the upper motor mount after the fact.
    You sound like the kind of guy that would be good to buy a bike from, unfortunately Big Bear Choppers is not as they have had many problems.
    The funny thing here, if they had simply taken care of that guy’s bike, no one would have heard of this problem.

  36. 36 Sprotter Apr 5th, 2008 at 6:26 am

    I’ll agree….. Greg does sound like a stand-up guy!

    That said, There is one big thing not mentioned in his post. From across the freeway you will be able to tell who is riding a “ReCall” bike!

    A ReCall bike will have horrible reSale value! Who will pay for a Re-Call


  37. 37 loose lee Apr 5th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Hey Cat, Im trying to call BBC right now, ANSWER THE PHONE!!!

  38. 38 pan63 Apr 5th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Cat – how can you possibly say that the weld on the neck of the BBC bike that failed was at any way satisfactory? Do you understand what beveling is? How about penetration? (no, I’m not talking about the “penetration” that the BBC bike owners are getting, either!)

    From pics of a still painted neck, you can judge that the welds had been ground by the customer, and filled – but yet you can’t see the OBLIVIOUS problems with the weld?

    Good god! You MUST work for BBC. There is no other explanation to your ignorance.

  39. 39 John Apr 5th, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    The motor mount may or may not have been secured properly. I don’t believe anyone will ever be able to say conclusively. Whether or or not it was secured that weld was dangerous and put that person in jeapordy. To try to blame him for bbcs poor quality product is feeble and shows a lack of integrity

  40. 40 Rich Apr 5th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    I just spoke with my BBC dealer. My bike is at an independent contractor/engineer(see above) for other frame repairs. He feels that my neck/downtube/backbone weld is not safe and I am riding a 2004 Big Bear Venom “ProsStreet”!! For everyone out there riding, please have your necks checked. My bike is not part of the recall (supposedly only Venom “Choppers”). The BBC dealer said it will cost $1000 just to weld a gusset on by this independent contractor. I am now trying to BBC to see what they have to say. Luckily my bike is already stripped down right now for other work.

  41. 41 Apr 5th, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Rich is right. I ed a friend of mine today that is a certified GTAW airframe welder( I am not certified) and ran past him what is needed to check and repair these frames. His price was quite a bit less than what Rich was quoited, but much more than BBC is willing to give me. He is working up a price for me to bring the bikes I have sold to be x rayed. Most are Sled and DA prostreets. I build big hotrods and have 124″s in them. The 100″ smoothies that I build will outrun a stock 124 and the 124″s on a Sled will pull your arms out so one can see my concern. I am working on a price to X ray and to make the proper repairs to ALL of my bikes and anyone that needs theres done. BBC is not involved with anything but the affected units.I am doing this on my own. I ed a couple of my customers and ran by them the problem and that they would have to pay for the x-ray and any repairs and that I would work with them as much as I can. The only problem they had was “how long will my bike be down?” The price was never a issue. As far as that ugly gusset killing the resale of the bike. I plan to have the plate waterjetted with some cool design, flames, web… If the repair is done properly and the neck area is molded nice I see no reason it should hurt the value, it may increce. Yes it will cost more than BBC will alow for but it is well worth it. Most of my customers spend a couple grand a year on bling and cool stuff for there bikes.A D&M air cleaner or a set of cool pipes, or a properly welded and gusseted frame, You make the call….. Once again, ANYONE needing help with this feel free to me

  42. 42 John Apr 5th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Greg, Do you have any plans to inspect the other welds on any frames that need neck repairs. Many bbc bike owners have questioned whether the other welds on these frames are structurally sound

  43. 43 Apr 5th, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Yes, I have checked some bikes But I must say that the motor,trans and swingarm area design is a good one and the welds on them look good and is they were week would have broken by now. A 165 hp 124 with a 300 tire will rip the motor mounts out of a cheap frame (I ave seen plenty of non BBC frames do it) or the swing arm rear frame will tweek. I and the owner have pounded on a 300 sled prostreet with BIG power and have not had any problems. I am worried about slamming down off a wheelie!!! I may do a complete frame check when I get a better idea on the costs. My feeling is with the stress testing that myself and customers have done on these bike if there was a flaw anyware but the neck we would have found it by now. I pride myself on building frame braking motors LOL

  44. 44 PC Apr 5th, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    If you have proof of other models having weak welds at critical areas, the NHTSA must be informed so that all the guys out there that are not your customers can be warned and fix their bikes before a catastrophic failure. Loyalty to a company is one thing but leaving some kid without a dad and it could have been prevented needs to be considered.
    P.S. 165 horse out of a 124″ is kick ass!!!

  45. 45 Nicker Apr 6th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    “…[Radio graph/X-ray does] not show defect especially lack of penetration into two solid pieces…”

    Well, showing inclusions inside a weldment is about as “solid” as “piece” as ya can get. And that’s what non-destructive testing does.

    Moreover, if there isn’t enough penetration then one would think the inside edge/interface should show up….(?)


    “… I am working on a price to X ray…”

    Some of these folks would rather not lose any more time on a tear-down if it ain’t necessary.
    For scooters already assembled and in use, to get a goo X-ray, would they have to remove more than the front end and may be the tank………?


  46. 46 Sprotter Apr 6th, 2008 at 1:48 am

    Greg writes:

    “As far as that ugly gusset killing the resale of the bike. I plan to have the plate waterjetted with some cool design, flames, web… If the repair is done properly and the neck area is molded nice I see no reason it should hurt the value, it may increce. Yes it will cost more than BBC will alow for but it is well worth it.”


    I beg to differ…….. You are only talking about the bikes your going to repair. The general opinion on the recall bikes will be:

    – Don’t buy a used BBC recall bike. The rest of the frame could have bad welds.

    – Buy a used recall bike for cheap…… Buy a new frame and rebuild you a new bike.


  47. 47 Cat Apr 6th, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Obviously there are people out there who are going to be upset no matter what options are offered to resolve this. According to one of the above posts, ” if BBC just took care of the guy, all of this could have been kept quiet”. Is that what you would prefer…being a BBC owner? Really?
    Believe me, I understand the fear and concern. My point WAS and IS that this did not happen “all of a sudden at 60mph.” as that guy stated, and that makes me question everything that comes out of his mouth. If he performed regular maintenance and inspections of his bike, this would have been caught and I believe BBC would have addressed it.
    Harley has issued recalls on their frames in the past for them breaking. Does anyone remember? Does anyone know what repairs were offered to those customers? Research that once, and rethink you positions. We are not riding around in SUV’s with airbags and seat belts. Being chopper owners we have to assume some responsibility and risk. ESPECIALLY IF YOU BUILT THE BIKE FROM A KIT IN YOUR GARAGE.
    A year from now, the question I would have if I was in the market to buy an 04 or 05 BBC would be, who assembled it, was regular maintenance preformed and by whom and was the frame inspected and reinforced per the recall. If I was satisfied with those answers, I would pay a ton more for said bike versus one that did not have the reinforcement and was questionably maintained. Honestly, wouldn’t you?
    This situation does suck. It is not what anyone expected. Remedies are being offered. No one was hurt. That seems to me to be the important thing here.
    An Avon 300 tire, mount, balance and install costs a lot too. Does that mean you are not going to change a worn tire?
    All of that said, I fully expect to get slammed again, but I stand behind BBC as a company that produces a quality product, and Kevin as a man with integrity.
    OH, and just for the record, I can not be reached for comment at BBC, as I DO NOT WORK FOR THEM.

  48. 48 Greg Apr 6th, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I will state again. The neck will not just let go at any time. It will crack slowly. Go out and look at your bike! If you see cracks starting have it fixed. That goes for ANY frame!!!!!!! I have seen ALL brands fail. Hell, wings fly off F-18″s Spaceshuttles blow up, 747 fuel tank explode!!! Shit happens. Any custom bike should be looked over good before or after a ride. If any one is scared that there frame may brake, just do it!!!!! I wanted to add, yesterday a guy stopped in my shop to get some oil, I looked out the window and saw that he was riding a old Sportster. I could see that it was a early 70’s. Damn if it wasnt one with the recall done to it. I am not sure if it was one that I did or not, but it was the worst slop & gop welding I have seen in a long time. 30 years and it is still holding……..

  49. 49 Mr. Reality Apr 6th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    You made a point that no one got hurt. The last time shoddy workmanship from Big Bear Choppers happened, a guy lost his leg. Let me guess… That was HIS fault also. So, if the guy that had his Big Bear Chopper neck broke off had died, since he is responsible for his bike, in an essence you are saying would have committed suicide. Now we are on to something…

    Riding a Big Bear Chopper is Suicide. Now I understand you.

    With the lack of penentration on that neck weld, it could have peeled away rapidly and unless YOU were there, you can’t say either way, nor can I.

    As far as you using others’ remedies over the years on different recalls as some type of excuse for Big Bear Choppers, to hell with that. Their remedy is unsatisfactory and all the different “spins” you want to put on it isn’t going to change that.

  50. 50 Cat Apr 6th, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Wow. Mr. reality, sure am glad I don’t live in your world. Let me guess…you don’t even ride a motorcycle, Big Bear or otherwise. And the sun never shines in your world. Let’s see….do you have any positive solutions? Do you know all the facts concerning these incidents you are so quick to quote? Nope.
    I didn’t think so. You see, the folks that do ride and own Big Bears are looking for positive solutions to an issue that DIRECTLY concerns them. We want a solution so we can continue to ride our choppers and feel safe in the process. When we sell, if we sell, to maintain the value of our investment. Oh, I apologize, how could you possibly understand that! You just continue to sit in your arm chair, evaluating this issue from afar, inspiring fear instead of hope. I feel a lot safer knowing you are not on the road.

  51. 51 Greg Apr 6th, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Mr. Reality, Take a pill. If you are going to be motorcycleing’s Ralph Natter why dont you go after companys that build bikes with crap import trannys that have shift forks breaking when shifted into 6th gear? I have seen plenty of AIH with this problem and have heard some bad storys. They still say they have no problem. That frame did not break “all of a sudden” come on, you can see the rust on over half of the area AND the welds ground down. The bike had to feel weird and handle bad for a while. I have 2 Kenny Boyce Pro Streets in my shop right now that were built in the late 90″s that have had there frames repaired twice. One guy came down hard off of a wheelie and the bottom tubes completely seperated from the neck. (yes I built that motor) It was repaired and a gusset welded in and is still holding up well and he is still doing weelies. Dont get me wrong, a frame braking or cracking is a serious shit! But it does happen a lot more then people hear. The repair IS Strong and safe. My 35 years of doing this shit AND the opinion from a certified GTAW airframe welder that has helped me build and repair Top Fuel and Pro Stock Harley frames and repair more customs, choppers, AND Harley Davidson frames. When this frame repair is done properly the bike WILL be strong and safe. When the AIH dealer puts a new shift fork in that tranny IT WILL BREAK AGAIN!!!! The whole junk tranny needs to be replaced with a BAKER!! I am taking care of my customers and have extended my help to any owner of a BBC. I am concerned with fixing a problem and would rather focus on making people happy and safe. Some people you can never make happy and as long as we ride motorcycles we will never be totaly safe.

  52. 52 Greg Apr 6th, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Can anyone provide me with a link or web site that has REAL info on the man that crashed and lost his leg because of shoddy workmanship? I heard about this before but all I ever found on the web was chat room BS. No real facts that could be checked out. I never got a answer about it from BBC because it was with the lawyers. I have spent the last few hours searching the web but cannt find anything. I will not comment on that until I have some REAL facts. It is very easy for misinformation to get spread on the web. Just look at this thread!!!! People making posts without having all the facts.

  53. 53 venom Apr 6th, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Greg since you know all the facts can this repair be done the right way without any money coming out of the owners pocket. You said yourself they werent paying enough for the recall to be done. As far as time allowed and paint.

  54. 54 venom Apr 6th, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Cat so your saying that wouldnt make you at all uncomfortable riding on the back of one of these bikes being you probably dont even ride solo.

  55. 55 Cat Apr 6th, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    I would feel uncomfortable riding on the back of any motorcycle, as I have been riding solo for over 20 years. I would feel uncomfortable riding one of the 04 05’s in question, unless it was inspected and reinforced by a qualified person. Once that procedure was done, I would feel as safe as I do riding any other motorcycle.

  56. 56 Greg Apr 6th, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Venom, That depends on how your bike is painted. That is all I would ask a customer to pay for. The rest of the job would be like any warrenty work, the shop never makes anything but hopefully a happy customer. I cannt see it being more then a $100.00 to 200.00 more than BBC will allow. If a customer of mine felt it was out of line and didnt want to pay the extra, I would eat it. That is why the dealers are pissed, that and it puts the lieability of the repair on them, not BBC. I would rather they just sent the owners a bare frame and said sorry. But then you would have to paint it and put it together……..

  57. 57 venom Apr 6th, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Cat tell me do have a bbc under recall. If not why does this bother you so much that people are unhappy. Look my safety is important to me so if it needs this repair fine but on the other hand I have a custom paint job with metal flake. The frame is so visible on that spot and there’s no way to match it with touch up paint. If it was somewhere on the bike not as visible it wouldn’t bother me. I like to ride my bike and show it. The money allowed for this repair is just not enough. You said if your tire wares out would you bitch about replacing it. No because I wore it out but I did not weld this frame. You have to understand why we are upset. Besides all that I think bbc makes one of the best looking bikes on the market for the money. If I didn’t I would not have purchased it.

  58. 58 Greg Apr 6th, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Venom, I have a bike in my shop right now that needed the gas tank mounts replaced. (not a BBC) The bike has this cool old school green with gold metalflake (house of color). My painter repaired the melted bondo and repainted the thing for $400.00 with my drive time that would be about 100-200 above what BBC would pay. I could have it done right and not loose much if the frame was black.

  59. 59 venom Apr 6th, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Greg I would rather them send me a new new frame as well. I have another bike to ride and building the bike was fun. Plus my painter that I know very well could match the paint no problem but bbc is not willing to do that. Hope they change there mind.

  60. 60 Greg Apr 6th, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Most of the time if you use the same painter that painted the bike he will cut you a brake because he has the paint and he too like a dealer, wants a happy customer and made money on it the first time.

  61. 61 PC Apr 6th, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    I think a new frame is the best option as well.
    It is weird that some people here are unhappy and are attacking Big Bear Choppers with their legitimate concerns and then the people who are defending Big Bear Choppers spend their time attacking the individuals with concerns.

    I think this is a difficult problem. If my Ford had a recall for say the hood latches, Ford would replace them at no cost and paint them to match with the smallest amount of inconvenience to me as the consumer.

    Big Bear Choppers is probably going to have to do something similar in this situation to at least try and satisfy the majority. I don’t think consumers should have to split any costs with Big Bear Choppers on this as Big Bear Choppers made PROFIT on the sale of the bike and the consumer PAID for the bike.

    I heard a group of Big Bear Choppers’ motorcycle owners are already banding together to do a class action lawsuit. If you are satisfied with their fix, let it be fixed and ride your bike. If you are not satisfied, you do not need to accpet the fix and can fight.
    No matter what is said in a public forum, everyone needs the make the best decision for themselves.

  62. 62 Greg Apr 6th, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    I think BBC is in a bad spot. If they send out frames, some people would complane that they have to paint and rebuild there bike. With this repair I understand how they cannt just pay any paint bill you give them. I would like to see them give the dealer a little more leway to keep the customers happy. I dont like taking on the liability of the repair, but that is something I signed on for when I became a dealer for there bikes. They are great bikes for the money and are the best kit bike you can buy.

  63. 63 joe Apr 6th, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    cat…the only thing i can make out of your comments is that you like to get a rise out of ppl……iam a bbc owner…not happy with how they are handling this and my life and family are more important than your bullshit pride in a motorcycle company..btw…your bike is not an investment..if you think that you are a yuppie f**k who is NOT a true biker…..go back to your vespa poser !

  64. 64 Mr. Reality Apr 6th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    I have been riding for the last 20 years and I am directly effected by the outcome of this situation. I voice my complaint about the way this is playing out and I get attacked… sounds very Big Bear Choppers to me.
    If you have ever been to Big Bear Choppers and I have, they have their tubing cut and ready ahead of time. You can walk into their shop right now and you will find RUST on the ends of their machined tubes.
    These repairs should only be done at QUALIFIED dealers and the reality is that there is not that many out there. Most dealers do not have frame jigs to perform the repair and quite frankly do not want to assume any liability. Big Bear Choppers should replace the frames in question and a give a realistic paint allowance for those who built their own bikes and pay for the strip down/reassembly on those built by Big Bear Choppers or their official dealers. If a CCI dealer bought a kit and assembled it for one of their customers they shouldn’t get any tear down money and be treated like a self-built.
    There are satisfactory solutions here.

  65. 65 Greg Apr 6th, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Mr. Reality, Your last post is right on. I do not think that there is more than 2 or 3 dealers other than myself that can do the repair properly. Can you find me some info on that guy that lost his leg? I still cannt find anything. As long as any serface rust is removed with a wire brush before welding the tubing stacked up should not be any problem.

  66. 66 Mr. Reality Apr 6th, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    You had referred to “rust” in the pictures of the guys’ bike that had broken the neck off. What I was saying is, there is no way to know at what point rust would get on the tubes since there is rust on them before they are welded.
    A few of the owners have received letters from the attorney of the guy who lost his leg as they are building their case. I did not get a letter but if you go on , the letter and the guy have been mentioned several times.

  67. 67 Greg Apr 6th, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    The rust on the frame is on the broken and cracked weld. Showing that there was weld there (not good penitration) The rust on the bottom 1/3 had been there for a while. I keep trying that club chopper but there site doesnt seem to work for me or it has been down today

  68. 68 Apr 7th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    After getting into clubchopper and reading as much as I could about what is going on with the owners of the affected BBC bikes, I have to try and clear the air. Cat is a employee of mine. She overheard some of the things that myself and my mechanics were talking about. She is not qualified to make any mechanical statements. She is a big fan of BBC and was not totaly informed on what is going on. She mistakenly put my web site down in the form, not knowing that people could click her name and my web site would pop up. That was when I jumped in and had to get involved. She did not mean to sound like she was attacking BBC owners. I do not want to be perceived as attacking people. I have tryed to clear the air on some of the misinformation out there and to help people understand how a little thing like a top motor mount can be a important part of the whole picture. I worked all weekend gathering as much info about the subject and how I can help my customers and ANY BBC owner out there.

  69. 69 Loose Lips Apr 7th, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Cat sounds misinformed like alot of the people on CC were. maybe you should take the time and read the thread, which BBC themselves came on and BLAMED the owner for their shitty welds. No there is a recall and BBC is again trying to screw their customers with a minimal fix to a huge problem. Cant wait for the day when they fall to the wayside like all the other schmuck companies that jumped on the chopper bandwagon. Good riddance.

  70. 70 ATTENTION Apr 8th, 2008 at 9:29 am

    ALL BIG BEAR OWNERS PLEASE READ!! – I am a structural and mechanical engineer in Florida who has been involved in various frame designs for cars and motorcycles. There is a major flaw in the design of the Big Bear frames, both prostreet and choppers. There is a support post approximately 4-5 inches behind the neck which runs from the downtube to the backbone. This support should run more parallel to the backbone from near the motor mount to the neck/downtube attachment/weld. Normally when riding, the force of a bump is partially absorbed by the fork legs and then distributed from the neck equally through the frame to all other welds. We call this the Ground Reaction Force (GRF). Secondary to the support post being in the wrong position on Big Bear frames, this force is not distributed throughout the frame equally. Instead, the neck weld absorbs the majority of the GRF. What this means is that if the welds at the neck did not penetrate, over time the extra force in this area can cause the welds to be compromised. This applies to both Prostreet and Chopper versions, but especially to Choppers do to the angle of the rake. In bikes in which the welds did penetrate at the neck, the forces may still be unevenly distributed throughout the frame and may cause torqueing of the frame. To fix/remedy this issue, there are a few things that can be done. A gusset may be welded in between the backbone/dowbtube/neck or the support post may be removed and a new one positioned the correct way. BOTH OF THESE OPTIONS REQUIRE THE FRAME TO BE PLACED IN A JIG! Attempting to weld in a gusset out of a jig may shift the alignment of the front end and change steering dynamics.

  71. 71 ATTENTION Apr 8th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    This above statement applies to all Big Bear Venom, Sled, and Devil’s Advocate Prostreet and Chopper frames. If you go the their website and look at their frame section, you can see the difference between these and the Merc and Screamin’ Demon frames. This has nothing to do with one being a softail and one being a rigid.

  72. 72 Apr 8th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Attention, Could you please me. You are the first person that really seems to know what you are talking about. E-mail: [email protected] or call at 763-391-8055 Thanks, I need your help

  73. 73 ATTENTION Apr 8th, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    If you go to you can all see the correct design of the support for a softail prostreet or chopper frame. The support that Big Bear is using is roughly 80-90 degrees in the wrong direction!

  74. 74 venom Apr 8th, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Must be trying to sell some frames.

  75. 75 Apr 8th, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    I think if i was in this boat , I would be shopping for a frame and just pony up . Is anyone really worth the risk of getting pantzed. I dont know those people at Big Bear . Many people has started up companies with the sudden “fame” of the sport of “chopper” . In the crappy economy i look foward to the “cleansing” of such wagon jumpers . Greg your shop is really nice ! i was drooling looking at your “chines” and stuff. I am WAY younger , so i can catch up! I am sure if the owner of big bear had the pockets to send out frames he would do so , it could make him , it could break him. They are Probably doing some heavy pondering. I think if they sent out frames ,that would be so, um fair in my book. I would be happy if i was an owner with a new shiney SAFE frame. So what if you had to pay a good man like Greg a little money to make it 90 degrees everywhere it needs to be 90 degrees. Greg was Carl crabby when he was young ? cuz he is one CRABBY mofo. His son so 180 compared to Carl. Doug even pays for beers Ouch ! Whoa.

  76. 76 Apr 8th, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks for the good words. I have been getting beat up bad from a lot of people. Damn right he was crabby!!! That man was born crabby. Doug is a good kid, well he isnt a kid anymore I knew him when he was in high school and sweeping the floors!

  77. 77 Apr 8th, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    I got some funny stories about that crabby guy, i am a true fan of his . I howL when i think about those scenerio’s . He is so very full of talent ! Have you seen his new shop on nova rd.? its pretty spectacular . Back in 00 ,01 before the race tuner came out we would use their dyno for loading the power commander, he had the only “load brake” around so every time was a hoot , so much material for a movie as you can imagine. On gettin beat up , well you “know” what thats about , some times i come across people that think i “found” all my equipment and im just keeping it here all arranged , hanging out , and when they find out that i actually charge money ,well you know what i mean. You gotta just laugh. yer $hit runs great right?

  78. 78 Apr 8th, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I havent seen his newest shop. Have you ever seen photos of the old place in Cal? I will never forget when the Wittier earthquake hit! That old Boniville sportster was hanging from the roof right above my work bench. I thought I was going to die. I am still building the fastest bikes around here. 3′ 3rd gear wheelies out of my 95″ Roadglide!

  79. 79 Mr. Reality Apr 10th, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Greg- Have you had a chance to do any of the recall repairs yet?

  80. 80 Chandler Originals Apr 10th, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Here is my 2 cents…..why grind welds ???? that will sacrifice the integrity…..sandblast the frame….then pull mud….leave the [email protected]*kin welds be……I do have one question for anyone who can answer with a fact: If you are a NHTSA approved Manufacturer (as i am)….how can you send a kit bike (un-assembled) to a customer, and then hand them a CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN FOR A VEHICLE… as the manufacturer must assemble at your plant……that is way not legal ……I do not understand why BBC ever did that……thats just asking for a huge problem…….I do not blame BBC 100% for this, however… more title stuff…..

    Adam Chandler

  81. 81 venom Apr 10th, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Yah no more title stuff that will fix the problem. That guy knows his stuff .

  82. 82 Sprotter Apr 11th, 2008 at 1:05 am

    I beg to differ with Chandler……..

    With all due respect……

    Perhaps you did not see the photos of the BBC bike that broke going down the freeway. The top and bottom tubes were not beveled at the joint. The weld only stuck to the paper thin part of the tubing.

    The welds need to be ground out unless you can lay a bead that is a 1/2 inch wide.

    The other reason the welds need to be ground out…… Who knows if the failure was from filler rod that was bad or the wrong metal type?


  83. 83 Mr. Reality Apr 11th, 2008 at 1:08 am

    It is an “unassembled” motorcycle not a kit is how they can do it. A “Kit Bike” falls under the guidelines of one per lifetime but a DOT Licensed manufacturer can send out a simple unassembled bike in the raw form and skate under the radar.
    Big Bear Choppers did independent testing on a totally different bike then the one that broke and it failed, prompting them to move forward with the recall.
    I think that it is unfair to blame the guy whose neck broke off his Big Bear Chopper for the accident since he had nothing to do with the 2nd bike that failed.

  84. 84 John Apr 11th, 2008 at 2:34 am

    Nicker, back to the raiography (X-Ray)…a stress fracture would show but lack of penetration into a solid weldment (“parent metal”) will not show on X-Ray. I don’t know what the wall thickness is of the steering neck but imagine it is approx .250″ or greater. If the weld penetration achieved only penetrates .0625″, and these are arbitrary figures, then you have very little penetration but an x-ray will not indicate any defect. “Inclusion” would be porosity or tungsten inclusion in the weld metal and that would be visible. Also a stress fracture, if the angle of the “source” is correct “could” show up. Actually the solution is to do the repair on all frames that may have been defective. The preventive measure should have been to qualify the procedure and then certify the welders. Of course the real deal is having a qualified inspection process after welding and visual examination as the welding is being done. Quality control!!


  85. 85 Mr. Reality Apr 11th, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    “All bikes” would be every bike of that design and/or every bike touched by the individual that was doing the really bad welding. This is going to get much more interesting I think.

  86. 86 CHASSIS MAN Apr 11th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    I’ve seen necks made out of 12L-14 steel which is free-machining but never to be welded. Has any body checked with BBC to see if any of thier necks are from outside sources. Many machinest don’t know this and are inclined to use the 12L-14 (or other free-machining alloys) to increase productivity. Just food for thought.

  87. 87 Nicker Apr 12th, 2008 at 12:00 am


    ya got me on the X-ray stuff, i’m way out-a my element and winging it.

    “… should have….. qualify the procedure and then certify the welders…”

    OK, That would be SOP.
    So, what happened….. They didn’t….???

    In the weapons business the documentation for a “product” includes welder certification copies and process conformance docs.

    Sounds like frame customers need to ask for the source for documentation…. (?).


  88. 88 T.C. Apr 12th, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Greg…it does sound as though you are a really stand up guy, and I commend you on your efforts to take care of these customers.

    And, you are right about AIH and the trans problems (among other things), and we now see what the outcome of that was…they are out of business.

    Big Bear would do well to avoid the public relation quagmire they are creating, and find a way out of this QUICKLY or they will end up just like AIH.

    Lastly, every single day that I wake up , I am so happy that I own a BIG DOG, and do not have to worry about any of these things.


  89. 89 joe Apr 13th, 2008 at 9:34 am

    that depends, big dog had broken frames too. every motorcycle manufacterure has had problems at one time or another. lets see how its handled.

  90. 90 venom Apr 13th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Greg have you fixed any frames yet? If so how did they turn out?

  91. 91 T.C. Apr 15th, 2008 at 2:08 am

    And when Big Dog had a problem (with frames made by Rolling Thunder) they replaced the bad frames…not repaired them.

  92. 92 joe Apr 15th, 2008 at 6:35 am

    yep. serious non-repairable frame problems. harley had repairable problems, and they were repaired. honda, repaired. others repaired too. no one know how this will turn out. but everyones an expert.

  93. 93 Apr 16th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    My question, Is too BBC again. How come the Welder are not ASW Certifed welders. There is no mention of this any where, When I talk to Kevin and Roman one day last year at the BBC Ride to MT. to see how I can get a Job at BBC and all you have to do is come in take a simple weld test. Thats it…Boy when I hear this ..I didn’t what to have anything to do with them…


  94. 94 Attention Apr 17th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    You can be the best welder in the world, but if the frame is designed wrong, in the long run there will be unusual amounts of stress place somewhere and something will eventually give. The real issue is that Big Bear is not aware of the geometry issue(see above) of the support tube that runs from the backbone to the downtube. Has anyone been able to them?

  95. 95 venom Apr 17th, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Some frames don’t even have a support tube that runs from the backbone to the downtube. At least they have one i don’t believe that is part of the problem. Bad penetration in the weld that’s the problem.

  96. 96 joe Apr 20th, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Well even the weld penetration is an isolated problem. The people who have had theres fixed already say that the certified welder who did the repair confirmed that the weld on there bikes was perfect. “lightening larry’ did wheelies all the time with his 124. crashed his bike and never inspected it afterwards, asked bbc for 375,000.00 for damages and when they would not pay him, he brought all this up. of course leaving out most of the details. read his posts back to feb of 07 on
    he built his bike, drilling holes in the frame right by the top motor mount. bbc is taking care of me. they are paying my dealer actual cost to get my bike fixed and back the way it was prior to this. no out of pocket to me. my bike will be better and stronger than it was last year, and my frame gets new powder coat. 3 weeks down time is all. i have no complaints.

  97. 97 The Straw Apr 21st, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Maybe if Big Bear hired certified welders insted of the guy that will do it for the least amout of money they wouldent have a problem……………..

  98. 98 chip Jun 1st, 2008 at 1:29 am

    I was wondering if anyone knows any attorneys that are handling
    this class action lawsuit against big bear???? I talked to mike
    at big bear, he said bring my bike down and they would fix it
    but i would have to pay extra for the welds to be smoothed out,
    thats just wrong!!!!

  99. 99 illclubyourass Jun 7th, 2008 at 9:52 am

    BBC was ducking and dodging the facts of the failure from the very beginning. Larry, the guy who’s neck snapped off was called a liar, a hack, threatened by lawyers, blamed for a small hole drilled in the frame to run wires about 4 inches away from the failure, told he ran the bike with a loose motor mount. He just continued to stand his ground. He took the bike to a lab for testing. Invited BBC to the lab to witness the catastrophic failure………….no takers. BBC wanted the bike in their hands for testing….yeah right. Imagine that. Never once did this Larry guy bash them, he just continued to state the facts. He also posted letters from their attorney threatening, and discrediting his good name. Larry never waivered under scrutiny. GOOD FOR YOU LARRY. Now BBC riders can be safer because of you.

  100. 100 slick Jun 7th, 2008 at 11:49 am

    replace the frames. Follow the example of Big Dog.

  101. 101 joe Jun 23rd, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    there are more recalls on the 2006 models that were built in 05 are being recalled…ck the nhsta website for more info,,,,,, keeps getting worse !!!

  102. 102 DiGGerDon Sep 21st, 2008 at 3:48 am

    Anyone wanting to dump there “suicide ” BDC bike, me…

  103. 103 KrazyOtto Nov 7th, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    OK….Here are some “FACTS” about BBC.
    I am an owner of one of the piece of crap bikes in the recall.
    I bought mine second hand and I should of followed my instincts ,but I didnt and its been a nightmare ever since.
    BBC is claiming that the welds are being ground down and thats the reason for the failers.
    I’m the second owner so I cant say for a fact mine wasnt ,but I doubt very seriously they are telling the truth only because I have been dealing with these guys for months now and they are shady to say the least.
    I am a certified structual welder and when I was at my school getting certified I saw a job listing for BBC and they werent requiring certification.
    I guess if I was going to lose my ass in lawsuits I’d make that claim too, but if that were the case why are they recalling 3 models of one year….one reason might be they outsourced alot of of their frames that year and who knows who did that work.
    I know this because one of the guys there told me that was why my bike had that problem.
    I wanedt to see the name and certification number of the welder who fixed the recall and they wouldnt give it to me…… “RED FLAG”.
    I have little faith in BBC workmanship period ,becuase this isnt the only problem this my bike has had.
    I had a tank mounting bung crack and spring a leak which BBC fixed ,but I had to repaint it.
    I had my recall work done ,but they screwed up the bike when they put it together by mounting the tank on the wiring harness so when I u-turned my bike to put it in my garage my turn signals had the wires yank back and out.
    They also mis-directed my fuel line over the top of my enrichener knob crimping the fuel line blocking off my enrichener knob and cause the line to leak.
    I have an external fuel filter and they lost the internal gasket so they used teflon tape to seal the thread instead > < .
    I sent it back and things got worse they chipped my tank and my frame and left the finish work up to their painter.
    I still havent got the bike back and I have lost about 4 months of riding for something that should have taken 2 weeks .
    I talked to some of the locals at a bike shop on Big Bear and they say that BBC hire and fire continually which shows me they are unstable and unreliable, besides the fact I have had nothing but a nightmare dealing with them.
    I truly feel sorry for any of you that are out of California ,because I live down the mountain from them and if I had to endure this much crap you are in for a fight.
    They arent paying to shipping cost , its up to you to get it to them and if the dealers arent touching them you are truly screwed.
    If there is anyone out there who is a Lawyer and would like to help file a class action or just is a owner interested in filing a class action against these guys let me know.
    Call me Steve 714-270-3540
    BUY HARLEY they back their bikes!

  104. 104 Jan 14th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    I think Attention is the only one that addresses the real issue here. BBC has a fucked up design on their frames, always have as far as I know. Replacing the frame would be a start but they should replace it with a frame that is actually designed by someone who knows what the hell they’re doing. I actually foresaw this issue when I saw they labeled their springer as For Show Use Only, not intended for highway use. WTF is that about? Their weld penetration may be crappy too but their design is completely wrong.

  105. 105 bigmph Jan 20th, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    I have an 07 big bear sled prostreet has anyone had any weld issues could they also have a problem?

  106. 106 Jan 20th, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I have an 07 big bear sled prostreet does it also have weld issues?

  107. 107 antiBBC Jan 23rd, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    bigmph, from what I read in the Club Chopper Forum, the Prostreets were also included after the original issue. You may want to check it out.

  108. 108 Mike Ashton Mar 12th, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Not to change the subject,but I am a owner of BBC [2007 sled} Anything I shoud be concern about?
    I noticed my rear fender is not centered with 300 tire.Did my swing arm shift? I had trouble with my pop up gas cap.It seized,and took me 3 hours to loosen it,then another half hour to twist it off.Please if you are a BBC hater,don’t blog me to death why you hate them,and why I shouldn’t own a BBC.I really like this bike,but want to know more from other owners…

  109. 109 Mike McCrakin Mar 14th, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I have a BBC 2006 Venon Pro Street, which the neck stops gave out and struck the tank, damaging it. I called BBC and they had me take it to my dealer, which was worthless,
    They needed up replacing the entire neck assembly , welding a plate to neck,
    and sending bike back to BBC for repainting . When I recived it back, I sold it,
    I do not trust the assembly of the bike, with possibilities of frame failure whilre riding it.
    I went out and bought a new Harley Bones, at least they are tested. Thanks Mike

  110. 110 luckymike May 3rd, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    I own a 2006 BBC Screamin Demon and the list of issues I have had with this bike is endless. 50 miles after leaving the dealer the bike vaporlocked, I called the dealer and was told to leave the cap loose. The cap doesn’t remain with the bike long when it’s loose, lost it and paid 80 bucks for a new one which I had a machine shop vent.
    At 150 miles the ignition switch went out, fixed under warranty.
    At 200 miles the seat bracket broke just behind the hinge point tearing up the seat and providing some unwanted excitement on the freeway. Pivot bolt was locked down so tight the bracket wouldn’t swing. Not a warranty item.
    At 300 miles the battery bounced up and shorted everything out when it hit the seat springs. Dealer said battery was installed backwards from factory and electronics weren’t covered. $150 bucks.
    750 miles the paint started coming off the gas tank around the filler neck. Fixed under warranty.
    1250 miles the paint cracked on the oil tank, repainted under warranty but the wrong color.
    2200 miles the bolts holding the left turn signal and fender broke off and the turn signal ended up in the spokes. the bolt holes are wlded shut on the inside allowing app 5 threads of penetration into the fender. Dealer is now out of biz so i did the repair myself.
    Today, 2340 total miles on the bike and the mounts broke off the oil tank. Rubber mounts intact…. all bolts tight.
    This bike has set most of it’s life with some part or another broken. Beautiful bike, mechanicly it is great. But seriously, the workmanship is sad.

  111. 111 Jim Sep 17th, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Anybody that buys a big bear crapper is stupid. I finally offed mine. Because the stupid amount big bear assholes we offering to fix their problem was insane. Have you ever looked at one the built at their shop? Looks like shit! Welds are slop wiring shows everywhere, or they paint the wiring maybe thats there idea of hiding it. O and have fun trying to get them to replace a defective part like a gas cap. Do your self a favor don’t waste your money on a big bear POS!

  112. 112 Lightnin'Larry Jan 12th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    On April 20, 2008 joe wrote
    “Well even the weld penetration is an isolated problem. The people who have had theres fixed already say that the certified welder who did the repair confirmed that the weld on there bikes was perfect. “lightening larry’ did wheelies all the time with his 124. crashed his bike and never inspected it afterwards, asked bbc for 375,000.00 for damages and when they would not pay him, he brought all this up. of course leaving out most of the details. read his posts back to feb of 07 on built his bike, drilling holes in the frame right by the top motor mount.”

    I just found this thread today and being the person that this ‘joe” is talking about I’d be very interested to know how he seems to know so much about me???? And for the record with 1152 bikes in recall and 5 neck separations that pretty much proves that the weld penetration is far from an isolated problem! Not only did I never do a “wheelie” on my BBC I have never done a wheelie on any motorcycle I have ever owned so I wonder who is ing him this info? Also the “crash” was at 5-8mph on the soft shoulder of the road and only scratched the paint on the front fender and slightly deformed the air filter and Kevin Alsop himself did inspect the bike about an hour after it happened! I did ask for 375,000 in damages however I did not, as joe states; bring it all up after BBC refused to pay. The NHTSA had already been notified of the situation prior to my Letter of Demand to BBC. It was the NHTSA that suggested that I go on line to discover if any other BBC owners had a failure like mine. Yes I did drill two holes in the frame for wiring, so what; holes in the frame have no effect on weld integrity whatsoever. If the holes were to cause any type of frame integrity issue the frame would have broken where the holes were drilled. Joe you sure seem to know a lot about me having never met me or even seen my bike before. Before you go shooting of your mouth Joe you may want to get your facts straight!

  113. 113 Brian Sep 24th, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Big bear choppers suck and the customer service is worse, i bought one two years ago and i am still waiting on parts to replace the faulty ones it came with. The worst investment I made in my life

  114. 114 Oct 18th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I also have a BBC Venom Prostreet that was affected by the recall. I have had no issues with my bike. It has been a great motorcycle. Greg at Proven Performance did a great job on my recall and I want to give him props for that. The welds on my bike were perfectly fine before the recall work was done. I left the welds alone when I built the bike. I was not one of the idiots that ground down the welds before building the bike. Just like any other motorcycle, if you take care of your bike and don’t do stupid things with it, it should perform well for many years.

  115. 115 Bart Dec 14th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Out of 1152 in the recall, Karl seems to be the lucky one and the only not “idiot”. All these other guys supposedly grounded on their welds and caused their bikes to fail, or almost fail on them, and all of them must be idiots. Come on!!!!! There is an NHTSA recall, are they idiots, too? Everyone must be an idiot except for you and Kevin.

  116. 116 M. Jan 5th, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    More problems ahead, I had a catastrophic steering failure when my 2009 Sled refused to turn right and then would not turn back right without a lot of hand pressure. Apparently some inner part of their lower triple tree has failed as i was told by a certified dealer.

    No worries. they are out of business!!!!!!

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