Most people are familiar with no more than a small number of motorcycle manufacturers. However, it is important to note that there are more motorcycle manufacturers that can be found out there than the best-known examples. Big Dog Motorcycles is one of the smaller, less well-known motorcycle manufacturers that can be found in the United States. For a time, it was rendered defunct by the Great Recession. However, it has since made a return to the motorcycle market, though it remains to be seen what will happen from this point forward. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Big Dog Motorcycles:
1. Founded in 1994
Big Dog Motorcycles has existed for a longer period of time than what a lot of people might have expected. After all, it was founded in 1994, meaning that it has had a fair amount of time to expand its operations beyond its humble beginnings.
2. Based in Wichita, KS
Currently, Big Dog Motorcycles is based out of Wichita, which can claim the distinction of being the single biggest city that can be found in the state of Kansas. Once upon a time, the city was known because of its location on the cattle trails, but in modern times, it is better known for its manufacturing. In particular, Wichita is an important place for the airplane industry, as shown by the number of airplane manufacturers that have facilities there.
3. Produced a Single Motorcycle in First Year
Big Dog Motorcycles has come a long, long way. For proof, look no further than the fact that its facilities produced no more than a single motorcycle in its first year of operation. Nowadays, said motorcycle has been nicknamed “Old Smokey,” which is perhaps unsurprising considering the important role that it played in the motorcycle manufacturer’s history.
4. Old Smokey Established Common Characteristics for Successors
It is interesting to note that Big Dog Motorcycles’s “Old Smokey” wasn’t a one-time aberration but rather a true predecessor to its current selection of products. This can be seen in how it inspired a number of common characteristics in Big Dog Motorcycles’s subsequent models, with examples ranging from big fenders to their shared resemblance to classic cruisers.
5. Saw Fast Growth
For a time, Big Dog Motorcycles benefited from fast growth, not least because the 1990s were an economic boom time for the United States. This fast growth can be seen in how the motorcycle manufacturer was managing to bring in $2 million in sales by 1997, which was rather remarkable considering its production number in 1994.
6. Peaked Before the Great Recession
Big Dog Motorcycles hit its peak right before the Great Recession, which is perhaps unsurprising considering the negative impact that said event had on a wide range of businesses operating in a wide range of industries under a wide range of circumstances. At its peak, the motorcycle manufacturer was turning out more than 25 motorcycles in a single day, which was made possible by a established reputation as well as a much-expanded set of production facilities.
7. Shut Down in 2011
Unfortunately, the Great Recession hit Big Dog Motorcycles so hard that its operations actually came to a stop in April of 2011. Moreover, it is important to note that Intrust Bank actually filed for foreclosure on some of its property in October of 2013, which speaks volumes about how dire the situation had become for the motorcycle manufacturer.
8. Halted for Three Years
In total, Big Dog Motorcycles stopped its production of new motorcycles for a total of three model years, which would be 2012, 2013, and 2014. However, the people behind the motorcycle manufacturer didn’t give up in spite of its serious difficulties but instead took it as a chance to refine their practices. As a result, Big Dog Motorcycles is now on the ascent once more.
9. Offers Three Models
Currently, Big Dog Motorcycles’s website lists three models, which are the K9, the Boxer, and the Coyote. Each of these models has their own particular set of specifications as well as their own particular look. However, their style makes their shared origin clear, which should come as welcome news to those who are fond of Big Dog Motorcycles’s previous models.
10. Famous for Semi-Customization
Big Dog Motorcycles doesn’t offer fully-customizable motorcycles to interested individuals. However, it does offer numerous options for customizing their current models, with examples ranging from different graphic options to different accessories. As a result, it strikes a neat balance for people who want their motorcycle to be well-suited for their particular preferences.