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Here’s a strange one. This revised Big Dog was added to the line-up last year. I saw one for the first time in Vegas.
It’s a good-looking motorcycle and it smacks of a marketing nightmare, the shit guys in boardrooms grapple with constantly.
We gotta build a touring bike, Mr. Knife hollers across the vast oak table. Bikers are getting older.
A mechanic, Ace, in the corner of the room, ’cause he’s not allowed to sit at the polished table while he rebuilds a busted carburetor, pipes up, under his breath. You’re too old to ride a touring bike. Take a bus.
Mr. Knife turns to the CEO, Mr. Sheldon Coleman, for back-up. Sheldon was tuning a kerosene lantern.
Maybe he’s right, how about the young guns? What do they want?
I could have some fun with this conversation, but guys at the top of most MC companies are constantly looking, testing the waters, questioning their decisions and praying that their next model will be a hit. It would be interesting to take the June issue of American Iron, Hot Bike and Easyriders from every year since each magazine began and analyze the bikes featured.
We should do that just to see if long bikes ever went away, when bobbers died and returned, how the Frisco Chopper evolved over the years and what’s happened in the world of the dresser. Somebody is always getting old and someone new is always discovering motorcycling as a lifestyle.
So where does the new Pitbull fit? It’s the Big Dog bobber with some seriously classic styling. The frame smacks of a VL and vintage frames from the ’30s.
Big Dog is the master of details and custom refinements that set it ahead of the pack of custom production bikes. They add the final touches.
If 15 years ago, Dave Perewitz pulled this bike out of the back of his truck and asked if I would feature it, the answer would have been a resounding, Yes, except where’s the engraving, Dave?
At one time, in the vast Perewitz history, Dave engraved all his customs with gunsmith filigree. When Nick Messer asked me what I thought about the Pitbull I asked for a narrower rear tire.
Ya wimp, Ball, he said and hung up.
My contention is that if you’re going to build a shorter more agile bike, ditch the beach ball tire and enhance the retro styling (hell, they already did it with the wheel rim sizes) while improving the handling. That was my take. I like so much about the Pitbull, the tank is retro perfect, the front end could have been a springer, but that glide is clean as a whistle and the wheels classic along with the fenders. I’m terrible.
I can’t leave anything alone including my toaster. It’s pinstriped, so I would change the bars for something more retro looking. You’ve got to hand it to the Big Dog team. They’ve built a rigid with classic styling, a sprung seat, forward control ergonomics and enough detail and polish to win shows.
Since I don’t have one to road test right this minute, below are the specs and company info to fill in the blanks.
Big Dog Motorcycles, the world’s largest manufacturer of custom bikes, has completely redesigned its Pitbull for the 2008 model year. The model brings a fresh, pro-street design to the custom motorcycle landscape and is a radical departure from its predecessors.
“The Pitbull is a great design story. We started with a clean sheet of paper with no carry-overs in the major areas of chassis, frame geometry, and other primary components. The end result is a fresh, new motorcycle with its own distinctive look and a very dynamic silhouette,” explained Nick Messer, Executive Vice President, Sales New Product Development.
“The bike shows a definite new direction in our designs and styling,” Messer added. “The Pitbull, together with the return of our popular Mastiff and the introduction of the all-new Mutt, shows we are getting even more serious about the pro-street cruiser market and determined to bring consistently new models to this segment.”
Distinctively Cool And Retro
Building on its already impressive resume of style combined with amazing rideability, Big Dog Motorcycles shows its quest for a ground-breaking pro-street cruiser in the all-new Pitbull. Its distinguishing lines and components are seen on no other motorcycle in the company’s line-up, or in the custom industry.
The centerpiece of the Pitbull’s new chassis is an all-new spring seat, stretched one-piece fuel tank, and a new, taller wheel combination.
Contoured and sweeping, the 4.6 gallon tank enhances the motorcycle’s curves and brings prominence to the boulevard cruiser. Big Dog Motorcycles designers then bent the rules of traditional frame design with an all-new radical rigid frame that cradles the ultra fat 280 rear tire and stunning 20” x 10½” polished billet rear wheel.
With a traditional stretch of 6” over standard backbone and 1” over standard down tube, the new frame, together with the spring seat, magnifies the motorcycle’s retro design. The seat also adds to the rider’s comfort.
The front features a 23” x 3½” wheel, making the Pitbull’s front/rear wheel combination the first of its kind in the high- volume custom manufacturing industry making it a major design element on this fresh, new model. A pleasing 31-degree rake provides excellent low-speed maneuvering, high-speed handling, and strong turning performance.
Standard Performance and Handling Features
Like all Big Dog Motorcycles in the 2008 line-up, the Pitbull’s effectiveness is born from a heart-pounding 117 cubic inch engine (1,916cc). With tremendous power and torque, the carbureted American V-twin power plant is effortlessly brought up to speed with the company’s trademark 6-speed BDM Balance Drive, the award-winning system allows for better balance, cornering, and maneuverability.
The clutch has been dramatically redesigned for 2008, significantly reducing lever effort and allowing for even smoother engagement.
“With these across-the-board performance features and designs that enhance rideability and handling, there is no doubt our bikes are designed for true enthusiasts and real riders – even over long distances,” Messer said.
Other standard features include 4-piston billet caliper brakes (front and rear) and 2-piece rotors for confident stopping; speedometer with integrated LED tachometer; 2-into- 1 exhaust; durable steel fenders; and gleaming chrome and polished billet components throughout.
Riders can customize their 2008 Pitbull with over seventy graphic options and a selection of vibrant base colors, Diamond Heads diamond-cut heads and cylinders, and an extensive line of aftermarket accessories. These include: Big Radius or Mean Mother™ exhaust systems; made-to-order custom seats, sissy bar and passenger seating; and touring bags.
The Pitbull – Always On The Cutting Edge
The Pitbull has made bold design statements since the model’s inception ten years ago. In 1998, it was the company’s first rigid frame motorcycle. In 2002, the model was the inaugural fat tire bike, with a then unheard of 250 rear tire.
Now, in its tenth year, the Pitbull is unleashed again with design features that will continue to challenge the rivals and attract new audiences.
“In an industry that worships style, performance, and handling in its motorcycles, the Pitbull will tantalize all enthusiasts, whether they are behind the handlebars passing the car on the street, on the sidelines hearing it rumble by, or just seeing it parked,” Messer described.
From The Board Track To The Winner’s Circle: Big Dog Motorcycles’All-New Pitbull Named 2008 V-Twin Bike Of The Year– The award marks the third time in four years the company has received top honors for motorcycle design. WICHITA, Kansas (February 6, 2008) – Big Dog Motorcycles is pleased to announce its all-new, completely redesigned Pitbull received the 2008 V-Twin Bike of the Year award by Paisano Publications at the industry’s largest trade show – the V-Twin Expo – held February 2-4 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
This marks the third time in four years the company has received the magazine’s top award. In 2005, Big Dog Motorcycles was honored for its Bulldog and a year later, the company’s K-9 chopper was the winner.
The 2008 Pitbull has already been lauded in the press. Robb Report Motorcycling magazine described it as, “A snarling prostreet that has been transformed into a sleek, board track-inspired beast.” IronWork s magazine called it a, “Winning formula for rigid-frame customs,” and ThunderPress magazine said, “The board track racer is a major break with the status quo.”
It equally impressed the jurors at Paisano Publications with its distinct presence, fresh design, and its stirring combination of nostalgia, performance, and styling.
“The Pitbull receiving The Bike of the Year Award is one of the greatest honors in our industry,” stated Sheldon Coleman, company founder and CEO, who accepted the award.
RIDE FREE. SAVE GREEN
Zero Down And Zero Payments For 6 Months Or We’ll Match Your Down Payment Up To $1,000* *On Select 2007s. Other Restrictions Apply. See www.bigdogmotorcycles.com for more details.
2008 Pitbull Specs
Factory Warranty. 2 Years
Dry Weight – Front. 294 lbs
Dry Weight – Rear. 384 lbs
Dry Weight – Total. 678 lbs
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