Big Bear Choppers: Die Athena helikopter

9 Februarie 2015 | skrywer: | Comments Off op Big Bear Choppers: Die Athena helikopter

Big Bear Choppers: Die Athena helikopter

BBC’s latest model, the Athena chopper, comes directly from Kevin’s Biker Build-Off winning design, which was named after the late daughter of his best friend, Mike “The Greek” Aspiotes. This one-off design for the TV show was built with more than just winning the Build-Off, but ultimately being a production bike from the get-go. “We built the Athena for a reason, which was to add a more aggressively designed chopper and just another slice of cool to the stable,” said Kevin. “I had it in mind that I was going to put it in production, so I had to make it production friendly.” Unlike most concept vehicles that end up being a shell of their former selves, Athena lost very little in the transition to a catalog model.

The basic structure of any man-made machine determines how well and how long it will function. The best bodywork or components will never stand a chance if their underpinnings aren’t strong and stable.

Big Bear prides itself on its frame building prowess (lifetime warranty to original owner), which entails more than just good welding techniques, but choosing the correct tubing for the purpose. “Originally we designed our frames to put up with boneshakers with a quarter-inch wall backbone when everybody wanted to run a 113 of 124. We’re using twice the wall thickness of every frame builder in the country,” said Kevin.

The softail frame also is patented for the design and mechanically patented for the low center of gravity. The seat height is only 19” which is a little over an inch higher than sitting on your kitchen chair, vertigo should never be a problem on this bike. The 48-degree rake with two more in the trees and 6” added in the backbone stretches this bike out with a wheelbase exactly the same as a 1968 Ford Country Squire wagon, 119” to be exact.

This bike casts a long shadow and you almost have to roll through a stop sign to get where you can actually see what’s up. hey, just part of cool custom fun. The Devil’s Tail swingarm, modulated by Progressive Suspension shocks, adds comfort and style, all the while not looking like a production afterthought but a design enhancement.

BBC’s own springer is not the usual boring proprietary item but has neat surface details like the “hot rod holes” on the sides of the fork legs which extend up into the long, curved beach cruiser-style handlebars matching those on the frame under the seating area. Situated between the 12”-over forks is a butch 21” Performance Machine Wrath wheel mirroring the PM rear wheel carrying a fat 300mm Avon. PM’s four-piston caliper and rotor yank the front to a stop while a BBC-designed, exclusive PM-built brake/drive system out back is being upgraded as you read this. “We’re changing it out to a four-pad caliper giving us four leading edges on the brakes like Brembo does,” said Kevin.

There’s good reason for all the stopping ability and that’s the easy accessibility of the 95 perdekrag en 110 foot-pounds of torque from BBC’s exclusive SS 100” SMOOTH engine. Easy because of the smooth aspect, you can twist the throttle wide open and not lose fillings from a giant-inch engine vibrating away. There’s a lot more to being smooth than just cylinder size, alhoewel. “What we did was drop the compression down to 8.5 and we built cylinder pressure through cam timing.

The majority of engines have 10 to 1 or higher ratios and usually have a lot of cam overlap, a lot of lift, and you have to get the shit out of the motor real fast because you can’t build any cylinder pressure. Bottom line is, the motor has no load on it for the majority of the time, then it has a massive amount.

The piston has no load on it until it gets to the very top with a high compression ratio,” said Kevin. “If you drop it (kompressie) and close the valves earlier as the pistons come up and start building cylinder pressure, you’ll have more of a constant load on the engine. That makes it smoother.” That’s not all, as changes in reciprocating weight percentages for balancing and what rpm it’s balanced at make it smoother also. “The engine is balanced between 2500-3000 rpm where it’s really balanced the best, then we took out the roller rockers ‘cause they’re just horse shit.

They’re noisy and aren’t any advantage on the street,” said Kevin. Making the engine less vibey has another benefit besides rider comfort; it cuts down on reliability problems leading to a 2-year/20,000-mile warranty being offered. “Vibration destroys electrical components, speedos, key switches, frame parts, tanks, en modderskerms,” said Kevin. “A lot of manufacturers have trouble with things like the ECU.

They don’t need to get rid of the box; they need to get rid of the vibrating engine,” said Kevin. Perhaps as important is the use of a compensating sprocket with the BBC’s own clean, enclosed chain primary to help minimize engine vibes being transferred. “I wanted to use a compensating sprocket in the driveline ‘cause that’s what you should use,” said Kevin. Open belt options are available for those who like the look and don’t give a damn if their Dockers get caught in the belt.

A sweeping 2-into-1 SuperTrapp EPA exhaust makes things legal and allows you to tune the sound (tot 11) by adding additional discs. A Baker RSD 6-speed reliably handles whatever is thrown at it and Bert Baker is so confident in his transmissions, he backs them up with a 5-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Big Bear Choppers Athena 100 Smooth Carb
Big Bear Choppers Athena 100 Smooth Carb

Lifetime warranties are not something you think of when it comes to bodywork, but BBC’s in-hose tanks and fenders, made from heavy 14- and 12-gauge steel respectively, are guaranteed from leaks and cracks respectively. That’s great, but the smooth design of the blue painted tanks and fenders are what’s more initially important and they don’t disappoint with a watered-down version of the original. All other parts like the seat, controls, ens. are proprietary BBC items.

If you like to roll your own, Athena is available as a kit, or a BBC-assembled runner for those who don’t imbibe in mechanical stuff, with options galore for either version at or call 909-878-4340.

Builder: Kevin Alsop

Big Bear Choppers

By now, practically everyone with an interest in custom motorcycles knows the story of Kevin Alsop emigrating from Australia, getting into the tough side of biking, and his resurrection as a leader in the custom motorcycle industry alongside his savvy wife, Mona. The motorcycle magazine mill and numerous TV shows have covered it all to where it’s old news. What’s more interesting is where he and Big Bear Choppers are going.

BBC continues to turn out kits and assembled bikes, but the number of assembled bikes is outnumbering the kits these days. The SMOOTH motor has been a success and customer satisfaction has grown with an average of 80 sales a month. Dealers are being opened all across the country selling assembled bikes. “Seven months ago we had two dealers. Now we have a total of 53,” said Kevin.

That’s all good, but when I asked him what else was in the mix, specifically the new SS X-Wedge engine, he told me to refresh my computer screen. Yowsa! Up popped a new BBC X-Wedge bagger with fresh design ideas and a look to die for. “We are heading off in a new direction with three new designs, one’s that bagger,” said Kevin. “We are getting into body lines, fiberglass, and other materials with the same passion as an outlaw chopper.

We finally got a platform for an engine that we can move forward with into the future.” In the meantime, BBC strives to improve its core product. “I want to build motorcycles as reliable as a Honda. That’s my personal goal,” said Kevin. See the future today at .

Big Bear Choppers Athena 100 Smooth Carb

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