Riding Impression: 2009 Big Dog Pitbull: You can spend way more money…

14 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Riding Impression: 2009 Big Dog Pitbull: You can spend way more money…
Big Dog Mastiff Sport Touring

Riding Impression: 2009 Big Dog Pitbull You can spend way more money on a custom chopper, but it’s doubtful it will look or function better than the Pitbull.

You have to be committed to cool to lay down hard-earned cash on a rigid-framed custom. Backache? All but guaranteed.

That said, the Big Dog Pitbull caught us by surprise; not only was ride quality a lot better than expected, so was nearly every other aspect of the bike.

In fact, the Pitbull is a beautiful motorcycle. You could get dizzy walking around it in your garage, soaking up all the details. The contoured, board-track-style one-piece gas tank holds 4.7 gallons — and your attention. The 1970s-era metalflake green-and-gold paint sucked customers straight out of a Starbucks line during a 6 a.m. photo shoot.

Equally captivating are the polished, billet-aluminum 23-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels.

Least radical of the Kansas bike-maker’s line of Prostreet models, the Pitbull looks almost conservative compared to the ridiculously long-and-low Wolf that we tested( CW . April). Okay, a 73-inch-wheelbase rigid with a 280mm-wide rear tire isn’t exactly Captain Sensible but…

With 33 degrees of rake and 5.6 inches of trail, steering is composed, predictable and stable. Lean the bike into a tight roundabout, though, and you will soon be aware of the fat rear tire. Cornering clearance runs out quickly; even the least aggressive among us checked up early to avoid ruining the fancy billet footrests.

Big Dog Mastiff Sport Touring

No apologies needed for the 117-cubic-inch, 45-degree SS V-Twin, available carbureted or fitted with electronic fuel-injection. Our test bike had a gaping 52.3mm SS Super G carb, power transferred to the rear wheel via a right-side BDM Balance Drive primary, Baker six-speed transmission and belt.

Jetting was spot-on, the engine warming quickly and running smoothly. Torque is hearty, the 700-pound machine lunging forward from a standstill or when called upon to pass slower vehicles. The 50-state-legal engine exhales through a beautifully chromed, sweeping 2-into-2 exhaust system that offers a nice responsible tone — no blatty staccato, just a nice thrum.

The only thing between the rider and a sure visit to the chiropractor is a low-slung, sprung solo seat, set just 25.5 inches off the deck. Yet over all but the worst pavement, the ride was on par with that of conventional short-travel cruisers.

From perfect welds to stunning paint to mirror-like chrome, the Pitbull is a top-notch machine. Show-quality is what you would expect for $28,000, sticker price for our testbike with its additional chrome and upgraded paint and California emissions equipment.

Oh, yeah, and the backache? Never happened.

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