Big Dog Motorcycles is a Big Motorcycle Company

If someone was to ask you which company is the second largest motorcycle manufacturer in the United States, would you know? No, it's ...

The Pit Bull by Big Dog MotorcyclesIf someone was to ask you which company is the second largest motorcycle manufacturer in the United States, would you know?

No, it's not Victory. It's Big Dog Motorcycles.

Big Dog Motorcycles may make Wichita, Kansas famous in the same way that Harley Davidson made Milwaukee, Wisconsin famous.

The company was founded in 1995 Sheldon Coleman Jr., who once ran Coleman Co. He started his motorcycle business after he customized a Harley-Davidson Fatboy in his garage. In the 10 years of operation it enjoyed 50 percent growth. In 2004, it had sales of about $120 million, compared to $5.02 billion for Harley Davidson.

Big Dog recently made news with Coleman purchasing 106 acres in northeast Wichita that is expected to become its new motorcycle plant. Coleman was quoted in the Wichita Eagle that he envisions a spacious campus-style complex there with lakes, offices, warehouses, a museum and a training center, as well as the factory itself. Big Dog currently employs 340 people and expects to build 5,700 motorcycles this year.

Big Dog has evolved from selling what was mostly a customized Harley Davidson, to designing a bike that is completely their own, with the exception of the motor. Prices for their bikes range from $24,000 to $30,000, which is within HD's sights. Last month, DealerNews, a major powersports industry dealer publication, issued its manufacturer report card for the motorcycle class, with Big Dog taking top honors, beating out Harley Davidson, Victory, Yamaha, BMW, and all the others.

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