BIG BEAR CHOPPERS has been around in the States for years. The business is owned and operated by Kevin Alsop, an Aussie who worked long and hard to realise his dream of one day being the builder of some of the tidiest custom motorcycles to the grace the roads of the USA and indeed the world. I watched a DVD on the inner workings of Big Bear Choppers, given to me by the boys at Wildcard Customs, which was a real eye opener as far as the workmanship, quality, history, and the goals of this proud company. What started as a small shed (sound familiar?) where Kevin started to fabricate his own frames for custom builds, has now evolved into a thriving business for large capacity motorcycle manufacturing. With the help of his family and tight-knit staff he has achieved just that!
Enter Chris Hill, the Managing Director of Wildcard Customs in Queensland. I first met Chris and his son Adam they had six shining Big Bear Chops lined up outside the Landsborough Hotel, and after a brief conversation with them, I realised how committed and enthusiastic these blokes were about these customs they had on display. First impressions count, and I was impressed to say the least.
Chris had decided to get into the motorcycle sales scene and had done some extensive homework when it came to the outcome of his final decision. Big Bear Choppers seemed to be the best option for more than enough reasons. After many un-returned calls and emails to the Big Bear’s ex-dealer development person, Chris and Adam decided to take the bull by the horns and flew to the States to meet up with Kevin Alsop in person and secure a dealership. Within four hours of the meeting, Chris had signed a deal for the delivery of three bikes. Wildcard Customs was born.
Present day, and here we are standing outside the shop, proudly wearing the Big Bear Choppers logo on its facade. Bikes and riders are flowing in and out, there’s a free sausage sizzle on the go and a cluster of brilliant choppers gracing the front parking lot.
The current models on offer are the Devil’s Advocate, The Sled and the beautiful Athena. All these machines come in two styles, ProStreet or Chopper. Also available is the ProStreet-styled Venom, Miss Behavin. and my favourite, the rigid Screamin’ Demon with its tough ‘no bullshit’ bobber look. Soon to be added to the Big Bear family are the GTX, a sleek two-up touring bike, and the Paradox. No two machines are alike and all are built to the customer’s preferences on order, regarding handlebar styles, paint schemes, etc.
Now get this, all bikes are ADR complianced and come with a two-year/32,000 km warranty as well as 24/7 National Roadside Assist. Not bad for a custom built machine, eh?
The showroom is a work of art in itself. Highly polished tiled floors and a feature wall, with a mural of a larger-than-life Grizzly bear standing guard over an S&S motor.
One of the bikes we had asked to do a feature on was to be picked up that day, so we did the next best thing—we snapped a few shots of the proud owner Cameron and his family. Another happy customer and another Big Bear being released into the wild.
So get yourself into Wildcard Customs and see what they have on offer. I guarantee you’ll be more than happy with the bikes, the service and the devotion these people show towards the product they are so proud to be associated with.
pics by Jo; words by Chuck U Farley