Traffic at Big Bear Choppers rig in Daytona Beach has been constant as curious parties stop by to check out the company’s new Titanium, an FXR-based ripper with an S&S V111 engine and plenty of high-spec parts.
Two burly bearded bikers from Finland bought tickets to Daytona Beach Bike Week 2013, flew across an ocean, got off the plane, and headed straight to the Speedway to see the new Titanium by Big Bear Choppers Rage Hard Built. The Finnish duo, huge fans of the vaunted FXR, couldn’t wait to see the new FXR-based motorcycle, so damn the price of a ticket, damn the jet lag, they were determined to see the new bike Kevin Alsop and the BBC crew has created.
“It’s the best handling motorcycle with a V-Twin in it that has ever been produced,” Alsop said of the original FXR.
This just might be so, as the original frame was heavily influenced by one Eric Buell, a guy who knows a thing or two about making motorcycles go fast. The FXR has since reached cult-like status, most recently fueled by the popularity of shows like Sons of Anarchy.
After the two Finnish friends spent an hour-and-a-half scrutinizing over the motorcycle and talking to Alsop, we finally were able to get Kevin to give us the low-down on the new bike.
“I wanted to show you a new product that we’re doing. It’s called the Titanium and I worked really hard on this. I’ve spent a lot of time in the saddle of an FXR-based motorcycle and I have such an appreciation for them that I wanted this bike to be what it could be that Harley never did,” said Alsop.
“So what I’ve done, we’re now producing this frame. The reason it handles so well is because, number one is the geometry, 29-degrees of rake, this area of the frame (just behind the headstock) has zero flex. The whole backbone section is actually two pieces of square tubing. The side plates, which are pressed sheet metal, are welded over the top to make the section really, really stiff all the way through the frame here. And because of this V (below the seat), the V makes the whole area stiff. So taking the flex out of the frame makes a huge difference because when you’re going around a corner, this swingarm, when the bike is leaned over and the swingarm is being torqued on, it doesn’t shift and the back wheel doesn’t come off line. Instead it squats in and remains extremely stable.”
“What we did here, starting with the front of the bike, we put on a carbon fiber front fender we’re making in conjunction with Yoshimura. We’re using Race Tech suspension, Race Tech rotors, Hayes monobloc calipers. I’ve taken the original FXRP fairing and modified it to make it work for this bike. I’ve made our own gauges. We’re using radial-mount brake calipers as well as radially mounted hand controls. We’re still using our three-point rubber mount system, just like the original FXR. We’re making our own brake pedals and working with Yoshimura on the exhaust systems because they are freakin’ phenomenal.”
“We’re working with Race Tech for the front and rear suspension which has been absolutely tuned for this motorcycle. We spent a lot of time tuning the suspension for production for a 200-pound person for this motorcycle. We’re using the Baker transmission six-speed overdrive and it’s just a phenomenal bike. This bike is on rails. It is so fun to ride, so comfortable, you can ride this bike 800 miles a day, it’s no bullshit. It’s fantastic motorcycle. This is the motorcycle you want to get up every morning and go ride it. This thing can carve the canyons hard.”
Big Bear Choppers Rage Hard Built is also developing a line of products for Harley Sportsters, another popular platform currently ripe for customization.
“I want to talk about the Sportster a little bit. We’re doing all the carbon fiber parts for the 883 Iron. We’re doing oil covers, and carbon fiber front and rear fenders, an air cleaner as well as oil side covers (all in CF). Also, a polished stainless steel exhaust system between us and Yoshimura, a co-branded project. It’s a really, really nice exhaust system.”
BBC also has other Sportster-based products coming up, including clip-ons and carbon fiber chain guards.