California-based Big Bear Choppers originally built its Athena chopper in 2006 as an entry for the Discovery Channel’s show “Biker Build Off.” The chopper won the contest, and Kevin Alsop, the company’s owner and designer, then added it to the production line, noting that his idea all along had been to create a “more aggressively designed chopper” for the lineup. The 2008 Athena Chopper and the Athena ProStreet were carryovers.
The 2008 Athena came with the company’s proprietary 1638.7cc, air-cooled, four-stroke, V-twin engine made by S & S, but buyers had the option of having it built with either the S & S 100 Smooth EFI Evolution engine or the EFI X-Wedge engine. Depending on which engine is used, it has either EFI induction or an S & S Super G carburetor in an OHV-pushrod configuration. Either engine is paired with a Baker Drivetrain six-speed manual transmission installed on the right side for improved balance.
Weighing in at 700 pounds, these 9.5-foot-long machines have 3.8-inch telescopic front forks and a Progressive twin-sided swing arm rear suspension. Disc brakes—with Performance Machine four-piston calipers—in front and back provide stopping power. They ride on Avon tires, with a wide 300mm on the rear.
With a 48-degree rake and a six-inch backbone stretch, the Athena—both the Chopper and the ProStreet—definitely has the aggressive style its designer wanted, though the ProStreet is supposed to have an easier-going, more comfortable and manageable ride. The seat is set deep into the chassis at a low 20 inches. The springer is detailed with what Alsop called “hot rod holes” that lead into the beach-cruiser-style handlebars.
Both models come in the same color options: black cherry, candy-red metallic, charcoal metallic, electric blue, firecracker red, gloss red, orange pearl, satin black, and silver metallic. A buyer ordered the color and graphic package of his choice. (Buyers always had the option of ordering unpainted parts and building their own bikes.) And of course the Athena comes with lots of chrome too.