California-based Big Bear Choppers, which made custom bikes on a production line before falling victim to the recession and folding in 2011, introduced the Paradox custom cruiser in 2008. The Paradox was one of two new bikes the company launched that year, just before the market for high-end custom machines collapsed.
The 2008 Paradox came with the company’s proprietary 1,638.7cc, 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. The disc brakes are four-piston Performance Machine calipers in the front and rear.
Sheathed in sculpted 12-gauge sheet metal, with close-fitting fenders and a fiberglass downtube cover, the Paradox has an elegant, futuristic look. It’s also designed to have a low center of gravity, and the 20-inch seat puts the rider close to the ground, helping him take full charge of the 10-foot-long machine with its 44-degree rake and wide front and rear tires. The cruiser was the first Big Bear Choppers machine to use a 23-inch front wheel and a 20-inch rear.
The Reaper came in the same color options available for all Big Bear Choppers bikes: 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.
A spectacular-looking cruiser, the Paradox generally received high marks from reviewers for its drivability and comfort, with well-placed controls and foot pegs and well-considered digital instrumentation, as well as for its power.