In 2008 Big Bear Choppers produced two models of The Sled, a chopper and a ProStreet. The California-based company, which made custom bikes on a production line, fell victim to the recession and folded in 2011. Big Bear Choppers made no more than 600 motorcycles in 2008 (half the number the company made at its peak), so these bikes can be considered collector’s items. The model names and styles have been revived as build-it-yourself kits under another owner (the original designer, Kevin Alsop, and his wife, Mona, who founded Big Bear Choppers, are affiliated with the new company), but as a production bike, The Sled no longer exists.
Featuring 1,638.7cc, air-cooled, four-stroke V-twin engines made by S & S, both models have S & S Super G carburetors in an OHV-pushrod configuration, which requires a rider to put premium fuel in the four-gallon stretched-teardrop-shaped gas tank. Buyers could choose between the S &S 100 Smooth EFI Evolution engine, designed to reduce vibration and give the rider a smoother ride, or the S & S X-Wedge engine, a powerplant with three belt-driven camshafts and a one-piece crankshaft that met EPA standards. Either of these big engines is paired with a Baker chain-driven six-speed manual transmission.
Weighing in at 700 pounds, these choppers are long—nine and a half feet long (the Sled Chopper is a couple of inches longer than the ProStreet)—and have 3.8-inch telescopic front forks (with a chopper’s requisite extreme rake). The rear suspension is a twin-sided swing arm. They ride on Avon tires, with a wide 300mm on the rear.
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. The low 20-inch-high seat and pullback handlebars are an essential part of the chopper’s long, lean, sleek look. And of course a custom chopper is all about looks; both models of Big Bear Choppers’ Sled offered lots of chrome and lots of style.