Custom-styled production choppers, the 2008 Big Bear Choppers Venom and Venom ProStreet were introduced in 2002 and carried over for the succeeding years. The company, which made custom bikes on a production line, fell victim to the recession and folded in 2011. 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 production bikes, the Venom and Venom ProStreet no longer exist. 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.
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 3.6-gallon stretched-teardrop-shaped gas tank. The big engine is paired with a Baker chain-driven six-speed manual transmission. Weighing in at 700 pounds, these nine-foot-long choppers (the Venom Chopper is not quite three inches longer than the ProStreet) have 3.8-inch telescopic front forks (with a chopper’s requisite extreme rake) with twin-sided swing arm rear suspension. They ride on Avon Venom tires, with a fat 250mm on the rear.
The ProStreet comes with an S &S 100 Smooth EFI Evolution engine, designed to reduce vibration and give the rider a smoother ride. It’s one of two options for the Venom Chopper. Big Bear Choppers created an arched swing arm specifically for this bike when it was introduced; it became a style standard for the entire line.
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 23-inch-high seat and pullback handlebars are an essential part of the chopper’s look. And of course a custom chopper is all about looks; Big Bear Choppers offered lots of chrome and lots of style.