California-based Big Bear Choppers, which made custom bikes on a production line before falling victim to the recession in 2011, introduced the GTX, a bagger, in 2008. The GTX (which stands for Grand Touring X-Wedge) was one of two new bikes the company launched that year, just before the market for high-end custom machines collapsed, and this virtually all-new machine was definitely high-end. It was targeted specifically to the rider who wanted a big, comfortable touring motorcycle. Big Bear Choppers carried this model over for 2009 and added a second version, the GTX Bagger Fairing, which had broad fairing panels to protect the rider’s legs from the wind.
The 2009 GTX came with Big Bear Choppers’ EFI X-Wedge engine, which includes three belt-driven camshafts, a one-piece crankshaft, and an internal oil pump. It is a 1,638.7cc, air-cooled, V-twin four-stroke. The idea was that the EFI X-Wedge engine would meet tougher air-quality standards and simultaneously produce more torque. It has fuel injectors and an OHV pushrod valve configuration. The engine is paired with a Baker Drivetrain six-speed manual transmission installed on the right side for improved balance. The Performance Machine disc brakes have four-piston calipers in the front and rear. Like other Big Bear Choppers, the front suspension was provided by a telescopic fork—with a 36-degree neck rake—with a twin-sided swing arm in the rear.
NatUrally, a bagger needs bags. The GTX’s narrow bags are sculpted fiberglass and are part and parcel of the bike’s long, smooth, sleek lines. The 25.5-inch seat places the rider on the frame, rather than over the back tire, a position intended to improve handling of the 850-pound (dry weight) machine while also providing a comfortable riding position. The passenger seat, with a backrest, is also well forward of the back tire.
The GTX 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, gloss black, and silver metallic. A buyer ordered the color and graphic package of his choice.
A spectacular-looking bagger, the GTX generally received high marks from reviewers for its ride quality, but some considered the seat too hard to make it the ideal touring bike.