In 2009, Big Bear Choppers produced two models of The Sled: a chopper and a ProStreet. The California-based company made custom bikes on a production line for years, but recently fell victim to the recession and shut down its production facilities in 2011. Big Bear Choppers made no more than 300 motorcycles in 2009 (the company made about 1,000 bikes a year at its peak), so these bikes could be considered collector’s items. The model names and styles have been revived as build-it-yourself kits under another owner, but as a production bike, The Sled no longer exists.
Featuring 1,638.7 cc, air-cooled, V-twin four-stroke engines made by S & S, both models have S & S Super E carburetors and OHV-pushrod configurations, requiring riders 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 power plant with three belt-driven camshafts and a one-piece crankshaft that met EPA standards. Both of these big engines were paired with a Baker chain-driven, six-speed manual transmission.
Weighing in at 700 pounds without fuel or oil, these cruisers are long – nine and a half feet long (The Sled chopper is a couple of inches longer than the ProStreet) – and have telescopic front forks, complete with a chopper’s requisite extreme rake. The rear suspension is a Progressive twin-sided swing arm. Stopping power is ensured by the disc brakes in the front and rear. 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 or gloss black, and silver metallic. The low 20-inch-high seat and pullback handlebars are an essential part of the chopper’s lean, sleek look. Considering the fact that a custom chopper is essentially all about looks, both models of Big Bear Choppers’ Sled offered lots of chrome and lots of style.