Two custom-styled production cruisers, Big Bear Choppers Venom Chopper and Venom ProStreet, were introduced in 2002 and carried over for the succeeding years. In 2009 they were joined by a new model, the Venom Two Up. The California-based company, which originally made custom bikes on a production line, shut down its production facilities in 2011 due to the recession. Some of the model names and styles have been revived as build-it-yourself kits under another owner (the original designer who founded Big Bear Choppers is affiliated with the new company), but as a production bike, the Venom no longer exists. Big Bear Choppers made no more than 300 motorcycles total in 2009 (less than one-third the number the company made at its peak), so these bikes could be considered collector’s items.
Featuring a 1,638.7 cc, air-cooled, four-stroke V-twin engine made by S & S, the Chopper has an S & S Super E carburetor with a pushrod overhead valve configuration. This system requires riders to put premium fuel in the 3.6-gallon, stretched-teardrop-shaped gas tank. The ProStreet and Two Up come with Big Bear Choppers’ proprietary 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.
In all three models, the big engine is paired with a Baker chain-driven, six-speed manual transmission. Weighing in at 700 pounds dry, these nine-foot-long choppers (the Venom Chopper is almost three inches longer than the ProStreet or the Two Up) have telescopic front forks with twin-sided swing arm rear suspension. Big Bear Choppers created an arched swing arm specifically for this bike when it was introduced, and it eventually became a style standard for the entire line. They ride on Avon Venom tires, with a fat 250mm on the rear.
The Venom came in the same color options as other Big Bear Choppers bikes: black cherry, candy-red metallic, charcoal metallic, electric blue, firecracker red, gloss black or red, orange pearl, satin black, and silver metallic. The low 23-inch-high seat and pullback handlebars are an essential part of the chopper’s look. Of course, a custom chopper is all about looks, and Big Bear Choppers Venom offered lots of chrome and plenty of style.