2006 Big Dog K9
by Kirk Johnson
as tested $36,900
This is a new bike at Hacienda Customs built for Rick Hatch.
Upgrades include Vance & Hines Big Radius exhaust, pegs and a Bid Dog
custom paint job. Plus, it was Dyno tuned at Hacienda Harley-Davidson.
Big Dog Motorcycles, LLC, started production in
1994 in Wichita, Kansas and has since become the number two American
V-twin motorcycle manufacturer and the leader in its specialized
niche. September 7th, 2005 they introduced the K9 Chopper. Big
Dog currently has nearly 100 dealers throughout the United States.
Hacienda Customs is the only dealer in the valley. There is one
other dealer in Arizona and they are located in Tucson.
Key technological features draw a clear link from
the K-9 to the other motorcycles in the 2006 six bike arsenal:
A beefy, full-polished 117 cubic inch engine (1,916cc) fed by
a Super G Carburetor for improved power and performance; a refined
Baker 6-speed transmission; and the BDM Balance Drive System,
which brings the final drive to the right side of the motorcycle,
allowing for superior balance, agility, and easier cornering,
even for wide-tire motorcycles.
This Big Dog K9 was very impressive. From the
moment that I sat on the low seat, 24 inches high, I knew we would
be friends. I did not know the K9 weighed in at 710 pounds until
I did the research for this article. But in looking back, this
is the most solid bike that I have ever rode. Considering that
this is a chopper, I never would have believed that this bike
would ride as solid as it did. Because of the extended fork, the
suspension system works a little different then the standard Harley
line of bikes. I, at one time, found myself airborne over some
bumpy pavement. When the K9 came back down, it landed like a cat
on all four paws. It did not shake or wobble, it just landed softly
with a confidence building, reassuring feedback this bike was
meant to ride. I think that speed might have contributed to the
situation. Please don’t think that a little patch of rough
payment will get you airborne.
I rode this K9 all over north Scottsdale; in heavy
traffic and on the 101. This bike rides great. The 117-inch motor
runs very strong and the Vance & Hines exhaust sound crisp
and sharp. The bike turns heads everywhere you ride. Don’t
know the HP on this K9, but it does perform like a champ. You
do have to seriously hold on for the on-ramps. Yes I did find
the time to get on and off the 101 many times for this research
project. I wanted to do it all day. The vibration was minimum.
You could note ask for a better suspension system. It was solid
and predictable in every aspect.
The wide 300-rear tire does act a little different
on pavement then the standard 180 or 200 rear tire on most rides.
When you ride over uneven pavement or wavy asphalt you can tell
the rear tire is influenced by the angle. Although you are aware
of the distraction, it does not produce any real concern. Turning
the bike around in two lanes is a bit tricky. With the extended
front fork you have to be a little more concerned about the space
that you need to turn sharp. But this is the case with any chopper.
Big Dog has put together a great Chopper. One
of the most solid and fun riding motorcycles that I have ever
been on. I was very impressed. If you are in the market for a
chopper, you must consider this K9 from Big Dog. The only down
side is the turning sharp – but that is the case with any
chopper. This motorcycle is a great looker and sounds great with
the new Vance and Hines Exhaust pipes.