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Home » Big Dog motorcycle, motorcycle

Big Dog Ridgeback 2004

Submitted by on December 21, 2011 – 10:44 amNo Comment

I found the Ridgeback to be exciting, roaring and spine tingling – then again, that might just be my spinal discs smashing together (in a good way) – Rigid choppers aren’t meant to be comfortable and the hard-assed biker types like to show their pain tolerance in a raucous and heavily chromed kinda way. Yes, I know that Motorcycle.Com isn’t really the place where bikers come to read about the latest iron horses, but they will if I can help it. Motorcycles are motorcycles and if you can love the Concours, while ridiculing it at the same time, you probably understand where those of us in the chopper world are coming from. So again, yes, this is a motorcycle and it is a beast!

Dig out those padded spandex riding shorts and protective cups boys & girls, this motorcycle will try to break you. If you survive with all your bits intact, you’ll probably come home with a few more phone numbers than you left with and you’ll surely have a great tale to tell to the kids… Ok, maybe not the kids, but your buddies will love to hear ’em. Except for that one about the time when you were stranded on the boulevard thanks to the Ridgeback’s tiny reserve tank and the only number you got was to some dude’s house from the Brothers club; then no one wants to hear your stories. Sorry, think about it.

Rolling-in with a wheelbase of nearly 9 feet and a displacement of 1750cc, the Big Dog Ridgeback is a head turner to say the least. Roaring out a claimed 100+ horsepower (We say “claimed” because the thing is way too long for our Dynojet), the 250mm wide meat on the back chops up the road with a fearful growl. Averaging nearly 40 mpg from a 4.25-gallon tank, the Ridgeback can cruise all day long if you can! That’s 160 miles to a tank on the highway, which will make that day seem more like five on this hardtail. Meant for boulevard cruising for sure, Sunset Blvd is a popular choice here in Sunset Blvd is a popular choice here in sunny SoCal. However, Sunset is chopped to sh*t and I would avoid it at all costs on a Chopper. Highways and long straights are the terrain this bad-boy was made for. With an open road and a smooth cruising speed of around 65mph, a dreamer can smile, growl, bite, snarl and scare the children all in one pass through town. Snap the Baker 6-speed in gear, whack the throttle and hang on, perhaps even close your eyes… but pray you miss the potholes! With a set of Kerker pipes to deafen the neighborhood, throw in the stunning Big Dog billet wheels and a personal disregard for the health of your spinal column and hind teeth, and you’re a real lady-killer. Grrr…

Riding all day at freeways speeds is not only possible but can even be enjoyable. However, when you come to the off ramp, you better chomp on the full set of 4-piston PM’s and bring the ‘ol girl down to first gear and be happy they moved the kickstand rearward this year, because the ground clearance is pretty much what you’d expect, non-existent! Lean angle, what’s a lean angle? Don’t even bother hitting the twisties on a bike like this. Most guys stick to wide sweepers and freeways when enjoying the ‘Ol Dog, instead of fighting their way through a couple hundred turns at 15mph.

As the only rigid framed chopper in the Big Dog lineup [The Pitbull model doesn’t have the 8″ stretch to its downtube like the Ridgeback and is 12″ shorter in the forks.], most of the time the Ridgeback left me wishing it was the softtail version. The Big Dog “Chopper” has pretty much the same look and features as the Ridgeback, but includes a soft-tail type frame and rear suspension. If you want the comfort to ride from SoCal to Sturgis, the “Chopper” is your best bet and I’m anxiously waiting for a chance to prove it! The “Chopper” and “Ridgeback’s” low-slung saddles put the rider “behind” the gas tank, sparing you from much of the windblast, kinda like a dual-purpose fairing. This helps to ease the usual strain that an ass-low, hands-high, feet-foreward riding position causes at sustained freeway speeds. Another “comfy” feature I found during my stint riding this beast, is the saddle length and foot-pegs. Although there is no pillion seat to speak of, the stock passenger pegs come in handy for lifting your butt off the saddle in a jockey type riding position, saving your spine on choppy roads. Slide back a few inches and settle on the high-point of the saddle for the thickest cush. When you do find a comfortable long distance riding position, you still need to be mindful of your fuel mileage.

otomaps.com source article: www.netcarshow.com www.motorcycle.com www.roushperformance.com

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