2013 Big Bear Choppers Athena

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The Big Bear Choppers Athena is a unique looking chopper built at the Discovery Channel Biker Build-Off televised competition. The motorcycle was so successful that the guys from Big Bear Choppers decided to launch it into production.

At the heart of the bike lies a strong engine which cranks out 115.8 hp and 122.8 lb/ft of torque and is mated on a modern, six speed overdrive transmission.

Athena’s frame features a unique design which allows for an ultra low seat height. Due to the ingenious position of the seat the motorcycle feels and handles unbelievably balanced. Moreover, the rear wheel is mounted on the company’s patented Devil’s Tail swingarm which further improves the bike’s handling abilities and stability.

The frame is designed and manufactured in house by Big Bear Choppers and every frame component is CNC manufactured with maximum precision.

Hit the jump for more information on the 2013 Big Bear Choppers Athena.

Overview

Big Bear Choppers Athena

It’s a hand massaged, forward thinking design, and built on the Discovery Channel Biker Build-Off televised competition. It was great winning the competition, but it didn’t stop there... we ‘tooled up’ the innovative design and turned the famous one-off Chopper into production along with a ProStreet sibling. An industrial hot rod drilled holes in the stretched frame with the Devil’s Tail™ swingarm with rear fender to match and an exclusive unique fuel tank are some of the design features that make the Athena Chopper an encounter you’ll never forget. The sunken seat allows you to be positioned inside the chassis, adding to the unique sensation of riding low to the ground with a lower center of gravity. The V111™ low vibration powerplant adds to the reliably of the motorcycle with a high comfort level of the rider without sacrificing power and price. So you can have your cake and eat it, too.

Design Features

Big Bear Choppers Athena
  • Proprietary patented mid-section stretch in the frame for better weight distribution and handling
  • Impressive Chopper style tall neck height with an obtainable yet appealing 40° rake
  • Very low seat height of 20” that enhances the riding senses and enables low speed confidence
  • Unique radius dual downtubes and stretched backbone for an excellent chopper style geometry
  • Trick ’hot rod’ hole drilled outer skins on downtube, oil tank and rear fender struts
  • Creative large capacity fuel tank that meets seamlessly into the seat
  • Exclusive hand crafted rear fender design
  • Patented oil tank holds 5 quarts of oil for engine optimization
  • Custom patented Devil’s Tail™ exclusive swingarm
  • Comfortable handlebar design

Component Features

Big Bear Choppers Athena
  • V111™ Low Vibration Polished Engine at 122.8 lbs. of Torque
  • 6-Speed Right-Side Drive Polished Transmission
  • BBC Enclosed Primary Drive
  • Forged Billet Wheel Choice with 21” Front and 300mm Rear Tire
  • 4-Piston Brakes with Rear Belt Drive-Side™ Brake System
  • Chrome Frontend with Hidden Axle Design
  • Chrome Foot and Hand Controls
  • Chrome Digital Dash
  • Chrome Radius Tuned Exhaust

Factory Options

Big Bear Choppers Athena
  • Optional Redemption Tank
  • 117" X-Wedge™ Engine
  • Springer Frontend
  • BDL Open Belt Drive
  • Wheel Design Choice
  • Chrome Wheels and Brake Calipers
  • Standard or Custom Paint Scheme

Specifications

Big Bear Choppers Athena

Options 1 : BBC-S&S V111™ Carb Evolution

Reliability, power and comfort... the best of all worlds. And when we say reliability, we not only mean the life of the engine, but the life of motorcycle and everything that’s bolted to it. Branded as V111™,’ this internally reformed 111 cubic inch engine boasts a healthy 122.8 lbs. of torque at the crank. With a configuration of a 4 1/8” bore and 4 1/8” stroke, proprietary compression ratios, redesigned cam timing, and reciprocating weights all result in an incredibly smooth running engine while meeting all the strict legal requirements. While looking like any other S&S Super Sidewinder engine from the outside, the essence of this new engine is the low vibration. High engine vibration is an enemy to both the rider and the motorcycle. The effects of high engine vibration may cause premature rider fatigue as well. Eliminate engine vibration and you will eliminate potential problems.||Finish|Polished Case & Chrome Covers.

Displacement111"
Bore X Stoke4 1/8" X 4 1/8"
Horsepower115.8 bhp
Torque122.8 lb/ft
InductionS&S Super E Carburetor
Air CleanerS&S Tear Drop
Oil PumpS&S High Volume
Warranty2 Year / 20,000 Mile

Options 2 : BBC-S&S V111™ EFI Evolution

Between the EFI and the carbureted V111™, there isn’t going to be much of a difference in performance, provided you maintain constant ambient conditions (humidity, temperature, elevation, etc.). This is where the beauty of the closed-loop EFI system comes into play. The system is continuously monitoring the engine, and tuning itself to optimize performance for that given scenario or environment. So, while you might not be able to notice power difference between the EFI and a carbureted engine, once you take that bike up the mountain, or get a day that’s significantly hotter than the day it was tuned, that EFI engine will easily outperform the carbureted engine (unless you want to take a supply of different jets with you on the ride).

FinishPolished Case & Chrome Covers
Displacement111"
Bore X Stoke4 1/8" X 4 1/8"
Horsepower115.8 bhp
Torque122.8 lb/ft
InductionS&S Electronic Fuel Injection
Air CleanerS&S Tear Drop
Oil PumpS&S High Volume
Warranty2 Year / 20,000 Mile

Option 3 : BBC-S&S 117 SMOOTH™ EFI X-Wedge

Starting with a clean sheet of paper, the S&S Product Development team went to work building an engine that will conform to 2010 EPA standards and still deliver the power you expect from a v-twin. The BBC exclusive and proprietary 117ci is delivering just shy of 100 horsepower and 113ft/lbs of torque at the crank. This brand-new engine features three belt driven cams for quieter operation, a 56-degree v-angle for smoother running and no notched pistons, a crossflow head that is fit with direct injectors, side-by-side rods and a solid, one-piece crank. The new X-Wedge is technically advanced and the key to keeping you riding air-cooled, pushrod v-twins as the eMisions laws tighten up forcing water-cooling on some other engines.

Branded as ’117 X-Wedge SMOOTH™,’ and while looking like any other S&S X-Wedge engine from the outside, the essence of this new proprietary exclusive engine is the low vibration, due to it being internally reformed. High engine vibration is an enemy to both the rider and the motorcycle. The effects of high engine vibration may cause premature rider fatigue as well. Eliminate engine vibration and you will eliminate potential problems on the motorcycle.

FinishPolished Case & Chrome Covers
Displacement117"
Bore X Stoke4.125" X 4.25"
Horsepower97 bhp (at the crank)
Torque113 lb/ft (at the crank)
InductionS&S Closed-Loop Electronic Fuel Injection
Air CleanerS&S Tear Drop
Oil PumpS&S Dual Gerotor Pump
Warranty2 Year / 20,000 Mile

Transmission

BrandBaker
FinishPolished Case & Chrome Covers
DriveRight Side
Gears6-Speed Overdrive
Warranty2 Year / 24,000 Mile

Drivetrain

Keeping with the mindset of making form and function coexisting, this newly designed proprietary primary is built tough and reliable along with a very sleek, new generation styled aesthetics with a cool BBC branded inspection cover. This primary drive is approximately 200% stronger than most other manufacturer’s primaries with its machined forged aluminum inner and outer cases. The dense aluminum material makes for a unit that does not flex under heavy torque, and absorbs most engine vibration.

Another great attribute that sets this primary drive ahead of the curve is the triple seal design on the main shaft, as opposed to an industry standard single seal, insuring virtually no leaks. The starter motor shaft accessory plate is removable for an easy starter change-out. The internals utilize an easy-to-replace standard type clutch basket and a compensating sprocket for a smooth power transfer.

PrimaryDrive BBC Enclosed Primary
FinishPolished
Final DriveRSD Belt

Electrical

We teamed up with Wire-Plus, the industry’s leader in motorcycle electronics, to design a wiring harness with no compromises. Combine this harness with the high-end brand name electrical components like the Spyke charging system and the Crane ignition, and we’re sure your seat time will be long. You won’t be on the side of the road kicking rocks.

Wiring HarnessBBC-WirePlus
Charging SystemBBC 40 Amp
IgnitionS&S
Coil80,000 Volt Mini
StarterPolished Case & Chrome Covers
BatteryExtreme Magna Power AGM

Frame

The Athena frame starts out in the same jig as the Sled, but has obvious design touches with the Hot Rod holes drilled out of the outer downtube sleeve and rear fender struts. This frame design is unique in that it has an extra stretch in the mid section of the frame behind the transMision. This allows for a low seat height from the oil tank being located behind the tranny as opposed to hanging on top of it.

This ingenious drop seat makes for a motorcycle that feels and handles unbelievably balanced and a blast to ride. The sunken seat allows the rider to be positioned inside the chassis, boasting more control and adding to the unique sensation of riding low to the ground. And our design patent on this frame helps us keep the motorcycle unique from manufactured copy cats. The patented Devil’s Tail swingarm is a new creation that finishes up the bike with that custom one-off look.

The frame is the foundation of the motorcycle’s aesthetics and reliability. All our frames are designed and manufactured in house in our San Bernardino facility. Every frame component (e.g. neck, side plates, tank mounts, tranny plate, axle adjusters, etc) are CNC manufactured with precision. Utilizing a 0.250 wall, 1.5” tube steel for the backbone and 0.160 wall, 1.125” tube for the rest of the frame, BBC uses the best steel possible for our frames. All frames are 100% TIG welded for a clean, strong and precise fusion. We think we make a statement about our confidence with a lifetime warranty on the frames we make.

BrandBBC Athena Chopper (Pat. #D517451)
TypeSoftail
Frame Tube0.160" Wall DOM Seamless
SwingarmBBC Devil’s Tail (Pat. #D542191)
BackboneThick 0.250" Wall 3" Stretch
Downtube0.160" Wall 6" Stretch
Mid Section4" Stretch
Neck Rake40°
Seat Height20" from ground
Wheel Base88" axle to axle
Overall Length115" end to end
Weight700 lbs approx.
WarrantyLifetime of Original Owner

Sheetmetal

The Athena Series sheetmetal goes beyond the standard with it’s hole drilled outer skins on the oil tank and the hand made sheetmetal molding the seat’s wishbone tube into the fuel tank. Another aspect of the sheetmetal that stands out from the rest is the trick rear fender design that matches the patented Devil’s Tail swingarm.

Like our frames, our tanks and fenders are designed and manufactured in-house. We produce the sheetmetal with the frame as a unit, then gets ’mock-up’ before we hand it over to our painters or ship it out to the unassembled kit customers. We use heavy duty 12 gauge steel for our fenders and 14 gauge steel for the tanks. All tanks are pressure tested and the fenders are computer cut. We guarantee and warranty any leaks from the tanks and cracks in the fenders for your lifetime.

Fuel TankBBC Athena. 4.375 Gallons Carb, 4.25 Gallons EFI
Gas CapBBC Flush Mount Pop-Up
Oil TankBBC Athena (Pat. # D512677)
Rear FenderBBC Athena 12 Gauge Steel
Front FenderBBC Pointed 12 Gauge Steel
WarrantyLifetime of Original Owner

Suspension

Designed and manufactured in-house, our fully chrome frontend is exclusively made for our motorcycles to be aesthetically cool and functionally bomb proof. The BBC logo branded 6° triple trees have what we call a ’smooth mount’ design - you don’t see the tube and axle nuts on top. And what we mean with the ’hidden axle’ - it’s a nutless type axle, making the finish smooth. With all our calculations with the frame and frontend, we’ve landed the front wheel in the sweet spot of the final trail measurement. This allows for a motorcycle with no frontend flop and high speed wobble.

And at the back, there’s no better American Made shock to use than the industry’s premier shock absorber, Progressive Suspension. The chrome pair of oil dampened shocks produce a good ride, which is just one more reason why our motorcycles out handle and beat the comfort of the other guys bikes.

FrontendBBC Smooth Mount Hidden Axle
FinishChrome
Triple Tree Rake
Trail Length3.75"
Tube Length12" Over Stock
RearProgressive Suspension
FinishChrome
Travel3"

Wheels and Brakes

WheelsRC Components
TypeForged Aluminum
FinishPolished
Front Rim21" x 2.125"
Rear Rim18" x 10.5"
Front TireAvon Cobra 90mm
Rear TireAvon Cobra 300mm
Front BrakeP.M. 4-Piston Caliper
Rear BrakeBBC-P.M. 4-Piston Caliper

Accessories

PipesBBC Chrome Baffled Radius Design
BarsBBC Athena
Hand ControlsChrome OEM Style
DashBBC-WirePlus Raw Round Digital
GripsBBC Chrome with Black Rubber
Foot ControlsBBC Chrome
HeadlightBBC Chrome
SignalsChrome DOT Approved
MirrorsChrome DOT Approved
SeatBBC Leather/Vinyl
KickstandBBC Mid-Mount
CablesGoodridge Stainless Steel Clear Coated
Warranty1 year from the Factory. 2 years in Europe.

Press Release

Engineering

Engineering is the applied science of acquiring and applying knowledge to design, analysis, and/or construction of product. You can’t produce a great motorcycle without great engineering. And we’ve got a great engineering team and processes! The reliability, comfort and esthetics are only as good as the complete engineering of the vehicle. So in our efforts of providing our customers with an absolute motorcycle, meaning everything a motorcycle is; from performance, to design, with comfort and overall reliability, our engineering processes and staff run at high standards, efficiently and effectively. In all elements of engineering, e.g. manpower, methods, machinery and materials, our talented team uses well thought out methods with some of the finest equipment using premium material for every application.

Manpower

Lets start with our engineering manpower and why we say they are talented. Our engineers use technology, mathematics, and scientific knowledge to solve practical problems. Each engineer in the team comes from a relative professional background and contributes their particular history and talent uniquely to the overall product development. Some of these backgrounds are from Fortune 500 companies that include Aerospace, Semiconductor Electronics, Automotive, Metrology and, of course, the Motorcycle industry, with decades of combined experience.

We have appointed responsibility to an engineer to direct each of these categories; Design, Manufacturing, Mechanical, Quality and Lean Manufacturing. Each engineer operates at high individual responsibility while working together as a team to ultimately produce a blameless product.

Methods

So now you know we’ve got great people. Let’s talk about their Methods. Firstly, concept theory is introduced by the R&D Chief Designer, who produces a concept pen and paper sketch. Our Digital Modeling Engineer works closely with our Designer and takes the concept drawing he created and renders a 3D image of the part or new model design, using state-of-the-art C.A.D. applications. We review the digital rendering with the team and brainstorm the design with functionality and engineering reasoning.

Computer Drafting

Once approved, the manual prototype fabrication of that particular part or the new motorcycle model design starts. Scale models are then developed and reverse engineered with laser scanners and 3D modeling. Or, we utilize our ultramodern Rapid Prototyping Printer to sculpt a solid 1:1 formed prototype straight from the C.A.D. rendering, and test fit. Once we get a prototype part from our real time tooling, we analyze and evaluate it on our test vehicles and make any necessary changes to the tooling before production.

Manufacturing & Lean Engineering

Once in production, quality control measures are implemented to assure proper fit, integrity of materials and design execution are at our satisfaction. And our satisfaction is to exceed our customer’s expectations, bottom line.
The material we use is just as important as the machines and the engineers behind them. A lifetime warranty on the frame, fenders, fuel and oil tanks should speak for itself about the quality of our product and the confidence we have about it. But let’s break down the particulars.

Materials

D.O.M. Steel Tubing

Drawn Over Mandrel 1018 Steel Tube (D.O.M.) is a very effective and strong tubing due to the high strength from the cold working process, it’s actually a friction pressure lap weld that forms the tube, resulting in a seamless and bulletproof tube. There is no type of filler used and the tube is drawn over a spinning mandrel by two other spinning mandrels. The extreme pressure and friction from the spinning roller welds the pipe. We use this DOM steel tubing for all frame manufacturing.

A36 Steel Plate

A36 Steel Plate has high yield strength and is used for all plate mounts for the frame such as transMision, engine, fuel and oil tank mounts, as well as side plates, axle adjusters and anything else on the frame that is of a two dimensional form.

Sheet Metal

The Sheet Metal we use is thicker than the standard in motorcycle manufacturing, utilizing a 12 gauge steel fenders and 14 gauge for tanks. These components are Deep Drawn, meaning, “drawing” the material further down into a geometric die until the final shape is acquired. This process produces a very accurate shape, resulting in minimal process variation and fundamentally measures perfect with every piece. Once the pieces are ‘drawn,’ they get Pickled & Oiled (P & O), which is a process that is effective in removing substantially all of the oxide layer or scale from processed sheet metal, thus prevents surface rust during the manufacturing process.

6061 T6 Aluminum

6061 T6 Aluminum is the high, aerospace grade material we use for all aluminum components, (e.g. the front-end’s triple trees and lower legs, foot controls, wheels and pulleys, our accessory assortment, etc.). These items are machined from an aluminum block, which are an alloy, magnesium and silicon as the alloying elements. It has great mechanical properties and is heat treatable and weld-able, not to mention lightweight.

Forging

Forging is the best possible manufacturing process when high strength is demanded, with a constraint on the mass of the part (high strength-to-mass ratio). Forging results in metal that is stronger than cast or machined metal parts. This is because during forging, the metal’s grain flow changes into the shape of the part, making it stronger. These parts require a specific grain flow to ensure the strength and reliability of the part. Pictured to the left is our outter Primary Drive cover right being Forged, and ready for machining in our Haas CNC machines. Other components we forge are our wheels.

Testing

Functionality and Saftey. Our testing and product analysis is not taken lightly here at Rage Hard Choppers Inc. We do not believe in providing our customers anything untested. Everything is proven with engineering and real life testing. So who’s the Test Team? It’s our designers, engineers, R&D guys and, you can’t forget, our test riders. Whof will test and analyze these bikes and their parts. Saftey is our number one priorty.

Ergonomics Testing

Ergonomics. Once the structural, functional, aesthetic, and safety levels are at our high standards, it doesn’t stop there. We test our motorcycles for the ergonomics. Ergonomics is the relationship between the rider and motorcycle, which includes comfort and how it handles. No matter how good the engineering is, the only way to develop a good ergonomic motorcycle is to ride and evaluate it. We believe in motorcycles that not only look good, but handle well with comfort.

Test Team and Environment.

Nestled at the base of the San Bernardino mountains of California, our roads and weather can be tricky -meaning great test roads, and hours from the heat of Death Valley and the rough freeways of Los Angeles, San Bernardino is in the middle of such diverse climate and land that it makes for a perfect test environment. Cold snow, slippery ice, annoying rain, desert heat, high winds, city traffic, rough freeways, hundred plus speed on highways, whatever, bring it on. Our test team is paid to ride in and through all of that. And not just ride, but ride hard. Rev it up, lean it over, mash the breaks, everything to the limits, to make sure all of our customers are safe with a great handling and reliable motorcycle. Our team of riders are retired professionals from the California Highway Patrol Motorcycle division with nothing better to do than to put 2000 hard miles a week on our test machines.


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