I admit to being biased as I not only have a Big Dog Ridgeback, I also work p/t for the bike shop that sells them here in SoCal. However, independantly I've heard the AI bikes weren't as reliable as the BDs.
You can take that for what it's worth.
Check with your insurance agency, maye they can help you decide. Here in SW Ohio insurance for an AI was going to cost me $1800 a year. The Dog was $1200. I bought neither and just chubbed the rear on my HD softail. Happy as hell paying my $325 a year.
I have been trying to keep up with the differences between those to bikes as well. However, I also have in mind the Swift ICON - big inches, long bike, RSD, thicker frame, longer warranty. But for looks alone I would pick Exile's "chopper."
With "moon-surface" roads up here in Northern Illinois, I wanted a softail design, so I compared the AIH Texas Chopper and Legend with the Big Dog Chopper....and bought the Big Dog Chopper. It looked, felt and fit better, and I just had more faith and trust in the Big Dog company vs. AIH. :bowdwn:
However, on the other side of the coin and the thing that almost made me go with AIH was service. Several large Harley dealerships up here have teamed up with AIH to sell their bikes, back up their warranty and provide service on them...a Big PLUS. There's only one true Big Dog dealer in the Chicago area, and thank goodness he's a good one and located within 20 miles of my house...so, the Big Dog Chopper was my choice, and I love it!. ~!Awesome!
Service and warranty have to count a lot in your decision making process, which is why the smaller V-twin custom bike companies won't fly up here....nobody around to service them. You can always change oil and other small routines yourself, but what about warranty if something breaks or goes wrong?:nope:
Good luck in your decision man....that's have the fun!
Had the same dilema. Rode them all after originally wanting the AIH Pro Street fell in love with the choppers. The Big Dog Chopper was best for me. Fun to ride, fast, easy to turn. I test rode the K9 and didn't like it. The 300 tire is nice looking but that's about it. I just put pipes on my bike and the smog can fell off somehow (must of hit a bump). The S&S 117 is awesome. No complaints so far.
06 Big Dog Chopper :chopper:
06 GL1800 Recliner
Both bikes are great looking and come from good companies. I too faced this decision a while back and I can tell you that after long nights of research, contemplating, comparing and riding several different bikes, I now have a 2006 Big Dog Chopper on the way. Good Luck!
I just drooled over both at Daytona and without much research I'm leaning toward the BG. Nice thing about FL is you are not required to carry Insurance on Motorcycles, unless you have a Partner like the Bank.-2$en#e-
My buddy has a Texas Chopper. He's ridden it to Milwaukee and Sturgis with us and he usually spends a lot time at our destinations looking for a AIH dealer to buy pieces that fell off during the trip. But then again, a Texas Chopper isn't made to be a touring bike.
I really like the '06 Big Dog K9. If I wouldn't be sleeping in the garage next to it for the next 8 months, I'd buy one tomorrow. I even took the wife by Biker's Dream Saturday to show it to her. "But honey, its only $35k. And look, you can even put a back rest on it" #[email protected]
The new Texas Chopper handlebars pull too far back for me. I like the older style drag bars they had on them.
I can say the AIH stands behind their product. I have 3 friends with AIH bikes and they never have a problem getting warranty covered - Engine rebuilt, brake calipers, rotors, rear wheel, horn bracket, kick stand - all under warranty.
I don't have any personal experience with either bike, but my ex bought a Texas Chopper a couple years ago and had terrible problems with it - he finally sold it and took a loss just to get rid of it.
Couple other of my friends on the island also had some of the same problems as the ex (ignition, battery), but maybe they've tightened things up in the last couple years. Always heard good things about Big Dog. Just my -2$en#e- - may not even be worth that much! LOL