Big Dog Coyote Road Test - New To The Pack

Road Test

Helmet: Fulmer;
Boots: Dickies
Jacket and Gloves: Icon

Big Dog Motorcycles (BDM) is known for its wide-tired, big-engine, flashy paint schemed production motorcycles, that come standard with lots of gleam and style. The company's Coyote-its least expensive model-doesn't skimp on any of the aforementioned. HOT BIKE had the Coyote in its possession and logged a good amount of miles aboard the beast.

First off I just want to say, I admire and respect what Big Dog has accomplished in its 15 years as a production motorcycle manufacturer. Its styles and designs have continued to change, and set trends from the company's inception up to the present day. The Wolf was awarded V-Twin Bike of the Year at the V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati. The company must be doing something right. But I've heard many times over, in one way or another, that BDM is known for its luxury-style bikes; bikes that everyone wants but can't have-kind of like an expensive car (insert your favorite luxury car here). However, with the release of the Coyote, this new canine features all of the BDM essentials, and it's reasonably with a base MSRP just under 24 grand (about $3,000 less than BDM's Pit Bull, the next step up in price range), making it a little more attainable for a broader spectrum of consumers.

The Coyote is appealing on many levels. It's loaded with style, the powertrain screams performance, and the suspension and handling characteristics are versatile. The carbureted wrinkle black S&S; 117ci engine accompanied by the BDM six-speed Balance Drive trans and 2-into-1 exhaust brings a lot of power to the rear 250 skin wrapped around an 18-inch aluminum wheel. The final drive is made with reinforced carbon fiber, and as a result, the throttle-when rolled back on-is very responsive. So much so that the Avon rubber on the Coyote chews up the asphalt and spits it in the face of anyone behind it. The S&S; mill features a 4.125-inch bore and 4.375-inch stroke with a 9.6:1 compression ratio. You'll find the same motor on every other model, except the Wolf. The front tire was fitted on a 21-inch rim, measuring 2.15 inches wide. The front and rear wheels received two-piece, full floating rotors, but the front has a four-piston stopper, the rear features a two-piston caliper. Both work well in bringing the Pro-Street to a stop when used together. The overall length of the Coyote is 8 1/2 feet, and the running weight is 695 pounds. But the pup maneuvers nicely. The frame is raked at 39 degrees with 3 degrees of rake in the trees and the trail is 4.74 inches. As I was about to board the Coyote at the Orange County Big Dog dealership, one of the guys at the counter shouted, "That thing handles like a Gixxer!" I looked at the bike, then I said to myself, "A Gixxer, huh? We'll see." Long story short, it does not handle like a Gixxer, but I can see why the gentleman said such a thing. Probably because it features the second narrowest rear tire in the BDM kennel at 250mm, and yes it did handle more nimbly than any other Big Dog model I've ridden (K-9, Mutt, Pit Bull, Ridgeback).

I took it on the 91 Freeway from Orange County to Riverside, California. This freeway is not an ideal ride because the freeway's conditions are far from desirable. But I like to see how a bike's suspension measures up on the bumpy jaunt. After about an hour, I was a little fatigued, not because the Coyote's 41mm fork didn't take the bumps like it should, but because that freeway sucks for long-distance riding-I have yet to find a bike that "glides" down the 91. But with the conventional frontend mated with the hidden softail-style shocks, the ride was a lot better than I expected. In fact it rated up there as one of the most comfortable production customs I've taken on that stretch. However, due to the vibration, one of the bike's plug wires came right off of the spark plug, causing the bike to die, sending me into the shoulder next to the carpool lane at around 75 mph. This was not a pleasant experience, but like I said, could very well have been caused by the 91 Freeway.

For around town cruising, the Coyote is perfect. Take it to the bar, have your favorite cold beverage, and then head to the next watering hole to show it off some more. We definitely dug the Midnight Sapphire paint scheme with custom ghost flames (does not come standard), and so did many others we found, since the bike received many compliments about its scheme. This bike could be the answer you've been looking for when trying to add a little excitement to your life. No, the bike was not meant to perform like a Gixxer, but I guess it could be nicknamed BDM's Gixxer.

The Coyote overall is a blast to ride: it's fast, it is much nimbler than some of the company's other models, and it demands the attention from anyone with a pair of eyes, hell, even a one-eyed person would get aroused.

MODEL Coyote
TRANSMISSION BDM/Baker six-speed
FINAL DRIVE 1.125-inch BDM (carbon fiber construction)
FRONT BRAKE PM four-piston diff bore/Brembo rotor
REAR BRAKE PM two-piston/Brembo rotor
FRONT TIRE/SIZE Avon 21-{{{90}}}
REAR TIRES/SIZE Avon 18-250/40
SEAT HEIGHT 24.5 inches
MSRP $23,{{{900}}}
GHOST FLAMES add $1,250
AS TESTED $25,950