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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen rat bikes both in person and in pics. I like to look at them like a lot of people do. I wouldn't have a rat bike but hey, to each their own. After looking at one on another thread, I got to thinking of just how did the whole "rat bike" thing start. Was it a bike owner making a social statement of "hey, I am not preoccupied with the looks of my bike, I am more interested in rideing"? or was just a lazy homeless guy with a bike he rode the country on and strapped everything he owned on it? Any one know the history/origins/or reason why today some people do it?
 

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Hellbound Train
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My definition of a rat bike is one with a mix of whatever parts you can find to keep it on the road. Some have hand made parts like struts or sissy bars and you see very little chrome. Usually found ridden by a biker, not an enthuiast, poser or rub.
 

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Yes.
Actually it's sometimes one, the other, or both.
I ride a rat bike. It's not flashy, has very little maintenance (washing consists of a can of flat black paint), and goes like hell.
From the outside, it looks like it may not run at all, but what you can't see are the oversized Wiseco pistons, Total Seal Gapless rings, reworked heads, Andrews V6 cams, Crane Single Fire Ignition, Dyna coils, Accel wires, Crane aluminum adjustable pushrods, custom Ram Air intake system, Balance Masters, Barnett Extra-Plate clutch, Pingle Hi-Flow petcock, custom oil tank, 2 oil coolers, extra large drive sprocket, extra small rear sprocket, and a Spyke crankcase vent. Needless to say, it runs like a bat outa hell! The only clue most guys get that it's not a piece of junk, are the ram air system and the Thunderheader, as i fly on by.
Yes, it's a political statement. I'm not into flash. Anybody can buy and bolt on chrome 'goodies' on their bike. Me, I like to go fast. Very fast.

Wes
 

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Attention getters.

I guess I pay more attention to them than I would a shiny, chromed, 2007 H-D Wonder Wheel, or whatever they're building now days.

Too me, something like this is simple beauty-


But then there are the ones covered with all sorts of crap. The owners of these are the type that also have 200 cats running around their home. :) Or maybe this only happens in MN.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
mad dog, any pics?

Ka Ka, I LIKE that look, reminds me of exile bikes and the look they produce.
 

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I enjoy looking at rat bikes more then shiney new scoots. There's just something about them that makes them interesting. Usually, there's an interesting story behind every odd part on a rat.
 

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HDtwice said:
After looking at one on another thread, I got to thinking of just how did the whole "rat bike" thing start.
The last time I had what's now called a "rat" was back in the 70s which was mostly a hardtail Norton, the reason was straight forward. Abject poverty. -2$en#e-
 

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I know lots of guys who own rat bikes. Their origins are pretty simple.

A guy likes being called a 'biker,' but he just doesn't want to pay dues for the sport. As long as he owns 'something' that looks kind of like a cruiser, he considers himself a biker.

He'd rather drink than ride, he's not available when his brothers need him, and if trouble breaks out, he's usually the guy who has caused it.

If the day is sunny and you'd like to put on some miles, he's the guy that breaks down. He's the guy with the cracked frame, the wiring gremlins or the flat tire.

I've seen so many pf the these guys and their antics that I won't ride along side of them or behind them to get hit by flying parts.

I'm beginning to believe that leaving them stranded might be a good lesson.
 

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Hellbound Train
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How fuk'n pathetic can you get. I doubt all "bikers" have the money to buy a chrome sled let alone attend college at the same time. You sound like a true "brother"
 

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HDtwice said:
reminds me of exile bikes and the look they produce.
I believe that is an Exile bike, right? I asked Russell how much he wanted for that bike at Daytona Bikeweek last year. He laughed and said $5000 (obviously being sarcastic). I pulled out the checkbook, but he had already turned and started walking away. He then started the bike, put the front tire against a wall, and did a 4+ gear (I lost count) burnout to the cheers of the crowd.
*edit* - Actually, the burnout looked a lot like this - http://www.exilecycles.com/gallery.php?image=161&page=1

I think of ratbikes as the ones with crap hanging all over such as deer antlers, stickers, duct tape, etc. Here's what I think of when I hear ratbike - http://images.search.yahoo.com/sear...jpg&p=ratbike&type=jpeg&no=73&tt=416&ei=UTF-8
 

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Re: Exile bikes

Their "Chopper" is my personal favorite from the biker world when it comes down to visuals. Exile bikes definintely have a unique look and they always seem to stand out in a crowd. He and Indian Larry (may he rest in peace) run down their own road ignoring the fads and trends in the custom bike industry.

:chopper:
 

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Alot of times its jsut what you can afford. I don't think it shows a guy who doesn't want to ride, but a guy with the real will to ride. Do what ever it takes t get the bike going. Whatever it takes to be riding.

I also just like them cause differant. I've seen some cool homedown rat bikes. There not the same old same old off the dealer floor, with every piece of bolt on "costume" chrome.

My sled's body is patched up. I take pride in that. That I keep it going. Proud f it when I pull up to a guy whose costume matches his sled. Imagine its the same thing with rat bikes.
 

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Ka-Ka said:
I guess I pay more attention to them than I would a shiny, chromed, 2007 H-D Wonder Wheel, or whatever they're building now days.

Too me, something like this is simple beauty-


But then there are the ones covered with all sorts of crap. The owners of these are the type that also have 200 cats running around their home. :) Or maybe this only happens in MN.

no question in my mind, that is a motorcycke
 

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The Tourist said:
I know lots of guys who own rat bikes. Their origins are pretty simple.

A guy likes being called a 'biker,' but he just doesn't want to pay dues for the sport. As long as he owns 'something' that looks kind of like a cruiser, he considers himself a biker.

He'd rather drink than ride, he's not available when his brothers need him, and if trouble breaks out, he's usually the guy who has caused it.

If the day is sunny and you'd like to put on some miles, he's the guy that breaks down. He's the guy with the cracked frame, the wiring gremlins or the flat tire.

I've seen so many pf the these guys and their antics that I won't ride along side of them or behind them to get hit by flying parts.

I'm beginning to believe that leaving them stranded might be a good lesson.

I couldnt disagree more Tourist.

Im no authority on rat bikes, but I have had a couple. The origin is simple:

A rat bike is ridden every day. Every Day. It is someones primary transportation. Primary as in Only.

No pickup truck with gigantic harley sticker. No 500 mile years while the car gets a workout. A ratbike doesnt sit in the garage on rainy days. A ratbike doesnt sit in the garage when there is salt on the road. This is that "every day" thing in the paragraph above. You live on a ratbike.

Fresh tires, fresh oil, fresh brakes, and the occasional coat of flat black it gets. mass market chrome twaddle, handlebar tassles, and expensive gaudy girly paintjobs it doesnt get.

$40,000 Exile Chopper? Not a rat bike. even with flat black paint. I like Exile and all, and think they have the most tastefull designs out there, but sorry, thats a chopper designed to _look_ like a ratbike. similar to the "relic" guitars that come from the factory with FAKE wear on them so they look like SRV had been banging on it for a couple of decades.

$3000 '89 GSXR with a salvage title is a classic rat, as is '85 Honda nighthawk with the front end off of a, well, noone quite remembers, but it had great brakes!

Rat bikes get that way by being ridden. everyday. rain or shine. to work. to the grocery store. on dates. and back to work. My last rat bike had been knocked over numerous times while parked at work, and once rear ended out from underneith me while I was stopped at a red light by an inattentive cager. it got fresh levers, turnsignals, and whatever else needed to get back on the road, and it did. to quote the oldest joke in the world "...well, some pigs you dont eat all at once." Ogri knows.

So Tourist, I dont know what kind of biker you are taking about, but it isnt a rat biker.
 

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i got a rat. i don't drink. it doesn't get too many miles per year but it runs great,it's a 1 or 2 kicker shovel(no electric start,my early evo bagger needed a starter so i used the shovel's starter) never left me stranded even the time the motor back fired and blew the carb off. pushed the carb back on,refired it and went on my way.i friend of mine explained it this way "they're just more fun" i have to agree.
 

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I think of ratbikes as the ones with crap hanging all over such as deer antlers, stickers, duct tape, etc. Here's what I think of when I hear ratbike - http://images.search.yahoo.com/searc...t=416&ei=UTF-8
Thats a rat bike.
What the rest of you are describing are just ridden machines. They may be rat status now with all the fancy chrome and custom paint bikes out there, but I still just call them ridden machines.
When you put an actual ham can, unpainted, on the carb for an air breather where the "ham can" harley cover once was, now you have the start of a rat bike.
It sounds like most of you have never seen a true rat bike, only used and ridden machines that get the ridder down the road without all the fancy paint and chrome. That Exile chopper above is about as far from a true rat bike as you can get.
 

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Well,

I now know that my purpose on the planet is to convert my police roadking into a rat bike.

A combination of daily rider, wear and the fact that I am a lazy satchel of dung, all add up to my scoot becoming one over time.
 

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Nice bike and all, but I wouldn't want to ride it to Vermont. Sore butt, no fairing, gas up every hundred miles, no mirrors so tickets & getting pulled over up the wazoo, probably loud enough to shake your fillings out...

I like seeing somebody else riding these and being real bikers, but I'll be riding my RK thanks. Of course if it's something to ride from your house to the bar around the corner, it's probably just right.
 
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