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Old 02-18-2021, 01:58 PM   #1
SVsick50
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The Rat Bike Thread

I've been perusing the threads in this forum and it's all very cool! Mostly, people restoring and giving facelifts to bikes that needed it. However, I've always been a fan of Rat Bikes - and have owned a few over my life.

Ratbike.org no longer exists (although there is a holding place and an archive), but nothing new has been added. I'm sure there's a lot to be seen on Instagram, but I've gotten off of that for awhile. Anyway, just wanted to share my ride (1987 Honda Supermagna), and I'd love to see others ratted out bikes.

Still a lot of chrome on this disgusting piece of work




Spray paint different brands and colors of flat whatever over the original paint, sand, paint again. Hit with a chain a couple of times before it all dries, more paint, and more sanding. I added the dent because with the new bars, my controls would make contact, so a nice dent allows it to clear.



Stenciled rat, and fork boots that don't fit all the way up which are Chinese knock-offs that read "Hadley Davson". Old bandana keeps the tool pouch shut because the cheap straps don't.



Dirt bike hand guards off Amazon using points. They are completely plastic (even the mounts) but actually do deflect wind and keep the hands feeling aight. Camo paint using branches from the tree in the background.



When I mounted the fender I scratched the paint. Touched it up with sandpaper.



Had to make sure people didn't think it was a Harley... I mean "Hadley"



Needs an ADV diy tool tube to hold critical tools like zipties.



These are soon getting replaced with military surplus bags, of course, supports to be constructed of whatever scrap I can find.



Overspray. No need to remove parts to paint them.



My engine chooses to remain socially distant from Brillo pads and polish.



This bike still contains a lot of the "c-word" (chrome), but the next time I have $10 floating in my wallet, I'll get a can of flat black and correct this issue. She runs like a champ and rides beautifully. Ratbikes are ugly, but maintained well.

Please share your rats.

Last edited by SVsick50; 02-18-2021 at 02:00 PM..
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Old 02-18-2021, 02:45 PM   #2
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OMG I love this, lot’s of artistic creativity in effect.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVsick50 View Post
...and I'd love to see others ratted out bikes.

...Please share your rats.
I consider this your thread to show off your project(s), so I'm not trying to hijack the thread... but since you asked here are a few of my DBC bikes. I think they're pretty ratty.


Yamaha RZ350 / Banshee:
20190901_070806 by andbike, on Flickr

Kawasaki 500 Ninja (and many bits from other bikes):
20171008_182128 by andbike, on Flickr

Ducati M750 Monster:
monster pic BW by andbike, on Flickr

Yamaha RD400:
DSCN9005 by andbike, on Flickr


And as an honorable mention, my friend Seb Wiers' Yamaha Seca (with matching safety gear):


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Old 02-18-2021, 11:29 PM   #4
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Getting back to your SuperMagna, there are home brew methods for removing chrome. They usually involve a large bucked of acid solution and a low voltage power source. I've done it once before with moderate success, but it was a few years ago so I forget the details. I'm sure my friend Google can figure it out though.

Also, any chance of making the water-mark in your images go away? In some pictures the water-mark kinda adds to the patina, but in other images not so much.

Anyway, cool project

Last edited by Frame Maker; 02-18-2021 at 11:33 PM..
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:12 AM   #5
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Cool bike OP. I'll bet that thing is a lot of fun to cruise.

Julian, I was expecting to see a photo of your V4 DB Challenge bike. Wasn't it the same V4 magna engine as the OP's rat bike?
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:16 AM   #6
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This "rat" is my favorite bike to ride on the Isle Of Mines. I keep it mechanically perfect and not concerned with the warts. But it may get a facelift some day.

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Old 02-19-2021, 07:08 AM   #7
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Getting back to your SuperMagna, there are home brew methods for removing chrome. They usually involve a large bucked of acid solution and a low voltage power source. I've done it once before with moderate success, but it was a few years ago so I forget the details. I'm sure my friend Google can figure it out though.

Also, any chance of making the water-mark in your images go away? In some pictures the water-mark kinda adds to the patina, but in other images not so much.

Anyway, cool project
Thanks for the tip! I was just gonna scratch and paint. And see what happens over time. And yes, the PB watermark is annoying!









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Old 02-19-2021, 07:18 AM   #8
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If some are unfamiliar with what a “rat bike” is, there are good write ups and descriptions out there. Here’s some I like:

Quote:
Self-expression is a delicate intention. Social constraints often muffle the voice that would be our own, or remix it into something benignly acceptable. Sure we strive to make personal statements, but in truth, our boundaries are preset. We seek comfort in convention. Well, most of us do.

Rat bikes are a superb example of dismissed inhibition. To be dubbed such, a motorcycle must have about it an air of chaos. There are no rules (although cleaning is generally frowned upon).
Quote:
Rat bikes are motorcycles that are styled to look like they have fallen apart over time and have been kept on the road and maintained for little or no cost by employing kludge fixes. Survival bikes look similar to, but are different in purpose from rat bikes; they are modified for stylistic reasons.






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Old 02-19-2021, 08:54 AM   #9
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Edited to add a more appropriate aesthetic




Last edited by matty; 02-20-2021 at 08:17 AM..
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Old 02-19-2021, 04:00 PM   #10
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... yes, the PB watermark is annoying!
The photos look much better now
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Old 02-19-2021, 04:22 PM   #11
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Quote:...Rat bikes are a superb example of dismissed inhibition. To be dubbed such, a motorcycle must have about it an air of chaos...
Quote:
Rat bikes are motorcycles that are styled to look like they have fallen apart over time and have been kept on the road and maintained for little or no cost by employing kludge fixes.


So going by these definitions I don't believe the motos I posted are true "Rat Bikes". Although I've intentionally built them using old parts and have left the portions that I have fabricated raw metal with no cosmetic finish. They are kept clean and are very deliberate in their design. So just for the sake of conversation, is there a moto category that they would better fall into? Seriously, I am very curious.

20190901_070725 by andbike, on Flickr


Per KPKE's request, here is my Honda VF700 (cousin to your Magna)

DSCN7748 by andbike, on Flickr

DSCN7771 by andbike, on Flickr
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:46 PM   #12
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is there a moto category that they would better fall into? Seriously, I am very curious.
“Cool” is what I’d call it brutha...

Kinda my first glance at a BARF’ers rat was Round Boy’s Hurricane back in ‘03/‘04 (man, I miss those days). Prior to that, a couple Santa Cruz Vampire bikes felt ratty going back to the late 90’s. I feel like this is when the street fighter thing kinda started.

My 2001 SV got very ratty after crashing it a few times. At one point it was pretty ridiculous because I was young, broke and repaired it with whatever cheap stuff I could get ahold of.

More than anything, I like the aesthetic of rat bikes. Rat rods, too. I think a true rat bike has to be pretty dirty, oxidation and rusty. Oh, and flat black.

I do want to say, some of the bikes posted did look pretty clean

Which goes against all because being a rat bike snob is probably the most ridiculous thing ever

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Old 02-20-2021, 08:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by SVsick50 View Post

More than anything, I like the aesthetic of rat bikes. Rat rods, too. I think a true rat bike has to be pretty dirty, oxidation and rusty. Oh, and flat black.

I do want to say, some of the bikes posted did look pretty clean

Which goes against all because being a rat bike snob is probably the most ridiculous thing ever
Edited my post to meet your criteria
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Old 02-20-2021, 10:27 AM   #14
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“Cool” is what I’d call it brutha...
Fair enough. I can live with that


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Edited my post to meet your criteria
looking much rattier
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Old 02-28-2021, 06:02 PM   #15
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Thought I’d bump this thread a little bit with some little mods. Sorry for the photos, everything I upload from my phone end up turned sideways or upside down even if I didn’t shoot them that way.

You can make entire grips by cutting strips out of an old bicycle tube and wrapping the bars. I wanted to thicken up my MX grips slightly and wrapped them, although after today’s long ride I may go back to the way they were.



Also, if you want to repurpose milsurp bags I found a solution with these auto body clips for roof cargo bags. I had these sitting and didn’t need them.



Sewed adjustable straps to anchor to the tank which provided the horizontal mounting necessary for the molle style attachments (which I have a bunch of)



Also, I added a snap to the extra length of strapping on the bag as to retain it from not flapping around.



Lastly, I love the look of chrome painted over with flat black, then scratched. Here it is it all the ratty glory.

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