I'm not in favor of rat bikes!

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baronvoncatania

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 15, 2011
336
6
Woburn, Ma
#1
Sorry! I know i'm going to raise some hackels, But I have to ask, why would you want what was a beautiful piece of americana balloon tire bike and make it into something it never was? NO OFFENSIVE! but wouldn't it be better to return it to it's original glory? and preserve it's history?

I understand it take a LOT of money to do it right, but can't you just do the minimun to preserve it until you, or someone else can restore it properly?

jim c.
 
Likes: barnyguey

azhearseguy

Finally riding a big boys bike
Feb 26, 2008
166
8
Ryderwood, United States
#2
Most Rat rodders take the bikes that are to far gone to be restored, or bicycles that have little to no collectors value.. plus if you hang on to everthing to preserve them, you will end up getting a visit from the producers of horders!..lol
 
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Bicycle Belle

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 16, 2011
832
30
#3
In defense of ratrodders..

I have to second the post that said that most ratrodders work with bikes no one else would even look twice at. Very few will cut up a true collectors item but yes I have seen one or two do it. The majority though do take bikes that would go to the scrap heap and give them new life again and I would much rather see an old bicycle being ridden and enjoyed (as it was meant to be) than scrapped.
That being said, I find it just as sad to see a huge collection of bicycles become just that and nothing more. I understand about being a collector, though I see myself more of an enthusiast. When I see row upon row of bicycles stacked next to each other for me they lose their individual specialness and become just an aquisition. Bicycles for me are a functional form of art and I love speculating about the previous owners and all the adventures and joy they had in the years past on their beloved two-wheeled wonders.
This is not meant to offend anyone...it's just my opinion :)
 
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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
16,213
17,050
Evans, GA
#4
Since I posted a rat I suppose I feel obligated to respond. First lets be clear that there is a difference between a 'rat' and a 'custom' although the lines can become blurred. My rat Phantom, for example, has not been customized in any way that alters any of the original parts i.e. cut, welded, bent, moulded, etc... . As a matter of fact if you read my post you will see that I intend to restore this bike as a red Phantom. I have all the parts except for the seat. This is a '51 so it takes the earlier (harder to find) seat. I'd be happy to jump right on this if you would please just send the seat! Seriously if you look at a lot of the rat bikes they are just missing some of the pricey parts and have not been ruined. I just wanted to have some fun with it in the mean time. BTW I rode it around town yesterday and everywhere I went people thought it was a cool bike. Relax and enjoy the hobby--that's why there's more than one flavor of ice cream--not everyone likes the same 'ol thing! v/r Shawn
Sorry! I know i'm going to raise some hackels, But I have to ask, why would you want what was a beautiful piece of americana balloon tire bike and make it into something it never was? NO OFFENSIVE! but wouldn't it be better to return it to it's original glory? and preserve it's history?

I understand it take a LOT of money to do it right, but can't you just do the minimun to preserve it until you, or someone else can restore it properly?

jim c.
 

baronvoncatania

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 15, 2011
336
6
Woburn, Ma
#5
Thanks for the info

Since I posted a rat I suppose I feel obligated to respond. First lets be clear that there is a difference between a 'rat' and a 'custom' although the lines can become blurred. My rat Phantom, for example, has not been customized in any way that alters any of the original parts i.e. cut, welded, bent, moulded, etc... . As a matter of fact if you read my post you will see that I intend to restore this bike as a red Phantom. I have all the parts except for the seat. This is a '51 so it takes the earlier (harder to find) seat. I'd be happy to jump right on this if you would please just send the seat! Seriously if you look at a lot of the rat bikes they are just missing some of the pricey parts and have not been ruined. I just wanted to have some fun with it in the mean time. BTW I rode it around town yesterday and everywhere I went people thought it was a cool bike. Relax and enjoy the hobby--that's why there's more than one flavor of ice cream--not everyone likes the same 'ol thing! v/r Shawn
Thanks for explaining it to me. Now I get it. Like I said no offense.
 
Likes: Nashman

dxmadman

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 7, 2010
736
10
Odessa Texas
#6
Rats," That Bike Looks Like Mine!"

Truthfuly We was all ratbikers when we started into this hobby, Remember some of our first projects? Not so correct huh? We learned on our own, some of us just building, mixing parts, not realy caring if it was correct but we just wanted to ride it! Now we know about what is right and how to correctly restore a bike. "Thanks CABE!" Some of us now perfecting our painting skills, and mechanical skills and are now up to a challenge. Now to have something no one else has, Your own kustom with your own reflection of your love and passion of this hobby. The price of that bike "Priceless"
 

bobcycles

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sep 30, 2006
3,353
3,877
12
so cal beaches
#7
Rat bike

Is the lazy way out of restoring a bike. Personally I'm sick of them and the whole 'rat' mentality. But as long as they're doing it to houspainted bike, or bikes that were partially complete or rust buckets to start with, makes it a little easier to stomach. Part of Americas new direction-- lowest common denomiinator thug culture of what the media tells the gullible is 'cool'. The result? Armies of mindless followers opting for the same Bling status symbol of mediocrity. I will however say that I've seen some creative work in the rat realm, but the majority is the usual predictable vintage satin black frame with mixed make vintage parts and then the made in China bling 'add-on' ingredients to top it all off. Some people will go the extra yards to do something exceptional. Any one see Dawalts shaftie? Pretty remarkable. But that's a very small percentage of the rat custom scene... most are pretty >ick< ghetto!
 
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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
16,213
17,050
Evans, GA
#8
So I guess Bob doesn't care for my bike! Because I am going to restore this I didn't want to spend countless hours on metal work and glass smooth paint. Iam also a motorcycle guy (car guy too) and always loved the looks of the early board track racers such as the side-valve Harleys, Indians, and of course the Merkel! This is nothing but a diversion for me and the majority of my collection is original, unrestored bikes including four Phantoms. I'm something of an eclectic so I like to have a little diversity. If ya ain't having fun why do it? v/r Shawn
 

StevieZ

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 5, 2010
694
14
Sloansville,ny
#9
Well. I must say it is a shame to not restore some of the Vintage beauties. But if you did them all you would go broke. In my past experiences at swap meets and shows and even on the bike trail or just tooling around the town. I have had more people comment on my rat bike then any other bike. I have some pretty sweet rides to.


real rat bike.JPG
 

M.Martian

Finally riding a big boys bike
May 22, 2010
105
1
Livermore, CA
#10
Both of my customs are just that because I got one of them as a frame only. The other came as a frankenstein bike with random parts. Neither of these bikes were in any way going to be restored due to cost.

My custom is just that. It's actually built as a bike that some kid might have built it back in the 50's replacing parts as needed. Same thing my dad did when he was a kid. Just take random parts and build something that rolls.

Most of us custom guys do also have a love of vintage/original stuff. Eventually I plan on having my Shelby complete with correct parts. Just going to take a while since I'm broke.
 

bobcycles

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sep 30, 2006
3,353
3,877
12
so cal beaches
#11
ratty

mighta been a bit harsh on the rat lovers! But I do think that trends where everyone jumps on the same band wagon get boring. Remember those Chopper shows? Jesse, then OC...then whatever next. BORING! Look at what happened to JJ....burned out!
This forum is Vintage bikes first and foremost....and Classic and Antique! ...there is a ratrod site.
What else groundbreaking, 'cool' or different can be done with bikes? How about living bikes? Like chia pets! Part of the new Greening movement! Imagine watering your bike!!!
ok nevermind, heading out to get some satin black krylon and 120 spoke wheels, it's back to the rad rod idea, C'ya!
 
Likes: 5760rj

Bicycle Belle

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 16, 2011
832
30
#12
Actually this particular forum..

Is about custom bikes and that's why the poster put his post here. He is entitled to his opinion as you are to yours. I would suggest maybe checking out the gallery on ratrodbikes and see what some of these guys are doing. I think you'll find a lot more than satin black paint and 144 spoke wheels. I think it would do some people good to remember that bicycles were created to be ridden, enjoyed and well used and not sit as part of some dusty collection of a person who sees only their monetary value. I'm not saying you're guilty of this or anyone else on this site is (I've met some wonderful people)
I'm thinking that if our old bicycles could talk, they tell you of the wonderful times they've had...from the morning they were received by a happy child to the many adventures they shared. I'm also betting they'd tell you they love to do it all over again. So you go ratrodders! Rescue your bikes...ride them and love them!
(but leave me a few of the nice girls bikes I can restore :) )
 
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TheSaint

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 25, 2009
179
9
Redondo Beach, CA
#13
Just Do It

Building a Rat Rod is a great way to LEARN
what makes a bike appealing to others
and to yourself.

It is LESSON one can start to break down
the composition of elements on a bike,
such as shapes, color, positive, negative
space and details you want the viewer
to be drawn to. Then the mechanics of
the bike, a stretched frame, a comfortable
ride, a harsh ride or a bit of both depending
on front suspension and tire choice.

You WILL find a new level of competence
in crawling, walking then running in
progression of creativity and execution of your
own newfound ability of creating a Rat Rod.
It is like a skill you develop with time,
like any medium whether drawing
with pen and paper or learning and
understanding what makes our bikes
so interesting.

Some of the reputable restorers in the hobby
cannot build Rat Rods because it will
ruin their credibilty as Grade A perfect to the
absolutely correct o mundo part down to the
fastener to the exact o mundo pinstripe thickness
type restorer which we all want for
our letter perfect restorations. But can
these restorers have fun with building
a cool as heck, visually intelligent Rat Rod,
maybe, if they let their worries of what
their potential original type bike clients
may think go to heck......

regards,
TheSaint
 

videoranger

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 19, 2006
574
169
Omaha, United States
#14
Yikes!

Yeah, it's too bad those varmits on the left coast rated out 20" bikes with high rise handlebars and banana seats back in the early 60's. Now we are stuck with StingRays, Krates, Eliminators, Spyders, etc. Those kids should have left those little bikes as alone. Now we have "rat rodders", WHAT NEXT, ratted StingRays!!!!:D:D I'm goin' ta hide all my classics before they get CHOPPED!
 
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dxmadman

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 7, 2010
736
10
Odessa Texas
#15
Rats "They Got One Too!"

Videorangers right on the Sting Ray story,It was rats and customs that started the whole highrise revolution, Next to come the rat bike bike bandwagon coming to a store near you, flat black paint,red painted and mismatched color rims and tires, pinstripe graphics,the return of 24 inch cuisers, Damm its here already, Walmart and Target beat us to it!:p LOL
 

scarylarry

On Training Wheels
Jul 12, 2011
8
1
47
Neenah
#16
Rat/Custom/Restore/Original

This is a very interesting topic. In my opinion it boils down to personal individuality. Theres no wrong answer in what your doing to your own
property, as long as your doing something. The shop that i worked with had a little bit of everything, from rat, to restored, to custom, and original.
Nobody was treated differently. Maybe things are different elsewhere, but the when swap & trade shows come around in the Fox Valley in Wi, as long as you two wheels, motor, or not, you're in the brotherhood...........
Thanks
 
Likes: swingbiker71

yeshoney

I live for the CABE
Aug 8, 2007
1,499
54
Simsbury, CT
#17
Many have seen...

my bikes. I prefer to call them Hot Rod Bikes, as they are usually made up of entirely vintage parts, with updated running gears, though i do have a handful of Skip tooth customs as well. Here is one of my favorites as it certainly blurs all the stereotypical lines. It is a 50's Spitfire, sans fenders riding on 24" S2 36 hole creme w/black pins wheels (try finding a set of those!) strung on a nexus IHG 7 speed and front roller brake. Wides ape hangers and an early Messinger 'nanna seat. Even has vintage Continental 24 x 2.125 tires. Is it Rat? Is it Hot? Is it Custom? or is it a faithful recreation of something that started a revolution ~ in an adult friendly size :D You decide!

Spitty1-1.jpg


Spitty7-1.jpg
 

1959firearrow

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jul 11, 2011
658
28
Pandora,Ohio
#19
This is a debate that will never end, just as it never will end in the car world.I'm just glad that the crap rod segment(a car haphazardly thrown together will little concern for safety, crappy welds, dangerous suspension and brake setups, and the one that bugs me the most, mesh or no floors) have stayed away from bikes. Rat rods and customs are interpretations of their owners needs or wants in a particular bike, vehicle etc. Lastly in my opinion bikes are meant to be done with however their owner chooses I like almost all of them. Judging by all the accessories that were and are still sold bikes are meant to be customized if you want. A bike restored,ratted, or turned custom is just one more that doesn't go to the scrapper we should all be happy, the more of us there are the more history we can save.
 

geech34-2nd

Look Ma, No Hands!
Feb 6, 2012
64
11
Wichita Ks 67204
#20
Why be defensive about cutting up a bike?

I was into hot rods for a long time & occasionally met up with someone who thought that it was a sin to alter anything. They were usually people who have no creative talent. Bikes are no different. There's nothing wrong with cutting something up & changing things. These things are meant to enjoy. I would hesitate cutting up something that is truly rare or in great original condition but there are many bikes out there that are easily replaced. No offense intended.
 

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