I'm not in favor of rat bikes!


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the tinker

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 4, 2014
2,509
4,921
Planet Mongo
another one saved

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I had a poorly repaired Hawthorne frame. really bad weld job where frame broke and was repaired by way too much brazing rod piled on. I considered throwing this frame out it looked so bad. I saw this tank setting under a table at a swap meet. every one had passed it by. the guy wanted 10 bucks for it! wasnt rusted, I didnt know what it fit, but for 10 bucks I bought it.
Of course the only frame it fit was the ratty hawthorne.
Lots of grinding later I got the bad welds looking excellent. striped off two coats of house and paint lots of rust. Added 1950 Huffy fenders, a 49 Buick hood ornament, the hocky stick guard
and a coke bottle opener I found nosing thru the trash. :)
The only way this bike got saved was because of the tank. I put it together Christmas week, and just brought it out today. too icey to ride though. Another old bike saved!

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Jaypem

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jan 20, 2016
311
269
Healdsburg, United States
Great old thread !
I'm sure that many of the opinions stated here remain unchanged, but I suspect that there are
quite a few who have had their eyes opened to some degree by the sheer awesomeness that
a well executed Rat bike can deliver!

This years build off winner, TRM's Decoluxe !
( Go to ratrodbikes.com and check out the whole build start to finish !)
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Maybe here at the Cabe, that subtle line between OG and Rat would be appreciated most...
Here's a bit of both!

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Mark Allard

Look Ma, No Hands!
Apr 16, 2016
39
153
49
Hendersonville N.C.
Interesting topic.....the reality of the matter is most of us doing "Rat Rods" rarely alter a bike to the point that they could not be returned to original condition. Also we are widely responsible for many of the restorers being able to find their restorations. All those parts you sell to fund your restorations are the parts we buy to build our Rats. Likewise most of the parts we buy are the parts that are far too gone for a restorer to use or too common to be of interest. Also while building these Rats our interest and knowledge of the originals grows and most of us will do a restoration at some point. Here is a pic of my JC Higgins Flightliner I have named the "Flatliner" all the parts used were salvaged.

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StoneWoods

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jan 7, 2015
462
547
Schofield, United States
Custom or Rat???

I reading through the posts in this thread, I'm now confused. When is a custom a custom and not a rat bike. When is a rat bike a rat bike and not a custom. How do I categorize these...

Custom or Rat??? :confused:
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Custom or Rat??? :confused:
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I say traditional custom on both
 
Likes: mazdaflyer

Mark Allard

Look Ma, No Hands!
Apr 16, 2016
39
153
49
Hendersonville N.C.
A RAT has more to do with the method of build rather than appearance of the finished product. A RAT uses existing parts to achieve a cohesive finished product. A custom uses more scratch built fabrication. Many say mine are not RATS because they have too polished of an appearance. This is just my opinion its not written in stone anywhere. In reality its probably just a matter of how much of a bike snob one is.

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King Louie

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 31, 2016
196
808
60
Burbank
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I think to change the appearance of a bike other than its original state is a form of expressing ones self weather it be a custom or rat rod or even s Klunker build , I too love a complete original bike as much as customizing a bike to my personal liking . I could live with myself either way ! Lol
 

bicycle larry

I live for the CABE
Jan 30, 2014
1,616
1,889
Mountain Grove, Canada
another one saved

View attachment 192367 View attachment 192368 View attachment 192369 View attachment 192370

I had a poorly repaired Hawthorne frame. really bad weld job where frame broke and was repaired by way too much brazing rod piled on. I considered throwing this frame out it looked so bad. I saw this tank setting under a table at a swap meet. every one had passed it by. the guy wanted 10 bucks for it! wasnt rusted, I didnt know what it fit, but for 10 bucks I bought it.
Of course the only frame it fit was the ratty hawthorne.
Lots of grinding later I got the bad welds looking excellent. striped off two coats of house and paint lots of rust. Added 1950 Huffy fenders, a 49 Buick hood ornament, the hocky stick guard
and a coke bottle opener I found nosing thru the trash. :)
The only way this bike got saved was because of the tank. I put it together Christmas week, and just brought it out today. too icey to ride though. Another old bike saved!

View attachment 192367

View attachment 192368

View attachment 192369

View attachment 192370
not an
another one saved

View attachment 192367 View attachment 192368 View attachment 192369 View attachment 192370

I had a poorly repaired Hawthorne frame. really bad weld job where frame broke and was repaired by way too much brazing rod piled on. I considered throwing this frame out it looked so bad. I saw this tank setting under a table at a swap meet. every one had passed it by. the guy wanted 10 bucks for it! wasnt rusted, I didnt know what it fit, but for 10 bucks I bought it.
Of course the only frame it fit was the ratty hawthorne.
Lots of grinding later I got the bad welds looking excellent. striped off two coats of house and paint lots of rust. Added 1950 Huffy fenders, a 49 Buick hood ornament, the hocky stick guard
and a coke bottle opener I found nosing thru the trash. :)
The only way this bike got saved was because of the tank. I put it together Christmas week, and just brought it out today. too icey to ride though. Another old bike saved!

View attachment 192367

View attachment 192368

View attachment 192369

View attachment 192370
not another one tinker dave , its super nice I like it , good talking to you to day tinker dave keep them comeing ,I no you got more surprisess!!! for us cabers!!!!! from bicycle larry
 
Likes: the tinker

Saving Tempest

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Feb 6, 2012
3,356
1,519
52
Earth (Middle)
Dudes, he had quite a few things I liked and would want on Beryl, like the rack and tank. Even if it's black I saw the Troxel seat I want on eBay. Troxels are my official favorite seats.
 

Barto

I live for the CABE
Mar 13, 2015
1,345
1,142
Somers, United States
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View attachment 440762 Like my Hot Rod, I build my Bicycles and Motorcycles for me with my money, and my sweat. It's none of anyone's business what or how I do it. I build these things to make me happy. I used to show my 1958 FLH Harey Davidson but got tired of everyone telling me what they would do if it was theirs. I Build both Stock and Rats and enjoy both.
 
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Pauliemon

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 22, 2009
251
290
Sacramento, California
Wow! And the debate rages on for 6 years. I like bikes! Custom, motorized, restored, rat, just bikes. I lean towards the custom, rat, motorized. I do not restore bikes. But I will be happy to come over and oggle at your restored bike. Now I'm gonna go weld some big ugly brackets on my 41 Autocycle frame. Just kidding.
 

Pauliemon

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 22, 2009
251
290
Sacramento, California
I think my attraction (read: addiction) to crusty rusties is because that's what we had as kids. No one in my neighborhood had a fancy Schwinn. If we were lucky enough to get a new bike it was a basic model. If you had a bike you'd start saving for some ape hanger, shorty fenders, lay back seatpost, etc. We weren't poor, just working class families.
 

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