RATBIKING.......why and how


The proper way to rat a motorcycle-----

Ratbike: do a search and you'll find a lot of descriptions--most refer to olive drab or flat black hogs with a lot of duct tape, bailing wire and animal skins--the stigma is usually negative and they have their world and are having fun with it--great. Most bikes wind up getting personalized a little and that's great too but it isn't always ratwork-----a different seat or set of bars or paint scheme is not ratwork.

ratbike: (my definition) a ratbike
is one that has been modified to the point where a manual is of little value and further, could probably never be brought back to original condition. it's usually as a result of someone thinking a bike might perform a task better if something were added or taken off as with a flat track, MX, road racer, hill climber and so on. could be the whole frame has been changed (champion, spondon, C&J etc)---the ratting has been done for a reason--the quality of work is good and the result is a bike with enhanced performance of some sort-----

the ethics here: (again, my definition)
I seem to find about 3 barn bikes a year and SOME are good restoration candidates and I feel they should be kept original. I usually just pass these on to someone anxious to do one up properly and keep the dogs for rat projects. I've lost interest in doing restorations--they are boring and never seem to get 100% done----good vintage bikes should be kept in circulation "as built" for posterity, the dogs deserve a rebirth of sorts..

I don't seek out American bikes, two strokes or mopeds or multicylinder imported bikes. My area of interest is thumpers and I love to find an old one.

Hot rods are fun, MX specials are fun, but cafe bikes make my nipples hard so the focus of this site will be tips, pics and text following the conversion of someone else's junk into my idea of a sleek canyon streaker.

I welcome and would appreciate any serious contributions or links. I'm bob and my email is oldrice@webtv.net


The classic barn bike--$25--'75 honda XL 350


This bike was way too far gone in too many ways to be restored. Tank was rusted out, cables froze, wheel bearings shot, oddly welded thingees for footpeg brackets and on and on-----the redeeming part of this bike was the engine--not a bent fin, not stuck, in fact it actually ran after about an hour of fiddling. Nice to know that but these should never be started and ran for any length of time without at least some investigation--if it fires up, shut it off quick and go on to other things-----


below is a pic that had been HAUNTING me for a long time--1968 honda CR450rr factory racer--
actually a pretty famous bike--raced at Daytona and really made a statement to the world about Honda's credibility---140 mph--I decided to try for this look.

question is, of course, can it be done?


for progress pics of my efforts to get there, go to the next page

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