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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so when I have questions, I look them up- definitions, etc. Lucky made a point earlier about asking if his was a rat bike. I don't want to look it up, I want to hear from you guys- what makes a bike fit into its classification? What makes a 'rat bike', a 'bobber' etc. What definitions would YOU give it? Are they real definitions, or something named due to popular culture? Why is a 'custom' a 'custom'? Is it not a 'custom' if you do not customize it? Would it be a 'personalized'? Named due to frames, or engines? Or accessories?.....
 

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OK, so when I have questions, I look them up- definitions, etc. Lucky made a point earlier about asking if his was a rat bike. I don't want to look it up, I want to hear from you guys- what makes a bike fit into its classification? What makes a 'rat bike', a 'bobber' etc. What definitions would YOU give it? Are they real definitions, or something named due to popular culture? Why is a 'custom' a 'custom'? Is it not a 'custom' if you do not customize it? Would it be a 'personalized'? Named due to frames, or engines? Or accessories?.....




Oh god this is hard to answer. It can be as simple as a bodypart. Most are modified stock bikes. A true custom is in my opinion is built from nothing to create a certain look. Preferably one of a kind.
 

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Hmm....names are a bit of a mixture

A true ratbike is unpainted, untouched, and generally just ridden irregardless of how it looks etc, kind of the "new age hippy" of the bike world. A custom used to mean something that had hand fabricated parts, not available off the shelf, although it more normally now means a standard bike (or indeed the archetypal bike in a box) with some bolt on accessories out of a catalogue. A bobber is any chop with the rear part of the mudguards cut short and squared off and any unnecessaary parts junked , like suspension, but that does not mean that all rigids are bobber!. Some bikes can be named after engines or frames, ie a Triton ( triumph engine in a Norton featherbed frame) or just their suspension type, a rigid for example. Bike names and types are incredibly varied. When I used to compile listings and typres for tyre fitting guides it was always a pain to get agreement across the board of what is what. Take the modern name, adventure sport bike. this was coined to originally represent large capacity trail bikes intended for road use, but now in reality represents road going enduro bikes as the term enduro bike is now kept for competition bikes. Names, like everything else, evolve
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So if a rat bike is unpainted and untouched- why would it be a rat bike?





and what is this considered? Does the classification change if the large, windblocking fairing is taken off?
 

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Rat rod make me think back yard fabrication. Not usually ugly, but usually a little rough around the edges. Rust is ok, flat black is cool, and wheel painted a weird ass color are nice.



There is a guy around where I live that drives an old 30s/40s buick (not sure what year exactly, but the one you always see chopped and channeled) thats painted flat black, has the tall rat head shifter, and bright green wheels with white walls. Very rat rod, but the car itself is mint. The pannels are straight, the interior is in good shape, and the chrome isnt pitted.



Rat rods evoke a do it yourself attitude.
 

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Let the Man from Milwaukee* tell you what costitutes a "dresser"....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
just trying to get an insightful discussion- we don't always agree on things, and when there is a definition, it's a set standard, or so it seems.... but when it is an interpretation, you get all sorts of shades of gray.



I wanna see the black, white, and gray
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
haha.... funny




But the rocker is pretty sweet!
 

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Wow,now THAT is really something.






I like!

 

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Wow,now THAT is really something.




I like !


But do you like it $24,000-30,000?



I guess most of his clients have money coming out the wazzue. For the harley bike chairs he throws in a oil pan in case there's a leak.
 

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No, I don't like it even 1/60th of that much.



 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Some "definitions"



Rat Bike- The concept of keeping a motorcycle in at least minimally operational condition without consideration for appearance has probably characterized motorcycle ownership since its earliest days.[3] Since the general upturn in economic conditions of the late 1960s; trends have seemed to favor either replacement of well-worn bikes with newer models or maintenance that conserved the appearance of a like-new condition. "Rat bikes" emerging in the late 1970s and early 1980s (before the term was in use) seemed to appear as a social statement in favor of functionality over the aesthetics of like-new appearances. The essence of a true rat bike is keeping a motorbike on the road for the maximum amount of time while spending as little as possible on it.[4] This calls for adaptation of parts that were not designed to fit the model of bike in question. While the origin on the term ratbike is unclear, it is generally attributed to custom motorbike magazines[5][6] and retrospectively applied.



Most Rat bikes are painted matte black but this is not a requirement.[7] This may be a cross over from survival bikes. These two kinds of "customized" motorcycles may appear similar but are considered different aesthetic genres.



In recent times there has been a trend of deliberately customizing bikes into rats. It is argued that this defies the organic growth into a rat bike that characterized the original rat bikes and led to their uniqueness. Bikes deliberately distressed to look like a rat bike are sometimes derisively referred to as fake rats. Currently the "rat style" is also gaining popularity in car customizing circles, though again in a somewhat misunderstood manner where vehicles are carefully decorated or modified to look worn with age. This is similar to the distressing of furniture



Survival Bike- Survival bikes are bikes that may appear to be rat bikes, but are not. They are influenced by the Mad Max films. The term survival bike itself originated in the British motorcycle press (particularly, Back Street Heroes[8] and the now defunct AWoL) in the late 1980s/early 1990s



Bobber- Definition: A bobber-style motorcycle is a post World War II motorcycle typified by modifications in which non-essential body parts are removed, or "bobbed." Chopped fenders and rigid tails are other bobber traits, as are a general lack of chrome, unlike their chopper counterparts



Chopper- A chopper is a type of motorcycle that was either modified from an original motorcycle design ("chopped") or built from scratch to have an authentic appearance. The main features of a chopper that make it stand out are its longer frame design accompanied by a stretch front end (or rake). To achieve a longer front end, while the frame is being designed, the fabricator will tilt the neck of the frame at less of an incline and install a longer fork. Another unique aspect of a chopper design is that there is usually no rear suspension meaning the frame of the motorcycle will extend from the neck (or front of the frame) all the way to the rear wheel. This can make handling the motorcycle more challenging and the ride a bit more "bumpy". These attributes may seem radical to some but is necessary for the look that is desired. One look that is becoming more popular with chopper designs is a low frame to ground clearance or a low-rider look.



Some history-

Before there were choppers, there was the bobber, meaning a motorcycle that had been "bobbed," or relieved of excess weight by removing parts, particularly the fenders, with the intent of making it lighter and thus faster, or at least making it look better in the eyes of a rider seeking a more minimalist ride.[1] An early example of a bobber is the 1940 Indian Sport Scout "Bob-Job" which toured in the 1998 The Art of the Motorcycle exhibition.[2][3] Indian Scouts and Chiefs of the time came with extravagantly large, heavily valenced fenders, nearly reaching the center of the wheel on the luxurious 1941 Indian Series 441[4] while racing bikes had tiny fenders or none at all. The large and well-appointed bikes exemplified the "dresser" [1] motorcycle aesthetic and providing a counterpoint to the minimalist bobber, and cafe racers. Choppers would grow into and explore the dimensions of the space between the stripped-down bobbers and weighed-down dressers.



In the post-World War II United States, servicemen returning home from the war started removing all parts deemed too big, heavy, ugly or not absolutely essential to the basic function of the motorcycle, such as fenders, turn indicators, and even front brakes. The large, spring-suspended saddles were also removed in order to sit as low as possible on the motorcycle's frame. These machines were lightened to improve performance for dirt-track racing and mud racing.[3][5]



Forward-mounted foot pegs replaced the standard large 'floorboard' foot rests. Also, the standard larger front tire, headlight and fuel tank were replaced with much smaller ones. Many choppers were painted preferably all in either flat black or in shiny metallic “metal flake” colors. Also common were many chromed parts (either one-off fabricated replacements or manually chromed stock parts). According to the taste and purse of the owner, “chop shops” would build high handle bars, or later “Big Daddy” Roth Wild Child’s designed stretched, narrowed, and raked front forks. Shops also custom built exhaust pipes and many of the “after market kits“ followed in the late 1960s into the 1970s. Laws required (and in many locales still do) a retention fixture for the passenger, so vertical backrests called sissy bars were a popular installation, often sticking up higher than the rider's head.



While the decreased weight and lower seat position improved handling and performance, the main reason to build such a chopper was to show off and provoke others by riding a machine that was stripped and almost nude compared to the softer-styled stock Harley-Davidsons, let alone the oversized automobiles of that time.







agree? disagree? opinions?
 

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What's in a name anyway. "Customs" are the most vague IMO. Doing anything other than replacing a stock part with another stock part is "customizing". Most other bikes fall into more than one category. motorcycles called cafes are a bobber without a seat with springs, brat bikes are a cafe without a hump on the back, trackers are a motorcycle that's made for dirt track which look like all the others mentioned other than the exhaust is normally higher up on the bike, choppers are bikes that are normally motorcycles with the rake extended. Rat bikes are bikes that run but the owner intentionally or unintentionally makes it look like they don't give a crap about the appearance.



IMO they are all motorcycles and that's what they should be called. Everyone should get creative and start calling their bikes by their user name style to really get it nailed down to specifics.
So your bike would be a DakotaMK style motorcycle.
 

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I think the term,"Rat Bike" is a loose term so there's no real strict definition.



This is my favourite that goes beyond,"Ratiness".It's somewhere in the Southern United States as I helped the guy fix his engine several years ago on my old forum and yes it is road legal apparently.Hope it's still going







 

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If you think you might have a rat bike, you probably do .



Just don't get caught polishing it or you lose your membership card
 

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Here is a real rat bike and trailer ... click to see it larger.



 
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