Rats Start Here


Welcome to our site! 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. Rat Bikes Rat bike engineering: sound joint between sections of exhaust pipe without the use of welding equipment. 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. The essence of a rat bike is keeping a motorbike on the road for the maximum amount of time while spending as little as possible on it. This calls for adaptation of parts that were not designed to fit the model of bike in question. While the origin of the term rat bike is unclear, it may be attributable to custom motorbike magazines, and retrospectively applied. Most rat bikes are painted matte black but this is not a requirement. Back Street Heroes (est. 1983) is a monthly UK custom bike magazine that helped to popularize a “new breed” of custom motorcycle, distinct from previous choppers because they combined rat bike influence utilitarian and minimalist design with greater use of high tech gadgetry, but catering to an upscale buyer in the Robb Report demographic. Back Street Heroes “celebrates the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, black leather, long hair, and open exhausts aspect of motorcycling,” targeting, like its US counterpart Easyriders, the “hardcore” niche.  It is one of a handful of biker magazines that included fiction until 2016. The magazine tied together geographically isolated enthusiasts of biker culture by keeping them up to date on custom bike mechanical techniques and styles, and motorcycle rallies, as well related cultures, such as biker music and their music. All this earned the magazine credibility with the mainstream press on the subject of outlaw motorcycle clubs. Ian ‘Maz’ Harris, Ph.D., founder of the Bulldog Bash rally and spokesman for the Hells Angels, was a regular contributor. Another Hells Angel, Brian ‘Moke’ Thompson, was also featured in the magazine.] L. J. K. Setrightcontributed technical articles and Paul Sample’s Ogri cartoon moved to Back Street Heroes in 2009 for a short while (ceased in 2012), after 35 years at Bike.