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.