1. Custom Motorcycle Builders
  2. Styles and Trends
  3. Rat Bikes

The Ultimate Guide to Rat Bikes

Discover the unique world of Rat Bikes and how they have become a popular trend in the custom motorcycle industry. From their origins to current styles and builders, this article has it all.

The Ultimate Guide to Rat Bikes

Rat bikes have become an increasingly popular trend in the world of custom motorcycles. These gritty, stripped down bikes are the antithesis of shiny, flashy choppers and sport bikes. They have a raw, rebellious appeal that has captured the hearts of many riders and builders alike. In this ultimate guide, we will dive into the world of rat bikes and explore their origins, features, and why they have become a beloved style among custom motorcycle builders.

Whether you're a die-hard fan or new to the scene, this article will provide you with everything you need to know about rat bikes. So, buckle up and get ready to learn all about this unique and edgy style that has taken the motorcycle world by storm. First, let's start with the basics - what exactly is a Rat Bike? Simply put, a Rat Bike is a motorcycle that has been purposely made to look old, worn-out, and dirty. This unconventional style is often achieved by using salvaged or recycled parts, giving the bike a rough and rugged appearance. But don't be fooled by their looks - Rat Bikes are built for performance and are not just for show. Now that we have an understanding of what Rat Bikes are, let's delve into their history.

The origins of Rat Bikes can be traced back to the 1950s and 1960s when bikers would modify their motorcycles for performance and style. These modifications were often done on a budget, leading to the use of salvaged parts and creative designs. Over time, this style evolved into the Rat Bike we know today. When it comes to styles, there are various subcategories within the Rat Bike culture. Some popular styles include traditional Rat Bikes, which stay true to the original concept with their worn-out appearance.

There are also Rusty Rats, which take the worn-out look to the extreme, and Street Fighters, which have a more aggressive and modern look. Other styles include Bobbers, Choppers, and Cafe Racers, all with their unique features and designs. Rat Bikes have also gained a dedicated following in the custom motorcycle world, with several prominent builders making a name for themselves. These builders are known for their creativity, attention to detail, and ability to bring a unique touch to every Rat Bike they build. Some notable names include Indian Larry, Shinya Kimura, and Roland Sands. In conclusion, Rat Bikes may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there's no denying their impact on the custom motorcycle world.

From their humble beginnings to their current status as a trend, Rat Bikes have captured the hearts of many riders and builders. Whether you love them or hate them, one thing is for sure - Rat Bikes are here to stay.

Meet the Builders

Rat Bikes are all about individuality and creativity, and one of the most exciting aspects of this subculture is the unique bikes that are built by talented custom motorcycle builders. These skilled individuals have a passion for creating one-of-a-kind bikes that push the boundaries of traditional motorcycle design. In this section, we will introduce you to some of the names behind some of the coolest Rat Bikes.

Exploring Different Styles

If you're a motorcycle enthusiast, chances are you've heard of Rat Bikes.

This subculture of custom motorcycles has gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason - their unique styles and designs are hard to resist. But with so many different styles of Rat Bikes out there, which one speaks to you? In this section, we'll explore the different styles of Rat Bikes and help you decide which one suits your personality and taste.


The traditional Rat Bike style is all about embracing the raw and rugged look. These bikes often have a vintage or retro feel, with rusty or worn out parts that give them character.

The goal is to make the bike look as if it's been through years of use and abuse, giving it a sense of authenticity and history.


Rusty Rat Bikes take the traditional style to the next level. These bikes are intentionally made to look old and worn, with rusted parts and faded paint jobs. They may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but they definitely make a statement.

Rusty Rat Bikes are for those who want to stand out from the crowd and embrace the unconventional.

Street Fighter:

Street Fighter Rat Bikes are all about performance and functionality. These bikes are stripped down to their bare bones, with minimalistic designs and lightweight frames. They are built for speed and agility, making them a popular choice among urban riders who want to navigate through traffic with ease.

Which style speaks to you? Are you drawn to the classic look of a traditional Rat Bike, or do you prefer the edgy vibe of a rusty one? Maybe you're all about speed and want a Street Fighter Rat Bike. Whatever your preference, there's a Rat Bike style out there for you. Keep reading to learn about some of the most prominent builders in the Rat Bike community.

The Evolution of Rat Bikes

Rat Bikes have come a long way since their humble beginnings. The term was first coined in the 1970s by custom motorcycle builders who wanted to create unique and unconventional bikes that were made from scraps and spare parts.

These bikes were often referred to as 'rat rods', inspired by the hot rod culture of the 1950s and 1960s. What started as a way for motorcycle enthusiasts to save money and build their own bikes has now evolved into a popular trend. In recent years, Rat Bikes have gained a huge following and have become a subculture of their own within the world of custom motorcycles. The popularity of Rat Bikes can be attributed to their raw and rugged aesthetic, which appeals to those looking for something different from the traditional polished and shiny bikes. The DIY aspect of building these bikes also adds to their appeal, as it allows riders to express their creativity and individuality. Rat Bikes may not be for everyone, but their unique style and history make them a fascinating subculture within the custom motorcycle world. With various styles to choose from and talented builders continuously pushing the boundaries, we can only imagine what the future holds for Rat Bikes.