Bringing you the world's best café racers, trackers, scramblers & custom motorcycles

Rat


Kawasaki KZ400 – “The Bolo Shit”

Posted on May 11, 2012 by Andrew in Brat, Café Racer, Rat. 26 comments

Ok, let’s not beat around the bush. There’s an elephant in this custom bike room and we’ll need to get it out in open right now. I haven’t got the slightest idea what a “bolo shit” is. I’ve Googled. I’ve Bing’d, why I even tried an Alta Vista search by travelling back in time. Nada. Now according to the always amusing urbandictionary.com, a “bolo” is a itself a term for pooping, so that would make it’s name “shit shit” which, while quite funny, doesn’t make any sense at all. Then I saw the gun on the tank. Bingo. Another Google search of “bolo gun” tells me that bolo is a nickname for the Mauser C96, better known as “the gun that the Nazis always have in war films.” Except that the gun on the tank looks nothing like C96. So where does that leave us? I’d suggest we just all don these here special glasses that make white elephants invisible to the human eye and click that “read more” link below.


Read more...

Yamaha XT 500 – “The Bastard”

Posted on May 4, 2012 by Andrew in Brat, Café Racer, Rat. 55 comments

Some bikes are served to us on a silver platter, replete with back story, specifications, build photos, screen shots from the eBay ad, the builder’s mothers maiden name, when she lost her virginity and some original polaroids of the aforementioned event (with handwritten notes), and a professionally shot selection of photos with notes from the lensman himself noting time of day, ambient temperature, and how many beers he’d had with his delicious lunchtime meat pie. Then there’s this bike. You want information? We have just about as little as we possibly could without having nothing but a gaping black hole where our email inbox used to be. The real crime here? It’s that something so arse-smackingly cool can be so damn anonymous – like finding out that the hottie across the room at the party who took your breath away is actually suffering from amnesia.


Read more...

Brauchi’s Kawasaki W650 – ‘JagdBobber’

Posted on April 6, 2012 by Andrew in Bobber, Brat, Rat. 27 comments

So, we’ve just had a sweet BM tracker. Let’s continue the Germanic thematic with a bike not made in Deutschland, but perfected there. And with a Red Baron theme, no less. It’s interesting to note that Germany and Japan have an intertwined engineering relationship when it comes to new automotive developments. For almost all the most important road safety developments of the last 50 years, it was the Germans who developed the technology and the Japanese who perfected it. Take ABS as a great example. An electronics system created by Bosch and then installed by BMW on their K100 in 1988 was the starting point for ABS on motorcycles, but it arguably took Honda and their current generation ABS system available most notably on their CBR1000RR to perfect it. Many a professional motorcycle reviewer noted that in their minds it was the first truly unobtrusive ABS system that functioned on track as required without sacrificing lap times. You can see a similar development path for other technologies such as EBD, seat belt tensioners, and traction control. So what happens when you feed motorbike through the system the wrong way around? Oh, don’t worry – the results are better than you think. Meet the JagdBobber.


Read more...

1975 Honda Goldwing Rat – ‘El Guapo’

Posted on December 1, 2011 by Andrew in Bobber, Rat. 67 comments

If we kept a list of “bikes we damn well should post more of” on the wall of the Pipeburn dumpster office, I have little doubt that rat bikes would be at the top of the list. Now this might polarise some of you reader types out there, but rat bikes really push our buttons. There’s just something so amazing about a bike with its original pretenses of polish, prettiness and good looks stripped away to reveal the beautiful ferrous reality of all that metal, rubber, benzene and greased-out muck – like some subterranean-dwelling Nordic earth god has summoned the elemental forces at his disposal to create a means of transport that will simultaneously anger the other gods with its brutality and make them so green with envy they are likely to smite us humans just to relieve their frustrations. This bike does just that. Feast your puny, mortal peepers on Paul Dutra’s supernaturally cool Honda Goldwing Rat, “El Guapo”.


Read more...

Kawasaki W650 – Wrenchmonkees #32

Posted on October 2, 2011 by Scott in Rat, Scrambler. 16 comments

I have a confession to make. I’ve been having a relationship with another girl for years behind my wifes back. I keep her tucked away in a garage up the road and I’m always making excuses to go see her. I could ride her all day long and most of the time I do. Then at other times, it’s just a quickie up to the shops – but always satisfying. You could call her my mistress. My metal mistress. So when Wrenchmonkees sent me an email saying they were building a bike for the Mistress Gentlemen’s Motorcycle Club (MGMC), I instantly related to the clubs name. Not because it sounds like a strip club (that helped), but because I like the idea of a motorbike being a ‘mistress’. MGMC is a fractional ownership club for luxury motorcycles in Lisbon Portugal. You pay an annual fee and you get to choose from the bevy of ‘Mistress motorcycles’. The more you pay, the more quality alone time you get to spend with these bikes over the year. “We have a Ducati Diavel, a BMW S1000RR and a GS 1200, but we needed something unique to complete our fleet” says part owner Gonçalo Henriques. “Our goal was to have a dream garage for our members. First we were thinking of a Harley but we contacted Per from Wrenchmonkees, that we found in a Portuguese magazine called Rev and project Mistress was born!”


Read more...

2001 Kawasaki W650 – Tangara

Posted on September 2, 2011 by Andrew in Café Racer, Rat. 38 comments

Anyone who has visited our fair city of Sydney in the last 20 years will have probably had the dubious pleasure of riding on our mass transit system. Known as CityRail by it’s employees and ShittyRail by the rest of us, it’s main train is the once shiny but now fairly lack-luster ‘Tangara‘, which is an Australian Aboriginal word meaning to go. Which they do, sometimes. Put simply, the trains are old, well-used work horses that are a little dangerous, fairly dirty, jury-rigged and manned by a bunch of nasty-looking guys who aren’t that accustomed to being helpful or courteous. Which brings us to Seoul’s Denver Cho and his well-used, dangerous, dirty, jury-rigged W650 “Tangara” Kwaka – which is more often than not manned by his good self, and by the look of him he’s probably not that good at being courteous either.


Read more...

1965 BSA A65 – Chasing Lightning

Posted on April 16, 2011 by Scott in Bobber, Rat. 10 comments


Here at Chez Pipe de la Carbon we don’t know much about art, but we know what we like. And we like this; it’s the work of Antoine Stemerding who is an artist living in the south of the Netherlands. His day job involves building weird and wonderful sculptures, most of the time out of metal. So when he came across a 1965 BSA for sale he decided to turn it into a hardtail. “I fabricated the hard tail frame myself” Antoine says. “That wasn’t a big issue, because I work a lot with metal when I make my art. There aren’t alot of chopped BSA’s in the Netherlands but now and then one pops up.”


Read more...

1989 Yamaha SR250

Posted on January 27, 2011 by Scott in Bobber, Rat. 7 comments

Doesn’t look like the usual SR250’s you see on the road, does it? No siree. This bad boy was recently built for the Metamorfosis Masiva — which is a SR250 build-off in Spain where you can’t spend more than €1,000 on parts. Although, there was no limit on the amount of hours they could spend building, and that’s what D.B from El Solitario MC did. Spending more than 500 hours creating this one-of-a-kind motorcycle. The bike, which D.B has named ‘The Winning Loser’ didn’t win, but ironically it has probably gained the most attention, being posted on numerous motorcycle blogs around the world and therefore living up to its name.


Read more...

1969 Harley Rat Bobber

Posted on September 22, 2010 by Andrew in Bobber, Classic, Rat. 30 comments

To open, I have a frank and shocking admission to make. I don’t like Harleys. Never have. I’ve always seen them as way too bourbon, bandanas and bald eagles, if you see what I mean. Sure, on the odd occasion I’ve seen a custom HD that I’d not mind being seen on – but for the vast majority of this Milwaukee metal I’d rather set my pubes on fire than have them parked in my garage.

Then I met Jed DePyper at the recent Deus ex Machina Parallel Universe day. I shot the faeces with him for a while and he eventually told me he rode a “Rat Bobber”. Being none-the-wiser, I asked to see it. And Christ on a bike, what a bike; I was pretty much smitten from the get go. It wasn’t until later that day that I put two and two together and realised that I had just had my socks shocked and awed by a Hardly Ableson. God bless America.


Read more...

1978 Suzuki Rat Bobber

Posted on July 14, 2010 by Scott in Bobber, Rat. 9 comments

4753197975_ce6af0d73e_b

This Suzuki Rat Bobber was built by Seattle based Greg Simanson who has a love of all custom motorcycles. When Greg decided to build a bike he wanted to create something a little different. “I turned the 1978 Suzuki GS750 into a hardtail” said Greg. “Shortened the front end, added new handlebars, controls, headlight, new exhaust and powder coated the wheels black”. If you are wondering what the Japanese writing on the side of the tank means, it’s actually an old Japanese license plate that Greg modified and added for decoration. You can view more shots of this rough and ready rat bobber on Gregs blog Shadowlight Customs.

Read more...