I don't know what I expected when I opened the email from Vintage Steele with the first words being "Our rat bike." While their style is full of soul and personality, "rat," is far from a word I would have ever used for one of their builds.
Opening up the photos of the R90/6 that was recently finished for a customer, I could definitely see where they were coming from, but if this thing's a rat ... I don't even know what to call some of the other contraptions that get passed off as rat bikes.
The build started off when a longtime friend and customer, Chris, found this bike on eBay. After his bid was accepted, they immediately set to work making this build a reality. The bike was pretty neglected when it came into the owner's hands and he knew Vintage Steele was just the team for the job. The custom magic they have woven on so many bikes over the years spoke to Chris, and he knew their specific look was just what he wanted for his build.
While you'll notice the most obvious parts first, there are other things going on here that make this bike an awesome daily rider. The suspension wasn't just upgraded, but an entire swingarm and mono shock system were engineered for use on this chassis. The original rear subframe was hacked and reworked to fit the looptail on the new shorty solo seat, then a new license plate bracket/ tail light setup were installed on the rear axle.
It's tough not to instantly admire the bends on the exhaust pipe. Those seven welded bends on the muffler look so good with that wiggly exhaust header leading up to it.
The tires scream daily rider. Then you get up to the headlight and the levers that say the exact same thing. This bike looks like the perfect blend of clean and daily rideable. The owner isn't going to come out with a shammy and scrub this thing down after every dusty road, but he can still take plenty of pride in the bike's appearance.
To see more from Vintage Steele, head over to their website VintageSteele.com.
This piece originally appeared at MotorcycleCruiser.com.