Hiawatha Rat

Apr 13, 2011
Southern California
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This was pretty much a quick build. Do to the fact that it's a Hiawatha makes it already a Cool Cool bike to own. I scored this right here on RRB from member nateyboy. I have always wanted one of these. The frame design is just awesome. I wanted to give it a Rat look so I made some apes for it. I put some 24" electra 3 speed wheels I had left over from my Straight 8. I added a 3 speed shifter from Migz. The grips I used are from member ifitsfreeitsforme. The tires I used are felt thick bricks. After seeing what Crankset Leather was doing I could'nt help myself. So here it is.

The tank was in bad shape. It had some rust holes on the bottom of each side.

I had to replace the stem because it was broken inside.


New bottom bracket, crank, and pedals. The chain ring I had from another bike.

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Wildcat said:
Is the original tank under there?
Chris here, No original metal tank under the leather. I used thick saddle grade full grain leather to construct this unique tank. King Zebba sent me the original metal tank to copy and shape my hardwood form mold. The thick leather was then shaped to this new wooden form. His logo tooled and everything glued when it was bone dry. I used my original leather tank wallet design on this one. The idea was that it opens up like a wallet and has a built in compartment inside for cash bill fold storage and maybe even some pen and note pad for those runs to the liquor store. Also a great place to store biz cards. Due to the tight time limit, I was unable to complete it and never really did tell King Zebba of my original wallet idea. We'll see what he decides after he reads this post and may return the tank for final detail work.
Here's a few build pics.....

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On this picture you can see how it's secured to the bottom crossbar via 8 nickel plated snaps. This leather tank design doesn't make the inside completely hollow and only leaves a 1" space thickness of the crossbar tubes between each side.