TRADITIONAL Quasi-Motobike

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OddJob

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There has always been one style of bike that I have wanted to build / rat-ify / in a rat-storation project. And that is the ‘Motobike’, sometimes in various brands also referred to as ‘Motorbike’. But I like it without the ‘R’, because there is no motor on these facsimiles designed to mimic early motorcycles.

The bicycle motobike is a do-it-all, utilitarian ride, with larger wheel diameters, fenders, lights, rack, and a tool box like tank to hold necessities for long rides. It is a self-supported style of bicycle to be able to keep on riding, over varied surfaces, with efficiency and determination. Not necessarily fast like a road bike or racing bike, but faster than a cruiser. And not a true off road bike with fat, gnarly tires to dig in and aid control. But it can handle gravel and dirt and pavement with it’s large, 28” wheels and ‘skinny fat’ tires.

It’s not unlike it’s four wheeled counterpart from the early 1900’s, the Model T. They were driven everywhere, and were so utilitarian that the model lasted 20 years in production.

And so, I embarked on this build, trying somehow to preserve the history of the motobike, while still adding some nuances to ‘make it my own’. And so I present to you the Quasi-Motobike, because it is ‘as if’ it were a motobike from the 19-teens and 20’s, but with some RRB BO sauce rubbed in for good measure!

My first endeavor was to get the rust layer off the original patina layer that I found on the bike, rescued from a barn in the far northwoods of Minnesota.

FB photo 1.jpg
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Next I took on replacing the original wheelset made from solid steel rims and rusted and busted spokes with a modern double-walled aluminum set and added some 700c x 42mm multi-surface tires. As you can see from the photo, the original 28" wheel and the modern 700c are nearly identical in circumference. The tire has a low profile center and knarlier knobs on the outside for great paved and dirt riding all in one.

Quasi Moto wheel comparison.jpg



FB photo 6.jpg


Next up were the custom bars. The original bar / stem were bent and the bars on those 1900's motobikes are very narrow, at 17" wide. I took some wider, 24.5" cruiser bars, added my own cross bar, and some mustard / RaT-ina sauce and came up with some lightweight, comfy, and vintage looking bars.

FB collage 2.jpg


The bike came with a rear rack standard equipment, but I wanted slats to make a nice flat carrying surface; to haul my pre-prohibition beer crate and bottles from that era when even a bicycle might have been used later in the '20s to smuggle beer between the brewer and the drinker.

FB rack build.jpg
FB collage 5.jpg


One of my favorite builders who also happens to be a vendor of classic bicycle components @ifitsfreeitsforme (Ian) supplied the grips for this build, as well as 6 other builds I have done over the years. These were his newest grey poly grips. He was wary when I ordered them, wondering if they would 'fit this build'. I told him they were the perfect base color for what I had planned. Some RaT-na sauce later...

FB collage 4.jpg


The pedals were vulcanized rubber, which is hard originally and even harder and crustier 100+ years later! I had always wanted wood pedal blocks on a bike, and this was the perfect candidate. I dug out an old hockey stick from my days on the ice as a youth, and it became the platform for the 'new old' pedals.

FB collage 3.jpg


The bike really came together on these last two finishing projects. The first was to create a tank that would simulate the tool box tanks that came on many of these motobikes. I thought I wanted a traditional metal tank, but after the template of a brown grocery bag was formed and folded origami style; I decided to make that the actual tank. Filled with Great Stuff gap filler, it became very solid and held it's integrity. A couple of newly learned patina techniques later, and we ended up with this...

FB collage 1.jpg

photo 2 finish.jpg



The final step was to add a period head lamp, one that burns kerosene instead of batteries! I found this vintage one for sale, then made my own top cap and bottom ring to hold the fuel canister in place, and the final piece to the Quasi-Motobike was in place!


FB collage 6.jpg


Thanks for following along! It's been a fun couple of months building a bike alongside the best rat rod bike builders in the world~!

and...RaT oN~!

night ride still trimmed.jpg
 
There has always been one style of bike that I have wanted to build / rat-ify / in a rat-storation project. And that is the ‘Motobike’, sometimes in various brands also referred to as ‘Motorbike’. But I like it without the ‘R’, because there is no motor on these facsimiles designed to mimic early motorcycles.

The bicycle motobike is a do-it-all, utilitarian ride, with larger wheel diameters, fenders, lights, rack, and a tool box like tank to hold necessities for long rides. It is a self-supported style of bicycle to be able to keep on riding, over varied surfaces, with efficiency and determination. Not necessarily fast like a road bike or racing bike, but faster than a cruiser. And not a true off road bike with fat, gnarly tires to dig in and aid control. But it can handle gravel and dirt and pavement with it’s large, 28” wheels and ‘skinny fat’ tires.

It’s not unlike it’s four wheeled counterpart from the early 1900’s, the Model T. They were driven everywhere, and were so utilitarian that the model lasted 20 years in production.

And so, I embarked on this build, trying somehow to preserve the history of the motobike, while still adding some nuances to ‘make it my own’. And so I present to you the Quasi-Motobike, because it is ‘as if’ it were a motobike from the 19-teens and 20’s, but with some RRB BO sauce rubbed in for good measure!

My first endeavor was to get the rust layer off the original patina layer that I found on the bike, rescued from a barn in the far northwoods of Minnesota.

View attachment 271543View attachment 271542

Next I took on replacing the original wheelset made from solid steel rims and rusted and busted spokes with a modern double-walled aluminum set and added some 700c x 42mm multi-surface tires. As you can see from the photo, the original 28" wheel and the modern 700c are nearly identical in circumference. The tire has a low profile center and knarlier knobs on the outside for great paved and dirt riding all in one.

View attachment 271547


View attachment 271548

Next up were the custom bars. The original bar / stem were bent and the bars on those 1900's motobikes are very narrow, at 17" wide. I took some wider, 24.5" cruiser bars, added my own cross bar, and some mustard / RaT-ina sauce and came up with some lightweight, comfy, and vintage looking bars.

View attachment 271549

The bike came with a rear rack standard equipment, but I wanted slats to make a nice flat carrying surface; to haul my pre-prohibition beer crate and bottles from that era when even a bicycle might have been used later in the '20s to smuggle beer between the brewer and the drinker.

View attachment 271551View attachment 271550

One of my favorite builders who also happens to be a vendor of classic bicycle components @ifitsfreeitsforme (Ian) supplied the grips for this build, as well as 6 other builds I have done over the years. These were his newest grey poly grips. He was wary when I ordered them, wondering if they would 'fit this build'. I told him they were the perfect base color for what I had planned. Some RaT-na sauce later...

View attachment 271552

The pedals were vulcanized rubber, which is hard originally and even harder and crustier 100+ years later! I had always wanted wood pedal blocks on a bike, and this was the perfect candidate. I dug out an old hockey stick from my days on the ice as a youth, and it became the platform for the 'new old' pedals.

View attachment 271553

The bike really came together on these last two finishing projects. The first was to create a tank that would simulate the tool box tanks that came on many of these motobikes. I thought I wanted a traditional metal tank, but after the template of a brown grocery bag was formed and folded origami style; I decided to make that the actual tank. Filled with Great Stuff gap filler, it became very solid and held it's integrity. A couple of newly learned patina techniques later, and we ended up with this...

View attachment 271554
View attachment 271555


The final step was to add a period head lamp, one that burns kerosene instead of batteries! I found this vintage one for sale, then made my own top cap and bottom ring to hold the fuel canister in place, and the final piece to the Quasi-Motobike was in place!


View attachment 271556

Thanks for following along! It's been a fun couple of months building a bike alongside the best rat rod bike builders in the world~!

and...RaT oN~!

View attachment 271559

Well done! It is a thing of beauty 😁 Really impressed with your fabricated and incorporated elements. Congratulations on bringing your vision to life. 👏👏👏
 
Well done! It is a thing of beauty 😁 Really impressed with your fabricated and incorporated elements. Congratulations on bringing your vision to life. 👏👏👏

Thanks Bobby! It really was a vision quest, and I'm happy with the results. The ratina process is always the best part for me!
 
It came together very well! Did you leave the paper on the tank and glass over it, or peel the paper and spray over the gap filler, or...?

Here's a video I did, explains the process quite well.

 
Ride video and bottle crate security test. This bike really rolls along well. Big wheels keep on rollin' !


Here's a video I did, explains the process quite well.


Your videos are fun to watch, you have a great voice :thumbsup:
I liked the video where you were riding towards the 'dead end' street where suddenly a bike path appeared. I also saw quite some vehicles standing 'seemingly' still on the road. As a Dutch guy, I don't understand since people always park it partially on the sidewalk :grin:

The motobike turned out beautiful. Love your ratina work!
And extra points for the fact that the lamp is burning bright, love that about it. Gives me motivation to fix my antique lights too.

Hopefully we will see more of your creativity and works in coming buildoffs!
 
Your videos are fun to watch, you have a great voice :thumbsup:
I liked the video where you were riding towards the 'dead end' street where suddenly a bike path appeared. I also saw quite some vehicles standing 'seemingly' still on the road. As a Dutch guy, I don't understand since people always park it partially on the sidewalk :grin:

The motobike turned out beautiful. Love your ratina work!
And extra points for the fact that the lamp is burning bright, love that about it. Gives me motivation to fix my antique lights too.

Hopefully we will see more of your creativity and works in coming buildoffs!

Thanks BRE! I love riding my builds, as I know you do too. The uniqueness of the motobike makes it really fun.
 
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