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Return of the Cafe Racers - Rafal Rodents Honda CB550

Rafal Rodents Honda CB550

What could be better than driving around in a high performance vehicle that looks as though it could fall apart any second? Rat Rods are the most extreme style trend in the custom scene and if done right, can turn more heads than a Bugatti Veyron. In the custom motorcycle scene Rat…

What could be better than driving around in a high performance vehicle that looks as though it could fall apart any second? Rat Rods are the most extreme style trend in the custom scene and if done right, can turn more heads than a Bugatti Veyron. In the custom motorcycle scene Rat Bikes are slowly becoming more popular and as a result I’m starting to receive a few from my readers. This Honda CB550 Rat Bike is the work of Wiz and the crew at Rafal Rodents in Poland and it’s about as cool as rust can get.

“I bought this CB550 about a year and a half ago. It was 97% stock and wasn’t running. At first we wanted to rebuild it as a classic cafe racer but after after endless discussions with my good friend Mateusz we came to the conclusion that we’d like to mix styles. I like Brat Style bikes so we planned to lower the bike, add big tires and stick with clip-ons and Cafe style seat. I wanted to remove everything that was not essential. The indicators, speedometer and all the control lights, fenders and original bars were stripped away.

“I had heard about Rodents Garage in Parowcowa (Warsaw) and wanted their help with the build so I contacted Rafal the owner. The idea we shared was to drop the bike as close to the tire as possible. In 3 days Rafal had the bike sitting exactly how I wanted and also modified the tank by adding a cover over the ugly hole at the end of the tank. At this point I thought that my adventure with Rodents Garage was over but when I came to collect my bike Rafal handed me his tools and invited me to work on it in his workshop. I was at the garage almost everyday working till 1or 2 am.”

“My friend Slawek helped to get parts ready for painting. After spending time with Rafal I was hooked on Rat Rod styling so we thought that a rusty patina with white pipes was the way to go. We found some paint that imitates rust and enlisted Przemek Drozd from Aerograf to do the paint job. After some testing he laid the paint and it was perfect! When people look at the bike they cannot believe its fake rust.”

“While the bodywork was being painted I delugged the frame and had it and the wheels powder coated.  To offset the rusty tank I cleaned up the engine with a coat of black and polished the engine covers. Artur from Interceptor Funky Garage helped tune the engine and carbs and I replaced the chain, sprockets and control cables along with designing new wiring from scratch. My uncle made the leather seat for the bike and I was ready to hit the road. After some time out on the street the engine is being rebuilt with new pistons, valves, crank shaft.”

Rafal Rodents     |     Photos by Wojciech “Army” Artyniew

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