In a rally like Daytona it’s quite unusual to see a trike attracting as many people as your typical 2-wheel new “show bike of the year”. Well, I had to check out this one and met with Canadian Fred Vaillancourt (a.k.a.The Rat) from the Rat Shop who explained to me that he loves to build bikes inspired by the comic book heroes of his childhood…and of his adult life. So, all his builds transport you in fantasyland, and the big kids that we all are seem to enjoy this approach. A few years ago he started with the “Mutant” bike, then “The Punisher” and the public asking for more he built the wildest one featured here and called “The Spawn”.
But don’t think that Fred just produced a “comic book paint job” running on 3 wheels. He really built the trike that the Spawn character would ride. The canvas for this creation needed to be huge, therefore “Rat” chose to build a three wheeler like no other and it started with a frame of Rolling Thunder, with huge 360mm tires fitted over rear wheels attached to two single sided swing arms. Then he designed the body to hug the tires as he tried to mimic the cape that the Spawn character is sporting. And Fred went to explain to me (not being into comic books I really needed explanations) that the cape, chains and armor were part of Spawn’s body with his body changing to become fully armored with spikes shooting out from all angles… Hence the look of this trike. Imagine the fab. work! In “Rat”’s mind, one of the things that really needed to be spruced was the 145” S&S motor. On the right side he installed a super charger (like it needed one) but the left side seems bare. Many people stare awhile (including me) before they ask him what the hell is that? Fred came up with the idea of a coil mount that had the same lines as the heads and barrels but blended into the motor. Pretty cool and tricky. After I finished to “read” this trike from front to rear and from right to left, Fred told me that ‘The Spawn” won 1st place in the Trike Class of the Rat’s Hole Show. Of course, his face looked like the one of a kid at Christmas receiving his favorite comic book series. More at The Rat Shop Custom Bikes (pictures Horst Rosler)