1969 Triumph Bonneville Rat Chopper
Is it sacrilege to show a fire-damaged “rat chopper” in a supposedly dignified museum? Heck no. “I took this bike to the Quail Motorcycle Gathering, and everyone went to it instead of my painted bikes,” says museum founder Robb Talbott, who calls this Triumph 650 chopper “ugly and beautiful all at once.” The rear tail lights are from a ’59 Cadillac, and the rear fender, which sports a row of angry looking spikes, is actually the front fender from a ’41 Indian. “It’s the most
dangerous bike I’ve ever ridden,” says Robb. It has no front brake, and a four-foot linkage that sort of operates the rear brake. As a testimonial to the bike’s utter unsuitability to road use, the seat sports some Frankensteinian stitches from a prior encounter with terra firma. Best of all, this chopper—which has unspecified gang provenance—actually runs. “If people don’t like it, they don’t get me,” says Robb.