December 1 2009

There seems to be a trend when it comes to the award-winning bikes produced at the Rat Shop in Saint-Come, Quebec. Somewhere along the line, shop owner Fred ‘Rat’ Vaillancourt has picked up a fascination with Marvel comic characters, which inspire him as he as he transforms his visions into functional works of art.

Regardless of the origins of his thought process, master-builder Vaillancourt has a unique way of transforming his thoughts into high-powered rolling sculptures that not only look the part, but also work flawlessly.

The far-out, futuristic trike you see gracing our centre spread in this issue is named Spawn, a 145-cubic-inch monster that has won some of North America’s most prestigious bike-show competitions, including the Rat’s Hole Shows in Sturgis and Daytona Beach. Spawn has also taken home first-place finishes at the Canadian Biker Build-Off in Welland, Ontario, Atlanticade in Moncton, New Brunswick, and many more wins that won’t fit in the space provided here.

Almost everything you see on this bike was produced or modified in-house. The Rolling Thunder frame was modified and the swingarm made in-house to fit the trike application. While Rolling Thunder is the Rat Shop’s main frame supplier, almost every frame is modified to keep the build a true one-off creation, as with many parts that go into the Rat Shop’s custom builds. The Baker 5-speed dual-side transmission was also modified to fit Spawn. All four shop employees had a hand in building the trike.

Previous to Spawn, the Rat Shop produced another multi-award-winning motorcycle called the Punisher. The Punisher, and now Spawn, has garnered the shop a solid reputation as a builder to be reckoned with, both in the show-bike arena and in the shop’s service department: they do everything from oil changes, tires, and regular service to customizing from mild to wild. That reputation earned them one of only 20 builder invitations to the Artistry in Iron show at the Las Vegas Bike Fest 2009. That’s quite an accomplishment, considering the Rat Shop has only been open for three years. (Prior to opening his own shop, Fred worked on motorcycles for most of his life and helped a few friends with their hot rods and high-performance engine work.)

Also on the drawing board at the shop is the design and marketing of their own line of parts, available on the shop’s website, If that isn’t enough, when they find time, a new bike is being created called Blade, designed after…you guessed it, another Marvel comic character. And if history repeats itself, it’ll be another multiple first-place finisher.

Owner: Rat Shop
Make: Rat Shop
Model: Spawn
Builder: Rat Shop
Time to Build: 2 years part-time, 4 months full-time
Name of Bike: Spawn

Engine: S&S
Year: 2008
Builder: S&S
Displacement: 145 cubic inches
Cases: S&S
Heads: S&S
Lower End: S&S
Carburetor: Mikuni 45 mm
Ignition: IST – S&S
Exhaust: Rat Shop

Builder: Baker
Type: 5-speed dual-side
Primary Drive: Evil Engineering / Rat Shop

Year: 2008
Builder: Rolling Thunder / Rat Shop
Type: Soft tail drop seat
Rake: 40 degrees
Shocks: Custom control air suspension
Stretch +2 inch

Front End
Builder: Mean Street
Type: Avalon II 6 inch over

Painting: Air Design
Chroming: M&M (Chrome and black chrome)

Front Size: 21 x 3.5
Builder/Manufacturer: Wheel Racing (Chopper)
Tire Make and size: Avon
Rear Size: 18 x 14.5
Builder/Manufacturer: Rat Shop / Rick’s / Zeel Design
Tire Make and size: 360 Monster

Gas Tank: Rat Shop / Synergie
Oil Tank: Rolling Thunder
Fenders: Rat Shop
Seat: Stephan Ruest
Handlebars: Classic Steel / Rat Shop
Headlight: Rat Shop
Taillight: Synergie

Additional Mentions
Coil supports / covers: Rat Shop
Motor mount with air
suspension switch: Rat Shop
Supercharger: Magna Charger


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