Booty Call: The Fattie custom craze

Forget choppers and custom bikes, there’s a new craze sweeping the USA from the West coast to the East. It involves grafting ridiculous oversize tyres and swingarms onto previously normal sportsbikes...

Posted: 18 November 2010
by Visordown

Pic Credit: superstreetbike.coml

The old Sir-Mix-a-Lot rap praising oversized arses is a likely anthem for a small but growing fraternity of sportsbike owners in the US, particularly on the country’s Eastern seaboard. Big, fat tyres grafted onto the back of superbikes is the latest craze amongst America’s more discerning rider. A minimum of a 240-section booty slotted into a handmade swingarm, sometimes going all the way up to a ridiculous 360 monster, is the latest look to be seen on. The look is now established and  growing at a ferocious rate, so much so that whole chop-shops and riding gangs are springing up to embrace this new movement. But what’s it all about?

The stretched and lowered look has been around in the US since drag strips across the country permitted two-wheelers to share the tarmac with hot rods in the 1950s, but it didn’t cross over into the custom streetbike scene until the mid 1990s. Until then it had been common to see boardracer-styled customs crackling around New York and Los Angeles, long, low and powered by old push-rod Harley motors with slash-cut pipes.

But with the arrival of the FireBlade in 1992, for the first time the chop-shops directed their attention to Japanese sportsbikes. In 1994 a handful of CBR900s with extended swingarms and loads of chrome started appearing from small bike shops up and down the East coast, their shape inspired by the drag-bikes of the era. At the time, such novelties were few and far between and reserved mostly for display and the occasional cruise down the boardwalk. They looked weird, people weren’t sure what to make of them, but one thing was for sure: they were impossible to ignore.

As the freestyle stunt riding movement slowly gained momentum from 1998 with acts like the Starboyz making it more mainstream, so the custom chrome phenomena grew alongside it. Bling was in, and the look at the time was to polish everything in sight: wheels, frames, plastics, even tyres. By the turn of the Millenium drag strips and racetracks from Boston to Miami hosted stunt exhibitions on-track while custom sportsbike contests drew crowds to the paddock. It was becoming a scene of its own. But both the builders and spectators soon grew tired of seeing the same collection of bikes (much like watching the same wheelie time and again), and change was imminent. Fatties were just around the corner, but the inspiration came from an unlikely source.

Continue the look in to the Fatte craze 2/3



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fattie, customs, long swingarms, 240 tyres, avon
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Discuss this story

Wrong. End of

Posted: 12/07/2011 at 13:03

bollocks,uk ride bikes,us are just passengers.

Posted: 12/07/2011 at 14:36

Please know that these pinhead posers do NOT represent any large segment of American riders. Here in Tennessee, they are a very small minority, who often congregate together, owing to the fact that ordinary riders like me view them as accidents looking for a place.

It is so idiotic, it leaves me speechless.

Posted: 12/07/2011 at 19:42

dont understand why they have to offset the rear when a good mechinist should be able to fabricate an extention to the front socket and cover and as its all about pose value pegs can be set forward but that would be to much work. i mean an off set tyre thats just fing stupid

Posted: 14/07/2011 at 02:24

Dear visordown moron journalist,
"the British custom-biking scene needs a good kick up the arse to get it out of its ghastly streetfighters roots"
WHAT?
Am I to assume you ride a Harley or a pan european?
You seem to be remarkably out of touch with performance motorcycling if you think that destroying the handling of a perfectly good motorcycle is a good idea or that these american abominations are an improvement on streetfighters.
Their only place is on the Carol Nash stand and the next NEC bike show next to some fantasy chopper that looks dreamy but unridable.
Have you ever ridden a streetfighter, (either factory or custom)?
Do you even know their history?
If they are such a ghastly idea, you obviously think the factories were stupid to produce the Speed Triples, Monsters, FZ1's, CB1000's that must also be ghastly and a bad idea.
Get with the program, idiot.

Posted: 20/07/2011 at 08:30

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