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Rattzilla, Mark, and the Good Deed

Rattzilla, Mark, and the Good Deed

What started out as a small favor to a biker friend of mine turned into quite a story. Rattzilla is Mark’s beloved bike – yes I said beloved. He loves his “rat” bike. Rattzilla is unique, and so is Mark – a good soul but unique.

I have some metal working skills, and Mark asked me to give a “little help” modifying his saddlebag brackets so he could quickly detach his saddlebags. He is not rolling in money, so I volunteer my services for a couple of hours. What started out as a couple hours turned into a day and a half of a lot of freaking frustration, but in the end I was grateful for this journey – go figure.

Mark did not have any details worked out in advance for modifying his saddle bag brackets, so after a couple of hours of “fun” we had one bracket done. I modified the second bracket another time on my own – no frustration. He also asked me to weld on a “suicide shifter” to his foot shifter, and this brings us to the “good deed” part of the story.

Rattzilla’s pilot has two unique riding characteristics. One is his erratic bursts of speed – he likes to twist-a-grip. Second he bends down while he is riding and shifts his foot shifter with his hand. Mark has been riding this way for ten years. He has a prosthetic leg. Mark down shifts with his prosthetic, but it is easier for him to up shift with his hand (he doesn’t clutch while up shifting, yea I know). So Mark is bobbing up and down when he is rolling down the road.

Basically there were three parts to the making of the suicide shifter which I will keep brief. First was performing Mark’s original request of welding a given hand shifter to the original foot shifter – bad idea, lots of frustration, Second was the enjoyment that I had in designing and fabricating a custom one off hand/foot shifter. But the best part was the end result of a good deed.

Mark And Rattzilla With New Shifter.

JB Built Hand/Foot Shifter.

I Don’t Know About A Happy Camper

But That’s One Happy Biker!

Mark Is Ready To Roll With Less Bobbing.




~ JB ~


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