Don't get the wrong idea-this 2006 Suzuki doesn't cruise across the water like some wild James Bond bike, but it does hover in a different sense. The front and rear suspension are both fully air-ride equipped, and not only is it a slick setup, but also a world first.
Tricky Air has been at the forefront of air-ride designs for years, and the company's new front suspension system caught the attention of CSC's Nick Anglada immediately. "Other than keeping the Rat's Hole logo, the build was pretty much wide open. Adam Canni and I met during the Metric Revolution series and partnered on this build. He drew up the design, and we did the hands-on part.
The air-ride was actually a simple bolt-on application and was a lot easier than you would think. Basically, Tricky Air made a cylinder that replaces the stock forks, and then we just ran the air and power lines to finish it up."
Continuing the floaty feel in the rear is an air-ride system, so the ride height and stance can be adjusted fully on both ends instead of just jumping the rear end up and down. Though you'd expect the front to slam right to the floor, Anglada made adjustments to prevent that for safety reasons. "Though this is a showbike, it's still ridden, and we didn't want to take a chance on a front-end malfunction, so we put lock-stops in to keep it above a certain height."
For Canni and CSC, the Rat's Hole "Track Rat" wasn't just another corporately commissioned custom ride, but something that was directly linked to their art of building bikes. The Rat's Hole Custom Bike Show has been around since 1973 (that's what the number on the bike represents) and was started by Karl Smith. Since then his son, Ted, has taken control and developed the show beyond the realm of choppers and cruisers. New for 2007 are several sportbike classes, and Smith decided he needed something to promote the show's move forward. Canni and CSC accepted the opportunity with open arms, and though they had a bit of guidance, the build was pretty much for them to create. Anglada explained, "There are certain elements of the build that Ted wanted, but it's the same with any customer-after a certain amount of input we still have our own input."
Custom Sportbike Concepts is known throughout the world for its perfection of the fat-tire, single-sided swingarm Hayabusas that have been imitated frequently, but rarely with the clean and powerful stance that symbolizes a CSC-built 'Busa. Though Anglada and his crew have been exploring other build styles recently, they stuck to what they know best for the Rat's Hole ride. A new addition are the wheels from newcomer Urban Industries. The deep-dish rear is accented with a sharp trans-lucent powdercoat that's repeated on the rearsets, top triple tree and other ancillaries.
Contrasting the sharp red right-side rearset is an exhaust from an unlikely source. Micron's GP-style shorty slip-on was designed for the Yamaha R6, but CSC made it fit with a bit of chop-shop skill. It's been trimmed and slimmed to mate to a Micron Hayabusa-specific header, then powdercoated in high-temperature black for a sleek look.