The Rat’s Hole to Resurrect The Ratty Rag

January 27, 2011
Bryan Harley
Bryan Harley
Cruiser Editor |Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it's chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to 'Merican, he rides 'em all.

The Ratty Rag is back!
Here’s a peek at different covers of The Ratty Rag from over the years, including the very first issue.

The Ratty Rag, claimed by Ted Smith of The Rat’s Hole to be “the first and oldest running FREE motorcycle newspaper in the country,” is back. The Rat’s Hole will be printing 20,000 copies of the rag this year and distributing them free at all six Rat’s Hole shows around the country, from Daytona Beach to Sturgis.

According to Ted, more than one million copies of the Ratty Rag have been distributed at major bike show events since 1974. It was started up by his father, Big Daddy Rat himself, Karl Smith. A couple of years before Big Daddy Rat passed away, he stopped publishing the Ratty Rag. A little over ten years later, his son Ted is picking up the reins and will resurrect the nostalgic newspaper.

The Ratty Rag will include historical tidbits about The Rat’s Hole, one of the oldest, most revered custom bike shows around. It will also have information about this year’s competitions like interviews with the “Best of Show” winners and pictures of the Miss RatMates. It will also touch on what’s going on locally at each event. Bike Week in Daytona Beach is celebrating its 70th anniversary, so this year’s gathering is going to be huge.

There’s still time to get the word out about your business or motorcycle shop in the pages of The Ratty Rag. Interested parties can call The Rats Hole at 386-454-3496 or send an email to  You may also phone Dallas at 386-871-4395 for information. The first edition of Ratty Rag 2011 will be available during Bike Week and handed out at the Rat’s Hole World Bike Showdown, Saturday, March 12th.

The Ratmates and Big Daddy Rat pose with the trophy table.
The spirit of Big Daddy Rat lives on! The Rat’s Hole always has some of the best custom motorcycles around on display. The RatMates are easy on the eyes, too.

The Rat’s Hole is holding a true World Bike Showdown this year between custom builders from Abu Dhabi, Australia and the United States. The winner of the contest will be chosen by popular vote. Emcee Radical Randy, a crowd favorite, will be the man behind the mic at the show and events like a Miss RatMate and a tattoo contest are both on the Rat’s Hole Bike Week itinerary. Of course, the girls in the Miss RatMate contest might be competing in parkas if the weather in Florida doesn’t change. Ted said it’s cold as heck down there right now and was out chopping wood when I called.

The Rat’s Hole will be back at the Water Park at 601 N. Earl St. for 2011 after holding its event last year at Bruce Rossmeyer’s H-D. Pre-registration is going on now for only $40. There are 22 classes in all, from the 1-250cc Class up to the Over 1000cc Super Radical Class, so whatever style of bike you’re sporting, there’s a category for everybody. For more information, go to and click on the show registration button.

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