A Stingray is one of the first bicycles to actually look cool, rather than some huge, lame-ass piece of shit cruiser bike. It was built by Schwinn, and featured butterfly handlebars, a banana seat, coconut gearing, and monkeynut springs. A popular name for stingrays is Steve Irwin.
Tires, including a cheater slick for the back, were made out of the skin of the aquatic animal of the same name (stingray), and probably led to their early extinction, but who cares, right? It was worth it. Stingray is also an underwater submarine piloted by Troy Tempest.
Along with the standard features, you could order up some pretty trick custom shit for the bike, too. Like you could put a huge sissy bar on the rear seat support. You could go with a single gear, or you could get an in-hub, two-speed kickback, or if you had the cash, you could go all out and get a 5-speed, with a big honking gear shift lever right where your nuts land in a crash.
Because the center of gravity of the bike was low and to the rear, it was one of the first production bikes you could actually do a wheelie with, just like your hero, Evel Knevel. You could either lean back and let the front tire rise up, or you could stand on the pedals and pull the front tire up. Pulling on the handlebars eventually stripped them, though. And it wasn't long before you could pull them and they'd roll down out of your grasp and you'd crash like a motherfucker on the street. Everybody'd laugh at your sorry, broken ass, and you'd end up with a bad case of road rash.
The bike was also perfect for flying off ramps, just like your hero, Evel Knevel. The best ramps were constructed from dirt, scavenged plywood, and old railroad ties, and offered a smooth landing spot just beyond a vacant lot filled with broken bottles and rusty barbed wire. You would pedal as hard as you could, hoping to hit the ramp at just the right speed, and at the same time pull back on your handlebars so you would land softly on the large rear wheel. Unfortunately, most of the time, you'd hit the ramp wrong, the bike would fly out from under you, and you'd land on your ass on broken pop bottles. What the girls were doing at this point, I have no idea.
After a while, other manufacturers started to rip off the basic Stingray design. Like Huffy, for instance. Man, that was a piece of shit bike. Eventually, though, enough kids grew up to figure out how to solve the basic instability and stripped handlebar problems of the Stingray. A new generation of BMX or bicycle motocross bikes popped up with quadruple bolted handlebars, knobby dirt tires, molybdenum frames, alloy wheels, and all kind of other stuff so you could run over the bikes with a truck and they wouldn't even show a dent. Took some of the challenge out of it, but what the hell.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Attack on Steve Irwin
Stingrays will forever be known for killing Steve Irwin. In response to this asshole stingray killing him, fans of Steve killed 10 stingrays in the area.