The Harley-Davidson Sportster Roadster broke cowl simply six years earlier than The Motor Co. unceremoniously pulled the plug on the growing old Evolution Sportster. Equipped with upside-down forks and an atypical (for Harley) 19F/18R wheel combo, its aesthetic fell someplace between café racer and road tracker, with out leaning both method confidently. Still, it was a good-looking sufficient bike, and one of many bolder Sportster variations accessible in direction of the tip of the V-twin’s life cycle.
Of course, none of this issues significantly a lot to Winston Yeh—the person behind the Taiwan powerhouse customized store, Rough Crafts. That’s as a result of when he and his assortment of trusted collaborators get their grubby paws on a Harley Sportster, many of the inventory bike results in the bin. Thanks to Taiwanese rules, Rough Crafts isn’t identified for elaborate body or engine mods—however they nonetheless handle to eke ridiculous quantities of fashion and swagger out of dead-ordinary Harley donors.
Rough Crafts’ newest launch echoes this sentiment with confidence. Dubbed ‘Vantage Velocity,’ it’s primarily based on a 2017-model Harley-Davidson Sportster Roadster. But you’d by no means have the ability to inform by it, as a result of each half that units the Roadster other than its stablemates is gone.
The fee got here from a shopper who was enamored with Rough Crafts’ AMD World Championship-winning ‘Stealth Bullet’ Sportster, however needed one thing a little bit extra geared to on a regular basis using. Winston admits that referencing his older work is sort of like dishonest—however that’s one of many pitfalls of growing a signature model that’s so fascinating.
The temporary known as for a low-slung café racer with bobber leanings, so Rough Crafts set about swapping out the Harley Roadster’s operating gear. A set of blacked-out Öhlins FG621 forks went onto the entrance, held in place by new Rough Crafts yokes. Öhlins HD757 shocks had been put in out again, slamming the bike’s stance to inside an inch of purpose.
A recent set of seven-spoke rims went on subsequent, provided by Rick’s Motorcycles. Winston maintained the 18-inch rear wheel measurement however bumped the entrance as much as 21 inches. The tires are Metzeler ME888s; a thin 2.15 up entrance, with a fatter 4.00 out again.
Sticking along with his common suppliers, Winston specced the Sportster with a set of Beringer brakes. A six-piston caliper does obligation up entrance, with a four-piston unit on the again. Roland Sands Del Mar discs spherical out the braking bundle.
Rough Crafts transformed the Harley from a belt to a series drive too, speccing it with SuperSprox sprockets and an RK Takasago chain.
Working along with his fabricator of selection, MS Pro, Winston added a petite peanut-esque gasoline tank to the Sportster. It options the identical deep scallops which have develop into a Rough Crafts hallmark, and it’s deliberately mounted low and additional again, to create area across the steering neck. The tank’s completed off with Rough Crafts’ widespread signature fuel cap.
A sculpted tail part sits additional again, hugging the rear wheel tightly. The crew trimmed the Harley’s body struts to accommodate it and topped it off with fashionable perforated upholstery.
The Sportster’s cockpit is remarkably tidy—even by Winston’s requirements. Since they had been manufactured from scratch, the clip-on bars and high yoke mount straight to one another, eliminating the necessity for extra clamps. The OEM speedo remains to be in play, nevertheless it now sits flush with the highest yoke, because of a Roland Sands Design bracket.
The clip-ons put on Rough Crafts x Arlen Ness Grips, and levers and switches from Rebuffini. (Winston nearly at all times makes use of Rebuffini switches, as a result of they’ll interface straight with Harley-Davidson’s trendy CAN bus methods.) New rear-set foot controls from Sato Racing sit decrease down.
Winston handled the Harley’s iconic V-twin motor to a handful of tasty Rough Crafts dress-up elements. Those embrace the ribbed air filter, rocker field covers, factors cowl, and explosive two-into-one exhaust. A typical Rough Crafts headlight lights the way in which, whereas the tiny flip alerts and three-in-one taillights are Rough Crafts models designed and made by Koso.
As you’d count on from the Taiwanese outfit, Vantage Velocity is wrapped in predominantly black finishes. Simon Fiber Craft added carbon fiber inlays to the bodywork, whereas Rover Works Custom Paint dealt with paint and pin-striping. 2 Abnormal Sides whipped up the standard Rough Crafts tank badges and pushrod collars, whereas CT-Garage lent a hand on meeting.
Is there something on this Harley-Davidson Sportster Roadster that we haven’t seen earlier than from Rough Crafts? No. But will we significantly care? Again, no.
Hand us an appropriate Evo Sporty and a spot in Winston’s construct queue, and we’d most likely request the very same factor.
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