The new ICON 1000 MH1000 jacket

Rough Crafts builds the Monster café that Ducati won’t

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
As everyone keeps saying, Ducati has missed a trick by not having a contemporary SportClassic in its range. Rough Crafts is here to show us what could be done, with this superb Ducati Monster-based café racer.

It doesn’t quite cut the same silhouette as the original SportClassic. But according to Rough Crafts’ Winston Yeh, that was never the point. Drawing inspiration from the half-faired Paul Smart version of the iconic Duc, he set out to re-interpret rather than replicate it.

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
The result is modern realization of the SportClassic, infused with that signature Rough Crafts style. It’s a gutsy move, but we’ve yet to see Winston put a foot wrong. The Taiwanese customizer has impeccable taste and a keen eye—and both have been put to good use here.

The starting point was a 2016-model Monster 1200 S. “I’ve been a secret Monster fan since I can remember,” he tells us. “That sexy trellis frame with the narrow L-twin motor—it’s the ultimate street bike.”

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
“When Ducati released the new Monster design in 2014, I fell in love again. I know most Ducati fans think the original Monster is the most iconic, but the 2014 version—with the engine acting as a stressed member and only a simple trellis frame on either side of it…it screams ‘customize me!’”

Winston’s client handed the Monster over with an open brief. So he immediately jumped at the opportunity to build the café racer he was envisioning.

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
“The SportClassic has been discontinued for years,” he says, “and Ducati has had nothing similar since, not counting the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer.”

“They’ve become collectables and desirable for many people around the world. The challenge I set myself was to create that same kind of desire in a one-off build.”

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
Collaborating with his local network of carefully selected craftsmen, Winston tore into the Ducati. It’s now sporting all-new, hand-formed aluminum bodywork—from the bikini fairing to the scalloped tank and tail.

The fairing is mounted to the tank, with additional bracing coming from a custom-made bracket bolted into the steering neck. There’s a small rectangular LED embedded in the front, and the windscreen is actually a BMW R nineT Racer part.

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
Out back, the new tail section sits perched on an elegant bolt-on subframe. “With only a tiny computer under the seat, remaking the subframe on a Monster is a breeze,” explains Winston. “There’s nothing to be hidden or tucked away, and even the battery is mounted by the swingarm.”

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
This heavily redesigned Monster isn’t all about the show though: there’s a subtle sprinkling of custom parts and visual tricks throughout.

A top clamp from Performance Parts in Germany now grips the chunky 48mm Öhlins forks, which have been blacked-out to suit the signature Rough Crafts aesthetics.

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
The six-spoke wheels are a set of 17” alloy units from Wukawa Industry, made to Rough Crafts’ own design. They’re wrapped in Pirelli Phantom Sportscomp rubber: a tire that hides modern tech under a classic tread pattern.

The rear brake is stock, but the front Brembo calipers have been swapped out for sharper-looking Beringer items.

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
Winston’s also added a slipper clutch from STM, a featherweight hard anodized rear sprocket from AEM Factory, and an air filter from Sprint Filter.

The exhaust headers are stock, but they now terminate in a pair of gorgeous stainless steel mufflers, built to spec by local specialist Banei Racing. (“He’s an OG in the Taiwanese motorcycle scene.”) The mufflers are finished off with a pair of Rough Crafts end caps.

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
There’s carbon trim on the radiator, ignition and rear fender, all from CNC Racing. Rounding out the parts package are beautiful Japanese-made Aella foot controls, and a Rough Crafts fuel cap.

In the cockpit, Winston’s kept the stock gauge, but it’s been shifted slightly, and encased in a carbon fiber cover from Carbon World. Falling easily to hand are Performance Parts clip-ons, Beringer controls, and Motogadget grips and bar-end turn signals.

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
The Rough Crafts aesthetic usually involves a lot of black, but Winston picked a denim-style blue hue this time around, earning the Monster the nickname, ‘Indigo Flyer.’ Air Runner laid it down, with silver striping to accentuate the bike’s new contours.

Zoom in, and you’ll notice that the striping is actually a layer of silver fiber weave.

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
“Don’t ask me why I used the blue,” Winston laughs. “During fabrication, I just ‘felt’ that color combo. A greyish matte blue, with a silver fiber line instead of just silver leaf, and Kingsman’s hand dyed brown seat. It’s a classic Italian look, but with a modern twist.”

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts
We’re suckers for the SportClassic’s iconic, swooping contours. But as a Ducati café racer for the next generation, we reckon the Rough Crafts Monster is a dead cert.

Rough Crafts Facebook | Instagram | Store | Photos by JL Photography | Video by Hills Fighter

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts

Credits Upholstery: Kingsman Seat | Paint: Air Runner Custom Paint | Chroming/Plating: Anodizing | Assembly: Ameuro Motors | Fabrication/metal shaping: MS Pro

Indigo Flyer: A Ducati Monster 1200 S cafe racer by Rough Crafts

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