If there’s any doubt about the spreading influence of Rough Crafts’ Winston Yeh, this Harley 48 custom dispels it.
It’s a collaboration with Shaw Speed, the custom workshop owned by a top UK Harley-Davidson dealer. Shaw Speed boss Steve Willis took a liking to Rough Crafts’ builds, and contacted Yeh in Taiwan to see if he could distribute Rough Crafts parts in the Europe. “The interest in Rough Crafts has been incredible,” says Willis. “And it’s great to do a bike that has been motivated by a designer thousands of miles away”.
A request soon came in for a fully loaded replica of Rough Crafts’ iconic Iron Guerilla Harley Sportster. This time an XL1200X was used as a donor bike, rather than an 883 Sportster. “We concentrated first on the front end,” says Willis, “machining a XL883R cast back wheel to fit the cleaned up lower fork legs. We then machined the top of the fork yoke to lose the original integrated risers.”
After powder coating, new Rough Crafts risers and bars were fitted, with integrated wiring, Performance Machine grips, and relocated indicators. The original headlight was modified to sit a little further back, and a signature Rough Crafts grille fitted. The speedo was swapped out for a small Motogadget digital speedo now housed in the top of the headlight.
The suspension was lowered both front and rear, “to give that real compact look”. A Rough Crafts gas tank was fitted, then a diamond-stitched seat, and the original Harley 48 rear fender was chopped in-house to allow the use of pillion and single seats. Crime Scene Chopper rear lights were fitted to the shortened fender rails to give the bike good visibility, “especially with those big red London buses looming from behind,” says Willis. Other Rough Crafts parts include the exhaust system and a black air breather.
With satin black paintwork and fine detailing, Shaw’s Harley 48 custom is a great twin to the original—and possibly the ultimate evolution of the ‘dark’ look that has been gaining momentum for over a decade.