The Harley Softail Slim has two points in its favor: it’s a simple bobber-style bike with a vintage vibe, and it has a super-low seat height of less than 24 inches. It’s basically a Fat Boy with the fat trimmed off, and there’s ample grunt from a 103ci (1688cc) Big Twin motor.
This makes it the ideal platform for a custom build, and Winston Yeh of Rough Crafts has seized the bait. ‘Crowned Stallion’ is the latest build from Yeh’s Taipei workshop, and it’s so well finished it could almost be a factory bike.
Taiwan’s laws on motorcycle modification are strict, forcing Yeh to be subtle in his upgrades. The silhouette of the bike can’t change too much. But that hasn’t stopped him chopping the Softail’s rear frame and installing a custom tank and seat unit, flowing beautifully as one over the cylinder heads.
The vintage-style wheels are modern replicas from Exile Cycles, with a 16” up front and a mighty seven-inch wide 15” at the back. The tires are Indian Script and Avon AM21, which should offer better grip than most retro-style rubber.
Exile also provided the brake rotors and the open primary belt drive. The calipers come from Performance Machine, along with the foot and hand controls. The bars, risers and grips are all Rough Crafts parts.
I’d categorize this Softail Slim as one of those rare Harley customs that appeal to people who don’t usually like Harleys. It’s modern but slightly gothic at the same time—more evidence that Rough Crafts is one of the top custom Harley builders operating today.
Images by Bobby Ho. Check out our coverage of previous Rough Crafts bikes in the Archives.