It’s not uncommon for a custom builder to develop a signature style over time. And Taiwan’s Rough Crafts is a prime example. Front man Winston Yeh’s trademark look is unmistakable.
But what happens when you take this tried and tested approach, and add a touch of heritage? This brutal R nineT custom holds the answer.
“The Bavarian Fistfighter is a tribute to the past, mixed with modern technology,” says Winston.
“BMW Motorrad is a brand with a rich history, and one of Rough Crafts’ main design aesthetics is to blend the beautiful lines from the past with modern finishes.”
It took a little serendipity to bring the project across Winston’s path.
“I met BMW’s Head of Vehicle Design, Ola Stenegärd, many times at different bike shows,” he explains. “We talked about what we could do together.”
“But then BMW Motorrad Taiwan contacted me without knowing about our relationship, saying they want me to build a custom R nineT.
“Naturally Munich jumped on it, and made it an officially endorsed ‘Soul Fuel’ build.”
Winston took inspiration from multiple classic BMWs when designing the R nineT’s new bodywork.
The aluminum fuel tank borrows lines from late 70s and early 80s airheads. It also houses modern-day essentials—namely the fuel pump, battery and electronics box.
The nose fairing is loosely modeled on the R nineT’s namesake—the iconic R 90 S. It’s home to a Rough Crafts headlight, with a perforated section on the right aiding airflow for a new oil cooler from Part.
The solo seat is a homage to the rubber BMW seats of the 50s—except this one’s wrapped in leather. It’s perched on an abbreviated subframe, but the rest of the frame is largely stock.
Even the wheels are new. They’re an original Rough Crafts design, based on traditional BMW ‘snowflake’ rims. The rear measures a whopping six inches wide.
The bought-in hardware is just as desirable. Winston’s shopping list included custom-made 330mm brake discs, Beringer controls, and a custom rear shock from Gears Racing. Super-tacky Diablo Superbike slicks supplied by Pirelli Taiwan keep the rubber on the road.
Sato Racing crafted the rearsets, and Motogadget the speedo, grips and bar-end turn signals. The gas cap and taillight are from the Rough Crafts catalog.
With 110 horsepower on tap, the 1170 cc boxer twin does not require much tuning. So the mods simply help the engine to breathe better: a new exhaust and velocity stack setup.
The finish is the signature Rough Crafts black-on-black affair—with a few twists. There’s a traditional BMW double-pinstripe, but the black base has been treated to a carbon fiber texture.
Extra layers of black candy were laid on top for good measure, and the pinstripes were done with silver leaf.
On either side of the tank are one-off badges from 2 Abnormal Sides, engraved with the BMW roundel by KIC Airsoft.
The engine covers are from Roland Sands Design, reworked to better match the Rough Crafts parts line. And the forks have been painted black to blend in.
“The Bavarian Fistfighter is a showpiece and a track-attacking machine,” says Winston.
We’d say it’s Winston’s best work yet. Menacing and purposeful, this R nineT hits the mark like a well-placed right hook.