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Tall Order: Rough Crafts’ bigger, badder Ducati XDiavel S

Rough Crafts transforms the Ducati XDiavel S
Winston Yeh has one of the sharpest eyes in the business. His Rough Crafts style is instantly recognizable, and constantly evolving.

The Taiwanese wunderkind first cut his teeth on Harley-Davidsons, but we’ve since seen him turn out bikes from BMW, Yamaha and Ducati. The challenge, he says, is to apply his signature aesthetic in a way that looks “just right,” whatever the donor.

Rough Crafts transforms the Ducati XDiavel S
The latest Rough Crafts release is built on the most interesting platform yet: a Ducati XDiavel S from 2016. In stock form, it’s a bizarre machine: a cruiser-slash-muscle bike with blistering performance.

So why pick it? “This build started with a guy that’s almost two meters tall,” explains Winston. “He likes our bikes, but most of them will look like kids’ bikes under him—and he didn’t want to use a Harley as a base.”

Rough Crafts transforms the Ducati XDiavel S
“So what do we do? We get the biggest Ducati cruiser, and raise the tail to make it an even bigger bike.”

The XDiavel’s seat now stands tall at 880 mm (34.6 inches) off the ground. To achieve this, Winston and his network of local craftsmen had to work a little magic—focusing on the stance before tackling cosmetic changes.

Rough Crafts transforms the Ducati XDiavel S
They started with a custom shock linkage (mated to the stock shock) to kick up the rear a little. Then they unbolted the stock subframe, and fabricated a new one that sits higher. A set of Marzocchi forks completes the package, held in place by AEM triple trees.

The XDiavel S now rolls on a pair of carbon wheels from BST, shod with Pirelli Diablo Rosso II rubber. Rough Crafts kept the same sizes as before at both ends—including the Ducati’s whopping 240-wide rear. Beringer brake calipers up front add an extra hit of performance.

Rough Crafts transforms the Ducati XDiavel S
Their next challenge was creating new bodywork for the XDiavel’s broad frame. The hand-shaped aluminum tank and tail unit each feature their own scalloped sections, with the entire setup progressively tapering from front to back.

There’s an LED rear light from Doghouse Racing hiding under the tail, and gorgeous leather upholstery on the seat to finish it off. Then Winston settled on a stubby number board style for the headlight, equipping it with twin LEDs.

Rough Crafts transforms the Ducati XDiavel S
The XDiavel’s existing radiator shroud, belly pan and front fender were a perfect match for the new parts, so they stayed. Everything’s been finished in a mix of carbon wrap and gloss black, with gold details.

There’s an impressive array of bolt-on bits too. Rough Crafts’ client wanted a comfortable, street tracker layout, so the team installed mid-mounted Rizoma foot controls, and high-rise bars from Accel. The handlebar risers—and the gas cap—are from Rough Crafts’ own aftermarket catalog.

Rough Crafts transforms the Ducati XDiavel S
The switchgear is stock, but the levers are from Beringer. Motogadget grips and bar-end turn signals round out the package, and the original dash has been tucked in below the bars.

“The Xdiavel S was said to be the first really Audi-driven project,” says Winston. “So it has a very complicated electrical system, It took us a long time to make it work—even just to change the headlights and taillights without making the gauge go crazy with warnings.”

Rough Crafts transforms the Ducati XDiavel S
Final touches include timing belt covers, frame covers and a rear sprocket hub kit from AEM Factory, and a Sprint filter. Banai Racing was responsible for the rowdy two-into-two exhaust system.

Winston’s aptly named the bike ‘Flatout Titan.’ With 152 horses at the ready and lofty proportions, that’s a fairly accurate description.

Rough Crafts transforms the Ducati XDiavel S
“It’s about how to work with a shape and size that’s out of our comfort zone,” Winston concludes, “and still keep the signature Rough Crafts style and balance.”

“In the end, we feel like we finally did the bike justice. It always felt a bit awkward with all that power under a cruiser riding position. Now with the upright position and ‘flat’ stance, this bike’s become so fun to ride.”

Rough Crafts transforms the Ducati XDiavel S
We’re marking this down as another Rough Crafts win—and possibly Winston’s best work yet.

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Rough Crafts transforms the Ducati XDiavel S

Credits: Painter: Air Runner Custom Paint. Chroming/plating: Anodizing. Assembly: CT-Garage. Metal work: MS Pro.