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Thunder Chaser: Rough Crafts’ 10th Anniversary Softail

Thunder Chaser: Rough Crafts celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a Softail bobber
It’s been ten years since Winston Yeh launched Rough Crafts, less than a year after Bike EXIF started up. It didn’t take him very long to establish a signature style, and even though it’s evolved over the past decade, it’s still instantly recognizable in his work.

This low-slung Harley-Davidson Softail Street Bob pays testament to that. ‘Thunder Chaser’ is an unofficial Rough Crafts 10th anniversary build, and it shows off the Taiwanese designer’s hallmark touches—along with a few new twists.

Thunder Chaser: Rough Crafts celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a Softail bobber
“I’m very lucky to have some of the best and most supportive customers,” says Winston. “This time, the customer’s brief was simple: ‘If you were to build a 10th Anniversary bike for yourself, what would that be?’”

“It’s a simple but difficult question at the same time. We’ve built 38 bikes through the 10 years. Some are performance-driven, some are more vintage-driven.”

Thunder Chaser: Rough Crafts celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a Softail bobber
“The final answer was to go back to our roots: bobbers with retro lines and modern finishes, but with different silhouette that we haven’t done before. 18/18 wheels, with a high tilted ducktail and upward dual exhausts.”

Winston’s a fan of the current Softail platform: he used a Street Bob for his ‘Tarmac Raven’ build a few months ago. For ‘Thunder Chaser,’ he’s tweaked the stance straight out the gate, ditching the stock F19/R16 wheel combo for a pair of 18-inch Arlen Ness rims, plus an uprated rear shock from Progressive Suspension.

Thunder Chaser: Rough Crafts celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a Softail bobber
The front forks were redone too. They now use black inner tubes from TopLineTubes, with a Progressive lowering kit and a set of Arlen Ness ‘Hot Leg’ lowers. The new lowers include mounts for a double caliper, single disc setup, along with a super-sano ‘hidden axle’ design.

Rough Crafts upgraded the brakes with a pair of Arlen Ness calipers up front, and Arlen Ness rotors at both ends. The tires are a Rough Crafts staple: 4.5” wide diamond tread Cokers.

Thunder Chaser: Rough Crafts celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a Softail bobber
Winston runs Rough Crafts as a collective of sorts, collaborating with local craftsmen on aspects of each project. CT-Garage were in charge of putting everything together, while MS Pro took care of fabricating Thunder Chaser’s new fuel tank.

It was shaped from aluminum, and follows the same scalloped design Winston’s used for years, but with a slightly rounder overall effect.

Thunder Chaser: Rough Crafts celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a Softail bobber
The rear fender’s a fiberglass piece, shaped over a 3D-printed mold. You can now get it from Rough Crafts’ online store, and it mounts directly to the Harley’s rear fender strut mounts—making it an easy install. The seat’s available too, and is styled in the same vein as the Sportster perches Winston’s been producing for years.

As an ‘anniversary’ build, it’s only natural that Winston would sprinkle the Street Bob with tried and tested catalog parts. Fans of the brand will spot the signature Rough Crafts ribbed headlight, along with a gas cap, clutch cover and timing cover. The intake cover’s a Rough Crafts part too, but it’s sitting on an Arlen Ness ‘Big Sucker’ intake.

Thunder Chaser: Rough Crafts celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a Softail bobber
The upswept twin exhaust system is a standout part, and a design Winston hasn’t tried before. It’s completely custom, and finished in a black ceramic coating. The engine’s dressed up further with Arlen Ness rocker covers, and another Rough Crafts signature: handcrafted pushrod collars from the artisan 2AbnormalSides, who also made the tank badges.

The foot pegs are MS Pro units, attached to the stock mid-mounts.

Thunder Chaser: Rough Crafts celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a Softail bobber
Up in the cockpit, you’ll find a set of Rough Crafts bars and risers, with the top clamp housing the Street Bob’s tiny OEM speedo. Other bits include Arlen Ness grips, and push buttons and a hydraulic clutch housing from the Italian brand Rebuffini.

Even though they’re hard to spot, the bike does have turn signals; tiny LED units made especially for Rough Crafts by KOSO, with the rear doubling as taillights.

Thunder Chaser: Rough Crafts celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a Softail bobber
For this commemorative build, the choice of livery was clear: dark. Jeffrey Chang at Air Runner Custom Paint laid down a black paint job with silver pin striping… but there’s more than just paint on the bodywork.

The tank and tail each feature a carbon fiber overlay in certain areas. The effect is closer to forged carbon than a weave, and yes, it’s an actual layer of carbon fiber (not a vinyl print or, shudder, hydro-dipped graphic).

Thunder Chaser: Rough Crafts celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a Softail bobber
We’ve seen Winston use color in the past, but it’s a rare occurrence. So the rest of the bike is delightfully murdered-out.

Staying in the custom motorcycle business for a decade isn’t easy. But establishing a style that still holds up, ten years on, is truly impressive. Congratulations, Winston.

Rough Crafts | Facebook | Instagram | Photos by JL Photography

Thunder Chaser: Rough Crafts celebrates its 10th Anniversary with a Softail bobber

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