The Harley-Davidson Sportster Roadster broke cowl simply six years earlier than The Motor Co. unceremoniously pulled the plug on the growing old Evolution Sportster. Outfitted with upside-down forks and an atypical (for Harley) 19F/18R wheel combo, its aesthetic fell someplace between café racer and avenue tracker, with out leaning both means confidently. Nonetheless, it was a good-looking sufficient bike, and one of many bolder Sportster variations out there in the direction of the tip of the V-twin’s life cycle.
In fact, none of this issues notably a lot to Winston Yeh—the person behind the Taiwan powerhouse customized store, Tough Crafts. That’s as a result of when he and his assortment of trusted collaborators get their grubby paws on a Harley Sportster, a lot of the inventory bike leads to the bin. Because of Taiwanese rules, Tough Crafts isn’t recognized for elaborate body or engine mods—however they nonetheless handle to eke ridiculous quantities of favor and swagger out of dead-ordinary Harley donors.
Tough Crafts’ newest launch echoes this sentiment with confidence. Dubbed ‘Vantage Velocity,’ it’s primarily based on a 2017-model Harley-Davidson Sportster Roadster. However you’d by no means be capable to inform by taking a look at it, as a result of each half that units the Roadster other than its stablemates is gone.
The fee got here from a consumer who was enamored with Tough Crafts’ AMD World Championship-winning ‘Stealth Bullet’ Sportster, however needed one thing a little bit extra geared to on a regular basis driving. Winston admits that referencing his older work is sort of like dishonest—however that’s one of many pitfalls of growing a signature fashion that’s so fascinating.
The transient known as for a low-slung café racer with bobber leanings, so Tough Crafts set about swapping out the Harley Roadster’s operating gear. A set of blacked-out Öhlins FG621 forks went onto the entrance, held in place by new Tough Crafts yokes. Öhlins HD757 shocks have been put in out again, slamming the bike’s stance to inside an inch of cause.
A recent set of seven-spoke rims went on subsequent, provided by Rick’s Bikes. Winston maintained the 18-inch rear wheel dimension however bumped the entrance as much as 21 inches. The tires are Metzeler ME888s; a thin 2.15 up entrance, with a fatter 4.00 out again.
Sticking together with his common suppliers, Winston specced the Sportster with a set of Beringer brakes. A six-piston caliper does responsibility up entrance, with a four-piston unit on the again. Roland Sands Del Mar discs spherical out the braking package deal.
Tough Crafts transformed the Harley from a belt to a sequence drive too, speccing it with SuperSprox sprockets and an RK Takasago chain.
Working together with his fabricator of alternative, MS Professional, Winston added a petite peanut-esque gasoline tank to the Sportster. It options the identical deep scallops which have develop into a Tough Crafts hallmark, and it’s deliberately mounted low and additional again, to create area across the steering neck. The tank’s completed off with Tough Crafts’ fashionable signature fuel cap.
A sculpted tail part sits additional again, hugging the rear wheel tightly. The crew trimmed the Harley’s body struts to accommodate it and topped it off with trendy perforated upholstery.
The Sportster’s cockpit is remarkably tidy—even by Winston’s requirements. Since they have been manufactured from scratch, the clip-on bars and prime yoke mount straight to one another, eliminating the necessity for extra clamps. The OEM speedo continues to be in play, but it surely now sits flush with the highest yoke, due to a Roland Sands Design bracket.
The clip-ons put on Tough Crafts x Arlen Ness Grips, and levers and switches from Rebuffini. (Winston virtually all the time makes use of Rebuffini switches, as a result of they’ll interface straight with Harley-Davidson’s fashionable CAN bus techniques.) New rear-set foot controls from Sato Racing sit decrease down.
Winston handled the Harley’s iconic V-twin motor to a handful of tasty Tough Crafts dress-up components. These embrace the ribbed air filter, rocker field covers, factors cowl, and explosive two-into-one exhaust. A typical Tough Crafts headlight lights the way in which, whereas the tiny flip indicators and three-in-one taillights are Tough Crafts items designed and made by Koso.
As you’d count on from the Taiwanese outfit, Vantage Velocity is wrapped in predominantly black finishes. Simon Fiber Craft added carbon fiber inlays to the bodywork, whereas Rover Works Customized Paint dealt with paint and pin-striping. 2 Irregular Sides whipped up the standard Tough Crafts tank badges and pushrod collars, whereas CT-Storage lent a hand on meeting.
Is there something on this Harley-Davidson Sportster Roadster that we haven’t seen earlier than from Tough Crafts? No. However can we notably care? Once more, no.
Hand us an acceptable Evo Sporty and a spot in Winston’s construct queue, and we’d most likely request the very same factor.