Winston Yeh from Rough Crafts is quite possibly the most talented builder in the world you’ve never heard of. Why? It could be because he hails all the way from Taiwan. In his country, because of strict motor-vehicle legislation, registering a ground-up custom bike is nearly an impossible task. The only option left is to highly modify existing bikes to the point that they are almost unrecognizable from their stock originations. Take for instance Winston’s Hot Bike Tour Build-Off bike. If you stare at it long enough, the bones of its former Softail Rocker C frame start to emerge with its fat rear tire and telltale Softail swingarm.
Now that you can see a Rocker C behind this mad masked custom, we asked Winston where his inspiration came from to use this unusual bike as the basis for his 2015 Hot Bike build. “I had the idea of building a bike like this ever since winning the AMD World Championship for a Modified Harley-Davidson with a Sportster,” Winston said. “I had made the same billet girder as a backup, like I do with each custom front end. That’s where the idea of building the same concept originated, but this time I wanted to do it with a Softail. I kicked around the idea in my head for about two years and tried to pitch it to customers. But no one wanted to let me build a dragbike with slick tires, so it became clear that I’d have to build it for myself.”
The Rocker C never really had mainstream acceptance in the American market—and even less when it came to builders. When asked why he chose this bike over a more common Softail, Winston explained: “The Harley Rocker was a failure of a model, but the fact is it came stock with a raked-out neck and wide swingarm. This was the perfect base for the concept I had in mind, so I bought one and ran with it.”
With the already widened rear end, this proved to be the perfect setup for using the big, wide tire that he had always dreamed of installing. “The Mickey Thompson ET Drag Slick is 26 by 8.5 by 15 inches and fits inside the swingarm like a dream, and the raked-out neck combining with our billet girder makes for the stance perfect,” he said. It was almost as if the folks at big H-D had designed this bike just for Winston’s custom build.
To complete the look, Winston had to match the dragrace rear with a dragrace front running slicks on both wheels. “Dunlop was kind enough to spare me a set of their experimental 23-inch slick race tire to put on front,” Winston said. “To complete the build we added a set of fast-looking floorboards to help with the 1,000-mile ride. When it was all put together, the stance works well and everything else pretty much fell together naturally.”
With Winston’s ingenuity and creativity combined with an attention to detail that is second to none, it is easy to see how he has become one of the word’s top bike builders. Keep an eye out for this young man because these types of builds are the ones that set worldwide trends, not follow them.
For info on Rough Craft's check out http://www.roughcrafts.com/