The Raging Dagger Is a Custom Harley Sportster Dressed in a Wealth of Carbon Fiber

Raging Dagger 16 photos
Photo: JL Photography
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The Motor Company’s long-running Sportster nameplate is ubiquitous in the custom motorcycle world, with builders being particularly fond of variants like the Forty-Eight. Over time, we’ve seen such specimens customized by workshops all across the globe in a wide variety of different styles. Nicknamed the Raging Dagger, the bike pictured below was built a few years ago by Rough Crafts over in Taiwan.
Famed customization guru Winston Yeh is intimately familiar with the Sportster Forty-Eight platform from Harley-Davidson, as this wasn’t the first time he’d modified one such model. His initial encounter with a creature of this kind happened all the way back in 2012, when he came up with a sinister-looking custom gem dubbed the Bomb Runner. The mods performed on the Raging Dagger are far more extensive, though.

Its story began with a call from a representative of Harley's Taiwan branch, who wanted to put Winston in touch with a potential customer. They promptly set up a meeting, and Rough Crafts’ mastermind soon found himself in possession of a brand-new Sportster Forty-Eight from 2018. His client sought to merge its American V-twin power with an imposing streetfighter aesthetic, something you wouldn’t normally expect to see on a Harley.

The motorcycle had to be moderately practical for everyday riding, as well, and master Yeh welcomed the challenge with open arms. He didn’t want to mess with the frame or engine internals too much, instead preferring to enhance the Sportster’s performance through upgraded running gear and a lot of weight cutting. As a matter of fact, the Raging Dagger is a whopping 40 kilograms (88 lbs) lighter than the stock Forty-Eight.

Upon arrival at the Rough Crafts headquarters, the donor was promptly taken apart and placed on the workbench, with the only remaining bits being the frame and engine. Items such as the stock suspension, brakes, and wheels had been deleted right away, as were all the bodywork components that Winston could get his hands on. Then, the real fun was ready to begin.

Raging Dagger
Photo: JL Photography
It did so with some intricate structural mods at the back, where you will now find a suspension setup similar to that of Buell models like the X1 Lightning. The arrangement employs a premium Ohlins AG 629 shock absorber, which was cleverly mated to a lightweight alloy swingarm from Trac Dynamics. Winston had to get very creative in order to make everything work as it should, but he pulled it off seamlessly in the end.

However, the man was not yet done with the custom sorcery in that area. He 3D-scanned the swingarm and used CAD software to conceptualize an angular oil tank, one that would wrap around the former and become an integral part of its anatomy. After getting the physical part laser-cut and fitted in place, the project’s author busied himself with upgrading the front suspension.

He sourced a pair of upside-down Ohlins FGRT forks originally designed for the Yamaha R1, connecting them to the bike’s chassis via bespoke triple clamps. There’s a lot going on down in the unsprung sector, too, as the factory wheels have been swapped with five-spoke carbon fiber items from BST. Grippy Pirelli rubber hugs the rims at both ends, and a full suite of Beringer braking components provide ample stopping power.

Raging Dagger
Photo: JL Photography
Among them, you will find floating 330 mm (13-inch) front discs, radial calipers, and a top-shelf master cylinder. Moving on to the bodywork, Rough Crafts enrolled the help of MS Pro to fabricate a striking monocoque attire, which merges the fuel tank and tail into a single unit. First, an aluminum mold was fashioned by MS, and Winston then used it to shape the final attire out of carbon fiber.

There is also an inner alloy fuel cell hidden out of view, while the new solo saddle was upholstered in black leather by Kingsmen Seat. Rear-end lighting comes from a multi-function LED taillight supplied by Dog House Racing, and an RCE lithium-ion battery is located inside the tail unit itself. We notice a grilled headlamp at the opposite end, neatly perched atop the lower triple clamp.

Motogadget is the name of the game in the cockpit, with accessories like bar-end turn signals, elegant grips, and a digital speedometer. Furthermore, the motorcycle was rewired around an aftermarket control module from the same German brand. All the mods we’ve talked about thus far are incredibly delicious, for sure, but what drew our attention to the Raging Dagger in the first place was the exhaust.

It’s a ravishing pie-cut affair made of titanium by MS Pro, gracefully snaking its way back in a two-into-one configuration. Aside from the exhaust headers, the only pinches of color you’ll see on this machine are its blue pinstripes, outlining the bodywork’s edges from front to back. Finally, the pushrod collars and fuel tank badges were all built by 2 Abnormal Sides.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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