Rough Crafts Harley Davidson Forty-Eight custom, the “Raging Dagger,” goes to show what a little weight loss can do. The Forty-Eight is one of Harley Davidson’s most popular bikes, and especially represents the Sportster genre well. It’s not hard to imagine why the Forty-Eight has done so well. Still, the bike has that broad, thick build that is so quintessentially Harley Davidson. Rough Crafts took that base and leaned it down 90 pounds, resulting in a “sportier” Sportster. If the name helps, think of it this way. The original Forty-Eight was the two-handed broadsword—big, beautiful, lethal. Rough Crafts’ version is definitely a dagger in comparison—smaller, leaner, but just as beautiful and just as lethal.
To meet the customer’s request to have a bike that wasn’t readily recognizable as a Harley, Rough Crafts started with the suspension, weight, and brakes. They used Buell motorcycles as an inspiration, especially the Ohlins AG629 shock, which mounts under the frame keeping the wheelbase short. The front is a custom triple tree with Ohlins FGRT206 forks. Fortunately, the rear brakes were forgotten about in the design and it wasn’t until after powder coating that Rough Crafts noticed. That necessitated creating a mount that actually became a key point of the design.
Rough Crafts took an already superb bike and streamlined it to give it a more athletic, sporty look. You may not recognize the Harley Davidson origins, but you won’t forget the results.