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Rough Craft’s “Rusty Slider”

How do you turn an 2010 XR1200 into a sexy looking and slimmed down racer? If you were to ask of , he’d say: “like this!” We’re no stranger to Rough Crafts and the fabulous machines that have been rolling out of their garage and this one follows in the footsteps of all of Winston’s : it’s absolutely stunning.

Before I blow the word count on giving you an idea of Winston’s history and design aesthetic, hold tight for a few days longer and we’ll have an exclusive interview with the man himself that will answer all of your questions; until then, you only need to know this: Winston’s a former disciple of the legendary and of course, a renowned builder in his own right.

This build began as a three way collaboration between two of his friend’s brands: Taki Design and Provider Production and eventually the instantly recognizable Dickies work wear brand. Taki Designs and Provider Production were already blessed with Rough Crafts motorcycles and for product synergy, Dickies were in need of a machine too. As luck (or bad luck would have it) the Dickies Taiwan boss had recently scraped his own XR1200 a few days before the meeting, so Winston grabbed his tools and got to work remodeling it into a genuine .

According to Winston: “The XR1200 is actually a good bike but the stock design aesthetic is just wrong in a lot of ways, but since tracker style bikes are always one of the directions we’re always interested to go with, and the old XR750 racer is just simply one of the coolest bike ever, so the direction is clear, turn a 2010 XR1200 in to a XR750 style street tracker!” And thus the project was born.

To slim the bike down and give the XR a sleeker racing profile, Winston began by treating the XR with a set of stock forks and swing arm from a 48, with the former being mounted via Rough Crafts in house fabricated triple trees, and stretched out a Sportster gas tank by about two inches and cut it thinner for a more svelte side profile. On the rear, Winston opted for Progressive Suspension 970 Series shocks to keep things looking sporty. The tail section is another exquisite Rough Crafts part, which is exactly the same as one their last build, , which was actually built at the same time as this one, hence the available 48 bits and pieces!

Engine wise, the “Rusty Slider” has been modified in a few ways: firstly, the original belt drive was scrapped and converted to chain and the XR’s original fuel injection system was given the boot. “The stock XR has a upward EFI system which is a headache for us, so we changed it into Mikuni HSR42 carb going on side to run our Velocity Stacks,” says Winston. The exhaust is a ‘thing’ in itself and we’ll focus on that a bit further down…

With the engine purring nicely and the main bulk of the bodywork completed, Rough Crafts turned their attention to the wheels and brakes. At the front and rear, Winston replaced the stock wheels with Roland Sands Design 19 x 3.00” Del Mar units and shod them with Maxxis DTR-1 27.5 x 7.5-19 rubber. As for anchors, Winston opted for a set of Performance Machine calipers (6 piston up front and 4 pistons at the rear) combined with Lyndall Racing Brake composite rotors.

Like many of Rough Crafts builds, this one features a whole host of Performance Machine, Roland Sands Design and Rough Crafts parts and accessories. Specifically, RSD foot controls, Performance Machine switchgear and Rough Crafts everything else, including the headlight, master cylinder, grips, risers and fighter handlebars.

Let’s have a quick chat about that exhaust before moving on: it’s a one off affair with a bit of a back story. “The Supertrapp 2 into 2 tracker pipe has always got a place in my heart, so when one of my friends is selling his a couple of years ago I couldn’t help myself from buying it for no reason! And then I had no idea what to do with it, now the chance had come, but I couldn’t see myself just bolting it on directly, so I massaged the header of the rear cylinder to turn and fit into the front header, made another long megaphone and billet end cap, and here it is: a one off Rough Crafts 2-into-1 tracker pipe!”

Finally, there’s the paintwork. To complement the Dickies ‘work wear’ brand, Winston got his regular (and incredible) paint crew Air Runner to paint the bike with a bare metal finish, with the illusion of rust on it. It’s a paint job – which is f*cking mental because it looks so real.

It’s another . What’s next I wonder…?

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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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