Motorcycles that are blacked out, stripped down and looking supremely fast have become a trademark of Taiwanese outfit Rough Crafts, and founder Winston Yeh is back with another of his creations, this time a pugilistic cafe racer dubbed “Jab Launcher”. Based on the 2016 Ducati Scrambler Icon – read the paultan.org review here – this build was recently featured in Motorcycle News.

The Jab Launcher came to life at the request of a friend who liked Ducatis and street bikes with racer-like styling according to Yeh. “Something like a Panigale is too much for him as he never sees himself taking it to the track, so when the Ducati Scrambler was unveiled, he instantly told me that it would be the best base for his cafe racer,” he said.

Yeh does indeed have a reputation of using a stock motorcycle, and turning it into something from the fevered dreams of an over-caffienated hipster. Proof of this can be seen in two previous Rough Crafts creations – the Rough Crafts X MV Agusta “Ballistic Trident” and the split personality Yard Built Yamaha XSR700 “double-style”.

Taking the 2016 Scrambler Icon, Yeh set out on a quest to make it “lighter, cleaner and tougher.” A single-sided swingarm from the Ducati Monster 1100 was swapped in, taking the place of the double-armed standard unit, and Gears Racing provided a rear shock absorber to give this custom bike the correct stance.

Up front a pair of upside-down forks purloined from the Ducati 1199 Panigale superbike were installed, and given the blacked-out treatment. An added benefit is Jab Launcher now has suspension adjustability in front, something missing from the stock standard Scrambler.

To make the forks fit, a CNC Racing triple clamp was machined to fit the Scrambler headstock. Complementing the build is a pair of BST carbon-fibre wheels, which reduce weight and improve the Jab Launcher’s handling.

Yeh had issues with the stock Scrambler seat, which he felt was too heavy and visually unappealing, so he made up a pair of carbon-fibre side panels which were then mated to a cafe racer seat and tail with the stock tail light retained. This allowed for the visual line from the bottom of the tank to flow into the seat unit without any frame modifications.

Wanting to clean up the top-end of Jab Launcher, Yeh relocated the single round instrument pod into the fuel tank. “We always like a clean cockpit, but the modern electronic system makes removing the gauge a huge headache,” said Yeh.

“So we decided, instead of going through the pain of replacing the original, we modified the gas tank to relocate it instead, which opens up the front end and gives it that super stripped-back look without losing any function,” he continued. Braking for this Taiwanese custom is by Beringer, and various machined parts from the Rough Crafts catalogue complete the build.

Engine modifications were kept to a minimum, save for the addition of a Sprint Filter performance air filter. Yeh says that while mods to the original Ducati Scrambler were minimal, “we didn’t do anything internally, but just reducing weight and upgrading the suspension and brakes makes it an incredible ride. It’s almost like a completely different bike.”

In Malaysia the 803 cc 2017 Ducati Scrambler Icon is priced at RM52,499, while the 1299 Panigale retails for RM172,999. Other models in the Scrambler range include the Urban Enduro, Classic and Full Throttle priced at RM62,999 and the 400 cc Scrambler Sixty2 at RM49,999, as well as the recently launched Desert Sled and Cafe Racer at RM68,999.