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‘Death Crusher’ Honda NX650 – Hutchbilt


Posted on June 21, 2016 by Andrew in Tracker. 78 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson.

If you tell a small child not to touch something, the chances are the very moment you turn your back they’ll not only touch it, but bash it around and probably break it. Maybe they’ll even set it on fire. So when Jeremy Hutch’s parents kept saying no to motorcycles it was inevitable that he’d find a way to get his hands on one. But this is more than childhood rebellion, Jeremy’s passion for two wheels clearly runs deep and his skills as an Industrial Designer have taken he and his 2000 Honda NX650 Dominator known as ‘Death Crusher’ all the way to the highs of a personal invite to the Handbuilt Show in Texas. But you don’t go from childhood dreams to invitational builder under the Hutchbilt banner at one of the world’s premier shows overnight and this journey in motorcycle madness has literally taken Jeremy around the world.

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Growing up in Durban, South Africa, Jeremy and his friends would save their pocket money for the annual fair so they could thrash little Italjets around on the track. Coming home after a day of mini-moto madness they’d badger their parents for a bike of their own but to no avail. But finally there was a break through. “At 12 I managed to get my hands on a Yamaha RZ50cc which was trashed and customised it into a Marlboro Yamaha circa 1985 race bike and sold it and bought another one. This is where bike building and customising started for me. I love design in any aspect, form or function. I admire innovation and originality. I have designed everything from bars, nightclubs, furniture, clothing shops and cars but my passion for motorcycles runs deep. This is where I love to be.” For this build Jeremy scored an increasingly popular 650 Dominator and with inspiration from the Elsinore Motocross bikes of the ’70s set out to build an aggressive street legal speed tracker.

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With the bike in his possession it was stripped down with absolutely everything removed until all that was left was the bare engine and the front section of the frame. Jeremy always had in mind a bold, bad ass, rear end but you can’t just bolt any old swingarm onto your stock frame. So using his considerable skills he’d learnt over the years he modified the back section of the main frame to accept a Triumph ST swingarm. No doubt it was a case of repeated trial and error but with a billet linkage in place the alignment of the chain between the Honda frame and Triumph rear is now absolutely spot on! With the drive section taken care of a new place to sit had to be fabricated and Jeremy came up with a new subframe that is both beautiful in form and function. Custom mounts ensure the rider sits just forward of the swingarm pivot point. With the subframe left in raw metal for an aggressive industrial appearance it made perfect sense to craft the seat from a material with similar qualities and the hand stitched genuine leather item looks like it was alway meant to be.

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In true MX style the seat extends up onto the tank, a form of agate protection (I believe that’s the technical term) not afforded to riders of modern sportsbikes. And what a tank it is, not only crafted meticulously from hand, it holds both the fuel and acts as shield for all the electrics and the battery. Starting with sheets of aluminium Jeremy sculpted each piece slowly creating the look he was after while always having to keep in mind the practical needs, including clearing the in frame oil filler. With the shape picture perfect, the stunning welds laid down and the filler and cap crafted it was off to have the tank pressure tested. It’s vital to ensure there are no leaks and that even expanding fuel vapours won’t leak out when subjected to heat. With a pressure line plugged in, the operator turned on the switch, and BANG, the compressor failed and Jeremy’s beautiful tank was opened up like a butterfly. Some of us might be straight homicidal after such an incident, but not our South African trooper who simply built another one from scratch all over again.

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But the custom parts didn’t stop there, Jeremy wanted to combine that “brutish rear end with a nimble, hi-tech front end” and to do so the headstock now swings a set of one-off billet triple trees. These clamp the shortened and modified front forks from a CRF250 with the stem spinning on tapered roller bearings. The lower section of the Showa forks holds a Brembo caliper clamping onto a Braking front disc rotor with fluid coming down a braided line. Out back the suspension is as serious as things get, the Triumph swingarm now controlled by an Ohlins rear shock with the adjuster cleverly mounted by the rider’s side. While matching the fronts stopping power is a custom Brembo rear brake setup and master cylinder, with pressure sent via a Hammerhead rear brake lever and cogs swapped with an MSR gear shifter.

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Without it the NX650 Dominator, a dual sport adventure bike after all, wouldn’t have become such a mainstay in the custom bike world; that punchy and reliable 644cc single is a hoot! Jeremy has given his a full rebuild with OEM parts before painting the engine in a neat ceramic coat. To extract a few extra ponies fuelling has been upgraded with a CR carb that draws breath through a washable Uni filter. But really getting the gases flowing is modified FMF Powerbomb F4 pipes coming out each side with the exhaust finishing out in twin mufflers under the seat with carbon fibre tips. Sending that power rearwards is a custom output shaft with a billet carrier bearing mount for the stepped down front sprocket. The back wheel is a freshly painted Triumph unit while up front an Excel rim has been laced to a Talon hub with both ends wearing aggressive Pirelli rubber.

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Keep things extremely tidy all the wiring has been run through the frame, a painstaking task but absolutely worth the end result. The system starts with an Antigravity battery that feeds into the Motogadget M unit module all fired into life by a Motogadget RFID ignition lock for an added dash of custom cool. Also from the Motogadget catalogue are the Motoscope mini speedo, M Switch push button controls and M Blaze turn signals that help keep the bike 100% street legal.

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Custom Flow billet footpegs keep Jeremy’s feet planted while ODI grips and ASV levers mean all controls are the best in the business. The MX styling of the front continues with Pro Taper bars and a beautifully crafted front number plate in white that houses the offset LED headlights.

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The whole package comes together perfectly as you would expect from an experienced designer and there is no doubt this Hutchbilt machine has achieved the aggressive street tracker brief that was first envisioned. The mix of raw welded alloy, billet components and purposeful rubber is balanced out with high-end Ohlins, Brembo and Motogadget products to give a level of refinement you don’t normally expect to see on such a machine.

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But it’s this combination that not only gives Death Crusher the right look but ensures it can well and truly back up its boast when the throttle is cracked. Now living in Venice Beach, California, Jeremy isn’t resting on his laurels with a recently finished Triumph Thruxton cafe racer and unique BMW R80 in the works. But as the sunsets on the West Coast you’ve been warned about what’s coming up in your mirrors, Hutchbilt’s Death Crusher has victims to claim and it’s packing a full arsenal of not so friendly fire!

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  • John Wanninger

    That’s the French breadingest seat ever.

    • Hardley T Whipsnade III

      Agreed ! Not to mention the worst tire combination yet ! Someone please ! Crush it ! This bike hurts both my eyes and my brain !

  • BobFalfa

    Sorry to rain on your parade,
    I would have no confidence on that tyre combination, the front end will let go big time,
    Unless you’ve got Avon on speed dial , put tyres on in matching pairs

  • Ed

    “Death Trap” methinks

  • Jim Roberts

    this is one of those stories where the narrative is as important and informative as the pics.
    a piece of wheeled furniture that would be ridden (slowly) too a nightclub, also designed by the builder. it’s strange, you’ve driven by this place many times in the daylight and didn’t realize it was a “nightclub”….you’d always thought it was a reclamation center.
    i’ll leave it to others more knowledgeable about the mechanical intricacies and confine my comments to one last observation….about the almost preternatural ability of the builder to capture the true essence of a french baguette…i swear, i look at this bike and moto inspired memories of the smells of racing fuel and castor oil give way to the smell of fresh baked bread.

    • BobFalfa

      Tyres on arse to elbow with a faint waft of a panini in the background tends to appear with marginally less grip

      • Jim Roberts

        happily i am to speaking with minded by the like blokes who if holding forth in the kings’ own would probably go unrequited but their more than passing acquaintance with cooking and traction can lead to situations where self discovery could prove embarrassing.

  • the watcher

    Looks cool enough, though I can’t see why it slopes down towards the back (extra nad protection, perhaps). Tyre combo won’t matter cos when you’ve spent more than the original bike was worth on a new rear shock and still got less than 50hp, it’s safe to say the bugger’ll never get more than 5 degrees from the vertical anyway.

    • shalbleib

      That one photo doesn’t do it any favors but the lines directly from the side work me thinks

  • Fantome_NR

    Hey, guess what everyone – tires can be changed, easily even! Yes this tire combo is a head scratcher. Yes the Firestone Model T tires slapped on every hipster café/bobber/brat build are at best only good for going slowly in straight lines. But tires are probably the least important thing to be looking at in a custom bike, because again TIRES CAN AND SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND TO SUIT YOUR OWN PERSONAL RIDING STYLE. Jeez. Makes me wonder if any of the people who post here actually ride. /rant

    • BobFalfa

      You’re not wrong,
      Although criticism should level merely on the grounds of taste,far less than that of the grounds of safety

    • Jim Roberts

      customized bikes and individual postings bear an uncanny resemblance in as much as they are representative of the builders/posters inner conflicts. some would say that typing in all caps is the equivalent to building a bike to compete at the bonneville salt flats in the ” A -pump gas- knobby tire class “. sure, you can do it, but why would you ?

      • Fantome_NR

        *wank wank wank*

    • shalbleib

      No I think this site has gotten to be 90% trolls and I imagine none of them build anything. Hell I get the impression none of them know how to ride or they wouldn’t made stupid tire comments. It just sucks that Andrew does all this work and it gets bombarded by trolls

  • Jim Stuart

    What’s so sad is that the stock bike is better on all accounts.

  • nathan

    I would have gone with black upholstery for the seat and smaller front wheel with a more street-ready tire (hypermotard style). otherwise it looks fun as shit, and the fab work is all pretty rad. that subframe is killer.

  • Astounded

    The crooked frenched LED tail lights are really the icing on this shit cake.

  • “Innovation and originality?” I’m thinking I’ve seen everything on this bike copied a thousand times before. Check in with Hazan or Freddie Kruegger for something new.

  • Davidabl2

    In the off-road world tires from two makers are sometimes seen on the same bike, for reasons of performance and/or economy. Knowing this,however,I still have my doubts about this particular combination.

  • Robert Henry

    This is the result of dwarf and trash can porn.

    • Davidabl2

      I’m almost afraid to ask, but is that one genre or two?

      • Robert Henry

        Depends on how you search the internet.

  • Robert Henry

    After market parts by Dr. Suess.
    Flu Floopers
    Tar Tinkers
    Who Hoovers
    Gar Ginkers
    Trum Tupers
    Slu Slumkers
    Blum Bloopers
    Who Wompers
    Zu Zitter Carzay
    Who Carnio Flunx

    • Genius. Let’s go into business…

      • Robert Henry

        I’ll start on thumbs nails and move to color comps. upon approval.

    • Davidabl2

      Are you channelling Dr. Seuss?

      • Robert Henry

        I am a fan.

        • Davidabl2

          Maybe you should try to post in rhyme

  • Nolo Kontendere

    A 17″ front wheel in a complementary width and pattern to the rear would greatly improve the stance and functionality of this bike. It would still be a bit of genre bender, sort of a low sumo or a leggy streetfighter, but I would find it much more appealing.

  • Looks like we have another ‘controversial’ build…

    • Barry Ashmole

      Cool how he built the tank and packaged the electrics and battery inside of it (giving a final capacity of about 5 litres….?!?) just like the one I did for a guy also called Jeremy Hutch last year…..LOL

      • Milo Marcer

        Mate you and Stoos must be seething.

        • Barry Ashmole

          Nah Milo, just amused…..this shit happens all the time in this game…

      • Slim Pickens

        Maybe he can slap one of these on the side of the tank.

        • Barry Ashmole

          Hahaha – but Slim, the article clearly says he built it……I do wish I had pics of some of the fun stuff I fixed on the frame like his deep grinder gouges (one was actually all the way through and leaking) on the oil reservoir part that I welded back up…or the crappy welds. I guess he forgot to mention how he did that himself too….

          • Slim Pickens

            He must’ve gotten overzealous making slomo sparks for his bullshit hipster bike video. Or he’s just trying to be the Tuttle of shitty cafe racer builds.

          • Slim Pickens

            Also you gotta be lying because the article CLEARLY SAYS this dude is a master fabricator!

            “So using his considerable skills he’d learnt over the years he modified
            the back section of the main frame to accept a Triumph ST swingarm.”

    • Dave Coetzee

      Erm, Andrew, would this be a rather inappropriate time to ask whether you’d actually want to feature my low budget baby, i.e. since I re-upholstered the seat subsequent to knocking up this li’ll video?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw0wzkZ06vI

      • Fantome_NR

        looks like fun!

        • Dave Coetzee

          Thanks Fantome

  • axcoping

    builder: “hmmm… what tyres would look worse on this bike than a pair of firestones?”

    • Davidabl2

      Only a mis-matched pair. Obviously. On the other hand, if the bike rides well then tires aren’t mismatched.

  • Robert

    I have

    • Barry Ashmole

      Except he didn’t build the tank himself……bwahahaha!

      • Robert

        That’s the best you can do, he didn’t build the tank,

        • the watcher

          Did you actually read the article? If Barry Ashmole is genuine then this bike is basically fraudulent; remove it Andrew, it’s a precedent you don’t need!

          • Robert

            I did read it, did you read it?Before you make your self look or sound like a complete stupid idiot go through and actually read the story and read the post and look up the meaning of MAKE and BUILD/BUILT and whats the proper way to use them, seems to be some confusion. What is fraudulent?

          • JayJay

            At least he could have give credit to the creator of the tank, that would be correct.

          • Robert

            BUTTHURT CREAM WILL HELP YOU GET OVER THE TANK ISSUE. So take your pussy lip dragging ass to the store and buy some. Then go get some rest and stop worrying about the fuel tank. Its going to be ok. Who gives a fuck about who made the fuckn tank. Fuckn pansy

          • JayJay

            Oh Robert, very mature of you. We were just pointing out something, a comment like your last one is really just when you’re out of meaningful things to say.

          • the watcher

            Seems I’m not the one looking like an idiot, Bob. What JayJay said! Oh, and I think you mean “completeLY” stupid idiot. Except you don’t.

          • Robert

            BUTTHURT CREAM WILL HELP YOU GET OVER THE TANK ISSUE. So take your pussy lip dragging ass to the store and buy some. Then go get some rest and stop worrying about the fuel tank. Its going to be ok. Who gives a fuck about who made the fuckn tank.

    • Fast2Furious

      Yes you’ve nailed it Bobby we’re just jealous ’cause this bike is sooooo bitchin’ we could never hope to own anything this niiiiiiiiice. And that “lady’s” [sic] comment would have had more impact if you could spell but regardless you really cut us off at the knees with that one. Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark for sure.

      • Robert

        Sorry for misspelling one word. Thanks for proving my point on nit picking though. I see you’re the queen bitch of the nit pickers. Yes it appears that I have offended you. You restated everything I said in your response to my comment that obviously got you a little butt hurt. Good job dude. You definitely should have been a back baby.

        • Fast2Furious

          You seriously need to get over yourself. If you can’t take it then don’t dish it out. Maybe you’re just to thin skinned for the internet.

      • the watcher

        I liked the bit about how we all use terminology and the meaning of words differently. I can’t actually remember when I last read such utter claptrap. How the fucking hell do we communicate at all if not with tacit consent on meaning and usage? Oh, Bob……(long sigh)

  • Liam Marne

    You are so lame man. This tank was built by a guy called Barry in South Africa. Taking credit for what is not your’s to take

    • Robert

      Not sure who you’re referring to as being lame, No body gave credit to anyone for MAKING the fuel tank.

      • Barry Ashmole

        “Starting with sheets of aluminium Jeremy sculpted each piece slowly creating the look he was after while always having to keep in mind the practical needs, including clearing the in frame oil filler.”
        Clearly we have a different understanding of this sentence Robert……

        • Barry Ashmole

          “…..but not our South African trooper who simply built another one from scratch all over again.”

          Or this one? LOL

          • the watcher

            ….and Robert said you don’t matter anyway, Barry. He thinks you should man up and stop whinging, just like our hero.

          • Barry Ashmole

            I know right? Whahaha…
            I wonder what he would think of a couple of the messages I got from other Cape Town bike builders who know this guy – at least he’d understand the language used……

  • Hylton

    Article says that he built the tank, are you sure?

  • While I don’t think much of the bike, I do enjoy a spirited discussion of it’s merits and shortcomings, even if it gets a little nasty, as has happened here.
    I got booted off BikeExif a while back for defending my comment in a far less offensive fashion than what I see here because the owner/moderator was chummy with the other commenter.
    It’s admirable that Andrew here has sense enough to let the arguments play themselves out without over-reacting. Good on ya Andrew.

    • the watcher

      You ain’t the first and you won’t be the last, RS.

      • Is that so?
        Well, at least I’m in good company. Ha!

  • Jim Roberts

    i would suggest to future posting builders, please give some sort of justification for your project. a lot of different life/moto experiences are evident when reading the comments.
    if you’ve compromised functions whose primary purpose is safety then at least acknowledge the compromise and maybe offer an aesthetic excuse. as a long time bike guy, i hate to throw shade at anyones’ attempt at self expression but some of he stuff we’re seeing needs more explanation than 2 wheels….at the very least i’d think that you’d like your creation to engender more comments in the comment section than the number of comments that are primarily only about other comments. ’cause at the end of the day it’s more fun too wax poetic about cool bikes than to keep ratcheting up the snark-o-meter

  • Phil M

    While I can def appreciate workmanship and the overall aesthetic, the mismatched tires and foam filter between two hot exhaust pipes really irk me the wrong way…

  • Diego Ribba

    Best looking bike ever. period.
    who cares about the fucking tires… just change them for christ sake and stop whinning.

    • BigPeeWee

      Spoken like a true keyboard pilot. Who cares about the tires? Any person that ever rides most likely. With this combo, on the payment going into a corner, you lose the front end. In the dirt, the rear would be spinning out of control. That’s what happens when the tires are poorly chosen…bro.

      • Fantome_NR

        What part of “just change the tires” did you not understand?

        • BigPeeWee

          Should I also just change the front wheel, aircleaner, add a fender, change bars to taste, swap the French bread seat, overkill swingarm, screen door number plate, or should I just screw another bike under the gas cap to make it all perfect? What part of all wrong copycat do you not understand?

          • I love your comment “…or should I just screw another bike under the gas cap…” That’s brilliant. Right on.

    • Andy Rappold

      lol…are you blind or driving scooters? That thing is fugly ,pointless and a abomination

  • If that gas thank was a bit larger, it would be a perfect bike to survive the zombie apocalypse…

  • Jeremy Hutch

    Wow I really didn’t expect there to be so much controversy over a tyre
    choice. So to quell all the haters out there.. I just liked the look of
    it. I couldn’t find a more aggressive rear tyre size to match but who
    cares. I built a bike that I liked. Thats all that counts to me. Tyres
    can be changed.

    There are many good friends who have helped me along the way like Alex Stoos – Stoos Customs,
    Paul Symons- PSP, Warren and Tallies – AnvilKraft, Junior – JJs
    engineering, Eric-Nithrone, Mark – Welding Services, Nick – Talon
    Wheels, Ian Ketterer – Black Silver Customs, Tim Bosson, Malcolm –
    Tangent customs Tim Bulgin – Honda, Martin Petsol- MP suspension and Reynard – Berseker Exhausts. Im sure that many of you merging builders out there dont do everything yourselves and rely on good people with the best skills to make your vision a reality.
    These are those people for me.
    Barry Ashmole you did make A
    tank for me (shown in your pics and comments) but it was so amateur for
    someone who is supposed to be the premier metal fabricator in the
    country (thats why I chose you in the first place). I even gave you a
    perfect template (that i hand shaped from foam) of what I wanted but you
    seemed to have other ideas. I payed you R15K and waited 8 months for you to do it. Do you remember I got you to remake it ? As for your welds.. for a seasoned fabricator..? I guess it was fate the the compressor failed and butterflied the tank you made. Definitely for the better though. I guess my project wasn’t such a priority for you. I never claimed to be the tank fabricator in the first place. So quit sniveling. Someone else
    made it better.

    My original write up of the build goes as follows:

    Motorcycles have been a part of my life since as far as I can remember. Its all i
    lived for. Strange though as both my parents were very anti motorcycles
    so my influence definitely didn’t come from them. Motorcycles just found
    me and I grabbed on and have never let go. I would save all my pocket
    money for a year just to spend at the local fair which rolled into my
    town in Durban South Africa every year. The Westville Fair would have a
    couple of Italjets and me and my friends would race each other around
    the track the whole day and blow our years savings, go home and pester
    my parents for a bike (to no avail) only to save up and do all again the
    following year.

    At 12 I managed to get my hands on a Yamaha
    RZ50 cc which was trashed and customised it into a Marlboro Yamaha circa
    1985 race bike and sold it and bought another one. This is where bike
    building and customising started for me. I love design in any aspect,
    form or function. I admire innovation and originality. I have designed
    everything from bars, nightclubs, furniture, clothing shops and cars but
    my passion for motorcycles runs deep. This is where I love to be.

    I started with a Honda NX 650 Dominator base. I bought it merely for the
    motor and the engine cradle. My inspiration came from the original Honda
    Elsinore motocross bikes of the 70’s as they were innovators in the
    sport and were virtually untouchable for almost a decade. Getting the
    rear swingarm to fit and function was probably the toughest part of the
    build. Frame, wheel and chain alignment was key. I wanted to combine a
    brutish rear end with a nimble, hi tech front end in an aggressive
    street legal speed tracker. Modifying the oil tank (which is part of the
    frame ) to fit all the electronics and battery was quite challenging as
    these are all hidden underneath the gas tank. Every electrical wire has
    been chased into the frame for a sleek, clean look. The tank wasn’t the
    easiest either it had to hide all the electronics as well as hold a
    reasonable amount of fuel and look the way I has envisaged it. When I
    sent the tank for pressure testing the compressor failed and completely
    butterflied the whole thing and I had to start all over again. The motor
    was completely rebuild with new OEM parts. I upped the horsepower with a
    remade FMF Powerbomb F4 pipe. I used only the very best available part
    and components combined with precision engineering to make it a bike
    with brutal power in a thrashable and rideable custom.

    Peace.

    H U T C H B I L T

    • bill smith

      When you place something in the public forum for judgement, critique or approval, be aware that the it may not go your way. Listen to those who have made the comments, Don’t take it personal, learn from it, improve upon it and move forward. Your mindset and abilities are there, your eye and attention to detail will improve with each build. Remember technical function to form, grace and detail win in the end.

  • shalbleib

    Here we go with people whining about tires instead of appreciating the design. And obviously people that just want to complain. It’s a dirt bike people. Those are dirt bike tires made for street use. Its not a sport bike, you’re not going knee dragging. Get over it or go troll elsewhere. Nice build Jeremy. Cool to see proteome thinking outside the box. And looks like it’s be a blast to ride!