Written by Tim Huber.
Over the last half-decade-or-so, Honda’s ‘90s big ADV thumper, the NX650 Dominator, has become an increasingly popular platform for customization, and for good reason. The 644cc SOHC single boasts 45 lively horses, is damn-near bullet-proof, and, as a donor, simply oozes potential. So, after the UK’s Hoxton Moto was bitten by the dual-sport bug following a Summer of ripping around on a Yamaha XT500, the shop knew it wanted to churn out a big single-powered on/off-road build, and the Dommie fit the bill perfectly.
This is a story older than time. A common predicament many of us have been in. You buy a donor bike with all the right intentions to build one of the coolest motorcycles the world has ever seen. But the days pass by and then the months pass by until reality hits and you know you aren’t ever going to finish this build. Whether it’s a lack of time or a lack of ability, the bike sits in the garage waiting for some love and attention. This is exactly what happened when a customer approached French garage Forge to build them a Dominator. The 1989 NX650 had been sitting in pieces for a year and the owner knew he wasn’t going to get it done, so he called Forge.
It’s always the quiet and unassuming ones you have to keep an eye on, for years folks thought Ted Bundy was an average Joe. Not quite so lethal, although still the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing is the Honda Dominator, that enjoyed a 15 year production run…
There’s something refreshing about Atelier Medusa. Based in France, the shop doesn’t make any pretensions about being the most experienced team out there. They have mentors, they ask questions and they learn. A lot. Each of their builds has been getting better and better….
It’s been six months since we touched down in Parma, Italy, and made our way to the inaugural Wildays show. Of all the show’s highlights, one stands out from all the rest. The flat track racing. Moto Adonis’ Daan Borsje was dead keen to have a go…
Ever met a genuinely creative person? I’m luck enough to say that I have, and there’s one thing that struck me about them. They were clearly a little bit nuts. Not in a dangerous way, but it was clear to me that they were operating in much more interesting reality than most. They were happy to generate and embrace ideas that many would have dismissed as ridiculous. And then they made them work, too. The moral of the story is that most of us hold ourselves back by thinking that the right way to do something is also the most sensible way. Kbuilt’s Gilles Kergadallan has no such concerns. He embraced the crazy for this ‘Brap One’ Honda Dominator Tracker, and the results speak for themselves. Just like the voices in his head.
The last time we visited Dopz & Schizzo from Italy’s Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche, they’d just finished up their Daft Punk tribute bike for Sky TV’s “Lord of the Bikes” show. And while their names might sound more like incidental characters from an episode of Happy Days, they clearly have a little more rebelliousness in them than we may have previously realised. How so? Well, from punks of a musical kind, they have now shifted their focus to some punks of a more mobile nature. Specifically, a Roman skater who’s clearly feeling he has two too many wheels. Here’s the bike they build for him – a Honda Dominator they call ‘Dardo IV’.
Of all the strange and wonderful donor bikes you could pick for a custom project, it’s hard to think of one that trumps the indefeasibly popular Honda Dominator. In orginal form, its look is a rather alarming mix of awkward plastic mouldings and 80s graphic styling – as if a Duran Duran album cover and a wind-up praying mantis had somehow managed to produce a freakish love child. Which makes the production of any cool-looking bike out of its freakish lines a particularly skilled accomplishment in our books. Cue the latest build from our favourite Northern Italians, the alarmingly Rock’n’Roll Marco and Phonz with their Honda Dominator named “Madunassa”.
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Humans are addicted to all kinds of things. The usual suspects are cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs. Then you have people who are addicted to objects like motorcycles – you tend to find a lot of them here at ‘Pipeburn Anonymous’. They collect all kinds of bikes and they crave anything motorcycle. Then you have people who are obsessed with certain brands of bikes. They will only ride a Harley, buy Harley boxer shorts and even tattoo their skin with their beloved logo. And then you have people like Andrew Greenland from Wales who is addicted to one model of bike – the Honda NX650 Dominator. It’s probably not the coolest bike on the block, at least not when he finds them, but they usually are when he’s finished. This is the fifth Dominator Andrew has built in 18 months and we think this could be his finest work yet. “I was wondering what one of these bikes would look like in military style and decided the only way to find out was to build it, so here it is…” says Andrew.
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The country of Wales is famous for producing two things, the singer Tom Jones and also for mining many precious metals. Ironically, precious metal was all that was left when Welshman Andrew Greenland stripped the plastic off his 1997 Honda Dominator and did a ground up rebuild. Andrew has a serious perchant for Honda Dominators and he does them impeccably. This isn’t the first Dominator he has built, and by the sounds of things it won’t be his last.
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