Cool Custom: The Dominatrix IDP Moto Honda NX650 Street Tracker.


IDP Moto Honda NX650 Street Tracker side view Daryll Young was probably around 13 or 14 years old when he acquired a couple boxes of rusty old motorcycle parts: frame, fork, wheels, and an engine that had clearly seen better days. He wasn’t sure which model he actually had, but he did know it was a Honda, and it had chunky off-road tires that would be perfect for tearing around the local quarry. Young spent every spare minute piecing the bike back together and, before long, it was clear he had a Honda SL125, or at least enough of an SL125 to make a trail bike. Unfortunately, he has no photos to show just how cool that bike actually looked, but he says he can still see it clearly in his mind like it was yesterday. So when I spoke with Young about building a bike that would go well, stop well, start on the button, be reliable, and look like something on which the late Steve McQueen would happily jump a barbed-wire fence, he immediately thought of that old SL125. Obviously, a modern SL needs more power, plus standard features like electric start, disc brakes, decent suspension, with high reliability and low maintenance. We scoured the Internet, pooled a few references, and the search began. After looking at hundreds of possible donor bikes, we decided the perfect candidate had to be a Honda NX650 Dominator. In its day, the Dominator was a great all-rounder, capable of tackling pretty much anything from commuting to touring to “green-laning.” The single-cylinder engine was proven and pretty indestructible, and it had that classic big thumper look about it. Underneath all that original plastic, the frame was also perfect for the job—a classic design with mono-shock suspension and not too much to chop away.
IDP Moto Honda NX650 Street Tracker rear view Work began by stripping the whole thing down to a rolling chassis. A number of fuel tanks were considered before deciding on a 1972 Honda XL250’s, which was perfect in every way and gave the bike a real retro look. It was exactly the right shape and size, and flowed beautifully with the existing chassis. The subframe was removed and a new one fabricated and welded to the existing chassis before going off to be blasted and powdercoated, along with numerous other parts, such as the swingarm (to which Young had added a short steel fender), footrests, and suspension linkage. A second-hand rear wheel was sourced, which was to replace the original front, and both rims were stripped, blasted and powdercoated before being re-laced with stainless spokes and fitted with a pair of Continental TKC80 Twinduro tires to add a purposeful and aggressive look. Pretty much everything else was sandblasted and either painted, re-plated, or left bare. New seals were fitted to the master cylinders and calipers, and every bush and bearing was renewed. The engine was completely stripped, blasted, painted, re-bored, and rebuilt using new bearings and seals, a new crank, new piston and rings, new cam and followers and, of course, new gaskets all around. Now began the painstaking job of reassembly in which attention to detail is critical. We wanted it to look like a bike that just rolled out of a Honda showroom and, knowing their build quality, the challenge was on. Every nut, bolt, and fastener had to look genuine. Every additional component, such as the speedo, the horn, and the headlight had to fit perfectly, and look like it was designed exclusively for this particular bike. Numerous options were temporarily fitted, photographed, and examined in detail from every angle until we could decide on the perfect fit. The electrics were mostly hidden under the tank, and the battery and solenoid were slotted into an ebonite battery box, which was attached behind the Ramair foam filter. A MotoGP-style silencer was added to the “wrapped” header pipes, giving the bike to give a cool nod to modernity. To ensure that it ran as sweetly as the original, we also fitted a Dynojet kit.
IDP Moto Honda NX650 Street Tracker fuel tank The final 2 pieces of the build—and probably the 2 most important parts—were the tank and seat. A pair of classic RC Honda wings, vintage 1968, was applied to our freshly painted Honda Racing Red tank before a further 6 coats of lacquer went on top. Meanwhile, our upholsterer, Steve Adams, made and fitted the seat. The finished bike is simple, not too “showy,” with everything fitted for a purpose and nothing thrown on or added for the hell of it. The intention was to produce a real usable, practical head-turner—something that perhaps Honda could have, or should have, produced. Young is now building these street-trackers to order with prices starting at just under £8,000 (about $ 13K at current exchange rates). Having seen The Dominatrix in the World Superbike paddock at Silverstone, ex-MotoGP rider Jeremy McWilliams was first in line to place his order. The beauty of this bike is that Young can personalize each one according to the customer’s individual requirements. McWilliams, for instance, has requested a front fender, a longer rear hugger and a color change. Young is also pricing a bike for another customer who wants to add a load of carbon-fiber parts, such as a headlight shell, fenders, chain guard, skid plate, gas tank and battery box, as well as Öhlins suspension and Talon rims. Young is also in the process of building a beautiful little CB250 café racer, as well as designing a gorgeous 4-cylinder machine for a customer overseas. For more information, go to www.idpmoto.com
Intro image. IDP Moto Honda NX650 Street Tracker - photo #1 IDP Moto Honda NX650 Street Tracker - photo #2 IDP Moto Honda NX650 Street Tracker - photo #3 IDP Moto Honda NX650 Street Tracker - photo #4 IDP Moto Honda NX650 Street Tracker - photo #5

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