Four-time World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty pretty much knew what kind of special he wanted long before he spent a day with us at our workshop at Silverstone Circuit.
‘Foggy’ had already seen shots of the Dominatrix we had built the previous year, and had checked out numerous other street-trackers on the internet. The look had to be rugged, clean and sharp, and the bike had to be loads of fun to hoon about on.
Foggy arrived at IDP Moto armed with a polished alloy fuel tank he wanted on the bike, and later sent down a fibreglass tail unit, both of which had previously been fitted to a CCM machine. Although they needed modifying a little, they proved to be an almost perfect match for the 1999 Honda NX650 Dominator that we had already sourced.
We set about stripping the Domi down to the bare frame before reworking the tail unit and fuel tank to fit the newly-fabricated short subframe. Foggy had chosen to go with a satin black finish on the frame, linkages, bottom yoke, stand and hubs.
While they were all away being powder-coated – along with a couple of boxes of nuts, bolts and fastenings to be treated to a fresh coat of zinc plating – we gathered together everything needed to complete the build. We started with a new Öhlins rear shock built by Andy Dawson, who is usually otherwise engaged working on Marc Marquez’s suspension!
Talon supplied the polished 17″ rims, which were laced to the hubs using stainless spokes and wrapped with Continental TKC80 tyres to give the build a real rugged, purposeful look. The engine received several coats of silver enamel, and the casings were polished along with the cam caps and top yoke.
‘Spidey’ finished the swingarm, forks, newly fabricated shortie front mudguard, and tail unit in a bright metallic silver, and added white number boards either side of the tail unit, which were filled with black and ‘Öhlins yellow’ #1 graphics courtesy of airbrush artiste ‘Purple Fayz’.
Foggy wasn’t keen on keeping the lights and indicators, which meant we could supply and fit a DTRA style front number board, and again, ‘Purple Fayz’ provided the #1, as well as Carl’s trademark Foggy Eyes logo, which were also applied to the fuel tank.
Using a waterproof faux suede-looking material, Steve Adams produced a beautiful seat pad while a custom-made polished alloy box was fabricated to house the battery. The exquisite twin underseat silencers were connected to the original down-pipes by Cobuilt and other finishing touches included a polished Monza fuel cap and stainless speedo.
Foggy took delivery of his new bike on a typically grey, rainy summer day, and insisted it was swiftly parked up in the garage – he was obviously going to look after this one, and had no intention of taking it out in the rain! Since then he has managed to get plenty of use out of the new ride, and has admitted to heading out to the garage just to admire how sweet she looks!
World Superbike ace Jonathan Rea had been looking around at custom bikes for a while before he saw the Dominatrix built by us for his race team’s PR and communications manager in 2013.
He was clearly impressed with the look and build quality of the Honda NX650-based Dominatrix and placed an order with us to build his own dream bike. Something a little less focused and more sedate than his usual weekend ride.
Jonathan had spotted a beautiful custom machine designed and built by South African Louis Nel and asked us to create something along the same lines. After sourcing an extremely tidy 1975 CB550K, we spent some time going through some of the detailing with Jonathan and set about turning his vision into reality.
The bike had been imported from Colorado and showed hardly any signs of corrosion despite being nearly 40 years old. Once completely stripped, we chopped the rear before fabricating and welding a new, shorter subframe to the main frame.
We trimmed off any unwanted brackets and stays from the frame and swingarm and, with the modifications complete, we shipped all the components that needed powder-coating to Redditch Shotblasters for blasting and coating in a high-gloss black finish.
We also included every nut, bolt, and fastening to be given a fresh new coat of bright zinc plating. While everything was away, we gave the engine a coat of silver engine paint and polished the casings, valve caps, forks, carbs, and bell mouths, which were once fitted to a British Touring Car!
The tank and panel preparation, and pearl white base coat paint, were taken care of by ‘Spidey’, and once that was complete, ‘Purple Fayz’ worked her special airbrush magic to ghost Jonathan’s personal JR logo all over the top of the tank, as well as adding his 65 race number to the side panels.
With the frame back from the powder-coaters, we set about rebuilding the CB, dropping the front wheel from 19″ to 18″ and lacing the gloss black rims and hubs with stainless spokes before fitting a pair of vintage Firestones. The original rear shocks were replaced with new black units, and the original chrome bars swapped for satin black Renthal 758s.
A stack of other new parts were also fitted including a new headlight, bullet indicators, LED tail light, and stainless speedo. Next, we shipped the whole thing over to Cobuilt in Oxford who were responsible for marrying the existing exhaust downpipes to twin, stainless MotoGP silencers.
The final task fell to Steve Adams, who created a brand new seat in matt faux leather highlighted with white stitching. The finishing touches included new engine side-case covers and a pair of brand new, genuine Honda tank badges.
The initial handover to Jonathan was made when the World Superbike circus arrived at Donington Park in the UK, after which we delivered his new ride to his home on the Isle of Man. He has already been putting the CB500K through its paces there by taking part in the parade lap around the famous Mountain Course during the Classic TT!
We were asked by Pata Honda PR manager, Steve Booth, to help create a custom street tracker. So we took a Honda NX650 Dominator, equipped with decent brakes and suspension, a super-reliable 650 single engine, and electric start, and stripped it down to the last nut and bolt. We cut the frame down and had a new sub-frame fabricated. Almost everything was blasted, and either zinc plated, painted, polished or powder coated. A suitable tank was sourced and painted in original Honda racing red, and a new seat was made. And here it is… We are now on the hunt for more used NX650’s as orders for the street tracker are coming in. So if you fancy something a little different then give us a call to discuss you dream bike! You can read the full story in next month’s Classic Motorcycle Mechanics magazine.
Now here’s an opportunity not to be missed – we are currently looking after the sale of one of Adam Ant’s motorcycles – a 1951 BMW R25. Contact us on 01327 855752 or email@example.com for further details.