Soli Moto builds the Baja Dominator that Honda by no means did…
Within the Nineteen Eighties, Honda was a dominant power in each the Baja 1000 (victories in 1982 and 1984-87) and Paris Dakar Rally (victories in 1986-1989), recording 4 successive wins in every race. Quickly sufficient, Honda was rolling out particular Baja collection bikes just like the road-legal XLR250R Baja and Z50J Monkey Baja Africa — full with twin entrance headlights and particular graphics / bodywork:
“Baja is so huge to the Japanese that Honda developed a street-legal XR250R and sells 10,000 items a 12 months there…” –Filth Bike Rider, 1989
As in comparison with the dirt-only XR250R, the XLR250 Baja provided taller gearing, passenger pegs, street-legal lighting, steel gasoline tank, a rear disc brake, and different road-going accoutrements.
These XLR Bajas proceed to be prized amongst riders and collectors. Unusually, although, Honda by no means made an official Baja model with their RFVC huge singles — neither the Baja-winning XR600R nor the street-legal, fairing-clad NX650 Dominator. Stated Filth Bike Rider:
“Loyal Honda dual-sport lovers have lamented the lack of the outdated XL collection and plenty of are shying away from the street-oriented NXs, due to their low entrance fenders and full fairings.”
That’s the place our new pal Florian Gounaud of France’s Soli Moto is available in. A product designer, Florian constructed up a beefy BMW R NineT scrambler earlier than setting his sights on a 1989 Honda NX650 Dominator RD02 — one of many final fashions to incorporate each kick and electrical begin.
“The bike is impressed by the Baja collection from Honda. They by no means constructed a Baja model of the Dominator so I did it. I attempted to maintain plenty of OEM components from the bike to protect its id.”
Whereas many of the NX650 Dominator customs we characteristic bear little resemblance to any manufacturing facility mannequin, Florian sought to create the bike that Honda by no means did, intently following the sample of the XLR250R Baja.
The OEM fairings are gone, and the bike is now operating UFO classic enduro fenders, a modified rear rack, paint much like the XLR Baja, and a bespoke entrance fairing Florian created to carry the inventory dashboard and the all-important Baja-style twin headlights.
On the efficiency entrance, this “Domi Baja” is sporting an Arrow Dakar exhaust and Twin Air filters. Florian says it’s considerably lighter than the unique, runs like a high regardless of almost 30,000 miles on the clock, and continues to take him on off-road adventures.
“Having the ability to preserve the essence of the Dominator within the ultimate look is what I’m happy with. Additionally, in contrast to many builds round that mannequin, it doesn’t look fragile.”
Beneath, we speak to Florian for extra particulars on his “Domi Baja.”
NX650 Baja Dominator: Builder Interview
• Please inform us a bit about your self, your historical past with bikes, and your workshop.
My first construct was my BMW R NineT Scrambler. As a product designer, I created a bunch of components for that bike. Then got here the necessity for a brand new venture!
• What’s the make, mannequin, and 12 months of the donor bike?
It’s a Honda Dominator RD02 from 1989. It’s one of many final with each electrical begin and kickstart.
• Why was this bike constructed?
It’s a private venture, similar to the one earlier than. A playground for my creativeness.
• What was the design idea and what influenced the construct?
The bike is impressed by the Baja collection from Honda. They by no means constructed a Baja model of the Dominator so I did it. I attempted to maintain plenty of OEM components from the bike to protect its id.
• What customized work was executed to the bike?
A lot of the work is on aesthetics, with solely the exhaust (Arrow Dakar) and air filter (TwinAir) on the mechanical half.
Entrance and rear fenders have been changed by UFO classic enduro ones. Rear rack was saved however lowered in width. Tank was painted in Honda purple to match the unique seat and hand guards.
Lastly the entrance fairing was changed with a customized one I’ve created, which hides all the unique electronics, together with the dashboard.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
“Domi Baja” appears acceptable!
• Any thought of horsepower, weight, and/or efficiency numbers?
With 44,000 kms on the odo, the bike runs similar to new.
• Are you able to inform us what it’s wish to journey this bike?
Nearly like an everyday Dominator, it’s just a bit lighter.
• Was there something executed throughout this construct that you’re notably happy with?
Having the ability to preserve the essence of the Dominator within the ultimate look is what I’m happy with. Additionally, in contrast to many builds round that mannequin, it doesn’t look fragile.
Comply with the Builder: @soli.moto