Honda Dominator “Calipso” by South Garage

Seems like my drifting towards offroad and the other genre of builds is unstoppable. But I’m happy about this. It makes the bikes featured here more diverse. From a hardcore, kevlar fitted racetrack builds, to a lightweight dual-sports converted into a style icon. I’m also pleased when I manage to find something old that was not featured all over the web.

Like this 1997 Honda NX 650 Dominator

Built by brilliant South Garge from Milan – in 2013. It’s a stunning build, based on a very unlikely donor bike. I featured a Top 5 of Honda XL/XR builds (Dominator is included there as a part of the Honda’s dual sports family). But what is specific about this build – is a fact that it’s 5 years old. Seems like not much, but we should be aware that the number of customs released every month is rising. The garages are opening all over the world – building amazing machines. It’s more and more difficult to surprise the audience. So currently – builds based on unlikely donor bikes are quite common, or some crazy conversions are easy to find. But it wasn’t like this 5 years ago. And yet – South Garage took the challenge.

Regardless… This Honda Dominator is stunning (I could write that basically about all South Garage’s builds).

“Bling bling” style, with a city-oriented purpose.

The head angle is sharper due to a USD forks swap, and a smaller front wheel… Significantly smaller! Since the original Dominator is 21 inches in diameter. It improves the offroad capabilities but ruins the look. Nobody cares when it’s a stock version – since most of the dual sports are 100% function over form. But in this case – it would demolish the profile. So they changed the size to 18 inches… made the rim look glossy and dressed both wheels with the “enduro street” tires.

The whole thing is leaning forward more. Making the steering sharper. The tank is a custom builder classic choice – Benelli Mojave shape. Covered with a clean looking paint-job – gold and black – the most elegant colour choice available, plus a brushed metal silver finish.
The tail is definitely street tracker style. Fits the proportions perfectly. Exhaust is run almost like the original one. Characteristic 2 pipes from a single cylinder engine, are obviously custom made and new, but they left them placed almost exactly like in the original bike (maybe the owner will change his mind, put some offroad tires, fenders – and change the purpose of this bike?)

The attention to details is impressive. The brake fluid reservoir – is a transparent tube, held in place with a stainless wire. Grips are handmade – leather discs mounted together, giving this natural feel, quite a contrast to the candy looking exterior of the bike. Brown leather seat, small round headlight, Motogadget Motoscope round speedometer, one bar-end mirror finish the whole thing with a minimalistic look.

Enjoy! And check other builds by South Garage – their collection of galleries is really impressive.




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