“Our hands are black, our souls are cleansed.”
This is the motto of Last Century Bikes, a workshop in small-town Switzerland (Winterthur) run by enthusiasts Felix Kuhn and Alain Bramaz. Felix is a mechanical engineer and technician with 35 years experience, while Alain is a Desmo specialist and motor expert with 37 years experience. What a duo!
Previously we featured the shop’s custom Gilera Strata, an Italian thumper with a beautiful copper-plated tank. Now the Swiss builders are back with one of our favorite platforms, the Honda NX650 Dominator. This unbreakable dual-sport has been turned into every kind of custom, from scrambler and tracker to single-cylinder cafe racer. As Felix says, it’s a bike with “unlimited possibilities.”
The boys from Last Century Bikes have built a gravel-burning, curb-jumping, go-anywhere machine that would look just right between the jackboots of Mad Max. This was a challenge in their homeland of Switzerland, where frame modifications are illegal unless a very pricey and time-consuming technical certification is purchased. A new subframe is typically de-rigueur for these builds, so it’s amazing what they have done with the stock chassis.
This post-apocalyptic NX650 goes by the name “Hashirya,” which Felix explains while giving us the full story on the build.
Honda NX650 Street Tracker: In the Builder’s Words
(Words by Felix Kuhn. Highlights by us.)
Who still remembers the very plastic-dominated Dominator from the 90s? A great bike, but ugly. This machine offers almost unlimited possibilities as a basis for conversions. This NX650, as it was named by Honda, could remain an enduro — simply cheekier and mainly more beautiful!
In Switzerland we are not allowed to change the frame without a following technical certification for many thousand dollars. So the frame had to be untouched. So the bike has a gas tank of a XL500, a lowered ride height to become a more classic look.
The side covers were a big challenge. The opening in the frame looks too high with a complete cover, and the classic oval start numbers look unsuitable.
Want to know what the word “Hashirya” means? It describes a guy who loves to ride fast! So…the name is perfect.
Thanks Cerny for the great cooperation and the good ideas!
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