Chris Daniels is one of the most interesting builders we have featured. His shop, Marmisto, means “stonemason” in Italian. Chris is a conservator, carver, and author of books on stonemasonry and restoration, who has helped restore buildings of major historical importance across the world.
He’s also been a shed-bike builder since the age of twelve, when he restored a wrecked Ducati 160. Last year we featured Chris’s own BMW R100RT street tracker, which he built for himself. Since then, Chris has gone full-time into bike-building. Now he’s back with this 1989 Honda NX650 street tracker, built for an avid bodyboarder from Dorset, UK, who was inspired by the custom bikes he sees shooting around Bali.
There are a lot of custom NX650 builds out there, but what makes this bike stand out for us is the array of small, highly crafted details. For instance, the hand-rolled alloy tank, shaped in the style of an AJS trials version, and the air filter and speedometer housings were turned out from an old French lamppost.
Below, we get the full story on the build. If you like this build, keep in mind that Marmisto has a second NX650 build in the works…without an owner yet!
Honda Dominator Street Tracker: In the Builder’s Words
This was built for Rob, an avid bodyboarder from Dorset, who spends a lot of time in Bali and was taken by the clean style of the custom bikes used for blatting about in the towns and on the trails. The donor was a late 80’s Honda Dominator with the lovely 650 single motor in a monoshock frame.
The frame was detabbed, cut down and a new rear frame bent up and attached then powdercoated a lovely blue (powdercoat for frame, as it’s tough, economic and done well is a quality finish). The alloy tank was hand-rolled and shaped in the style of the AJS trials version with the underside designed to accept the battery and electrics.
Seat is stitched leather on a GRP base and sits on top of an aluminium wiring tray. Fork legs were cleaned of unnecessary brackets as was the bottom yoke, while the top yoke had a mounting plate welded on for the GPS speedo and ignition switch.
Alloy bars have refurbished old school switch gear (nothing ruins a nice bike like cheap plastic switches) with internal wiring into the Lucas 7” headlight. At the other end two tappet covers from an XS650 were modded to take an LED light and mounted on a bracket that also supports the handmade stainless twin pipe setup.
Rear wheel was powdercoated as it stood, obviously with new bearings, seals, sprocket etc, while the front hub was laced to another rear rim with stainless spokes and booted with chunky Continental Escapes.
The motor was blacked up, fins shave-edged and all fasteners swapped out for stainless. The air filter is foam in an aluminium housing turned from an old French lamppost, as was the speedo housing.