When Honda launched the NX650 Dominator in 1988, they surely didn’t expect that the urbanized trail bike would become a darling of the new wave customs scene 40 years later. The Dominator had a bored and stroked version of the venerable XR600R engine with 644cc displacement, good for 44 horsepower, and came with e-start, bikini fairing, twin mufflers, and a 21-inch front wheel.
“The Honda Dominator is the motorcycle that defined the ‘urban trailie’ craze of the Nineties. Beloved by town-bound motorcycle couriers and B-road hackers thanks to its punchy delivery, rufty-tufty build quality and commanding riding position the Honda Dominator still makes its mark as a value-for-money commuting motorcycle.”
Today, these bikes remain fairly plentiful in Europe, where the XR-based engine, rugged chassis, and long-travel suspension make the Dominator a prime candidate for single-cylinder scrambler and street tracker builds.
Recently we got in touch with Kevin Morel, a long-time motocross racer and founder of Morex Custom, a workshop / brand headquartered in Vezin-le-Coquet, Brittany, northwestern France.
“Morex Custom is a brand specializing in the design of custom made motorcycles, automobiles and surfboards. We have also developed our own collection of clothing available on the online store.”
Kevin says he customizes bikes for himself, according to his own ideas and inspirations.
“Then, if a customer is interested, I can sell it after exhibiting it in our store and at events.”
Given Kevin’s motocross background, it should come as no surprise that many of his builds are dual-purpose machines, such as this ’92 Dominator nicknamed the “Dominator EVO3.” Below, we talk to Kevin for more details on the build. Photographs are from @agencepoze.
Honda Dominator Custom: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I am Kevin Morel, founder of the Morex Custom brand. I have always been a motocross rider. I participate in many races in Europe. I created the workshop in 2013 and it became a brand in 2016. You can see more info on our website: www.morexcustom.com
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
Honda Dominator, 1992.
• Why was this bike built?
I modify motorcycles only for myself, according my inspiration at the moment. Then, if a customer is interested, I can sell it after exhibiting it in our store and at events.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
My influence on this bike is clearly motocross. The neo retro side must be visible.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
I have kept only the engine and the main part of the frame.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
It’s like a motocross bike — you can go anywhere and I love wheelies.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The rear lights.