Louis Honda Dominator conversion
What are they pouring into their coffee?
A team from motorcycle accessories dealer Louis is converting a Honda Dominator into a racer. MOTORRAD Classic editor Uli Holzwarth is enthusiastic. And put his own renovation plans on hold for now.
It must have been a red herring. It was sometime in spring when Kay Blanke called me again in his capacity as a Honda XBR owner. And – as always – tried to talk me out of my spoke wheel set because of modifications and such. He could have saved himself, yes, he knew my answer. No wire rims, no Cafe Racer conversion. I thought while looking for a good Honda D.ominator held. Also because of renovation, and so on. Which I didn’t tie him straight away.
Louis Honda Dominator conversion
What are they pouring into their coffee?
Because he’s just made awesome
In the middle of the three kilometer long show mile, of course, the white Louis tent. It made sense that I had to stop by, you know each other. Likewise, the Seven Fifty conversion on the podium, with which the Louis troop already mixed in last year.
Olle Kamelle, I still think to myself when my pupils are almost ripped out of my skull and my lower jaw claps towards the tips of my toes. Unfortunately, exactly at the moment when Mr. Blanke becomes aware of me. I see his big grin while my upper room is still trying desperately to put the sensations together to form a complete picture. Not that there was a lack of unusual conversions, especially not at Glemseck 101. But this conversion here really blew me away. Because he’s just made awesome. And so different from anything else you usually see. Since I myself deal in detail with the Honda Dominator, the square profiles in the area of the swing arm bearing immediately told me the origin of this conversion. My goodness, what do the boys in Hamburg pour into their morning coffee?
Once upon a time there was a high-heeled steering wheel
It has to be something that broadens horizons and senses powerfully. How else do you come up with the idea of using a high-heeled, slightly chubby cleated steering wheel like the Dominator as the starting point for a classic, petite racer? Kay has to give me a pinch of this remedy. Because what he and his team have put on the narrow spoked wheels is a blast, for me THE bike at Glemseck 101 2014. A wonderfully puristic "Domi-Racer" that is so harmonious that the enduro genes themselves can hardly be guessed by connoisseurs. A wonderful, in every respect successful conversion to a classic racer, which with its flat tracker rear also stands out pleasantly from the usual cafe racer monotony.
At the center of the flat and slim creation is the radial four-valve engine with a healthy 62.5 hp, drilled out to 675 cubic centimeters. The black giant forms an attractive contrast to the hand-stamped aluminum tank, whose elaborate multi-layer paintwork shimmers here and there with a fine cloud finish. The extravagant exhaust system and many other beautiful details, which everyone can see for themselves, are no less successful. Anyway, I’m very impressed.
But also a little confused. Because I can hardly imagine a better conversion based on the Honda Dominator. That’s why I’ve put my own plans on hold for now. Maybe I’ll even get weak if Kay should ever ask about my spoked wheels again. Because I know he’s not just pretty okay. But – as you can see – also a really good one.
Honda Dominator NX 500 and NX 650 on markt.motorradonline
Interview with Kay Blanke
Kay Blanke (left), press man, girl for many things and member of the Louis screwdriver crew, and workshop veteran Detlef Studemann.
How did you come up with the Dominator as the basis for the conversion?
For us at Louis it is important that we reach as many motorcyclists as possible and give them suggestions on how to redesign their own vehicle in this way or in a similar way. Therefore, a basic requirement for such a conversion is that the Federal Motor Transport Authority still has enough bikes of this type. The Dominator is still represented roundabout 10,000 times in Germany, with the XL and XLR models it also has a few siblings to whom such a conversion can be transferred quite well. In this case, of course, the rather drastic before-and-after effect was very tempting for us.
What started it?
The concept had been in the drawer for a while. After the Seven Fifty conversion into a classic cafe racer last year, we wanted to do something more exciting and not a style repetition.
When did you start?
In May 2014 we could foresee that we could make up the time. Our first presentation was Glemseck 101 at the beginning of September 2014. So the schedule was very sporty, especially since we didn’t even have the base vehicle at the time.
Who was involved in converting the Honda Dominator??
Our workshop veteran Detlef Studemann did the screwing and detailed work, my part was the concept and design.
Was the conversion just a fun project, or what was behind it??
Such things are the essence of our job. It’s great to see a project like this grow and finally finished. Even if it is actually a lot of fun, the main purpose is to show what you can do with the parts from our range.
What was the biggest hurdle??
Clearly the tight schedule. So we did some things in parallel. With tuning pope Ulf Penner, Friedhelm Lammers, who built the aluminum tank, and Danny Schramm as the painter, we brought some cracks from the scene on board who did an excellent job.
Was it clear to you from the start what the result should look like??
Actually already. There have been a few scrambler and flat tracker conversions by now, so why not lay the part really flat? The plan was to build the whole thing nicely and without regard to conventions. The fact that the implementation is quite tricky because of the long legs and the steeply rising frame of the Dominator ultimately made this project so attractive for me.
And how did you get the bike so flat?
Instead of experimenting with the Pro-Link lever at the rear, we installed a shorter spring strut from Bitubo. That brings seven centimeters there. At the front we shortened the fork tubes and replaced the 21-inch front wheel with a 19-inch wheel, which saved 9.5 centimeters. In addition, the high volume production of cladding, tank and seat bench has been eliminated. Not least because of this, the Honda now looks downright petite. By the way, that doesn’t deceive you, without fuel it only weighs 139 kilograms!
Keyword performance: How much does your Domi push?
With the exhaust system open, Ulf conjured up 62.5 hp and 74 Newton meters on the role. He called that compared to 44 hp and 54 Newton meters in series production, "quite neat". A front silencer was needed to prevent the leaves from falling from the trees at Glemseck 101. But even with that, there is still an extraordinarily stormy 58 hp in the process of lifting the front wheel even in third gear. The extra power was achieved through classic tuning such as boring out the cylinder, increasing the compression, machining the channels, a sharp camshaft and the obligatory Mikuni flat slide carburetor including the K.&N- air filter.
What did the conversion cost, what were the most expensive items?
Including the base vehicle with just 8,400 kilometers on the clock, we spent around 1.0000 euros. But you can give a Dominator a very similar appearance for significantly less money. With us, for example, the individual production of the manifold and front silencer system as well as the hurric rear silencer alone cost 2000 euros.
After the Seven Fifty, now the Dominator as a racer: What can we look forward to at the next Glemseck 101?
First I have to look at the KBA numbers. And in our diaries…
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