Eighteen years ago this bike left Honda’s factory as a chunky dual-sport thumper—a less sophisticated version of the Transalp, if you like. Today it’s a sleek, lightweight street tracker burning up the roads of Wales. Andrew Greenland bought his 1992 NX650 in Swansea for a mere £300 (US$450), with the intention of just restoring it as a winter project. “I thought I would maybe change a few bits and bobs,” he says. “One night, when the bike was stripped down to the rolling chassis, I placed a Honda CG125 (1976) tank on it for a laugh—and that was it! Retro dirtbike was the theme.” Greenland cut the rear subframe uprights down by three inches and added a loop at the back, leaving the rest of the structure original. He rebuilt the motor with a bigger bore and piston and new valves and guides, and swapped out the stock 21” front wheel for a 19” Honda SLR650 wheel. The exhaust system came from Jemco in Texas, with Trail Tech supplying the headlight and speedometer. Greenland then built a new tail unit using fiberglass (“took bloody ages!”) and did all the painting himself with rattle tins. The project took six months, and the bike rolled out of the shed a few days ago—owing Greenland less than £2,000 (US$3,000) in total build costs. “I’ve been tinkering with my own bikes since I was 12,” says Greenland, “but I’ve never altered a bike from its original form before and it was a pain in the ass! But when I go out on it, and see the looks it gets, it makes it all worth it.” Home building at its best, don’t you think?
Nikon D40 | 1/320s | f/9.0 | ISO 200 | Focal length 31mm