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Speed Read, 13 December 2020

The latest motorcycle news and customs
It’s all about Honda this week, with a Gundam-inspired limited edition Monkey from Thailand, a murdered-out Dommie from Sweden, and a crisp XR650 supermotard from Italy. The outlier is a modern BMW GS sidecar rig that could transport two in comfort from one end of a continent to another.

Custom Honda Dominator by Gorm Taube
Honda Dominator by Gorm Taube The evergreen Dommie is a brilliant bike for modification: it’s tough, has excellent parts support, and is relatively cheap and easy to find.

This stealthy custom is one of the best we’ve seen, and comes from Gorm Taube—a designer who lives in Gothenburg and works for Volvo. We’re not the only fans of this NX650, because the luggage brand Kriega recently used it for an ad campaign.

Custom Honda Dominator by Gorm Taube
Gorm has been working on this bike for five years now. He started with a Yoshimura exhaust system and a new ECU to unlock extra power, then installed wider Excel rims—going down to 19 inches at the front. Since then he’s added everything from a Trail Tech speedo to new fork internals.

Custom Honda Dominator by Gorm Taube
Range gets a boost from an Acerbis 23L fuel tank, and a new Mikuni T40 flatslide pumper carb keeps the fueling smooth. Gorm’s had two different headlight setups on there too: an 8″ Trail Tech unit (top), and a pair of killer Denali D4s (above), with a range of 800 feet.

The rest of the specs are mouthwatering too. You can examine them in detail on Gorm’s website. [Via]

Honda Monkey Gundam Edition
Honda Monkey Gundam Edition The tiny Monkey is a massive draw in South East Asia. Outside Honda’s home market of Japan, it has an especially fervent following in Thailand—despite being a pricey buy for locals.

Honda Monkey Gundam Edition
In Thailand, the local distributor has just made the Monkey even more desirable by issuing a limited edition of 125 ‘Gundam’ models. For those of you who are not up to speed on Japanese popular culture, Gundam is a robot (and science fiction franchise) with an impact comparable to Star Wars in the Western world.

There are two themed Monkeys to choose from, and each comes with a box of goodies including jerseys, Bluetooth speakers, and display models. And for fans that want the complete look, there’s a range of matching helmets.

Honda Monkey Gundam Edition
In Thailand, a stock Monkey sells for the equivalent of US$3,300. The Gundam editions are supposed to retail for around a thousand dollars more, but reports are indicating that demand has already pushed the street price up to an insane US$6,400. That’s nearly twice the price of a regular Monkey.

Honda Monkey Gundam Edition
It’s all rather puzzling, but we suspect some collectors and favored dealership customers are going to be making a killing. [Via]

Honda XR650 supermotard by Aerostyle
Honda XR650 by Aerostyle Federico Scalia is well known in the Italian motorsport scene for his sublime airbrushing skills. But when there’s downtime in his immaculate workshop, he likes to build motorcycles.

Honda XR650 supermotard by Aerostyle
This XR650 supermotard is his latest creation, and it’s jaw-droppingly good—with meticulous attention to detail and an inspired selection of mods. The handling will be top-notch, because he’s fitted 48mm Kayaba forks and an Öhlins TTX shock—plus Beringer brakes and FaBa wheels, shod with Michelin Power Cup Evo tires.

The 649 cc SOHC single has been overhauled and repainted, and now breathes through a custom aluminum airbox and a Keihin FCR41MX carb. Exhaust gases pass through an FMF Powerbomb header and a Yoshimura RS titanium/carbon muffler.

Honda XR650 supermotard by Aerostyle
We’d love to grab the Renthal Fatbars and take this baby for a spin around the track. It might be a couple of decades old, but we bet it’s a blast to ride. [Via]

BMW R1200GS sidecar by LBS
BMW R1200GS sidecar by LBS Given the popularity of the big BMW GS models, it was only a matter of time before someone designed a sidecar rig for them. And now we have one, built by the Dutch company LBS. They’re working with builder Mike Paull in the US, who just sent us details of his latest construction—a 2011 BMW R1200GS Adventure mated to a customized LBS ‘Stepler’ sidecar designed in England and fabricated in the Netherlands. And unlike most outfits of this ilk, it looks pretty good.

Fiberglass bodywork is flush-fitted to a steel spaceframe with an integrated rollbar. Inside is an adjustable passenger seat (with heated inserts) from a Land Rover Defender, and the wiring is all marine-grade and plumbed into the BMW CAN bus.

BMW R1200GS sidecar by LBS
The sidecar should be a comfortable ride, with a lay-down shock and a multibar linkage suspension system and braking for the outrigger wheel. On this build, Mike has added a one-off 15” rotary-forged aluminum rim, and there’s a windshield to keep the lucky passenger as comfortable as possible.

The paint job, we’re told, cost $10,000 alone, and right behind the sidecar is a substantial 120-liter storage box that’ll hold even more than the biggest overlanding panniers.

BMW R1200GS sidecar by LBS
Sidecar design—and the complex geometry required—is an art, but it looks like LBS have this sussed. The chassis is built in Europe, and shipped to the USA for installation and customization in Washington State in the Pacific Northwest.

It’s a big step up from the typical vintage BMW sidecar rig, or even a current Ural outfit. If we were planning a transcontinental trip and didn’t fancy roughing it, this would be top of the list. [LBS USA]

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