Freddie's Honda NX650
By Gareth Charlton - 09 Aug 14
Freddie Carlstrom should have been on the Bike Shed before. At 21 he purchased his first motorcycle, he had been forbidden from starting his two wheeled relationship any earlier than that by his parents, who ruled against his biking ambitions whilst he shared their roof. Then they went on Holiday. Freddie sensed an opportunity, he was alone beneath that roof so he wheeled in his first motorcycle. His folks must have let his cheeky endeavour slide as he was permitted to rebuild the machine into a tidy steed. Pictures were taken and dispatched to the Bikeshed in hope of a feature, the bike was great, but the pictures were shit, so we asked Freddie for more. Alas our email reached Melbourne, Australia moments after a lucky buyer had ridden away that first build, taking the chance of fresh photographs with him. The second build would not slip through the net so easily, Freddie writes "In the highly unlikely chance the bike makes the cut I can send through some more detail shots/higher res images/ lighten them if needed.". Freddie it most certainly makes the cut, and the pictures will do nicely. Building that first, illicit bike changed the course of Freddie's life, "I was working in advertising at the time, and the process of building that bike convinced me to go back to uni for a second degree and study engineering. That brings me to today. The Honda is my second build. I bought it from a gentleman who had used it as a farm bike but hadn't ridden it in years. I took it home, charged the battery and it fired right up. Using it as a sort of uni project I got stuck straight in and stripped everything off." With the frame and engine shorn of all the Dominator clutter Freddie set forth on this project with more lofty ambitions. When he encountered a stage or a problem that required a skill set he did not possess, he would learn it, this was after all a process to accompany his studies. The engine was in strong condition so Freddie settled for a minor service and a paint job, then he removed the airbox and installed pod filters. He chose to relocate the battery in a custom perforated battery box, welding was required, he couldn't weld, so he bought a welder and learnt. That new skill would have come in handy when fitting the new tank. It was donated by a Honda CG125, a popular choice for a Dommie build, its length and profile sit well on the frame and immediately give the ride a retro flavour. Freddie fabricated custom mounting points onto the tank to bolt onto the stock frame mounts. He stripped the paint back and added a black stripe to follow the line of the frame up and over the tank, further marrying it with the frame. Freddie allowed a slight patina to develop on the metal before sealing it with engine oil, he quips that the tank is resealed whenever the oil level is checked! The seat is a custom, 2-up, tuck n' roll seat that Freddie made himself , learning to sew in the process. It sits over a Freddie fabricated fibreglass mudguard that has a matching front. The big torpedo rear light was created from an old Chevrolet brake light lens, the stock nx650 bulb holder was used along with some spare aluminium plate. The exhausts are one sided, dual, gp-style free-flow mufflers. They turn away at slightly jaunty angles lending the bike character and reminding me of the old two stroke race bikes with their multiple wayward exhaust routes. Other parts Freddie fitted include an aftermarket headlight, indicators, new clocks and new brake and clutch levers. The finished bike is now getting daily use and may yet receive further mods, "I am in the process of designing some custom luggage racks so the lady and I can take off camping for the weekend,". Sounds bloody lovely, and absolutely every bike in the world looks better with a girl and a tent on the back. The Dominator is a tried and tested platform, but never the less Freddie's bike is a charming example of how with graft and a pragmatic build approach you can create for yourself a bespoke version of this bike. With his ever expanding skill set and ongoing engineering studies we look forward to seeing what Freddie turns out next, just so long as he maintains his new found photography prowess!