Charlie ASo it’s early Sunday morning, the fog is lifting and caffeine begins its journey through your circulatory system delivering dexterity to stiff digits, and if you’re lucky the corners of your mouth will upturn slightly in anticipation of a whole day in the shed. There’s something about embarking on a first build, and popping your cherry with a best mate is all the more rewarding. Andy and Steve from Kent bought this 1988 Honda Dominator from a chap in Scotland and figured for £600 it wasn’t worth the trek up for a viewing. After many touring miles across Europe the Dommie had gathered a fair few war wounds and daubs of Hammerite so nothing short of a complete strip down was called for. Charlie cAndy’s business, Twistmoto, deals in camping and travel gear so this bike was to be used as the test mule and therefore practicality would reign over urban new wave cool, although proper sketches were made to ensure the zip-off trouser aesthetic was avoided. Their formula would be: 1 Japanese jalopy + (enthusiastic men)² ÷ 0.0047 experience x 1 garden shed √ tiny budget + 1 cold British winter. CHarlie DAt some point the poor old girl had received a bit of a bang, bending the frame slightly - Maidstone Motorliner strapped her to their special bench for a light seeing to. Now straight and naked two piles could be made, one for degreasing, blasting and refreshing and the other for recycling, three decades of use takes its toll of components mass produced cheaply at the behest of an enthusiastic HMC bean counter. A tidy with the angle grinder and removal of extraneous tabs gave the powder coaters a canvas upon which they applied their satin black magic. Charlie EUp front the gangly forks were serviced and shortened with 2” spacers, which adds a few degrees of aggression to the stance whilst retaining practicality. Hitting the bump stops on what’s left would suggest over exuberance and potential for an unscheduled laying out of Andy’s camping equipment. Charlie F A ply-wood base was glass-fibred and sent to local upholsterers Caulfield Leather for a personalised tuck-n-roll brat-ish seat, with just enough cushioning to keep the ‘roids at bay on longer trips. Charlie G The wiring loom provided particular challenges and a steepening of the guy’s learning curve. Multiple splices and chops hid beneath rolls of electrical tape and random fuses appeared from nowhere, presumed from redundant touring and commuting accessories fitted by previous owners looking to introduce decadence to a rather basic steed. A Koso all-in-one gauge keeps things simple mirrored by a normal key ignition, mounted in the usual position. Charlie H With the freshly coated cases back in situ attention could be turned to the heart of the project, Honda’s bullet-proof Radial Valve, twin-port thumper. These lumps keep on spinning through years of neglect, will run on yak’s piss and apparently even the 3 octane sweetcorn based stuff they serve-up across the pond. Breaking down is boring though, so the guys checked tolerances and gave the old single a thorough service. To encourage the old nags inside to recount their wild stallion youth a full stainless exhaust by GPR was fitted, along with a Dynojetted and rebuilt carb - 180 main jet, needle raised to .75 sucking though a 62mm K&N cone filter. CHarlie ISalt-abused rims were sidelined and replaced with Morad 17 inchers (300 front & 350 rear), mounted to stock hubs with black anodised spokes and stainless nipples. Continental’s dual sport stalwart TKC80s grip the ground and Goodridge hoses and a motocross front master cylinder make the most of rebuilt callipers. CHarlie J The icing on the cake was the delivery of a 1987 Honda NSR 50 fuel tank, painted to perfection by Racepaint UK to Andy’s sketches. Just reward for 171 hours over 32 days spent in the shed. Steve & Andy are thrilled with Charlie 1 and have covered many a grubby mile sampling the fruits of their labour. For £2800 all-in they've done a cracking job and we're sure they'll be locked away again this winter. To read more about the bike and to contemplate gear you never thought you needed head to TwistMoto Facebook | Web
Share