Sunday, 19 December 2010

How to build your very own nx650 streettracker.

After receiving so many enquiries about the building of these bikes i have finally got round to going through step by step on the whole process.
First of all expect to spend approx 250 hours plus on the project, as far as cost goes the sky is really the limit!

OK so here goes.....

First you're gonna need a donor bike just like this one..
You can expect to pay about £1000 - £2000 for a decent , low mileage MOT'd bike, this is the best way to start as you will be able to verify the motor is performing as it should and will not need a costly overhaul!

So once you have purchased your intended victim you will need to take off  all the plastics and the fuel tank
You should be able to sell most of this stuff to get some money back for your build... your gonna need all you can get ........ trust me!


OK so now the fun starts!
You will need a small grinder for the next bit.......

In order to lower the rear sub frame you will need to cut firstly where the upper tubes connect to the main frame and secondly on the lower tube on straightest section.

This pic shows where you need the cuts, these photos will be a combination of version one and two but the process is essentially the same.

OK so now you've done it! Dont' be scared! You will now take approx 3-4 inches out of the lower frame section on the straightest part of the tube.

This rear frame section can now be re-attached making sure of course everything is lined and levelled, i used the frame section under the engine as my level line and made sure the top rail on the rear frame was exactly the same. This however isn't critical as you are not upsetting the actual geometry of the frame its just nice to be neat!

The loop at the rear of the frame may now be added, i used 20mm steel electrical conduit for mine as it was a perfect match for the existing frame and it was free!

This pic shows the frame loop attached and of course all painted.

The frame once all welded and strengthened where needed ( weld one section of tube between the top rails just to be safe) is pretty much sorted, on the second version i fabricated a battery box which also housed the cdi box etc.


The fuel tank on both bikes came from an early (1980's?????) Honda CG125 Which will require a small amount of work underneath on the tap side in order for the tank to sit down enough to get it level with the rear frame rail, you will also need to move the mounting plate towards the rear as the tank is longer than the original. The original lugs on the frame for the fuel tank have to be removed as do the mount lugs on the new tank. Unfortunately i don't have any pics of this work but it will be obvious when you are there. Once fitted and leak tested of course! you can prep and paint it, i used a petrol tap from eBay with the correct thread and a cap from Honda with the all important vent! The little things!!!!!

These were purchased from a company in the u.s called DC plastics and were reproductions originally for a 1975 Honda CR250 Elsinore.
You can find them here -


The seat/rear cowling is without question the biggest headache on this build, the first version was a combination of a very cut-down cb900 and fiberglass with body filler.

Second time around i knew i couldn't do it this way again so made the whole thing from scratch.....

I used aluminium plate 4 mm thick for strength and ease of cutting/working etc.

The rear open end was then plated with thinner sheet aluminium and an a skim of car body filler applied to smooth everything out.

Here it is! see......easy!
A piece of 2mm mild steel plate was then fabricated to fit inside the seat section, this plate will then be upholstered. Because of the shallow seat depth i recommend you use quite a high density foam similar to that used for garden kneeling pads.

So cosmetically you're getting there! You have to bear in mind i am only giving you the very basics of the build you will come across problems as i did ........ alot! But the idea of the bike the looks and workings will (hopefully) be laid out here.


One of the most important parts of this build was getting the right exhaust, i knew i wanted a down swept flat track type but nobody in the u.k made them. Further searching online got me to a company called Jemco based in Texas and Jon the owner was more than happy to supply me a very high quality item (took him long enough mind!)

Due to the long waiting time for Jon's expert services i enlisted the help from a more local exhaust company called Longlife who are normally tasked with fitting drainpipe sized back boxes for  corsa's and saxo's but when i asked if they could build a similar pipe they agreed.

And in what must be record time they produced this...

Close enough! cheers Pete you the man! Made in only two days and in stainless..... awesome!
I then added the finishing touches by way of a 4" to 2" reducer for the end , painted the silencer section (silencer ...yeah right!) and wrapped the rest with exhaust tape, cant quite remember the manufacturer but the colour was titanium and was not cheap but was the best colour (EBAY)

WARNING! this thing is VERY LOUD but so cool!


Rear wheel is standard 17" rebuilt spokes or just powder coat the whole thing as i did on version one choice is yours.

Front wheel is now a 19" this is achieved either by using the original hub and having a new 19" rim fitted or using a complete wheel from a Honda slr650 but you will have to use the SLR disc and caliper which i think 200mm bigger in diameter choice again is yours.

Tyres were another important decision again for the look and practicality and the Continental TKC80 twinduro were eventually chosen. These handle very well in the dry and are almost vibration free.
Sizes - rear 140/80/17   front - 120/90/19.


Both front and rear are completely standard and original, the front forks have 2 " spacers inside the leg and are removed via the cap at the top of the upper stanchion , doing this and pulling the legs through the yokes another 2" should be enough of a drop.
The rear drop has already been achieved by the frame so can be left alone.


Again all standard and original except for the Goodridge stainless braided lines for better looks and performance.


Up to you this one but if you bought a good bike to begin with then all you need do is paint it!

PJ1 satin engine paint was used and if you follow the directions to the letter you should be fine.

You most definately will have to install bigger jets due to the now much improved breathing rate as a result of the free-flowing exhaust and cone filter.


The majority of the dominators electrical components CDI, fuse box etc are housed in the now departed fairing. In order to keep the wiring at the headlight to a minimum i simply pulled everything back into battery area and lengthened the headlight power cables up to the headstock, all handlebar switches etc were left alone and this was the only alteration needed.... easy!!

The original clocks have also been thrown out and a very good replacement was the Trailtech vapour unit.
One of the many benefits here is the oil temp guage and of course it looks cool!

If you want to use the original socket on the top yoke for the ignition switch you will have get one from another bike as the dominator one is  too tall, i used a Honda cb600f 1997 model and it fitted perfectly.

The headlight again was important for looks as well as practicality and the first version used a unit from Trailtech with the second version coming from Baja Designs both were 8" racelights using H1 bulbs, on both bikes i used HID conversion kits.

Blasting around unlit mountain roads at 2 in the morning you need all the light you can get and these things definately deliver!

So there you have it!

One cool custom retro looking bike that will probably go for ever, be easy to maintain, handle well, brake strong , go like stink, not cost a fortune and most definately be the most appreciated and drooled over in ANY car park. 

I think number three is going to be even better!!!!!!

Good luck to everyone and happy building..


  1. Hi Backtracker,we are a crowd from the Czech republic called Cafe-racer club and one of our mates felt in love with your Elsinore and is gonna build something very similar.I would like to ask you if would be possible to send me some more pictures or some drawings or something like that which can help him with his project.Regards Ivan ivancechatgmaildotcom

  2. Hi cechi,

    I don't have any drawings (theyre in my head i guess!), but can send you more pics if you wish but you will have to tell me what you need and will gladly help out.
    many thanks.

  3. Hi, Are you still open to offer a little assistance to people who basically what to copy your bike?

  4. Hi from the Netherlands...

    I sort of half supermotarded my dominator, but only because i hadn`t yet seen yours...
    Could you let me know the part number of your k&N filter please, i would like one just like it. I assume you kept the standard carb ...?
    great job ...

  5. Hey butz, yes would be more than willing to give you any advice you need in building a bike, just let me know how i can help.

    hi simon, sorry but don't have a part number for the filter, just a basic K&N with the correct aperture (62mm i think)should be fine,yes the original carb was used with bigger jets, would be great to see any pictures of these bikes youre building.

    just in the process of building number 3 and should be done in about 3 weeks so watch this space!!

  6. Hi, I love your bikes, did you find a UK stockist for the trail tech/baja designs headlamps or did you order them from the US?
    Also, how did you get them road legal? did you fit H4 hi/los? I am a bit stuck as I need road legal lighting for winter, but love the look of these 8" trail lights.


  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Sorry, completely missed the same question a few posts above mine. Figured it out, here's the K&N number for the air filter.

  9. Did you have to add extra oil to the fork legs when you removed the spacers?
    The spacers you are talking about are numer 8 in this picture right?

  10. I have been going insane looking for a K&N filter on the net too. your part # cant be right. I have rebuilt a 98, and the gap between the top of the shock and the top of the frame or bottom of tank mounting bolt, ( i used a cb 100 tank so didnt have to move the rear mount) wont allow 89mm o/d. The max I can squeeze in is 75mm. Even the measurment from the center of the throat to the top of the shock is only 38 mm.

  11. does anybody knows, about the clearance in between the sit and pegs after lower the upper frame, if your leg get a bit cramp with the lost of few inches

  12. Hi zoran, apologies for the late reply, no i didn't add oil to the forks.

  13. Hi joe, the first bike i used was a an early 1990 bike and frames were different to yours, but you can use a 62mm foam type filter from a company called RAM AIR, i have used them on the other bikes and they have been fine.

  14. Hi tosh, not sure of the exact dimension your after but if your over 6 feet tall you may struggle.

  15. Could you tell me what size your main jet is...?

  16. Hi, i'm actually using your blog to do mine !!! and i really enjoy your help!
    I just got a problem to find a correct pair of fork boots ... which one do you use ?

    Thanks again for help.


  17. hi simon, the main jet was a 180, with the needle lifted 1 mm.

  18. Hi morgan, this is the item number of a set i recently bought on ebay and they are fine.
    Glad to hear your building your own bike, would be great to see some pics when its done.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi, thanks for the reply.
      The bike you build was exactly what i expect about motorcyle. So i decided to build mine thanks to your explanations. Mine will be a bit different because of the original exhausts i kept. I'll gave you some pics when finished with pleasure.

  19. Hi, in first time, congratulations for yours transformation. I have been following all of details.
    Can you tell me where you bought the headlights for yours motorcycles?

    Sorry for my english.

    Regard from Spain.

  20. Hi backtracker
    Can you explain in a little more detail what you did to fettle he underside of the petrol tank.
    I'm trying an early cb200 but think the petrol tap may foul the main frame down arches. I've taken off the lugs from the tank itself.

    1. Hi paul , how did you get on with the fuel tap . I am going for an old cb250 g5 tank and think I will suffer the same problem , although welding and moving it wont be a problem

  21. Hi back tracker i am in the process of converting a dominator at the moment, I have been so inspired by your machines that you have built i think they are amazing, All of your pics the wheels seem to look the same size,So do you just use a rear wheel from an slr650 and fit it to the front minus the sprocket ?? how does it work, Also i have had trouble finding a continental 120/90/19 can you help ??

  22. Hi back tracker again can you tell me with the front wheel can you put the same size on as the rear ??

  23. HI Backtracker. i have so many questions for you , plus I would like to share my ideas , is there a easier way of contacting you for advice and the like , my email is , cheers

  24. Hi Backtracker,quality build. was going to do a similar using an XT600e donnor.
    You mentioned in your blog that you hadproblems,(loads!)
    Did you find it hard with fabricatoin side or is that something you're quite clued up on?
    currently working as a steel/alu fab worker and all though this shouldnt be a problem for me, it is my first attempt at it!!


  25. Hello Backtracker.

    Nice works on the Dommies.Keep on going.
    May I just ask what fuel peacock did you use on the CG125 tank?The original one does not provide enough gas for a 650cc engine, i think!!!!
    Thanks in advance

  26. Great stuff backtracker. What silencers are you using and I cant find a Continental 120/90-19 front tyre

  27. Just discovered why i cant find right size front tyre. After zooming in on your pics, front wheel is also a 17 running a rear tyre?

  28. I would like to say this is very nice blog having great information & beneficial for us. For more information you can visit Used Frames Honda

  29. hi there, any email for contact? mine is
    thanks mate, cheers!

  30. In many cases, part purchased in this way can be considered as a reliable option, since you know that the manufacturer has approved of it being used in your car. However, be warned that this is one of the costliest ways to boost the performance of your vehicle and not necessarily something that you would probably want to try out.

    Honda Performance Parts

  31. give the great and best material Plastics to Fuel, Plastics to Oil, Plastics 2 Oil, Plastics 2 Fuel, Tires to oil, Tyres to fuel, Landfill redirection, End of life plastics and Non-recyclable plastics.

  32. Thanks for sharing. is the Small engine Air Filters dealer in California, deals with branded Air Filters.

    Small Engine Air Filters

  33. hello! i am christiaan from the Netherlands. and i realllyy love the look of the bike and want to turn my xl600 into somthing like that. but i cant seen to find the lamp holder that you are using. can you give me some info about that? here is my email. cheeers!

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. Hello! I was wondering whether this rim would fit the NX650 front as a replacement?