Honda NX650 Dominator
The Honda NX650 Dominator was produced between 1988 and 2000. It became a legendary dual-purpose motorcycle and, with its “low weight, relaxed torque, fine handling” the choice of many RTW (Round-the-World) motorcycle adventurers.
The Dommie – as it became known – basically is a XR650L with a fairing, slightly different frame and some refinements. The dual exhaust pipes added some low and mid range torque and some extra horsepower.
The dual pipes look stunning and make the NX650 sound like a lion purring. Even when you open the throttle aggressively the Dommie does not growl; instead, it just purrs louder, running ahead of the pack.
Cush hubs at the rear wheel delivered a smooth drive and the rear shock, while good for medium off-road, tend to bottom out on the rough stuff. The 220mm front travel was better than most other brands offered at the time.
According to Motorcycle News, “the SOHC, air-cooled single-cylinder motor is super-reliable and good for almost 100,000 miles.” This is a tough bike.
Engine: Air-cooled SOHC RFVC 4-valve 4-stroke single cylinder 644cc.
Bore & Stroke: 100 x 82mm
Compression ratio: 8.3:1.
Output: 32 kw (44 bhp) @ 6000rpm and 53Nm torque @ 5000rpm.
Dry weight: +/- 160kg.
Wheels: Front 90/90/21 and rear 120/90/17 (or 130/90/17).
Front suspension: 41mm leading-axle fork with 220mm wheel travel
Rear suspension: Pro-Link with 195mm travel.
Start: Happy button (electric)
Fuel: 13l (3.4 gallons) [88-92 model] or 16l (4.2 gallons)
Top speed: 160+km/h
Pictured is a 1991 Dommie.
The great old enduro race
For years, the great adventure bikes – Honda NX650 Dominator,Yamaha XTZ750 Supertenere, Suzuki Dr750 Big, Kawasaki KLR650 – battled it out in tough enduro races. Isle of Mann. In this classic video, Honda Dominators are put through the paces against its rivals on the Isle of Mann by racing legends Carl Fogarty and Steve Hislop (long before they became road racers).
There is an active Honda NX650 Dominator thread on ADVrider.