Words & photos: Gorm Taube
This bike was bought back in 2015 as a commuter and a no-modifications bike to run alongside my then project bike, a 1979 SR500. The SR was never finished and the NX didn’t really stay unmodified.
I've always been drawn to heavy duty-looking machines and the motocross world. There is something inspiring in the ability to go wherever you want and not have to stop just because the road gets rough or the weather won’t cooperate. At first the modifications started with the basic clean up – indicators, mirrors and unbolting unnecessary things.
After some riding in that state I found a large hole in the stock exhaust and that led to a full 2-into-1 GPR exhaust system with a new ECU. During the summer of 2016 the Honda did its first Euro-tour from home in Sweden down through Germany and Poland. And I began to really love the bike. It’s not at all a fast bike, but a fun and capable little machine.
The upcoming winter the NX developed further with new Excel rims laced to the OEM hubs and Continental TKC80s. I chose 19in front and kept the 17in in the back but both got slightly wider. The tank and front fairings were wrapped matt black to cover the bold graphics that easily placed the bike in the 80s. EBC front disc and pads and a new Renthal handlebar added to the more modern look. The front screen was exchanged for a slightly slimmer design that went under the knife to fit perfectly.
In the summer of 2017 it was time to pack the bags again and head south on the bike, this time it took us on a 10-day trip through the Alps and down to Milan, Italy and back without any issues more than a lost bolt for the heat guard on the exhaust. That summer we moved to California and the bike was stored away to only really be ridden once the upcoming summer for a shorter trip in Sweden until the winter of 2019/20 when we moved back to Sweden. Now the plans for the NX had grown and pile of new parts had grown too.
It’s currently sporting a Acerbis 23L fuel tank, digital speedo cluster from Trail Tech, dual Denali D4 headlight setup and extra driving lights. The engine internals are still untouched, but both the cold and hot side of the engine is new. On the cold side is a a Mikuni T40 carburettor and on the hot side a new full exhaust made originally for the XR650L, which has been modified to fit inside the frame of the NX. Suspension got an overhaul also with a new rear shock and new internals up front which made a huge upgrade to the handling.
This bike is the purest form of adventure bike there is: simple, tall and fairly light, but still packs a punch. My main goal has been to make it look more modern and be highly functional. There are still more things planned but this bike is all about that function and I’m really trying my way to see what I like and what works for it. I recently low-sided it on a gravel road and that exposed some new areas that need to be fixed, but this bike is really meant to be ridden and abused, the scratches and dents will tell the stories of this bike.
ENGINE: Mikuni TM40 carb; Big Gun XR650L exhaust headers; Yoshimura XR650L RS-2 slip-on with modified mid-pipe) K&N air filter; aftermarket ECU
WHEELS & BRAKES: Excel Rims, 19in F/17in R; Continental TKC80 tyres; EBC front disc; Brembo 15RCS master cylinder
CHASSIS: Acerbis 23l tank; Tail from a NX650 RD02 model; RTECH supermoto front fender; new OEM seat cover
DETAILS: Denali D4 dual headlight; Denali DRL fork leg lights; Denali B6 brake light; custom speedo bracket with indicator lights; Trail Tech Vapor speedo; Motogadget M-Blaze Pin indicators; Renthal bars; CNC short levers; Moose Racing Contour hand guards; Quadlock fork stem mount; Odi Emig Racing V2 grips; Convex 3in mirror; custom battery cover plate; custom license plate holder; aftermarket chain guard; custom straps for Kriega bags