Open the throttle, head for the hills, possibly via the Louvre. If you're itching to get off road, but also need something classy for the commute, here are two custom machines to tempt you. One is a Dakar tribute, the other is aimed - in jest, of course - at the more classy kind of art thief. There's no shortage of trail bikes ready to be bought off the shelf, but there's nothing like a bespoke take on a street-scrambler classic. Here's what two contrasting customisers have done with Honda's classic Dominator.
Head for the Louvre via the hills with these 2 Honda street scramblers.
The key here is those simple letters: TSM. They stand for Thierry Sabine Motorcycle, for this is a machine that honours the founder of the original epic Paris-Dakar Rally. When Sabine was lost in the desert in Niger, he realised it would be a great place for the ultimate off-road race and the Paris-Dakar was born. He died more than 30 years ago in a helicopter crash, but his legacy lives on in today's Dakar Rally, now run in Saudi Arabia, and now this meticulous tribute machine.
The bike began as a Dominator in what Gas & Oil's Matěj Sysel describes as "poor condition" after it was first stolen, and then found by police after a crash. The rebuild is a reimagining. The colourway is a nod to the Rothmans colours of early Dakar racers, when the event was truly brutal, and this Dominator's upgraded look is a take on the Dakar racing machines of the era.
The larger tank comes from Honda's XL500, while the engine has been fully rebuilt. Leather seat and new exhaust system are both bespoke while wheel rims - 19 inch to the front and 18 inch to the rear - are by Excel, shod with Continental TKC80 to the front and Shinko Adventure Trail to the rear. New mudguards are aluminium. The new owner is unlikely to be taking on the Dakar any time soon, but as an on/off road tribute, this Dominator is pretty much unbeatable.
You read that right. It's not just a Dominator, but a Dominatorr. There's more than a touch of humour to this custom rebuild. Munich's Ott brothers, Motoism's founders, describe their take on the Dominator as "a custom bike designed for an art heist". The idea, they say, was to let the Honda "embrace the dark side". Just take one look at that monochrome colourway and say it isn't so. The Dominatorr is the perfect machine for a film noir, possibly involving the theft of the 'Mona Lisa'.
Much of the bike, beneath that arresting paintwork, is left standard, but the rear subframe is a completely new design, with a tailpiece mounted above in 3D-printed carbon. The new aluminium silencer is by GPR, aimed at both reducing weight and adding a throaty exhaust note. Modifications were needed to make it fit around the new subframe. As you'll note, it points distinctly upwards.
Upfront, the standard fairing is replaced by a streamlined headlamp surround, based on a Controlpit unit. Motoism aimed to meld a street scrambler feel with that of a cafe racer and we'd say they've succeeded beyond any reasonable expectations. This is one head-turner of a machine. Now, which way's the Louvre?
Get your fix of all things automotive at The Garage.
We'll keep you up to date.