Here at Garage de Félix, our philosophy is to produce the bikes we want, when we want, not necessarily in response to a specific request from a customer. But when 2005 World Champion and Supermoto star Boris Chambon raved over the Garage’s previous creations and said he’d like his own custom machine, we certainly didn’t play hard to get! And he clearly gave us carte blanche to create this “tailor-made” 650.
Once the choice of the base had been agreed, we managed to find a 1997 Honda Dominator in almost new condition, and took it apart piece by piece, keeping only the essential. The engine has been completely rebuilt, retaining its original configuration – just one modification to the filter and jets, to allow it to breathe better, and a “home-made” exhaust for both performance and a great sound.
The frame is modified at the rear subframe and is given a superb black epoxy paint finish. The suspension travel has been deliberately reduced.
The extra-compact size of this machine will be perfect for Boris, whose modest stature is only rivalled by the greatness of his talent as a rider and his kindness in real life. Anyone lucky enough to meet him in person is bound to fall under the charm of this man who has been affectionately nicknamed “Boris, King of the Drift”. Seeing him working on the track, both wheels sliding, balancing his machine alternately from one bend to the next, is a real treat for fans of the finer points of riding. Not surprising that he dominated the Supermoto as much he did in the 2000s, and it seems only appropriate that the base chosen for this creation should be a … Dominator!
For a totally vintage look, the tank is taken from a Yam 500 XT, hidden under decoration dreamt up by Seb Arputzo (head designer for ASD and a pal of Boris) and painted by the artists at OCD. The HONDA logo in relief adds to the authentic ’70’s character of the whole thing.
The leather seat is a one-off, the work of master seat-maker Vincent Bouffort. It’s long enough, and with the essential foot-rests, to allow Boris to get out and about with his wife or his son Jules, who very much intends to follow in his father’s footsteps as far as riding is concerned.
The simplicity of this composition is underlined by a pair of black Excel spoked wheels, superb hand-made aluminium mudguards, and Motogadget electrical elements.
The FIRESTONE Deluxe tyres are going to have to stand up to the regular two-wheel sliding, a real trademark of the Chambon family when riding on tarmac. Boris and his brother Stéphane have been making their style, as effective as it is spectacular, felt on all the circuits around the world since the early 2000s. Even though Boris swears he’s not counting on sliding into a corner anytime soon, but rather to quietly make the most of this machine, which is as soothing as it is seductive.
A nice, modest bike – just like its famous owner, in fact.