Every now and again I see a bike that combines the “come and ride me” factor with a clear demonstration of well executed engineering. Much of the time that balance swings heavily in one direction. Not in a negative sense but a personal preference, I appreciate cohesive and considered design. Honda’s NX65o Dominator and FX650 Vigor have been done to death over the last few years, so a slick and fresh approach like this one by Paris workshop Méca Services 92 got me all excited.
Méca’s owner Isidore Delgrosso sent these photos into us a while ago so it’s about time we shared them. Isidore bought this 1999 FX650 Vigor, one of the first ones as the SLR650 was replaced that year, and has been tinkering away for years but decided to give it a proper custom job to not only highlight the skills of the workshop but also as a personal project of passion.
The trend to bin the stubby tank was ignored and the shape embraced, complimented by carbon fibre side panels and tail unit, made in-house. Despite the futuristic looks of the swooping carbon structure, the stock seat still fits, highlighting that it too is a well proportioned component in the first place.
The fork is Yamaha R1, 1998 vintage, with a brand new top clamp CNC machined by USV Racing, which also houses the Motogadget Motoscope Mini speedo. Headlight brackets are trick aftermarket versions but the lamp itself is genuine Honda from the local dealer, with an LED bulb fitted for a crisper night-time look.
Compatriots Beringer provided the braking, their solid rotors seem to look so purposeful and the setups I’ve tried have felt great. Here, the R1’s Tokico calipers made way for the delicious Beringer Aerotecs. The front wheel is from a later 2004 Yamaha R1 to better match the 5 spoke rear. Pre-2003 were three spoked and not as pretty, especially with Bridgestone slicks fitted.
And the single sided swinger? Yup, no mistaking those wheels…Honda’s steadfast sports tourer, the VFR800. This wasn’t a lucky guess, Isidore chose the VFR rear end for its good looks and set about making it fit. I bet an awful lot of trial and error was involved but the result is worth it.
The wiring harness is of course new, slimmed down to make the most of the power efficient Motogadget system. The ignition now lives on the left side of the frame’s downtube leaving just a single M-switch on the left clipon.
And the choice to use a single cylinder thumper rather than revvy four-banger? Isidore wanted a light, narrow and nimble machine with plenty of torque. The stock 650cc RFVC (Radial Four Valve Combustion) motor delivers in stock trim but that wouldn’t be worth comment. An HRC NM4 racing camshaft adds more midrange kick without tailing off at high revs and the lighter, forger Tecnium piston helps the whole thing spin-up from idle. A Mikuni TM40 delivers better fuelling and response than the stock Keihin CV. The headers are handmade in-house and bark through a pair of Danmoto silencers. Not too silenced I hope.
I’m all for extravagant builds that demonstrate huge creativity but putting something together that looks like it just rolled off a manufacturer’s imaginary production line can be just as challenging. If Honda had launched something similar to this 20 years ago I’d wager they’d have sold out.