Who knew that a BMW F650 could be stripped-back and rebuilt into something quite so retro? We were certainly caught off guard when this bike came in. Another Dommie, we presumed – from the thumbnail images anyway – then we clicked. So, our ‘year of the Tracker’ continues with a new donor platform, put together by Red Hot Chili Customs in Poland.
Red Hot Chili Customs are based in Szczecin, on the Polish-German border, just 140km from Berlin. “We’re building and trading oldschool bikes. It’s our love and work in one. It’s really cool that we can do what we love.” Amen to that.
It’s not too surprising that we thought the bike was a Dominator (at small scale) as the build was inspired by the Kiddo Motors Dommi – a bike that had plenty of coverage and well-earned acclaim. Like the Honda, BMW’s bike is a 650cc single in a double cradle spine frame with monoshock at the rear. The main difference is watercooling, which usually means more rpm and more punch. The models were also around at similar times – this donor is from 1994; an F650ST.
The customer for the build was Maciej Zatonski who rode the bike all through Asia and we’re told he was lucky to get it home in one piece. He wanted to rebuild the bike after 76,000 hard kilometers, but nicer, and “a little more handy“.
“We start work as always, reassembling all the unnecessary stuff and leaving only the rolling chassis. The next step was to find the right fuel tank which should work with a scrambler-look and fit onto the angular frame.” The Honda FT500 had the perfect shaped tank, which just needed a new petcock and new mounting points welded to the frame.
The front light is the Trial Tech Eclipse and the silencer is Leo Vince made for an XR650 while the front header pipes are stock which were polished to reveal the bare metal. The rest is all custom build by the RHCC crew. As with all proper pro builds the bike was assembled and test-ridden before being stripped, sand-blasted, then powder-coated or painted.
We always ask if the builders are happy with their handiwork. “Oh yes! The bike is lightweight, powerful, mothafucka!! We’ve love it, and Maciej also!” I think that’s pretty unequivocal. We like it too. We’d like to see more F650s get this treatment, and it’s good to see a knew donor appearing in the scrambler/tracker stable.Now we’ve a lot of work with other classics, so stay tuned! To the next build!