Patents for Honda NX 500 Show Potential Dual-Sport in the Works

Is Honda Bringing Back a Refreshed NX Dominator?

A view of the original Honda NX650 Dominator, which was conceived between 1988 and 2003

Today’s motorcycle community is brimming with new riders, all of whom are slowly learning more about their personal vibe, moto style, and bike preference, thanks to the lockdown of the pandemic and the countrywide skyrocketing of gas prices. 

A view of the all-New LiveWire Del Mar
The all-new electric, flat track-inspired LiveWire Del Mar, courtesy of Harley’s website

Because of this new influx, bike manufacturers are taking the opportunity to appeal to a bigger crowd by creating motorcycles that can do more – you know, units like Harley’s adventure-oriented (yet surprisingly comfy) Pan America, Aprilia’s electronically-stacked Tuareg 660…even the all-new electric, flat track-inspired LiveWire Del Mar features a dual-purpose vibe, with Harley’s LiveWire website coining the new bike as “informed by the lineage of winning, rethought for the urban riding experience and beyond.”

A front press release image of the all-new electric Healey-Davidson LiveWire Del Mar
The all-new electric, flat track-inspired LiveWire Del Mar, courtesy of Harley’s website

What we’re trying to say is that bikes with multiple talents make their brands more money – which is why we were tickled pink to see that Honda’s filed a patent for what we think could actually be a lower-cc sibling to the original big single: The Honda NX650 Dominator

A view of the original Honda NX650 Dominator, which was conceived between 1988 and 2003
The NX 650 and the ‘Dominator’ European variant, courtesy of Visordown

“One could look at the NX650 as Honda’s first go at building an ‘adventure’ motorcycle, a concept initiated by the BMW R80G/S back in 1980,” comments Rider Magazine – and they’d be rightThe build became popular for high scores in both the reliability and versatility sectors, with custom community prizing NX650 donor bikes even today

A custom NX650 Dominator from Earth Motorcycles
A custom NX650 Dominator from a custom Slovekian bike shop, courtesy of BikeExif

With the NX650 discontinued as of the new millenia (purportedly due to poor sales in the Americas, though the European ‘Dominator’ lasted a tad longer), the dual-sport thumper was officially out of the game – at least, until Honda found a ready community waiting to spill some green on a refreshed model, that is. 

The 'Street Cat #1: A custom NX650 Dominator mod
The ‘Street Cat #1: A mod for Honda’s NX650

The report from VisorDown says that Honda “intends to make a 500 for 2023, with the established 471cc motor which is already used in the CB500X, and is anticipated to be used in the CL 500.”

We haven’t got much else to go off of, apart from the fact that this particular bike will be needing a bit of finessing to ensure that it hits the right market; the build won’t want to get too close to its sibling CB500X, nor should it be trying to emulate the brand’s iconic 1084cc Africa Twin.

A view of the original Honda NX650 Dominator, which was conceived between 1988 and 2003
The NX 650 ‘Dominator’ European variant, courtesy of Visordown

What’s between the two? I suppose we will find out soon enough.  Drop a comment letting us know what you think (and subscribe to our newsletter if you want the new stuff sent to your inbox), and as ever – stay safe on the twisties. 

*Media sourced from BikeExif, VisorDown, BAC and Harley’s website*