BMW G650X "Octavia" Is All About Angles and Sheer Custom Madness

Octavia 8 photos
Photo: Des Ellis
Hyde Designs’ mastermind managed to create something truly unique out of an unlikely donor, which is one hell of a feat in itself.
When it comes down to modifying a two-wheeled BMW, the most likely candidate from the German manufacturer’s family will be the beloved R nineT – a genuine treasure for workshops that specialize in the art of motorcycle customization. However, some ambitious folks will buck that trend by taking a different approach.

Hyde Designs’ Jens Henkel goes about his daily business in Cape Town, South Africa. A little while back, the talented moto artist stunned the realm of custom two-wheelers with an otherworldly masterpiece. The donor for this venture was a 2008 BMW G650X Challenge model, which might be an unusual pick but one competent piece of Bavarian machinery, nonetheless.

In stock form, BMW Motorrad’s bike is brought to life by a liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine that boasts a healthy displacement of 652cc. At 7,000 rpm, the four-stroke powerplant is fully capable of summoning up to 53 horses, while a torque output of no less than 44 pound-feet (60 Nm) will be generated at about 5,250 revs. This force is handed over to a chain final drive by means of a five-speed transmission, resulting in a respectable top speed of 103 mph (165 kph).

Photo: Des Ellis
Up front, the G650X is supported by 45-mm (1.77-inch) inverted telescopic forks, coupled with a single shock absorber and a double-sided aluminum swingarm at the rear. Stopping power is taken care of by a 300-mm brake rotor and a two-piston caliper at the front, joined by a 240-mm disc and a single-piston caliper at the back.

This bad boy is a force to be reckoned with among enduro beasts. As such, it’s not hard to see why Henkel was so confident went choosing this creature as the starting point for his bespoke undertaking. For the fabrication of that angular bodywork, the very first step consisted of creating an array of digital sketches and cardboard mock-ups mimicking the envisioned bodywork components.

As soon as he was satisfied with the outcome, the craftsman proceeded to manufacture an outlandish gas tank using steel sheets. On the other end, Jens installed a gorgeous saddle that follows the lines of the hand-shaped fuel tank. Below the leather upholstery, you will find dense memory foam sitting atop a slim seat pan. Furthermore, the rear end is adorned by a fiberglass tail section that hosts the vast majority of the bike’s electrical items.

Photo: Des Ellis
To support that surreal tail unit, the standard subframe was discarded in favor of a custom counterpart. When the bodywork side of things was wrapped up, Hyde Designs’ mastermind treated the machine’s front end to a set of top-grade springs from a Yamaha R1, an aftermarket speedometer, and clip-on handlebars.

A Honda-sourced state-of-the-art Showa monoshock is tasked with handling rear suspension duties, while the whole structure crawls on a pair of three-spoke hoops that hail from a Suzuki Bandit. The finishing touch comes in the form of a sinister exhaust system fabricated by the experts over at Pretoria’s Stealth Pipe.

Last but not least, Henkel’s one-off entity has been nicknamed ‘Octavia’ to give it a personality of its own. The total cost of this magnificent exploit is estimated at 192,000 ZAR ($13,042 as per current exchange rates).
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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