This One-Off BMW G650X Is a Fusion of Supermoto and Cafe Racer Styling

One-Off BMW G650X 8 photos
Photo: Des Ellis
One-Off BMW G650XOne-Off BMW G650XOne-Off BMW G650XOne-Off BMW G650XOne-Off BMW G650XOne-Off BMW G650XOne-Off BMW G650X
The boxer-twin models from BMW Motorrad have long been appreciated in the custom motorcycle world, but other platforms have also grown quite popular over time. Builders slowly warmed up to the idea of customizing the German marque’s less desirable K variants, and such projects are very common in our day and age. By contrast, a customized G650X still comes across as something of a novelty.
Operating as Hyde Designs down in Cape Town, South Africa, Jens Henkel isn’t the sort of person to abide by conventional trends religiously. He’s therefore taken a BMW G650X Challenge from 2008 and turned it into an angular supermoto dubbed Octavia. Arguably more exciting than its four-wheeled namesake from Skoda, this bespoke stunner is one hell of a way to buck all the Motorrad customization trends.

For the fabrication of that angular bodywork, the first step involved creating an array of digital sketches and cardboard mock-ups. These gave Jens a clear idea of the proportions and dimensions before shaping the final bits and pieces, but getting everything just right was a lot easier said than done. Inspired by supermoto and cafe racer styling alike, our protagonist persevered until he was fully satisfied with what he was seeing.

Then, he kicked off the fabrication work and proceeded to craft a wild-looking gas tank out of steel sheets. On the other end, Jens installed a gorgeous custom saddle, which continues the lines of the aforementioned tank beautifully. Beneath the black leather upholstery, you will find dense memory foam placed atop a slender seat pan. Further back, the motorcycle’s rear end is home to a fiberglass tail section that hosts the vast majority of its relocated electronics.

To support all this fresh equipment at six o’clock, the factory subframe was discarded in favor of a custom alternative built in-house. In true supermoto fashion, this G650X Challenge is devoid of any mudguards. When the bodywork side of things was wrapped up, the mastermind at Hyde Designs blessed the machine’s front suspension with some higher-spec fork internals sourced from a Yamaha R1.

An aftermarket speedometer, clip-on handlebars, and foldable mirrors can be seen up in the cockpit area, all fronted by a round headlamp. Over at the other end, a Honda-sourced adjustable Showa monoshock is tasked with handling suspension duties. Octavia rides on a pair of repurposed three-spoke hoops transplanted from a Suzuki Bandit, with Bridgestone Battlax tires hugging their rims.

On the powertrain side of things, Hyde Designs added premium air filtration paraphernalia of aftermarket origin. Some notable changes took place on the other end of the combustion cycle, as well, in the form of a handmade exhaust system built by the experts over at Pretoria’s Stealth Pipe. An understated, grey and black color scheme finishes things off, along with tiny pinches of BMW’s motorsport colors on the fuel tank.
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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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