• Honda is planning to bring back the ’Dominator’ nameplate

  • 1988 Honda Dominator
  • Patent image of the future Dominator
  • Rendering of the Honda Dominator By Oberdan Bezzi

Patent drawing has been unearthed showcasing the development of a new small-ADV

Honda is coming back a full circle. It all started with the grand comeback of the CRF 1000L Africa Twin to the ADV world. It is one of the perfectly balanced machines from the Honda stable, a trait that is synonymous with a majority of the brand’s line-up. A lot of time had gone to engineer it and making it work better on multiple riding conditions and so it does effortlessly without any compromise.

It does, however, has a major drawback. Being big, heavy and powerful, it’s perfect for pro-riders, but for folks entering the segment will steer away from it for the same reasons. Thanks to the snoopy guys at Morebikes, a new patent image showcases Honda’s plan to set that right.

With what looks like a smaller version of the Africa Twin, we have reasons to believe that the Japanese Red Winger is setting up the stage to bring back the ‘Dominator’ nameplate to an entry-level/midweight segment of adventure motorcycle.

Honda is planning to bring back the 'Dominator' nameplate
- image 755705
Patent image of the future Dominator

Of course, you can argue that there are other models under the Red Wing’s umbrella to quench your adventure thirst. From the CRF250L, CB500X, NC750X, and even the NC800X to some extent can take you on the off-beaten tracks, but then again, they are nothing like the Africa Twin alternative for the millennials.

But then, these machines don’t cater to the pure-adventure market, and they indeed want to fill that gap with a smaller machine that will still be capable to traverse grueling tracks that any other wouldn’t. Just like the Africa Twin.

Honda is planning to bring back the 'Dominator' nameplate Exterior Drawings
- image 755706
1988 Honda Dominator

Enter the Dominator. Originally, the Domi ran a 643cc, single-cylinder four-stroke that made a modest 44bhp. It was an easy handler and sold pretty well for the same reason. But it became a bit long for the tooth when it came to pure adrenaline filled off-roading. The low front mud-guard, footpeg, and softer suspension made it more suitable for the asphalt instead.

Now, Honda is busy burning the midnight oil to bring back this famed machine onto the real ADV world. The obvious engine choice for Honda will be a 750cc powerplant that is running on the current NC750X (and X-ADV). It will come right in the middle of the line of fire from new production models hitting the roads soon, like the Yamaha Ténéré 700 and KTM 790 Adventure.

Honda is planning to bring back the 'Dominator' nameplate Exterior Drawings
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Rendering of the Honda Dominator
By Oberdan Bezzi

There are already the Triumph Tiger 800 and the BMW F 800 GS running the show currently for their practical accessibility and outstanding cross-country ability.

With such competitions spicing the game, Honda might also decide to go for a 650cc motor for the Dominator. There is also no adventure or touring model from Honda in this segment currently. As a matter of fact, Honda’s very first XRV650 Africa Twin ran in the mid-weight category using a 650cc mill.

Honda might just look to bring back the same magic with this Dominator, and allow more riders to taste the adventure life. Expect to see their concepts in the next couple of Tokyo Motorcycle Shows where it is considered prime time for revealing new models.

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