Hyde Designs is an industrial design shop in South Africa that primarily focuses on furniture design. However its owner Jens Henkel; has always been passionate about motorcycles.
He started out with a collaboration with his father; Markus who owns Hout Bay Customs; to build a motorcycle called Jekyll based on a 1996 BMW R1100R.
After completing Jekyll, Jens went on solo with a new more radical and custom design; a bike called Octavia.
The idea for the hard angles and flat surface came from the lack of metal bending machinery at his workshop and the lack of interest to outsource a custom tank.
The doner bike was a locally sourced BMW G650 X-Challenge with a Rotax 650 engine in great condition and very few mechanical issues to deal with. This meant they could focus more on the aesthetics. The tank is where it all started; being mocked-up in cardboard versions before finally creating in steel. Once the tank was installed, the rest of the motorcycle would follow its lines.
The tailpiece is crafted out of fiberglass, which houses the relays, fuses, and the diagnostics plug. The seat is made from dense memory foam and beautifully covered by Deon Korkie, a.k.a. “The Leather Man” with a grey suede and black leather finish. The sub frame was welded together out of 2mm square bars hiding a large part of the wiring loom between the seat pan and sub frame.
The front forks are the original BMW upside down forks, but the internals have been replaced with Yamaha R1 internals to lower the forks and make them stiffer than the original off-road setup of the X-Challenge. The handlebars are Yamaha clip-ons and in between them is a machined aluminum dash setup housing the idiot lights and the speedhut electric speedometer.
Controlling the noise of the single cylinder thumped engine is beautifully crafted exhaust by Stealth Pipes, muffled with an angled muffler box and ending with a polished stainless steel trumpet.
Hyde Designs is based in South Africa and you can check out their work on www.hydedesigns.co.za
Photography: Devin Paisley