The 1960s is when popular music and the automobile really hit full stride, and Rock ‘n Roll and the Muscle car were truly firing on all cylinders. But in the world of two-wheels, it wasn’t until the following decade that buyers became spoilt for choice and the motorcycles were a sensation. So, it makes a lot of sense that so many of today’s retro remakes are based on machines and styles popularised in the ’70s. At the recent Bangkok International Motor Show, Honda unveiled their latest offering in the segment, for those who love nostalgia, a stunning Dax 1978 Special Edition. Then to build a custom from their mini bike, they didn’t have to look far for the very best, drafting in Eak and his team at K-Speed to craft this killer, which is available to the public in kit form.

To understand just how big small Hondas are in Thailand, you need to know that the big H has an entire division called Cub House to sell and promote all of their cool factory offerings. The Dax, Grom, Super Cub, CT125 and more are not only incredibly popular in the country and across South East Asia as a form of cheap transport, but they also play a major role in the booming custom bike industry. And in that regard, there is no bigger name than Tanadit Sarawek aka Eak and his powerhouse K-Speed brand. They build hundreds of amazing custom bikes every year and they also produce a catalogue of parts for all of the popular makes and models.

It’s easy to understand why then, that Honda was so keen to have Eak work his magic on their new Dax. And he’s hand-selected a host of parts from his company’s online page to piece together this very bike, allowing customers to be inspired and also make an informed choice when it comes time to modify their own new SE Dax. As standard, the 1978 Special Edition comes with special colour block graphics, a unique side cover, a chrome rear rack, and a chrome fender and front reflector set, and the ride-away price is just US$2,686.

It’s a hell of a lot of mini-bike for the money, but grab your credit card and head to the K-Speed store and things only get better with every part you add to your cart. You’ll need to select 17 different items from the web store if you want to build a bike that matches the one before you. The biggest spend is US$625, which gets you a full suspension lowering kit, that includes replacement front forks, rear shocks and a side stand to suit the new ride height. Then, to finish out the suspension package, you stay with the in-house Diabolus range and get a fully fabricated swingarm in black for just US$188.

Time to get the bike rolling and to give those tiny rims a tough vibe, the next purchase is the Diabolus iron wheel cover set, not actually iron, but they sure do give a mean appearance and add another US$117 to the bill. Now, the only part of the build that doesn’t come from the K-Speed shop are the tyres, but wanting to give you an exacting price, I went shopping for you and got you a set of the IRC rubber for just US$75. Then to turn those tyres you’re going to need a set of handmade bars, which give the bike a bit of a brat vibe and come in at US$106.

Wanting the bike to have some serious stopping power, the K-Speed team have a full braking package for the Dax, which consists of a set of drilled rotors front and rear and improved levers to ensure the feel is spot on. Again, the price is insanely low, so much so I’ve logged onto the Thai Airways website because the whole brake package is just US$113. To raise the horsepower and drastically improve the look, Eak has designed a host of exhaust systems for the Dax too. For this build, he’s selected his most expensive option, the Diabolus Vintage which will add another US$368.

The looks of the little Honda are a sensation, that ’70s paintwork really pops against the gloss black main colour. Sadly this is all let down on the factory offering by an ugly set of chrome fenders, and Eak was having none of it! Not only do you get a full custom front fender, but the rear is a brilliant bolt-on piece with an integrated number plate holder. These are powder coated in black to cop plenty of abuse and assist with the murdered out look, and the full set is US$204. The plastic chain guard looks cheap, so this too is tossed aside for a drilled metal item and it’s matched up to an embossed engine cover to keep the look cohesive, together they’re US70.

Now to spend some serious coin, because one thing K-Speed has always done brilliantly is its leather seats. Again for this build, Eak has gone for his most premium option with the square stitch, seat pan included, you’re looking at $US150. Doing away with more chrome and adding more aggression, the headlight cover and customised side cover are must-have items, and you get both for US$87.

The factory mirrors are a massive chrome set of ears, so you’ll want the black CNC items priced at US$50, and to finish out the build the new grips and horn cover are US$16 each. That gives you a total spend of US$2,185 on modifications, meaning the on-road cost, for the brand new bike in full K-Speed ’70s cool is a bargain basement US$4,871. Bangkok, you beautiful thing.

[ K-Speed ]