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35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at buying a Dominator and wondered if anyone could answer two questions for me. This would help me find the bike I want. Some have Gold wheels - are they specific models or years ? Q2. How do you tell if bike was made in Japan or Italy ?
Thanks in advance - lamoxvr ( XR 400 & TLR 250 )

35 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks both - that gives me an idea of what I am looking at.
Are rusty spokes a common problem ?

Romanian Trailbiker
616 Posts
CHARACTERISTICS OF EACH "GENERATION" (specifications similar to previous years, unless specifically mentioned as a change):

1. 1st generation / version 1 (also made for US) - 1988

  • RD02 designation
  • type 1 fairing + seat
  • turn signals external from fairings
  • golden rims
  • square-base end cans with golden caps
  • long carb 'neck' (intake manifold)
  • 13L fuel tank
  • Nissin front (disk) brakes
  • drum rear brakes
  • front sprocket countershaft with 7 teeth
  • kick-starter
  • 'short' pro-link rear shock
  • rectifier mounter on the back of the airbox
  • fuse box with 3 fuses + 1 or 2 diodes (unsure where they switched over - perhaps the one with a single diode doesn't have a sidestand cutoff switch?)
2. 1st generation / version 2 (european) - 1988 -> 1989

  • disk rear brakes (Nissin)
3. 1st generation / version 3 - 1990 - 1991

  • removed kickstarter (can still be added with some work)
  • front sprocket countershaft with 14 teeth
4. 2nd generation / version 1 - 1992 -> 1994

  • type 2 fairing + seat
  • removed possibility of adding kickstarter (modified engine block)
  • turn signals integrated into front fairings
  • turn relay now has 3 terminals (extra terminal connected to ground)
  • 16L fuel tank w/3 mount points for each front fairing
  • fuse box with 4 fuses and no diodes
5. 2nd generation / version 2 - 1995

  • RD08 designation (VIN starting with ZDCRD08...)
  • front right footpeg mounting changed
  • round end-cans with silver caps
  • short intake manifold
  • "long" pro-link rear shock (actually frame mount 1 inch higher)
  • redesigned airbox (same air filter though)
  • repositioned rectifier from rear of airbox to under the luggage rack (also longer wires on rectifier)
6. 3rd generation / version 1 - 1996 - 1997(some)

  • type 3 fairing (seat compatible with type 2)
  • silver rims
  • turn signals external from fairings
  • 16L fuel tank w/2 mount points for each front fairing and slightly offset bottom mounts
7. 3rd generation / version 2 - 1997 -> 2003

  • Brembo brakes


  • ALL YEARS: seat height - the claimed seat height varies wildly between 82cm and 89cm; I don't have exact info
  • ALL YEARS: Honda tuned the carb settings a LOT, based on year and country of export; main jets vary from 140 to 160 (all valid stock sizes). Idle jet is 50-55 all the time, I believe. Air screw settings are a mess.
  • LATE YEARS: Honda apparently messed with the camshaft or valvetrain; the is a POSSIBILITY that newer than 1997 bikes need 0.10mm of exhaust valve lash instead of the 'standard' 0.12mm; this is UNCONFIRMED
  • LATE YEARS: somewhere along the way, the crank sensor was changed from single-pickup single-sensor to a multi-pickup single sensor setup; result is that new and old ignitions don't quite match; bike might run but will show wrong RPM; use at your own risk or ask beforehand
  • EARLY YEARS: it's unclear to me what Honda did to the rear shock mount on early models; I've seen three frames (91, 90, 96) that have different rear shock mount height, measured directly against the lower lip of the headstock

Things NOT related solely to production year:

  • parking lock (locked handlebar with position lights on) -- this is specific to Austria, I believe
  • smog pump (externally mounted on the left side of the cylinder) -- no idea on specifics here - US California has it, but also some EU bikes
  • luggage racks
  • speedometer markings (km/h, mph) -- related to US/UK models, likely
  • front headlight protector -- must've been an optional for 1st generation models, either OEM or aftermaket
  • sidestand switch, either as a simple warning light or as an engine cutoff (1st generation only, but unsure of years/coutnry - later models include the full package: warning light + engine cutoff)

Credits to - I learnt a lot from the guys and posts there.
Also cheers to for the great info on US and generally old-spec NXs!

756 Posts
What jets would be in 02 uk spec bike also where is pickup or tacho coil ? :thumbright:

40 Posts
hi wanted to ask how did exhaust changed during years.. did it change just visually or i inside too? i mean RD02 and RD08 difference. thanx :)
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