Three of the motorcycles that were on display from the Japanese bike builder have been created by passionate dealer partners, based on models from the ’70s and ’80s.
The first is a 1977 CB500 re-worked by Honda’s 3C dealer in Bayonne and Ben Rameix, the lead designer of a premium French surfboard manufacturer. The pair completely disassembled the machine to re-create it is a full retro-style café racer, with a modified frame, new exhaust, and a combination of chrome parts and blacked-out details, LED lights, Firestone tyres and solid front disk brake. The side fairing and tail section cover – hand-made by M. Rameix – were apparently inspired by the lines of a surfboard.
The ultra-practical CX500 twin cylinder machine has been fully transformed by Honda’s Kick Moto dealer into a unique Flat Track racer, with modified frame, tank and seat, with gold anodized 18” wheels, forks from the XLR600, aluminium handlebar, Öhlins rear suspension and LED lights. The red, white and blue ‘HRC’ colour scheme is adorned with the number 69 in tribute to Nicky Hayden.
The third customized machine is based on the incredible in-line 6 cylinder 1047cc CBX. Created by a combination of Honda’s Boulmich Moto dealer in Paris, and the Bad Seeds motorcycle club, the re-imagined CBX has turned from a sports tourer to a muscular ‘Road Bomber’ with strong dragster influences. Bodwork is minimal, with a total focus on weight reduction and ‘the need for speed’. The multitude of customized features include a new subframe to fit twin Öhlins rear shock, six-into-one exhaust, hand-built number board and headlight, and Bridgestone BattleAxe tyres.
Alongside the three re-created legends were three customisations based on Honda’s current line-up.
The first is the ultra-modern, urban ‘scrambler’ version of the 500cc A2 licence-friendly Rebel, fitted with big-block tyres, oversized brake discs and handmade ‘lobster’ welded bespoke exhaust. The new look – first seen at the Bike Shed in London in May – is embellished by references to BMX and skateboard culture (complete with skateboard holder located on the left-hand side) and moto-cross influences.
Two versions of the neo-retro classic CB1100 round out Honda’s presence at Wheels and Waves. The first is the CB1100TR concept created entirely in-house by Honda’s Rome-based R&D design team to convey the emotion and excitement of USA flat track culture. It was developed as the ‘King of Urban Flat Track Circuits’, as a counterpoint to the off-road oval circuit look of the traditional flat tracker, with a street-orientated design familiar to European customers.
The second is a fully blacked-out version of the current CB1100 EX made in collaboration with Milan-based customisers South Garage. Using the ripe-for-customisation platform of the CB1100, the result is an elegant, dark creation that mixes café racer and bobber styles. The matt-black tank, blacked-out engine, clutch covers and wheels create the mood; the low-slung clip-on bars, radial master cylinder and short tail section give it the café racer edge. Touches like miniature LED indicators, new headlight and matching diamond-patterned leather seat and tyre tread give an elegance in keeping with the appeal of the CB1100 EX. The new, distinctive style and look illustrates how readily the CB1100 platform lends itself to re-imagining and individualization.
The six machines on display represent a powerful, eclectic mix of influences and individuality that show case the work of enthusiasts united by the desire to place their own imprint on their Honda machines, and the imagination and know-how to make that possible.