Honda CB1000R Customs & 50 years of in-line fours
Honda celebrated 50-years of history of their in-line four-cylinder motorcycles at the 2019 Wheels & Waves, showcasing stunning custom Honda creations built around the new CB1000R nakedbike.
These custom bikes were all Honda projcets with partnered custom shops across Europe, as well as their dealer network, with vastly different takes on the new neo-retro offering that headlines this particular Honda line.
The Wheels & Waves festival itself brings together motorcycling, surfing, skateboarding and music into an inclusive event, which has been growing each year and is held at Biarritz on the coast of France, with seperate versions now also held in Japan and the United States. There’s even a little racing which includes the Punk’s Peak event.
Honda also chose this year’s event to showcase 50 years of Honda in-line fours. Here is a quick run-down on the history of Honda’s in-line four-cylinder nakedbikes, starting with their 1969 CB750.
Honda History – In-line four-cylinders
Honda claim a lot of firsts with their 1969 CB750, from the first ‘Superbike’ as we know them, to the first mass produced four production bike, keeping in mind this excludes the various race specific machines other manufacturers made that were not available to the public, or not mass produced.
The CB750 also included electric start and disc brakes, which was another first for a mass production bike. Developed for the American market, and with a price of $1495 the CB750 captured imaginations and set the tone for the next 50 years of Honda motorcycles.
1971 saw Honda introduce their first 500cc in-line four, following in the footsteps of the CB750, as the CB500 Four – which was followed the next year by the CB350F, which rumour has it was Mr. Honda’s personal favourite bike.
Development continued with a six-speed gearbox joining the CB400F in 1975, with the same eye-catching headers you’ll see on a modern Honda proudly displayed. 1976 saw the Hondamatic CB750A.
1979 would introduce a DOHC four-valve powerplant on the CB900F, and two years later the famous CB1100R would appear and go on to be raced by Wayne Gardner and Ron Haslam.
Fast forward to 1992 and you reach the CB1000R which featured water-cooling, 72kW and 18in wheels. The same year saw a classic recreation of the CB750, with the 1992 CB750.
1996 saw the first Honda Hornet, based around the CBR250 powerplant and only released in Japan, while 1998 added the CB1300 Super Four to the line-up, alongside the CB600F, a bike which was produced for over 15 years.
Reaching the 2000s, the CB900F would offer a 918 Fireblade powerplant in a nakedbike version, including fuel injection, while 2005 saw the CB1300S with fuel injection and ABS, aka the Super Bol D’Or.
Fast forward to 2018 and Honda launched the new ‘Neo Sports Cafe’ range, led by the CB1000R and joined by the CB300R and CB125R, with 2019 adding the mid-capacity CB650R to the family.
Honda CB1000R Customs at Wheels & Waves
With twelve separately created custom Honda CB1000R motorcycles on display at the 2019 running of Wheels & Waves there was some very different design inspirations taken in building these machines, with a Freddie Spencer-inspired version from Hakuba Motos, a CRF1000L Africa Twin CB and even a ‘Monkey 1000R’ to name just a few. Here’s a look at each:
CB1000R-adical by Gannet Design & Fuhrer Moto
With a futuristic streetfighter themed camo paintjob and eye catching detail, this CB1000R includes some very trick custom components with Gannet Design & Fuhrer Moto going all out for the build.
This includes Ultralight CeraCarbon racing front forks and custom sprockets, bespoke Rotobox carbon-fibre wheels, Synto Evo brake and clutch levers, fibreglass belly pan to match, titanium and carbon fibre Akrapovic end-can, and K&N air filter. The bodywork is handpainted by Walter Oberli, with the build coming out of Switzerland.
Africa Four CRF1000R by Brivemo Motors
Going in a very different direction is the Africa Twin inspired Africa Four from Brivemo Motors in Switzerland. Going for the full off-road/adventure angle, and with angular lines and futuristic features like the headlight, this is one bike that stands out in crowd.
Features include a CRF450R front end with single large front disc and anodised caliper, alongside a bespoke four-into-one exhaust with carbon-fibre can. A custom rear seat cowl joins the standard seat, with a new headlight and mudguard on the front, to suit the overall styling. Aluminium handlebars are also fitted along with engine ‘bars and serrated footpegs for grip, with mini-led indicators. Naturally the paint recalls the Africa Twin, alongside the wheel colour.
Monkey 1000R by Werther Honda (France)
Unlike the previous custom which went big, this Honda Monkey inspired CB1000R gets inspiration from something small with generous use of Glittering Blue on the frame, covers and fork legs, an undertray tail tidy, double-exit Arrow high exhaust and enduro tyres.
Additional details include the mini-LED indicators and Monkey mirrors and ‘bars, with the stock wheels drawing plenty of attention in silver.
Black Edition by 3C Motos
With the inspiration of going ‘Full Black’, this creation by 3C Motos actually includes a three-shades of black paint scheme, giving the bike more depth and texture, with the forks, swingarm and frame all blacked out as well. The stock wheels are retained but repainted in gloss black.
Adding some volume to this stealth creation is an Akrapovic exhaust and there’s a special ‘Black Edition’ engraved plate on the bike to make it particularly special.
Neo Sports Café Endurance Team Replica by National Motos
Built in France by National Motos, this CB1000R proves that you don’t need to go to extremes for an amazing end result. Adding eye catching spoked wheels, including a single-sided rear, the 2006 24 Hours Le Mans winning paint scheme has been added, along with slicks, an Arrow exhaust and classic Honda logos.
Café Chic by Horizon Racing Vergy 95
Another creation making good use of spoked wheels from Kineo with mass-cut hubs on the single-sided swingarm, is joined by a Fechter Drive Hurric Pro 2 silencer with the original headers and collector getting a lashing of thermal paint.
Bodywork is all finished in fully brushed aluminium with candy red detailing and a ‘fawn-coloured’ leather saddle, while the customised rear seat cowl includes a seat pad in the same material.
Dirt Endurance by VC Moto dealer
Built by VC Moto in Spain this dirt endurance styled CB1000R bears the same name and features 48 in Japanese on the rear cowl to honour the foundation of the Honda Motor Company in 1948. Creating this drastic custom look is bespoke fairings with vintage inspiration, alongside the bespoke rear cowl.
Racing handlebars are engraved with the Soichiro Honda quote ‘Improves the breed’, with ‘bar end mirrors for good measure, not to mention a split-level muffler setup. Pod filters are fitted with 3D printed mounts, while chunky tyres add to the overall image.
Monkey Kong by Mallorca Motos
Built by Mallorca Motos in Spain, this Monkey inspired CB1000R carries the same paint scheme and borrows Monkey items, including the mirrors, indicators and front mudguard. Further replicating the Monkey look is the engine cover featuring a Monkey style chrome-plate ring, with the headlight similarly dressed up.
A custom seat offers the quilted style, but retains the CB1000R sportier look, with high-mount handlebars in chrome joining a chromed rear mudguard. The forks are also gold, with a yellow shock spring added to further match the Monkey. An Africa Twin exhaust has also been slapped on to replicate the tall and large Monkey exhaust.
Alfredo by Hakuba Motos
With Freddie Spencer the inspiration for this eye catching CB1000R, the bodywork has been hand painted in red, white and blue with a Freddie Spencer logo added to the tank. The Hakuba logo is laser-engraved onto the clutch, while forks are black enamelled.
Front and side number boards also offer a racier theme, with a bespoke exhaust setup completed with an SC-Project racing muffler. The ‘pegs and controls have likewise been relocated to carry the racer feel.
Honda Limited Edition by Honda Motor Europe
This version of the bike is actually a Honda genuine Special Edition with 350 to be available in France, Spain, Germany and Italy and features the Honda tricolour racing paint scheme. Creating the limited edition package is the split-level SC-Project muffler, while carbon-fibre parts by the same brand are also features.
Tribute by Honda Italia
This CB1000R pays tribute to 50 years of the CB750 with the original 1969 CB750 K0 paint replicated, alongside tubeless Jonish spoked wheels and split-level conical SC-Project mufflers. There’s also a new 3D printed Honda logo, with Rizoma indicators, mirrors and handlebar weights. The seat is Alcantara velvet for eye catching texture, with a Lightech plate holder.
Dani Pedrosa replica by Moto Macchion
The final custom of the 12 is this #26 Dani Pedrosa RC213V inspired creation from Moto Macchion, with a full titanium SC-Project GP four-into-two exhaust, which exits under the tail and beside the rear wheel. There’s also full Ohlins suspension further promoting that racer edge.
A homologated swingarm mounted plate holder is also featured, alongside Rizoma goodies in the fork of the aluminium handlebars, front brake guard and mirrors. The seat is by Race Seats and the overall paint scheme is from Dani Pedrosa’s RC213V.
For a closer look at all these custom machines, have a look below at the gallery. And tell us below which one is your favourite. Me? Well the Africa Four does stir the devil in me somewhat, it just needs some bashplates to protect those headers and somewhere to strap some luggage for overnighters!