Honda past and present represented at ‘Wheels & Waves’

Honda showed off  a range of customised machines at the unique Wheels and Waves festival of motorcycling, music, surfing and skateboarding in Biarritz recently.

Three of the motorcycles on display 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 inspired by the lines of a surfboard, making it the embodiment of Wheels and Waves culture.


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 the sorely missed 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 are three customisations based on Honda’s current line-up.

The first is the ultra-modern, urban ‘scrambler’ version of the learner legal CMX500 Rebel, fitted with big-block tyres, oversized brake discs and handmade ‘lobster’ welded bespoke exhaust. 

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.

Wheels & Waves is a motorcycle show based in Biarritz, France, that connects motorcycling, skateboarding and surf culture with its own distinct philosophy, music and style. Surfing competitions, flat track races, customized motorcycle displays and live music make this show the perfect experience for all riders and surfer-enthusiasts.

With over 15,000 visitors at the 2016 show, it continues to build its popularity year after year.