For 2023, it’s the turn of the minibikes. Honda have invited seven young artists to collaborate with established bike builders to both inspire a younger generation of riders and spark interest in the joys of two wheelers among new audiences.
If any manufacturer has bikes to do that, it’s Honda – with the 125cc Dax, Monkey and MSX125 Grom. Each are icons in their own right, meaning different things to different riders. The retro Dax and funky Monkey both inspire thoughts of the 1970s; the Grom is a rolling, contemporary style statement even before it gets any special treatment.
Bike 1 (UK)
Aptly named, as the Grom by Matt B and renowned builder Guy Willison (@guywillison) is not only stretched and slammed like a Pro-Street drag bike, it’s also sporting a turbocharger. With nitrous oxide injection for good measure. Why not?
The Artist: Matt B Customs (UK) @mattbcustoms
Team responsible for HOLD ON!:
Guy Willison: (Skid!) Overall design and build, including fairing and general fabrication
Matt B: Paintwork design and seat paint
Jordan Bowen: Turbo/ Nitrous injection, exhaust, swinging arm and general fabrication
Pro Kustom (Arnie): Paintwork
Core Motorcycle: Leather seat
Bike 2 (Spain)
Driving Me Mad
How do you make the adorable even more cute? Simple. Take one Dax and – where you can – add bold splashes of primary colour. Influenced by her young self, Coco and builder UFO Garage (@ufo.garage) have created a two-wheeled visual pop of joy, with chunky block tyres thrown in for good measure.
The Artist: Coco Dávez (Spain) @cocodavez
Bike 3 (Austria)
Monkey X Business
Austrian artist Boicut and collaborator Titan Motorcycles (@titanmotorcycles) have certainly pushed the boundaries with their creation. It’s an eyeball-popping take on a ‘70s chopper with radically raked front end, mini-ape ‘bars, chromed grabrail and upswept exhaust with fishtail-style end cap.
The Artist: BOICUT (Austria) @boicut
Bike 4 (Portugal)
An awful lot of work between Tamara Alves and her builder, Art On Wheels Garage (@artonwheelsgarage) has turned a stock Dax into a toasted post-apocalyptic roadrunner. Details abound: Block tyres, a wolf motif, graffiti signatures, bespoke exhaust with wire mesh cage, and glimpses of tartan peeping out of the scorched seat cover.
The Artist: Tamara Alves (Portugal) @tamara_aalves
Bike 5 (France)
An absolute riot of colour assembled between French artist Grems and builder George Woodman (@georgewoodman64). Pop-art visuals are pumped with vibrant colour in abstract – and subtly meshed – patterns on every square centimetre of Monkey available.
The Artist: GREMS (France) @insta_grems
Bike 6 (Italy)
Franceso Marchesani’s Grom has been produced together with Alex Polita (@alexpolita53) an ex-IDM championship Fireblade-riding front runner. Let’s Grom spreads its graffiti wings artfully on the fuel tank, drawing an observer into the world of possibilities that two wheels present. As for the bike itself – and as an ex-racer would want – it’s even more compact than it started out. Tiny LED indicators, lever-protecting knuckle guards, no mirrors. If you don’t need it, lose it!
The Artist: Franceso Marchesani (Italy) @francesco_onem
Bike 7 (Germany)
A subtle café racer drawn from a Monkey base by @lanaarts23, and built by Maximilian Zech – a Honda technician based at the flagship Honda Centre dealer in Frankfurt – with a real flair for creativity (@hondamotorrad_de). The Yoshimura end-can and aftermarket remote reservoir rear shocks boost performance and handling, while Lena has crafted the fuel tank and fender white with spider lily motifs (Manjushage in Japanese). Note the tiny monkey on the downpipe heat shield…
The Artist: @lanaarts23
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