In June, 2021, COVID-19 forced France’s Waves and Wheels organizers to cancel the event for the second year in a row. As always, countless custom builders and manufacturers marked their calendars for the Biarritz bike show. Honda Europe originally planned to unveil 10 custom CB650R builds at the show, but the last-minute cancellation forced the brand to think outside the box.
By July, 2021, Team Read unveiled the Waves and Wheels builds from French, Spanish, and Portuguese Honda dealers. Without a festival audience to vote on the contestants, the company opened the judging to the general public. After collecting over 7,000 votes, one build emerged as the victor with 29-percent of the vote. Fittingly, Mototrofa Honda’s CB650R Fenix rose to the top of the ranks.
Gallery: Fenix: 2021 Honda CB650R
Based in Portugal, Mototrofa turned tragedy into triumph with its take of Honda’s neo-café racer. The Fenix recognizes the dealership's recovery from a devastating shop fire. The ash gray and red livery reference the event while the number 93 emblazoned across the fuel tank honors MotoGP champ Marc Marquez and the year the shop was established. Though the futuristic rendition favors modern form, the Fenix also borrows from Honda’s of the past.
A single-sided swingarm/rear wheel from a VFR750F cleans up the tail while a CBR900RR Fireblade front end sharpens the package. Under Mototrofa, the retro roadster satisfies both modernist and traditionalist, but the runners-up prefer a vintage aesthetic. In second place, Werther Honda’s CB650R BMX calls back to stunt bikes of yore. The gloss black takes the understated route while the gold wheels, whitewall tires, and gold accents add some flash to the package.
Rounding out the rostrum, the Espace Motos’ CB650R Four Limited Edition takes cues from the legendary CB750 Four. The bronze wheels, diamond-stitched tan leather saddle, and bar-end mirrors add a premium touch. Of course, the green/black livery and classic Honda logos fully realize Espace Motos’ retro intentions.