Honda launches 125cc custom competition at Wheels and Waves 2023

A new custom competition has been launched by Honda for this year's Wheels and Waves festival in France, focusing on the brand's small 125cc machines.

Furiosa Honda Dax

Honda has announced the winner of its 125cc custom competition from the Wheels and Waves show in France earlier this summer.

The victor of the competition was the ‘Furiosa’ Honda Dax, designed by Portuguese Artist Tamara Alves, and built by the Art of Wheels Garage in a post-apocalyptic style.

Furiosa (top of page) won 34 per cent of the 15,924 votes cast at Wheels and Waves, taking five per cent more than the second placed entry, the ‘Manjushage’ Honda Monkey (above); while a second Monkey, named ‘Tokyo’ (below), designed by French artist Grems and built by George Woodman. 

Masayuki Hamamatsu, General Manager of Motorcycles at Honda Motor Europe, said: “Working with young artists to create unique versions of our minibikes has been a fantastic way for us to attract the attention of a younger audience to the fun and accessibility of motorcycles.  

“The strong reaction to these seven incredibly diverse creations is an encouraging sign of how motorcycles really engage people’s interest when they are given the chance to be ‘in contact’ with them.   

“Furiosa is a very cool and worthy winner and we are very grateful to all the artists and customisers who were involved from seven different countries – and to the more than 15,000 people who voted.”

This article was originally published on 21 June 2023, and was updated with the above text on 14 September 2023. The original article can be read below.

Honda has announced a competition for custom bikes at the Wheels and Waves show in Biarritz between 21 and 25 June 2023. 

The custom motorcycle competition put on by Honda at this year’s Wheels and Waves festival will focus on the brand’s small, 125cc bikes. 

Namely, the Japanese brand is promoting custom builds of the Honda Dax, Honda Monkey, and Honda MSX125 Grom. 

There are seven entries to the competition, from countries around Europe, including the UK, and the winner will be decided by a public vote.

Hold On!

The first entry comes from the UK. Designed by Matt B Customs and built in partnership with Guy Willison, Hold On! features an elongated wheelbase and a dropped ride height, giving it a drag bike look and stance. 

To match the visuals, the performance of the bike has also been upgraded with a turbo and nitrous oxide.

Matt B, from Matt B Customs, said: “It’s been such an unreal experience to explore and apply our art style to something crazy that isn’t shoes or accessories. We wanted to make it look as though the bike was THAT fast, the paint couldn’t even stay on, creating an illusion of the paint dripping off the bike. It's turned out exactly how we wanted it!”

Driving Me Mad

The second bike is a Honda Dax, named Driving Me Mad, designed by Madrid-based artist Coco Davez, whose background is in painting, photography and art direction. 

The componentry of the bike is unchanged from standard, which itself perhaps allows for a greater appreciation of the bike’s unique paint design.
On Driving Me Mad, Coco Davez said: “Being part of this project has made me very excited. When I knew the bike I would design, the DAX 125, one of my favourite childhood games immediately came to mind, so I was inspired by the colour palette to give life to each of the parts and pieces of the DAX 125.”

Monkey X Business

Bike three is a Honda Monkey, as is perhaps given away by the build’s name, Monkey X Business.

It is designed and built by the Austrian artist Boicut in collaboration with Titan Motorcycles. This build ‘choppers out’ the front of the bike, throwing the front wheel way out front in the style of the classic American-style cruisers. Monkey X Business also features mini-ape handlebars, a chromed grabrail, a fishtail end cap, and the exhaust has been upswept.

Boicut said: “I immediately think of what I have in common with monkeys – the love of bananas. This you can find in various stages of abstraction on the bike. In general I wanted to create a bright and colourful bike which would be an eye catcher and fun to look at. I designed the basic colourway and theme digitally but loved being able to paint on the actual bike myself. This way I could respond even better to the unique chopper shape the custom workshop has built.”


Bike four, Furiosa, takes us to Portugal and is courtesy of the artist Tamara Alves, who has worked with Art On Wheels Garage to bring her design into reality.

Furiosa is another Honda Dax, but has been built to represent a post-apocalyptic vision, with a rusted or corroded effect on the bodywork, brakes, and exhaust, amongst other pieces. There is also a mesh over the headlight, which itself is yellow.

Tamara Alves said: “I was inspired by the world of Mad Max and Tank Girl. Every modification was carefully chosen, and my standout feature is the wolf motif. Its presence symbolises strength, independence, and a ferocious determination to conquer the open road.”


Do not be confused by the name, Tokyo, the fifth bike comes from France. Designed by Michael Eveno, or Grems, and built by George Woodman, the inspiration for Tokyo has been pop-art for this build derived from a Honda Monkey.

Let’s Grom

Unlike bike five, the sixth entry leaves no uncertainty in its name. Let’s Grom comes from the Italian artist Francesco Marchesani, who has worked with Alex Polita - an IDM Superbike and Endurance World Championship rider - on his Honda Grom-derived creation.

One of the more limited designs in terms of its distinction from the standard bike, Let’s Grom features its name on the tank and seat, as well as Circuit Equipment handguards.

Francesco Marchesani said: “In my work, I love to use irony and craziness as a means to reach the observer. I often add a title to my work, to reinforce a concept or give a double reading to the drawing. I like to use bright and cheerful colours, which refer to the world of cartoons and comics.”


Finally, bike seven comes from Germany, and is derived from a Honda Monkey.

Manjushage goes heavy on the Japanese influence, with spider lilies making up the bike’s graphics, and an overall red and white scheme representing the colours of the Japanese flag. The bike also features a Yoshimura exhaust, a custom seat, and sportier, swept back handlebars.

Manjushage’s creator, Lanaarts23, said: “I have chosen to draw spider lilies because I really like their monochromatic look. As spider lilies are commonly found in Japan, they also have a connection to Honda's roots. Furthermore, the red colour of the lilies complements Honda's red beautifully. I have also included a few insects in my drawings because they are simply enjoyable to depict!”

Voting for the Honda custom competition is open from 9am on 21 June 2023 until 31 August 2023 on the Honda Customs website.

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