The Scrambler of Your Dreams is Sure to be in This Custom Honda CL500 Collection

The Honda CL500 might not be the quintessential base model for a custom bike project, but these 16 custom scramblers are all stunning

Honda CL500 line-up, Wheels & Waves 2024.

The Honda CL500 is hardly the most exciting motorcycle in Honda’s range straight out of the showroom, but that doesn't mean it can’t make an impact. You just need some… creativity.

This collection of 16 custom CL500s has been assembled by Honda for this year’s Wheels & Waves festival in Biarritz, France. All are entered into a continent-wide competition put on by Honda Europe, with the public able to vote for their favourite interpretation of the Honda CL500 on the Honda Customs website.

The contenders come from across Europe, from the UK to France, from Spain to Belgium, and from Germany to Italy.

Enduro 500

Spain has three entries, the first of which is Enduro 500. Its name makes obvious the inspiration for this design from the Stilmoto dealership, with this very much representing retro dirt tracking. “The Enduro 500 is designed to tug on the heartstrings with memories from a beautiful, golden era of motorcycling history,” Honda says.

Cherry Lady

Entry number two from Spain, Cherry Lady, offers something different, with it instead being designed in homage to the Honda 750s of the 1990s. Finished in candy red paint, Motorsport Las Rozas de Madris’s Cherry Lady features Drag Bar handlebars, minimalist indicators, and Michelin Anakee tyres to ensure its off-road-ish look is backed up by performance.


The final Spanish entry is CL501R, which is - sort of - matching the Enduro 500 in the obviousness of its naming. Its inspired by flat track racing and built by Honda Moto Centre Leon, featuring adjustable gas rear shocks, adjustable front fork plugs, and radial front brake master cylinder, braided brake lines, and a handmade chainguard and radiator. 


Entry number four, Moonground, takes us away from Spain but only as far as Portugal. This design, from the Garonda dealer, is a minimalist take on a mixed-terrain bike. It comes with wrapped exhaust downpipes, a high-level silencer, and block tyres.

Oceans’ Track

The first of five French entries, Oceans’ Track is named after its creator, Oceane Motos. Another flat track-inspired bike, it features a red frame and swingarm, gold wheels, wide bars, bar-end mirrors, LED projector headlights, a number board (into which the headlights are set), and a single seat unit.

CL500 Digger

CL500 Digger is the second French entry and is an homage to the XLs and XRs of the ‘80s. Built by Chave Motos, it gives an off-road style with a high front mudguard, headlight cover, number board, handguards, gold wheels, and a performance silencer.

CL500 Charade Spirit

Continuing in France, CL500 Charade Spirit  comes in from Charade Moto with a tricolour paint job that is totally not inspired by a cig' company that was especially prominent on HRC's 500cc Grand Prix bikes in the 1980s. Block tyres, a high front mudguard, single side number board, handguards, and a high-up single silencer confirm Charade Spirit’s off-road inspirations.


Bik’ink is our least favourite simply because its name is annoying to type. The bike itself, though, is a beauty, with a ‘70s street scrambler look coming from this design from AZ Moto. Orange and cherry red paint make the bike stand out, while there are also new rear shocks and a high-up single silencer.


Irezumi comes from Starbike Honda     and is described by Honda as “a bit of a celestial entity.” Artwork dominates its bodywork, mostly on the tank, while the rear end has been minimised and a high-level exhaust with a single satin silencer has been added.

The Poseidon Project

The Poseidon Project is not from Greece, but instead from the UK, and is the only UK entry in this year’s competition.
It comes from London’s Doble Motorcycles and is “an homage to the beauty and power of the ocean,” Honda says. A custom painted frame, airbrushed fuel tank and side panels, and a custom seat finished in brown leather complete the bike’s look. Honda says the design team’s interest in marine conservation has been the inspiration for the design.

Sterrato 500

Sterrato 500 is the first of two Italian entries, featuring a number of Genuine Honda Accessories. Sterrato translates to “dirt road”, so again it’s not hard to work out where the inspiration for this design comes from. Built by Unit Garage, the bike references models from Honda’s history, and includes a high front mudguard, headlight cowl, handguards, a leather seat, and Ohlins rear shocks.

Terra Battuta 500

The second Italian entry is Terra Battuta 500, also from Unit Garage, which transforms the CL500 into a long-distance travel bike. There’s a brushed aluminium front mudguard, engine crash bars, a black anodised luggage rack, a tall screen with integrated GPS, block tyres, and - obviously - a skateboard!

CL Surfer

Again, a name which requires little imagination to figure out the style of this bike, although it doesn’t come with a surfboard. Coming out of Germany’s Honda Centre Dealership, CL Surfer exudes a laid-back vibe with its metallic silver fuel tank and front and rear mudguards, all featuring a blue stripe. There’s also clip-on bars, a new exhaust, and a brown leather bench seat.

Flat Track 500

Flat Track 500 comes from Belgium’s Anquety Motorsport and is, fairly obviously, inspired by flat track. There’s Ohlins rear shocks, a cantilever swingarm, straight bars, fresh wheels, a new rear brake setup, a lowered pipe, and a modded rear subframe.

Alpina 500

Alpina 500 is inspired by the Alps, which is expectable from both the name and its origins in Switzerland’s Meister Engineering. 2024 also marks 50 years of Honda Switzerland, and the Alpina 500 features a CB-style fuel tank, stripped subframe, and a bench seat.

Bunker imPrint

Turkiye is the origin country of the final entry, Bunker imPrint, built by Bunker Custom Cycles. Cafe racer style is the inspiration for this build, which started life not as a CL500 but as a CL250. There’s a glass-fibre reinforced Nylon FDM 3D home-printed half fairing, new side panels, belly pan, and seat hump, plus an enclosed exhaust, CB250R USD front fork and a radial-mounted brake calliper.

Honda is not the only brand to be exhibiting in biarritz this week. Yamaha, for example, has headed over to Wheels & Waves with a one-off version of its retro XSR900 GP, complete with the legendary Vance & Hines livery.