BMW Motorrad Spezial

Honda CBX Custom: ‘Wide Boy’

Honda CBX
I don’t know about you, but I find most ‘show bikes’ less inspiring than a good garage build. The shows occasionally do throw up something truly original though, and this bike is a case in point. ‘Wide Boy’ appeared at the recent London Ace Cafe Motorcycle & Custom Show, and was built by Larry Houghton. It didn’t win—it came third in the Freestyle class—but it deserves a closer look.

Honda CBX
Larry comes from the ‘extreme engineering’ school of custom bike building, and unlike most extreme customs, his bike holds together visually. It’s based on a late model 1983 6-cylinder Honda CBX, although little remains of the Honda donor. The new frame, for example, is crafted from one-inch thick aluminum sheet that Larry cut, bent and twisted into a multitude of angles—as if it were a paper origami sculpture. He designed a front end similar to BMW’s radical Telelever system, and installed a single-sided Ducati 916 swingarm at the back.

Wheels are 17” Marchesinis from a Ducati 996. The sinuous, six-into-six exhaust system is a highlight: it took Maf Welch of Expressive Engineering three weeks to build, and required seven meters of stainless steel tubing.

It’s tempting to overcook a bike like this, so the paintjob is thankfully low-key: a gunmetal black base is overlaid with dusted silver, and finished with orange pinstriping. (A color scheme coincidentally close to the colors of the original, unmolested CBX.) If I was a show judge, I’d say the result is edgy and provocative—and a welcome departure from the usual ‘Hot Wheels’ show bike look.

Honda CBX

  • PeteP

    Wow. Amesomw doesn’t do it justice. That’s amazing.

  • Swagger

    Wow indeed! That’ll leave a mark…..if this bike came in third….what were the first and second place bikes?

  • Stunning job, bravo!!

  • kim scholer

    If this bike came in third, it must have been because the craftmanship involved in building # 1 & 2 was beyond fantastic. As for the design of this CBX, I can’t imagine anyone having an even wilder imagination. It’s a stunner…

  • michael


  • Just fabulous!!!!! Love the look of those pipes!

  • not sure if the design is completely for me, but whoo boy, i am a sucker for girder’s… beautiful job none-the-less!!!

  • Noel Woodroffe

    Flippin lovely, and I would love to listen to those snarling pipes too. I agree that most show bikes are a bit overdone like dogs’ dinners. Same old same old, but this one is different. I love it

  • WRXr

    Awesome! Some real original thinking. Not another V-twin chopper or “Featherbed” cafe racer….I love it.

  • Ray

    The word I am looking for is “exotic”. This is one of the first motorcycles I have ever seen that really fits with the looks of a lamborghini or some of the other high end exotic cars out there. My personal taste for cars and motorcycles is far too modest to ever own something like this, but if I saw it fly by me on the highway my jaw would drop and my eyes would follow.

  • Kilian

    First place was:
    Second place was:

  • I like it.

    It reminds me (not in a derivative way) of the Confederate Renovatio project but this is an actual bike and not just a really cool concept drawing.
    Go, Larry!

  • Carbon-arc

    Clunk………………………..jaw hits the desk

  • Greg

    Very cool, much nicer than the first place monstrosity. (Were they trying for a Final Fantasy motorcycle. or Tron theme?)

  • I don’t have words. Reading the specs I thought – bulky & ugly 6 cylinder motor, no wonder it didn’t win – and then I got to the pictures….and… jaw dropped too. I can not rave about this motorcycle enough. This deserves pride of place as my new screensaver. Definitely a winner in my books. Thanks soooo much for highlighting this awesome bike!



  • larry Houghton

    Hi Many thanks for all the positive comments about my CBX.The bike was built as a totally rideable machine and Im pleased to say it handles very well.
    More of my machines can be seen on
    If you need any more info feel free to call Larry on Uk 01722 742532

  • Fur

    Fur said: Haven’t seen the bike in the flesh, but going by the photos, Larry has done it again!. Well done. Keep them coming!!!.

  • ray campbell

    Not sure it would be what I would want to ride but it is EDGY, I just hope he didnt cut-up or destroy a nice CBX to end up with what he has, no matter how many hrs. he spent on it

  • aaron barrett

    This is awesome. I have an ’82 CBX. I have dreamed of making it something like this.

  • Mike Cecchini

    Hahahahahaha………’re kidding…….. right ?

    This is all a joke………..right ?

    Bits of angle and trash………….. right.