And now for something completely different. This is a collection of three bikes far removed from anything we’ve shown before. They’re not bikes for measuring lap times or lean angles—they’re based on Honda’s humble CG 125, for starters. Instead, they’re a direct attempt to do something completely new in the world of custom bikes.
The builder is northern Spain’s El Solitario MC, a loose and irreverent collective of artists and mechanics led by the charismatic David Borras. Their ‘conventional’ bike-building credentials are beyond doubt, as anyone who has seen their vintage BMW custom ‘Baula’ will testify.
The “Pop Cycles” CG 125s are inspired by a famous letter written by the British pop artist Richard Hamilton in 1957. In it, Hamilton described pop art as “popular, transient, expendable, low-cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, and Big Business”. In other words, something accessible to all—and with an element of cheekiness to it.
Borras took this as his starting point, making the little Hondas as light and simple as possible. Everything unnecessary was removed. Inspiration came from the 1980s BMX craze that influenced his childhood.
After complete overhauls and mechanical refreshment, the bikes were painted with the help of Spanish artists JMKL and the Lanas Paint Shop. The color schemes are fun and fluorescent, to match the bikes’ personalities, and the machines are road-legal and registered for European use.
In mainland Europe, low capacity, maneuverable motorcycles are hugely popular with city riders and younger pilots getting into motorcycling for the first time. Are El Solitario onto something here?
TECH SPECS (3x) 1980s Honda CG 125 | Refreshed motors and carburetors | Continental Twinduro 18 x 3’25 and 3’50 front and rear tires | All new seals, hoses & cables | All nuts & bolts replaced for stainless units | BMX handlebars | BMX X-PLOD pegs | BMX NOS grips | Bates front fender as rear unit | LED tail light | NOS front headlight | Vintage peanut gas tank | Invisible wiring & horn | Posh switches | Looky brake and clutch controls | Shortened subframe with wheelie bike sissy bar | Air box and battery eliminated | Custom cowhide banana seat | Custom stainless pipe and silencer | Uni Performance Filter | Transparent spark plug wires | House of Kolor neon paints | Worldwide delivery, price on request