Young man, big heart…Brazilian design student dedicates his build to family, teachers, and friends…
Today, we are thrilled and honored to feature the first of three builds from Fernando Casado — a 23 year old design student at the State University of Maringá in Brazil. Fernando grew up hearing the stories of his father, grandfather, and uncles, who rode some of the most iconic motorcycles of their day. When young Fernando moved out of town for school, his grandfather suggested a scooter for transportation, which Fernando was not having:
“Nooo Grandpa, fuck de scooters, I want something different, something crazy!”
His grandfather laughed and suggested a small, affordable motorcycle instead. After much research on the history of the early cafe racers, Fernando decided on a 1980 Honda CG125 — an economical urban commuter that remained in continuous production for more than three decades. According to Fernando, the frame and tank lines lent themselves to the design vision he had in mind.
“I found the Honda CG125 the best opportunity to transform a small and low value motorcycle into a great presence machine.”
Fernando designed, manufactured, adapted parts in the prototyping laboratory of his university, making sure to design them in such a way that the bike can be reverted to factory trim in a matter of hours.
We are simply staggered not only by the design and execution of this Honda CG cafe racer, but by the thoughtfulness, maturity, and gratitude of Fernando himself.
“I would like to dedicate this project to all my family, to the teachers and friends that accompanied these two years of project, and especially to my grandfather and my father, who lived in the era of these bikes and helped me a lot in the development of the motorcycle.”
Below, we get the full story on the build. Also, we’ll be featuring two further builds from Fernando in the coming weeks!
Honda CG125 Cafe Racer: In the Builder’s Words
Well, my name is Fernando Casado, I’m 23 years old, and I’m graduating in Design.
My family has always been in love with motorcycles, ever since my grandfather and uncles, and my father too. I grew up hearing stories about the Honda CB750 fours that my father had when he was young, and the Yamaha RD350’s too, and all the fun these bikes gave to my father, so I was always influenced by my family in being in the world of two wheels.
When I entered university, I moved out of town and lived alone. I needed a way to transporting myself, and my grandfather wanted to give me a scooter, and I tell him “Nooo Grandpa, Fuck de Scooters, I want something different, something crazy!” And my grandfather laughs and tell me to search a small motorcycle. It was at this moment that I found the opportunity to have something that I always wanted, that could give me the emotion that my father had, and that I could apply the knowledge I had at Design university in something real.
After looking for some models of motorcycles, I found the Honda CG125 the best opportunity to transform a small and low value motorcycle into a great presence machine. At first I bought the motorcycle and started my first customization project, I did not have a workshop to work on, so I used the university workshops to make the pieces, and that’s how I completed my first motorcycle, this blue CG125.
The other motorcycles came later, where I could improve what I had already done and bring back the grandeur of these little motorcycles. I am currently in the last year at the University of Design, and I intend to transform my passion for customization into a profession, and I hope to contribute with many different and authentic bikes to represent my Country and my family, and to inspire those who are passionate about motorcycles.
In February 2015 I started to get ideas on motorcycle customization, and as I was always cracked by old things, I began to read the story of the late Café Racers, motorbikes that were adapted by youngsters and teenagers of the 50s, transforming ordinary motorcycles into motorcycles for racing. I found the concept very interesting and decided it was time to do my own project. I made the purchase of a CG 125 year 1980, and the choice of this bike for the project was at the same time a milestone in the history of the Honda motorcycle — the CG was a very competent urban motorcycle, economical, easy maintenance, besides having a visual which always pleased me very much.
The tank and frame lines had the characteristics that I was looking for for a customization project, and that’s when I started putting my hand in the dough, making some parts and importing others, and gradually the bike took shape.
My idea was always to make a Café Racer as if it had been designed by Honda originally in 1980, so I opted for the original paint and stripes, chrome details, and customizing pieces that dated back to the time. All the pieces were manufactured by me in the prototyping laboratory of the State University of Maringá, as well as the necessary adaptations of the imported parts. One of my main requirements was to customize the bike without spoiling its original structure, such as frame and mudguards, in this way I made parts that are all removable and screwed, so the bike can be reassembled in the original model in a few hours.
The experience with this project was very enriching, since I came to understand the way the design was applied in vintage motorcycles, and also to work with different types of materials and processes, such as fiberglass, welding, locksmithing, and also to manipulate electrical and mechanical components of the motorcycle.
I would like to dedicate this project to all my family, to the teachers and friends that accompanied these two years of project, and especially to my grandfather and my father, who lived in the era of these bikes and helped me a lot in the development of the motorcycle.
Follow the Builder
- Website: https://www.behance.net/fernandocasado
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ferndc_/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fernando.casado.9