Cramento Motorcycles builds a sleek, timeless 125cc custom…
The Honda CG 125 was introduced in 1975 and remained in production for nearly 30 years, earning a reputation for nearly unkillable reliability and generating more than ten million sales over its lifetime. The 125cc OHV single-cylinder engine with pushrod-actuated valves was no powerhouse, but the bike’s trademark simplicity and never-say-die nature appealed to legions of riders:
“Honda’s pushrod 125 might be the toughest small-capacity bike of all time.” —Ride Apart
What’s more, the minimalist design has caught the attention of contemporary custom builders in recent years, who see the clean lines and simple engineering as a great canvas for customization:
“It’s become synonymous with custom motorcycle culture, with many now being snaffled up to become cafe racer and bobber projects.” —MCN
One of our favorite builders to turn their vision to the CG series is Brazil’s Cramento Motorcycles, founded by architect and urban planner Augusto Borghetti Chinelatto along with his friend Matheus Borghetti. Together, the pair work on “unique and exclusive” projects, and they’ve developed a signature style with builds such as their “Black Mamba” Suzuki DR650, blue Honda CG125, and Honda ML125 — all very popular here on BikeBound. Now they’re back with the CG125 custom you see here:
“The CG is an old acquaintance of the house and we think it’s amazing how we manage to deconstruct ourselves with each customization we do. The more detailed we get, the more we realize that the essence is always the same, to be minimalist and timeless.”
The build had to be envisioned around a client-requested 1980s CG tank — a large, prominent shape that can make it difficult to balance with the rest of the bike’s smaller proportions. Fortunately, Cramento has developed their own recipe when comes to such builds, which served them especially well in this case:
“The 125cc’s are naturally very low bikes so we like to use the trial tires which give a nice touch and lift the bike quite a bit off the ground. To compensate for the extra height we used a bigger suspension set, stretched the swingarm, widened the triple tree clamp, and we manufactured new foot pegs.”
Other highlights include the stainless steel exhaust, complete with thermal wrap and heat shield to protect the rider’s leg, as well as hand-shaped fenders, steel headlight surrounded, machined pegs and pedals, a black suede saddle with vintage-style stitching, and a lovely paint job on the tank. All in all, this is one sleek, timeless roadster that’s sure to turn heads and spur smiles for years to come.
Below, Augusto gives us the full story on the machine, with more photos from Ana Tomiello (@anatomiellofotografia).
Honda Cargo 125 Custom: In the Builder’s Words…
The customer came to us with some references and a special request, the bike had to be a scrambler, have a sleek look, and the tank had to be the CG ’80s generation. We’ve already worked with this model of tank and we know the challenge we had ahead of us, the CG after being dismantled is practically a bike and with a big tank like this it’s difficult to get the proportions right.
The client’s references were very retro, solid color tank, seat, handlebar grips, and side bags in brown leather with a scrambler feel and a gentlemanly touch. Nothing against it, but talking to the client we showed that we could maintain an elegant posture and reinterpret his references with our vision.
The CG is an old acquaintance of the house and we think it’s amazing how we manage to deconstruct ourselves with each customization we do. The more detailed we get, the more we realize that the essence is always the same, to be minimalist and timeless.
As we don’t label the bikes, we like to make our own cake recipe. The 125cc’s are naturally very low bikes so we like to use the trial tires which give a nice touch and lift the bike quite a bit off the ground. To compensate for the extra height we used a bigger suspension set, stretched the swingarm, widened the triple tree clamp, and we manufactured new foot pegs.
To give it a scrambler touch, we produced a stainless steel exhaust that was hand-molded (for the most observant you can see that it is slightly conical) and installed with the tip up. To protect the pilot’s legs, the exhaust was partially coated with a black thermal wrap and near where the pilot’s leg is, we made a metal shield with cuts reminiscent of the old scramblers.
Complementing the look, we hand-shaped the fenders with a higher stance and a retro curvature, and to give it a more modern touch, we made the headlight frame, which is all steel.
As usual, the footpegs, gear pedal, and brake pedal receive solid aluminum inserts machined in the lathe.
Thinking about the solid color that the client wanted with the tank, we gave it to him but with a touch of Cramento, where we played with shades of gray, black to break down the size of the tank and follow the seat line, and yellow to leave the look more fun. The seat was covered in black suede and white stitching, with the stitching reminiscent of vintage scramblers once again.
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Photos by Ana Tomiello Photography: @anatomiellofotografia