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CRQ Cycles’ Honda CGL125 Café Racer

Posted on January 8, 2013 by Andrew in Café Racer. 69 comments

Families. One of those things in life that are completely unavoidable. Like death and taxes. And Kim Kardashian. Unless you were begat from a set of robotic loins, you’ve probably got you own. They fight and they scream. They mock and they cry. They drink too much and they embarrass you when you bring home a new ‘friend’ to meet them. And then they go and take a photo of you with your pants down that time you all went camping when you were 12 and it was so obvious that you had pulled a muscle in your groin but they all insisted you were doing something gross with a sock and a some lip balm and then they go and show the picture to everyone you know. It wasn’t me, though. It was a friend of mine. No, really. But after all the crap and the tears, they then go and do something that just transcends all the frustration and the bad blood. Like buy you a motorbike…

“Hello Pipeburn community! My name is Juan Francisco, I’m 20 and live in Querétaro; a small town near Mexico City. I have been wanting a motorcycle badly since I can remember but it was until last summer when I finally decided I NEEDED one but had no money. A quick call and I convinced Alexandra (AKA my cousin) to lend me some money to buy a bike, modify it and ‘sell it later’. She thought it was a really good idea and had nowhere else to invest her hard-earned money so the next day I went to the dealer and bought a brand new Honda CGL 125.”

“I rode the bike home and immediately started to strip her to the frame and see what I could do with her. For the following months I worked on the bike in my garage until I was happy with what I had created. The bike has motocross bars turned upside down, cut front fender, an OEM Honda speedometer which (strangely) is new and belonged to a chopper but has the vintage look I was aiming for and a bunch of created-by-me bits like a custom battery mount, mirror, led tail lights with integrated turn signals, fiberglass seat and (my personal favourite) a modified high flow air filter that works as some kind of resonator because the bike sounds awesome! Finally I hand painted the emblems to match the rest of the bike.”

“You don’t see a lot of cool bikes in Querétaro and my bike is probably the only cafe racer in town so it turns a lot of heads considering its humble ‘working horse’ origins.”

“Unfortunately the bike needs to be sold, but it has caused such an impact that I decided to start my own company called ‘CRQ Cycles’ to cover all the café racer needs my country requires. Finally I’d like to thank everyone who helped along this build but mostly Mónica Chehaibar for the photo shoot and Alexandra my cousin for lending me the money to start this all. I’m quite happy with the results of my first bike.”

  • Now&Zen

    For a first effort …. not half bad .Pretty decent actually . Clean . Functional . Not much of a ‘ custom ‘ mind you … and no new ground broken Cafe Racer wise . But overall …. darn decent

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      I know it’s no ground braking stuff but I never intended her to be. It’s quite functional though. Thanks!

  • Jeff W

    That bike is beautiful. The hose clamp holding the seat down is a small detail that should be cleaned up, but overall I really like it.

    • Park


    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      Thanks man! I know…that hose clamp isn’t the neatest of the details. I’m just learning 😉

  • bruh

    awesome <<

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal


  • Lewn

    Super cute! Really like the air filter and seat. Good recycling of the stock mudguard, surprised he didn’t do something with the stock muffler.

    Also why the Greek thing zip tied to the frame near the air filter?

    • arnold

      The nearest translation I find is “……….If I told you you had a beautiful body , would you hold it against me………..”

    • Mike B

      Maybe the exhaust stayed stock to keep it street legal in MX? Or possibly a budget concern? Anyway, I like this little bike.

      • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

        I left the stock exhaust because I ended up liking it. As easy as that. The awesome thing is that we do not have almost any kind of restriction (motorcycle concerned) in Mexico. So future builds will tell…
        Thanks Mike!

      • James Sutton

        Yeah, I doubt you’d have any problems with emissions restrictions in Mexico, unfortunately the air pollution is horrible there!

        • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

          Not everywhere in Mexico James!

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      That greek thing means “Juan” in [well] Greek. Jaja It’s just a present I received and liked very much

  • Carlos André Pinto

    I’d have one!

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      I can sell you one Carlos! jajaja

  • Cwright856

    Overall, not bad, but the seat just looks like a giant marshmallow to me. And the way the leather hangs over the edge in the front does not look good. There are some nice styling points, but overall, it’s just kind of boring. If you’re gonna go with really simple colors, you ought to go with some radical design and harder edges in my opinion.

    • Steevo

      dude… it was his very first build.. he’s only 20.. and he’s only just started out in bikes. cut the guy some slack ay? I say credit given where it’s due.. and especially in proportion to its context. Considering he’s new to it all, I say it’s a mighty fine effort.

      • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

        It was quite an effort actually. Comment appreciated

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      Not the most exciting bike of them all! I agree with you but comparing it to the stock one……It’s a whole different story.
      Anyway, thanks for telling what you think! I’ll take it as good criticism 😉

  • I love it, it’s my favorite bike ever! (And in case I miss the next bike posted…) I love it, it’s my favorite bike ever!

    • Yves Trabac


    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      It’s my favourite bike too! Haha

  • arnold

    Good luck with your new enterprise. Not a bad start.

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      Already bought the next bike! Thanks!

  • Nikoss Rocker

    Για σου ρε Γιάννη πολύ ωραία δουλειά έκανες, πολλα μπράβο

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      “Hola juan que buen trabajo hiciste, muchas felicidades.”

      I think thats what your comment means right? Thanks!

  • Antonio

    Muy padre juan… ya me contaron de tu buena ventaa eh 😉

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      Tony Luis Tony?

  • Juan, you have a really nice cousin! I wish those little Hondas were sold here in the states. Nice work on the bike – especially the seat – it’s the right proportions for this size bike. Good luck on your new business.

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      My cousin is actually really nice!
      I believe you can import them (the bike) over there without much hassle. It costs something around $1200 usd brand new.

  • nathas909

    Nice looking clean bike. I like how you have done the air filter, looks really sharp.
    The whole bike looks like it has come off the factory floor. Good luck with your new business.

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      The air filter was done that way because I was having a hard time using a direct pod filter and altering the jets. It just didn’t work well!
      So…Stock jets + radiator hose + foam filter = Awesome performance (for this size of bike obviously) and orgasmic sound! Haha

  • pjgrakauskas

    nice job- very clean. sometimes Rookies can teach new things to Veterans. Often times less is more!
    Good luck CRQ- the pipeburn world is watching

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      Thanks man! I’ll try to make a much better second bike!

  • bikey mikey

    I love this kind of story. International, a guy just starting out and having the courage to share, for better or worse, his first effort. JF, good on ya ! That’s a better first attempt than the one any of my buddies or I cobbled together. It looks like it would be fun to ride,and your mods didn’t sacrifice any function in the name of style, not really. Thanks for posting, thumbs up 🙂

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      The bike is a complete blast to ride around town and in busy streets. You don’t really need more power in those situations. A little hard to live with in the open roads though.
      Thanks for commenting!

  • Bob

    Juan-Un bonita moto-I lived in San Miguel de Allende for 5 years and had some good riding on my BMW RS while there. Get in touch with ALberto Clave in San Miguel. He owns the Kawaski shop there.

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      San Miguel de Allende……BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL PLACE and it’s only 40 minutes away from Querétaro. Every time I go I see a lot of foreigners in dual sport bikes. Sweeeet!
      I’ll look for him next time I go!

  • Lolana Motos

    Esta Divina esa moto!! ¡Felicidades Juan!

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      Muchas gracias y saludos para Colombia!

  • James

    Que linda moto! Juan, me interesa mucho la cultura de motociclismo en latinoamerica. Es muy bueno que hay unos mecanicos como tu que hacen tan buenas obras. Felicidades de Colorado, EEUU!

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      Muchas gracias James! Hice lo que pude con esta moto y con el tiempo estoy seguro que mi trabajo mejorará. La cultura del motociclismo en latinoamerica es muy interesante; las motos acá son mas bien utilizadas como herramientas de trabajo y no tanto de manera recreativa. Esta moto pasó de ser un “working horse” a algo completamente fuera de lo común por acá.
      Saludos a Colorado!

  • Jodi Baskoro

    this is actually cool. the story and the bike.

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      Thanks Jodi! Glad you liked them both!

  • nathas909

    Juan Francisco Castillo Villal.
    Thank you for replying to the posts.
    I have been following pipeburn and other sites for two years or more and not enough builders reply. It would be great to get feedback as you have just done, and getting a more understanding of the bike.
    Thanks again and hopefully pipeburn could twist some builders arms and see if they have time to write a few responses to comments on there bike.

    • Juan Francisco Castillo Villal

      Your welcome Nathas! It would be sweeet if most pro bike builders answered some comments right’?

  • I really need to call you, I am here in Tijuana and I am about to buy this bike just because I saw This posting. How can I get a hold of you???

  • Make a YouTube vid 🙂

  • Maravilhosa!!! Cafe Racer Show!!!

  • Beto A.

    I really loved your bike since the time I saw it in mercado libre and know that I know how simple the modificacions are i will start working on one. Im 16 years old from Monterrey dont judge but anything you need in your new company I want you to know that i suport you here in the north just contact me

  • Holy God, I love this bike!!

  • Road Runner

    donde te puedo contactar?

  • pedro

    hola juan me da gusto ver este tipo de cambios en motos tan sencillas, si no es mucha molestia me gustaria saber como le hiciste con el manubrio, compraste uno nuevo o solo cortaste la parte en medio, y el asiento donde lo conseguiste?
    gracias por tu atencion. estare muy agradecido si me puedes responder.

  • El Nasty

    Aún esta a la venta carnalito?

  • Juanmanpower

    Juan Francisco, yo vivo en San Luis y estaba pensando en hacer lo mismo, vi tu artículo en Google y me fascino tu proyecto, te voy a buscar por el face para invitarte 😉 Saludos

  • Sebastian

    Hola, yo igual tengo uyna cgl 125 tool que quiero hacer cafe racer pero me intriga saber que hiciste con la bateria en donde la pusiste, ¿es ese pequeño cilindro que sale de lado izquierdo?

  • Max

    This is beautiful! Is there a build thread?

  • Renzo Rafael Casas Campana

    donde compraste el asiento?

  • Emmanuel Gtz

    Hola Juan Francisco, antes que nada te felicito por esa Cafe Racer! Al igual que tu desde hace tiempo estoy interesado en empezar un proyecto como este y ahora tengo la posibilidad de empezarlo. Actualmente me encuentro en Queretaro y me gustaría contactarte para que me cotices una moto igual o bien me orientes con este proyecto.
    Por favor dime como nos podríamos contactar.
    Gracias y nuevamente te felicito!

  • Norb

    whats the price you sell at

  • George W

    Hey man, I love the bike, I was wandering if you made the seat or if you bought it, if so where did you buy it from. Thanks, Great bike

  • Gregg Lapkin

    wow looks great! listen, I live in David, Panama and I just bought a cgl 125; how can I make it a cafe racer?