A ‘well-loved’ 1981 CG125 donor was sourced and taken to the Foundry workshop, where it promptly came to pieces. Stripped completely, many of the cycle parts were tired from 30 years of abuse and need renovation or replacement. Once blasted and powdercoated, bearings were replaced throughout the frame, from headstock to swingarm in preparation of the bike’s new life.
The frame had been delugged and the seat rails were hooped with an integrated tail light housing a Lucas style rear unit. The suspenders, feeling rather saggy by this point, were replaced both front and rear with new units. The new forks, complete with rubber gaiters, are now held in painted and polished yokes.
In particular, this baby Honda build combines the creative talent of two outstanding British companies. Reg Flint and Lindsay Chong are the firepower behind Hedon helmets. The boutique British brand putting the meticulous in helmet (wait, that doesn’t work). When they wanted a ride that would embody their noggin boxes, they called upon the services of south-coast based Foundry Motorcycles.
The Hedon brief was straightforward: “There is quite a serious obsession for things in it’s natural and rawest state at the Hedon workshop. Raw beauty is what we are always in search of, as we love how real it is, how it speaks for itself and have such interesting stories to tell. It’s potential is just endless.”
“This was the inspiration behind one of the most distinguishing features of our helmets: the beautiful hardware that is made out of pure copper and brass. Truly inspired by the gorgeous and ever changing degrees of oxidation they are able to achieve we wanted this to translate into our first custom bike. We decided that we had to make one of the most substantial parts of the bike, the tank, copper.”
Copper isn’t exactly the ideal material for making a tank from, being rather too malleable. So Tom’s idea was to copper leaf the original tank. That means the layer of real copper oxidises in exactly the same way as a full copper tank would, giving a pleasing patina that changes with the bike throughout it’s life in a way paint never would.
It’s the tank that is really the crowning glory of the bike, defined by the raw, natural materials. But before the delicate copper leaf could be applied, the previous-owner’s history was removed with mallet and welder. Cleared of unsightly dents, and with the leaf applied, the Hedon logo glitters in gold on the flanks.
With any Hedon helmet, you’re guaranteed the softest, supplest leather to cradle your face, so it’s no surprise to find a fluted seat clad in the very same stuff. Textured and oh-so-fondleable it’s carefully stretched over the Foundry stainless steel seat pan. A matching stainless tray below holds the battery and remaining electrics, though few and far between they are on this pre-CDI model.
The rust-pocked chrome rims just wouldn’t do. The rebuilt wheels, now 18″ up front an 17″ at the rear were powdered black. New bearings, brake shoes and cables allow the little drums to perform as well as they ever will; well enough to reign in the engine’s firepower anyway. Knobbly trail tires give the bike some attitude and amplify the raw feeling. The light machine would certainly be a giggle along the trails, getting back to nature.
With the new stance, came the need for a new sidestand, the old one being too short for duty. Ably fabbed by Foundry it bolts to the bottom of the refurbished engine. Stripped, cleaned, serviced and painted, the motor is good to go for further millennia provided lubrication is looked after. The carb was rebuilt and rejetted to breath in through a handmade velocity stack, matching the free flowing stainless steel exhaust. Throughout the engine and the frame, stainless fasteners have been used, avoiding the dreaded fuzziness; not all of natures ways are pretty.
Up front a Bates style headlight is finished in the same copper leaf as the tank, contrasted with a black outer rim. Like the helmets themselves, it’s the small details that across the bikes that raise a smile. Foundry have done a great job of incorporating these into the build. Bar clamps act as a helmet lock to secure your precious lid. Leather bound grips reminiscent of the helmet straps. With a new wiring loom, refurbished switchgear and a new analogue speedo, the CG can finally be proud. Transformed from learner burner to haute-machine.
The name? With the copper, it’s obvious really: the Conductress. “A name aptly chosen to echo both the inspiration along with her conducting and commanding beauty.”