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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Hodaka Wombat from Ted Guthrie.

Ted keeps the great bikes coming in with this lates submission and story! He Writes:

Here's a nice, original bike. It's a 1974 Hodaka 125 Wombat. I picked the bike up a few years ago, complete with title and toolkit. Note also the original, unmolested turn signals. I got the original key, too. Only thing missing was the owners manual, which the former owner had unfortunately thrown away - just because it was a little moldy. Rats. Oh, well. The bike fires right up and runs perfectly.

The first picture (with the cows) was taken the day I brought the bike home. That's exactly as I bought it. Since then, I've cleaned it up a bit more, shot some correct-paint on the engine's sidecovers, and did same for the pegs and rear brake pedal. I also resprayed the air cleaner cover and installed a repop "Wombat" sticker on it, plus blasted the pipe and shot it with high-temp, correct-satin paint. Also installed new petcocks and repop grips. Plenty of parts of available for these little Hodads, and the rider following is cult-level.


The second picture shows none other than racing great, David Aldana, taking a spin on the bike at Vintage Days 2008. I was hanging out with some friends who were doing the vintage roadracing thing. Thier garage space was right next to David's, and at one point I saw him checking out the Wombat, which I had parked right outside.

I struck up a conversation with Aldana, whom I had interviewed the year before. He began telling stories about the old days, and the fun of riding bikes like Hodakas. I offered for David to ride the bike, which he initially declined. However, after a bit more prodding, and with a great big grin on his face, he soon gave in and off he went.

Aldana returned (quite) a bit later, having had a great time. He was all pumped up, and kept saying how much fun the bike was. He also reported having received a lot of attention during his ride. I said, why of course - you're David Aldana! He said no, that everyone was
interested only in the Hodaka. Haha.

All in all, the little Wombat is GREAT fun. It runs like a champ, is great for putting around at events like Vintage Days, or for putzing on the trails, or even for running errands around town. In fact, despite just 123cc of displacement, the Hodaka really buzzes on the street. There is no doubt as to why these bikes were so popular. What a cryin' shame Hodaka is no more.

Ted Guthrie


A damm shame indeed.. Thanks again Ted!