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Blue Wombat: Analog’s ice-cool Hodaka restomod

1973 Hodaka Wombat restomod by Analog Motorcycles
If you’ve followed Analog Motorcycles’ work, you’ll know that founder Tony Prust isn’t a fan of doing things half-cocked. This 1973 Hodaka Wombat is proof: Tony’s original goal was to simply get it running and onto the winter ice near his Waukegan, Illinois workshop. But pretty soon, it turned into one of the tidiest two-stroke restomods we’ve ever seen.

“The functionality of taking a vintage off road bike to your local park or trail never seemed practical to me,” says Tony. “However I have always loved the Hodaka brand, and when I had the chance to grab a couple of Hodakas at a swap meet a couple years back I scooped them up.”

1973 Hodaka Wombat restomod by Analog Motorcycles
“Hodaka always had the best model names: Road Toad, Dirt Squirt, Wombat, Combat Wombat, Super Rat…the list goes on. No one comes up with names that fun anymore. I have since collected books and paraphernalia from the Hodaka brand.”

Both Hodakas were parked in the shed until last winter, when Tony decided to revive the Wombat 125 as an ice-riding beater for friends to learn on. But as soon as he dragged it into the Analog shop, he realized there was a lot more wrong with it than he thought.

1973 Hodaka Wombat restomod by Analog Motorcycles
“I quickly discovered that this bike was already severely tampered with,” he says. “It had the wrong diameter forks shoved into the stock triples and an unknown front wheel. Then when I went to clean out the fuel tank, it leaked in more places than one.”

Tony discovered a plethora of other issues—and even though none of them were insurmountable on their own, the project soon evolved into a full-blown shop build. “By the time I sorted out everything that needed to be done, the ice riding season was almost over,” says Tony. “So I switched to a mini enduro build instead.”

1973 Hodaka Wombat restomod by Analog Motorcycles
For the suspension, Tony fabricated some neck extensions to retrofit a set of Yamaha SR500 forks, then upgraded those with Race Tech springs and Gold Valve emulators. The rear shocks are Royal Enfield units leftover from another build, which were re-sprung.

The wheels are a mixed bag of parts. The front hub’s from an older Kawasaki dirt bike that PJ Grakauskas at Chi-Jers Vintage Bike Works helped to identify. (Since it’s a more common part, it was easier to source new brake shoes for it.)

1973 Hodaka Wombat restomod by Analog Motorcycles
Tony used the stock Hodaka rear wheel: he says that parts are still surprisingly easy to get for them. Both hoops were re-laced with polished stainless steel spokes from Buchanan’s. But first, Tony had them powder coated in a blue that matched a set of Oury grips that he had lying around, adding a flat clear coat to give them an anodized vibe.

The Hodaka’s 123 cc two-stroke motor went off to a friend, Ryan Hunt, for a full rebuild. (He’s also the son of Devlin Hunt, Tony’s metal-shaping mentor, who sadly passed away a few years ago.) The motor went back into the bike with a new coat of wrinkle black, rebuilt carbs and K&N filters.

1973 Hodaka Wombat restomod by Analog Motorcycles
Next up, Tony tackled the arduous task of converting the electrics. The setup involves running a 12V regulator/rectifier off the lighting coil, which used to run with 6V lighting. But since it outputs AC current, and the LED lighting Tony installed needs DC, he had to build a workaround that hurts our brains to think about.

“We isolated a ground and put a diode big enough to block current on one of the cycles of power,” he explains,” so the LEDs see a positive and a negative—like a DC signal but in half wave form. This causes an on/off effect, but the cycle is so fast you hardly notice it. The longevity of the LEDs in this scenario is suspect… but so far so good.”

1973 Hodaka Wombat restomod by Analog Motorcycles
For the bodywork, Tony kept things refreshingly simple. The fuel tank is a re-pop item from EBay, and the rear fended is the OEM part, bobbed and re-chromed. Tony fabricated his own front fender, along with a number board for the front.

Dane Utech at Plz.be.seated handled the saddle upholstery. Tony pulled in his go-to pin striping guy, Brando, to add Hodaka logos to the seat and bar pad, and adorn the air cleaner with a ‘Blue Wombat’ logo. Oh, and the polished front fender and number board were clear coated, “so that I never have to polish them again.”

1973 Hodaka Wombat restomod by Analog Motorcycles
The headlight’s a Denali D4 LED projector, and the rear light’s an LED unit from Analog’s own ‘Motor Goods’ catalog. Other bits include Fly Racing handlebars, Magura classic controls, the aforementioned Oury grips, and an aftermarket speedo.

The final touch comes from friend and CNC expert, Kevin at Free Form design. He surprised Tony with a pair of aluminum Hodaka tank badges for his birthday last year, which were powder coated blue before being added to the build. “They were pretty, but the blue makes it pop on the chrome tank,” says Tony. “He forgave me for coating them later.”

1973 Hodaka Wombat restomod by Analog Motorcycles
Tony actually finished the bike over a year ago, but never got around to ensuring it ran well. Then, when he finally got close, he made a mistake—and with that, the motor needed another top end rebuild (“not my finest moment”).

“I am a bit of a stickler for not putting my builds in shows or in the public’s eye before they are roadworthy and ridden,” says Tony. “It’s proof to myself in that everything I build is meant to be ridden, and no one should see it until it has been ridden.”

1973 Hodaka Wombat restomod by Analog Motorcycles
“We recently relocated from Illinois to Tennessee, but before I left I wanted to shoot it with my buddy Daniel. I was also selling my daily driven 1964 Chevy C10 to a friend in Wisconsin. It was a sad day to see the truck go, but a good day shooting this little ripper with the truck.”

“The truck is going to a good home, and the Blue Wombat is with me in TN. It may go to a new home as well… but I know it will probably be the most expensive Hodaka ever built.”

Analog Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Daniel Peter

1973 Hodaka Wombat restomod by Analog Motorcycles

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