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1969 Van Tech Hodaka Ace 100 Desert Racer

I purchased this rare 1969 Van Tech Hodaka Ace 100 desert racer in 2009 from the original owners' son in La Mirada, CA.  The motorcycle was complete and appeared to be in reasonably good condition even though it had been in storage for nearly 40 years.  In fact the bike looked as if it had been brought home from the desert and put in the garage in 1969!  It was a genuine time capsule.

 I was advised by the seller that his father, the original owner, was a dirt track racer, but wanted a trail bike class racer for the desert.  He built this Van Tech Hodaka in the late 1960's for So Cal desert racing and trail riding.  The Van Tech had originally been built using: a Van Tech frame, swingarm, engine mounting plates, aluminum gas tank, & dirt track seat/tail combination; 30mm Ceriani forks with a Circle Industries fork brace; a Hodaka "E" series 98cc motor; Hodaka Ace 100 hubs; 1.85 x 21" & 2.15 x 18" Bultaco shouldered Akront rims with Barum knobby tires; a down pipe expansion chamber; and black painted Rickman handlebars.  The frame, swingarm, and most of the other major components were in excellent undamaged condition, but the down pipe expansion chamber had been severely crushed from rock impacts.

The motorcycle was meticulously restored, retaining as much of its originality as possible.  Some changes were made to make the bike more suitable for desert racing, but only period correct parts were utilized.  The following is a list of some of the areas addressed during the restoration process:

 - the original Ceriani forks were restored using NOS fork tubes;

- the original Rickman handlebars had the black paint removed & were rechromed;

- vintage NOS AMS "Donkey" grips & a Webco leather hand protector were installed;

- a NOS vintage Hodaka throttle was installed;

- the original front wheel assembly was refurbished retaining the original Bultaco spokes;

- the original rear wheel assembly was refurbished with new spokes;

- a NOS vintage 3.00 x 21 Barum knobby tire was installed on the front wheel;

- a rare NOS 3.50 x 18 Goodyear Grasshopper trials tire was installed on the rear wheel;

- the original Hodaka "E" series motor was completely rebuilt & refinished;

- a vintage Webco aluminum high compression racing cylinder head was installed;

- a refurbished vintage aluminum can Filtron desert racing air cleaner was installed;

- a correct vintage high mount, through the frame, expansion chamber was installed;

- refurbished vintage Curnutt desert racing shocks were installed;

- a refurbished OEM Van Tech desert seat was installed;

- the original Van Tech aluminum gas tank was completely refurbished;

- an OEM Van Tech rear frame loop/fender mount was installed;

- a NOS vintage British aluminum rear fender was installed;

- an aluminum skid plate was installed;

- NOS Bates footpegs were installed;

- a Hodaka side stand was installed;

- and the black frame color was changed to an original correct blue color.

 Van Tech specialist Lee Fabry in Monrovia, CA, personally did the majority of the work on this restoration project.  A special thanks to: Hodaka Parts Inc (engine & hub parts, cables, controls, etc); Buchanan's Spoke & Rim in Azusa, CA (wheel building & tire mounting); Maciel's Polishing in Azusa, CA (aluminum polishing); Ajax Welding Sandblasting in Van Nuys, CA (small parts refinishing); and Metric Specialties in Santa Clarita, CA (metric hardware).

This beautifully restored Van Tech Hodaka desert racer was awarded the "2nd In Class [competition class] - Motorcycle" trophy, at the prestigious 2013 Dana Point Concours d'Elegance car/motorcycle show in Dana Point, CA.  It was also awarded the "Best in Show" trophy, at the 2012 Willow Springs Raceway, Corsa Moto Classica vintage motorcycle show in Rosamond, CA.

 This Van Tech Hodaka motorcycle was one of my first vintage race motorcycle restoration projects and is easily one of the favorite motorcycles in my collection.  The motorcycle was carefully restored using original and period correct components, and is 100% period correct.  It is an authentic and original representation of the many custom, hand built, So Cal Hodaka desert racers of the 1960's. 

 Thanks for looking!

 Gary Parker