cmcgregor Dork
6/15/19 6:33 p.m.

I seem to have made another bad decision. 

As justification - my garage is only 10 feet deep (I know), and I've been wanting a project that could fit into it. I have a bit of a thing for Hodakas since I inherited one from a deceased uncle when I was a kid - which I promptly disassembled, leading to its eventual fate as scrap metal at the hands of my very unsentimental dad. Only the gas tank remains from that Ace 100, but I've moved it around with me for over a decade. 

These two popped up on Craigslist about a mile from my house, and with the blessings of my ever suffering wife, I went and talked to the owner, eventually leading to their delivery on the front and back of his Vanagon 2 days before he moved back to Iowa. 

Little monster 1 is stoked - he was surprisingly sad when I sold my CB500X recently, even though I had ridden it less than 10 times since he was born. He's already a gearhead. 

What we have here are two 1972 Hodaka Road Toads. They're 100cc 2 strokes, that at one time had lights, turn signals, and other conveniences such as an oil delivery system. All of that is gone - or at least somewhere in the several boxes of parts that came as part of the package. Also included were most of another Road Toad, mostly in boxes with the exception of the rear suspension and some wiring, and an undetermined amount of a 4th Road Toad in the form of a bare frame and swingarm plus some random parts. 

We're in for some fun here. 

cmcgregor Dork
6/15/19 6:39 p.m.

First things first - basic diagnostics. 

I started with the green bike, since that one is the most fully assembled, and supposedly ran as recently as Octoberish. I determined that the coil was at least producing voltage, although the plug wasn't sparking. However, in doing so, I thought that the kick starter seemed almost...too easy. 

Before I could really kick it over, I had to cut these passenger pegs off so I didn't lose half of my calf in the process. Let's be honest, this thing is going to have a hard enough time hauling my ass around, much less a second person. 

I think the PO cut these off one of the other frames and zapped them on with no surface prep or paint. Excellent work. I chopped off the one on the starter side, figuring I'll clean it up later. 

This allowed me to hook up my compression tester, give it a few kicks and stare in awe at the power of 1970s Japanese/American engineering.

cmcgregor Dork
6/15/19 6:44 p.m.

Total compression after 5 kicks - less than 15 PSI. Ok. Looks like we may need a rebuild. 

Fortunately, I have a plethora of donor parts. The PO mentioned that he swapped this motor in when he discovered low compression in the original - which is in the shed. Tentative plan of action is to rebuild the motor that's already out, do a carb rebuild, then dive into wiring once it's running. Fortunately there's no timeline and no pressure for these - just a fun diversion. 

Here's a pic of the second most complete bike - this one also ran relatively recently, but it feels like it had about the same compression as the green bike, so we'll see. 

More to come - and plenty more questions to ask once I dive in more. 

TJL Reader
6/15/19 7:01 p.m.

I have pretty much no bike experience, but is there a manual compression release that is open? 


Cool bikes though. Id want one just as cool toy with those sweet road toad graphics 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
6/15/19 7:54 p.m.

The green one is pretty attractive.

Just saw a Hodaka Ace 100 this morning at the Antique Motorcycle club national meet in St. Paul.

bigfranks84 Reader
6/15/19 10:05 p.m.

In reply to TJL :

Not usually on small cc bikes. But I wonder if it's sticking valves or valve lash misadjusted 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
6/15/19 10:21 p.m.
bigfranks84 said:

In reply to TJL :

Not usually on small cc bikes. But I wonder if it's sticking valves or valve lash misadjusted 

They have two stroke piston port valves.  wink

cashsnively New Reader
6/16/19 6:51 a.m.

In reply to cmcgregor :

Bad decisions are in the eye of the beholder... :) Perhaps I can assist with your issues?  I am a new member here, and geez - I happen to know another HODAKA inspired individual.  Sad story is he rode and collected (hoarded?) small displacement bikes for ~ 40 years.... Hodaka, Triumph, Yamaha... He was a law enforcement type, and always finding the "next" project, and hauling it into his basement - never to be seen again.  Fast forward thru 40 years of collecting and buying parts on Ebay, etc.   The basement is not just full, it is OVERFLOWING with bikes and parts, frames and motors, seats and gas tanks.... And just as sad, he quickly passed away too young, leaving his wife a total mess to sort out.   I have bravely ventured into the basement on two occasions, trying to catalogue the mass of bikes.  It is not pretty, and it is overwhelming.  I intend to relocate ALL these parts to a new home(s), and at reasonably low prices since I am sure the annual budget for adding parts and bikes was huge back in his day.   So, let me know what you need, want, desire.... It probably exists in the basement of a New Jersey house..... I personally counted over 20 Hodaka tanks/frames....   Hope to help some folks out here while emptying out a very full basement!  These parts and bikes deserve to see the light of day again....  Hope this helps,  Cash Snively

bigfranks84 Reader
6/16/19 8:56 a.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

Fail, forgot he said these were two strokes. 

cmcgregor Dork
6/16/19 12:25 p.m.

In reply to cashsnively :

Whoah! Thank you for the offer! I'm sure there's something/a lot of things I need, but I probably won't know what they are for a while. I will definitely be in touch though. 

The graphics really make it for me. They're very 70s. 

It's possible that my compression tester is junk, but I think it's unlikely. Anyway, it's probably worth an overhaul. 

wheelsmithy SuperDork
6/16/19 6:15 p.m.

Hodakas are wicked! 

Combat Wombat

Road Toad

I can't Remember

but they were the Mopar of the dirt bike world. Swagger.


bigfranks84 Reader
6/16/19 9:00 p.m.

In reply to cmcgregor :

Could always put your finger over the whole. But if it's as low as it read, it would definitely feel like there is no compression. 

cmcgregor Dork
4/4/20 7:08 p.m.

When we last saw our intrepid 2-stroke neophyte, the green bike was in the garage, and there were some early indications that all might not be well....


Since I've been home for the last 3 weeks and will be for the foreseeable future, I've been sneaking out the garage and poking at these as I have time. The green road toad had no spark and the compression seemed suspiciously low even for a 1970s vintage 2 stroke, so I did a little exploration and found that the ignition system looked like this

That's just not going to work, so I stole some parts from the plethora of spares in the shed. However, I then pulled the airbox cover to find a disconcerting amount of sand in the intake...which led me to abandon that one for now and roll the yellow bike into the garage. 

While it's uglier, the mechanical lookout is a lot rosier for this one. I ended up drilling out some rivets to liberate a flywheel center section from an outer, which helped me set the timing, since I have 0 experience with points. Once that happened, we got here


So yeah. Felt good about that, despite the lack of killswitch and throttle stuck wide open, combined with me closing the petcock leading to a few more revs than was probably wise. I really wasn't expecting it to actually fire.


So now I have a carb rebuild kit, and am definitely replacing that throttle cable at the same time.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/5/20 10:24 a.m.

Cool bikes!

Depending on how long they have sat, check the crank seals. Some 2-smokes are notorious for the crank seals drying out and then letting air in which messes up the mixture.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/5/20 11:06 a.m.

Cool, nice to see you have one running.

I hadn't paid attention to your username, but then I recognize the SBY Miata that I enjoyed following your posts on.

cmcgregor (Forum Supporter)
cmcgregor (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/5/20 3:27 p.m.

Thanks! These have only been sitting for about a year, so hopefully the crank seal is ok. I didn't look too closely since this one was in really nice shape when I pulled off the cover but I'll check it again. 

I didn't want to do too much before I knew at least one of them would run, so now I can dig into getting them cleaned up, electrical systems sorted out, and oh right, getting titles. 

And yeah, I have a lot of projects. Too many projects. Keeps things interesting I suppose. 

RichardNZ New Reader
4/5/20 7:00 p.m.

You're a braver man than I Gunga Din ! Pulling plug leads on running two strokes is no fun, and to make matters worse if they're well away often has no effect any way. I always tell newbies at trials that the best way to stop a runaway engine is to shove a glove, preferably someone else's, up the exhaust pipe ...

We never had Hodakas over here but they were from an era I remember well - mostly on Yamaha trail / enduro / trials bikes and later on a variety of Spanish trials machinery.

Keep up the good work


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