1967 Hodaka Ace
Description of the build:
"The build starts at a flea market that I found a vendor selling a chrome gas tank. I thought this would be a cool lamp project so I bartered with him and got it for 20 dollars. Then as I got home I started doing a little research on the manufacturer of the tank, Hodaka. Seems that this was a tank from a Super Rat. That’s when I decided to look at the ol’ interweb and found someone selling a 1967 Hodaka Ace that was all together but without a tank. Perfect, so I placed a low bid and the next day I won, for a whopping 120 dollars! This was the beginning of the Navajo’daka.
Going into the build, the concept was a lamp for my man cave, but after buying the 120 dollar bike on a whim to go with the tank, my mind started thinking of ideas. I grew up in a house with parents who loved Native American culture. We had art and paintings all over my house which had inspired some of my sketches in my journal of an Indian chief, feathers, a dream catcher, and a Teepee. When thinking of ideas for the build, I had flipped through my sketchbook one day and thought, this was it, I was somehow going to incorporate this into my Hodaka build. And so began the designing of the “Navajo,” with elements of fire, air, water and earth (such as the turquoise inlay).
I knew I needed a really unique feature to the bike that paid homage to Native American culture, so I found an artist that hand-engraved an 1882 Morgan coin and two 1937 Buffalo nickels (also called hobo coins, interesting history behind those) with a skull in full native headdress along with petroglyphs.
I wanted the chrome tank and vintage Native American saddleblanket seat to attract people from afar and pull them in closer to discover the small, intricate details such as the hidden gold Hodaka symbol among the petroglyphs in the coin and the dream catcher hanging under the seat — a gift from my mom. Also, reading about the history of Hodaka and how unique they were with their nomenclature (Combat Wombat, Dirt Squirt, Road Toad, Super Rat), I knew I wanted to do a desert Native American inspired build (hence the beefed up tires and chola cactus grips). I hope you enjoy my vision."
More about you. Why should you be The Next American Innovator?:
"I am a full time biologist that tinkers in building motorcycles during the night hours. I mostly like building smaller cc motorcycles due to building most my builds in my toy-hauler trailer garage. The smaller bikes make it a little easier to work in a 11’x14’ toy hauler garage. Plus I’m a one man show."
"Here are photos of both my Hodaka and Wassell being built in my fifth wheel trailer. Gives you the perspective of how I build small bikes on the road While being a full time biologist."