Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1972 08 29

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 59

t ... ... .., N ~ W Z W ..J (J > (J \ . -,' • ] ~ The natural of the Hodaka Wombat. trailing amidst the brush, hills and (in So. Calif.) cacti. I.OQKTHEbYJOhnHu~tter WOMBA T'S LOOSE OUT The Ion g -awaited, much rumored·about 125 Hodaka is finally available. It's an improvement over the lOcc models not only in detail but in magnitude. The first impression of the Wombat is the name, oJ course. Any Wombat can't be all bad ,even if it isn't a sharp mo'sickle and the Hodaka is a very nice machine, within the limitations for which it was intended. The most noticeable change, and we thought it an improvement, is the new double~own tube frame. It provides more controlled, less squirelly handling than the red frame models. (The Wombat frame is je.t I>lack.- The front end doesn't aviate simply by shifting back on the seat so all the teen wonder pit racers will have to actually be able to ride to impress the folks with wheelies. The front end isn't heavy, just that the extra two and a half inches of wheelbase has helped the Hodaka grow up. The ,' Hancll~njg· t rough thick brush and trials stuff was better up on the pegs, rest of the growing up process is taken care of by the 123cc engine. The extra cc's help mainly in areas where the 100's would run out of power, like loose uphills and sandwasbes. The ex tra poop allows even a full-size rider to plonk on through rather than push, as might have been required with the hundred. The Wombat impressed those who rode it as more of a real motorcycle than the short wheelbase models. This growing up is reflected in the handling, too. The Wombat is more forgiving than the 100 8-plus when you get out of shape at speed. It doesn't seem to lose any of the desirable quickness of the Hodaka around slurp comers or between bushes, but feels more solid and controllable. It has six-way adjustable rear shocks, which are a new item, and they look very good. The rear end does not hop around over the cobby adobe roads of the SoCai hills but it's not unsettling or uncon trolled. The suspension is, generally, soft and gives a comfortable ride. Front forks are good, though nobody thought of anything spectacular to say about them. The Wombat has a slight tendency to swap ends in some situations, say in braking on a downhill, but it's easy to correct. That seemed to be the general handling character of the machine. If it didn't always handle like a European motocrosser, it was no big problem to ride out of it or correct. The 24mm Mikuni carb is primed with a little push·pull enrichening knob which is necessary w hen cold, like the first time you start it after a week in the garage, but was not required otherwise. The Wombat engine is a fairly conventional oversquare piston port with a mild compression ration, as befitting a trailbike. In the tradition of Lighting is very good; functional; tires too small. Wombat engine breathes through tight airbox; 24mm Mik.uni. Tools reside in the shiny canister on the rear fender. mud flaps are

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's - Cycle News 1972 08 29