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My Saracen Hodaka Project


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My apologies to the original creators of the Saracen for this sacrelige, which I can't help myself for doing. I've been busy putting together this great bike, so I figured it's time I shared a few pics of it. It's been lovely to ride.

I adjusted the steering head angle somewhat steeper from about 28 degrees, to exactly 24.5 degrees. I redesigned the lower frame cradle, to convert it to a flat bottom, so it will sit on a box without tipping over, and obviously got rid of the Sachs engine, so it required some changes to get the Hodaka engine to fit.

This is a very special piston port Hodaka trials engine, which began life as a 125 cc Wombat, but this one has heavy flywheel, lower internal gearing via primary gear from an Ace 90. This required a hybrid crankshaft, comprised of 125 Wombat LH crank half, and Early Ace 100 type RH crank half, which has been welded to prevent the crank from slipping out of alignment. The genuine NOS Sammy Miller muffler was a rare thing to find, and really sets the look of the machine, in the late 60's to early seventies. It has nos girling dampers, ceriani forks from a 1972 Penton MX-er, which is fitted with only one spring, to make the front end soft enough for trials. I'm loving this bike! :)



Edited by jay_lael
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As I was saying before I was interupted, the wheels are Rickman Hodaka. The micro metisse had a smaller rear hub than the Saracen came with originally, so it required same custom spacers. Mounting the Penton forks to the Saracen frame also required some custom machine work to get things to fit together. It has loose balls and races lifted from the Penton, and machined adapters that permit the Penton races to press into the Saracen frame. The swingarm bushings had to be fabricated from bronze material. I was able to mostly evict the whitworth bolts from the machine, using metric fasteners almost everywhere. The exception is the swingarm bolt, which is an amazing piece of work. The chain adjustment on this bike is easier to do than any bike I've ever seen! Just takes a minute and there's no messing around with alignment as it stays spot on!

Edited by jay_lael
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  • 3 weeks later...

VERY cool, Jay!

Thank goodness for the kind of guys who have a few screws loose and want to do things like drag race VW's and make Bultaco's into trials bikes!

Real creativity there.

I have fond memories of riding a 125 Wombat on the MX corse in Unadilla, NY around 1974...

I was getting SMOKED by CZ's, Bultacos, Montesas, an Elsinore or 2, and even a guy on a first-year Yamaha mono, whom I only beat because he grabbed a handful of that famously grabby front brake and went over the bars while trying to dive in under me in a corner.

Man...the older I get, the faster I was!

See what happens when you jog the memory of an aging throttle jockey?

Edited by charlie chitlins
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  • 1 month later...

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