Chris Tope’s restoration of a 1967 Hodaka Ace 100 was more of a quest than what he had originally intended. Coming across an interesting gas tank at a swap meet, Chris thought it might make a nice lamp, so he picked it up for $20. When he started researching the H emblem on the tank, he discovered that it came from the Hodaka motorcycle company—a company he had never heard of. Knowing that using the tank for a lamp would be a waste, Tope started searching for a donor bike and other parts. He found the bike on eBay, and got it with a winning bid of only $120.
The bike was restored in a fifth-wheel toy hauler trailer while Tope lived out of an RV in Bangor, Maine. Having grown up in a home decorated with Native American art, Tope went with that theme for the bike. He commissioned artists to hand engrave an 1882 Morgan coin as well as two 1937 Buffalo nickels (with a skull in full native headdress and with petroglyphs) to add to the bike. The grips are cholla cactus, and the seat is covered in a vintage saddle blanket. The look is completed with a dreamcatcher, a gift from Tope’s mother, hanging under the seat.
It took a lot of searching and digging for parts, but the end result is an work of art. You can tell how much the bike means to Tope—it really was a spiritual quest for the builder.