Ted Guthrie

A 3/4 scale Ridley and a Nimbus for Reader Ted Guthrie

I love the Nimbus design (see link here). It’s like rolling industrial art. I’ve never heard of the Ridley. Really interesting bike. Kind of like a Cushman on steroids.
Ted Writes:

Hi, Steve. I enjoyed seeing the unique and rare Harley-Davidson motocrosser, featured on your site. Speaking of unique bikes, one of the more interesting I’ve ever come across is the Ridley. Produced right here in the USA, these 3/4 scale cruisers feature a 500cc v-twin engine, and fully automatic transmission.

I spotted this one at an Ohio Valley BSA Owners Club meet. Check out the old Yamaha IT200 parked behind it for a reference to its diminuitive size.

Also included is a photo taken at the same event, of a Nimbus. I’ve not done any research on the brand, but I believe it was produced in Sweden. A very interesting mix of engineering. Note the perimeter frame, yet exposed valvetrain.


As always, Much Appreciated!

A Hodaka Wombat From Ted Guthrie!

Ted keeps the great bikes coming in with this lates submission and story! He Writes:

Here’s a nice, original bike. It’s a 1974 Hodaka 125 Wombat. I picked the bike up a few years ago, complete with title and toolkit. Note also the original, unmolested turn signals. I got the original key, too. Only thing missing was the owners manual, which the former owner had unfortunately thrown away – just because it was a little moldy. Rats. Oh, well. The bike fires right up and runs perfectly.

The first picture (with the cows) was taken the day I brought the bike home. That’s exactly as I bought it. Since then, I’ve cleaned it up a bit more, shot some correct-paint on the engine’s sidecovers, and did same for the pegs and rear brake pedal. I also resprayed the air cleaner cover and installed a repop “Wombat” sticker on it, plus blasted the pipe and shot it with high-temp, correct-satin paint. Also installed new petcocks and repop grips. Plenty of parts of available for these little Hodads, and the rider following is cult-level.

The second picture shows none other than racing great, David Aldana, taking a spin on the bike at Vintage Days 2008. I was hanging out with some friends who were doing the vintage roadracing thing. Thier garage space was right next to David’s, and at one point I saw him checking out the Wombat, which I had parked right outside.

I struck up a conversation with Aldana, whom I had interviewed the year before. He began telling stories about the old days, and the fun of riding bikes like Hodakas. I offered for David to ride the bike, which he initially declined. However, after a bit more prodding, and with a great big grin on his face, he soon gave in and off he went.

Aldana returned (quite) a bit later, having had a great time. He was all pumped up, and kept saying how much fun the bike was. He also reported having received a lot of attention during his ride. I said, why of course – you’re David Aldana! He said no, that everyone was
interested only in the Hodaka. Haha.

All in all, the little Wombat is GREAT fun. It runs like a champ, is great for putting around at events like Vintage Days, or for putzing on the trails, or even for running errands around town. In fact, despite just 123cc of displacement, the Hodaka really buzzes on the street. There is no doubt as to why these bikes were so popular. What a cryin’ shame Hodaka is no more.

Ted Guthrie

A damm shame indeed.. Thanks again Ted!

Another Fantastic Ride From Ted Guthrie. 1975 Can-Am 175 TNT

When I was a kid growing up in Canada I used to drool over this exact model. I didn’t know much about bikes at the time but I knew what I liked. The look, the lines and those awsome colors. not to mention the performance for the time. It might have been a real handful for a 12 year old 🙂

Thanks to this fantastic find by Ted Guthrie (owner of the earlier posted Penton 6-day) I can see that my lust was not misplaced! What a great ride! And I think it’s great that you use it for it’s intended purpose instead of locking it away!

Thanks again Ted for sharing another great ride! If yo have more don’t hesitate to keep them coming!!

Ted Writes:

Thank you for running the pics of my Penton Six-Day. I very much appreciate your generous comments regarding the bike. Good thing the pictures aren’t any better or you would see all the flaws. Haha.
Thought you might also enjoy this ’75 Can-Am 175 TNT. I picked it up a couple of years ago. The bike came from an estate sale, sold by the family of the original owner.

It is all-original, runs perfectly, and came with title, toolkit, owners manual, and even some cans of original Can-Am branded two-stroke oil.
The weekend after I bought the bike, I rode it in a 75-mile, vintage enduro. The old “Canned-Ham” ran great, but the combination of totally blown-out shocks and too-stiff forks made it nearly impossible to keep it pointed straight down the trail.
Since then, I’ve cleaned the bike up some, and installed new stickers on the tank (to replace the original, screened-on graphics). Still to be installed are new sidepanel/numberplate stickers, along with repros of the “175 TNT” graphics on the sidepanels.
But, it looks and runs great, for a 34-year-old trailbike. Truly a survivor. I like to think the orginal owner would be pleased with where the bike ended up and how it is being cared for.
Ted Guthrie

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging!

I know I was going to go modern for a while but I just received this outstanding reader ride from Ted Guthrie. A beautifully restored Penton 125 Six-Day. While I’ve never considered myself a true “restorer” of motorcycles (I prefer the term resto-mod) I have struggled with enough old bikes to really appreciate the level of effort that goes into a bike like this. The really great part is that it’s really done out of love of the bikes. You’d be hard pressed to ever make a good living (much less become wealthy) doing this kind of work. But I’m constantly amazed at the work that I see out there and that people send me. Keep sending them in. It’s MUCH appreciated!

Ted Writes:

Hey, great site you’ve got. Some of the best pics, of terrific variety of bikes, I’ve ever seen. Attached are some photos of my recently completed 1973 Penton 125 Six-Day. Bike started out as a total junker, which had sat outside for years. It now starts first-kick, and runs perfectly. Incidently, the Steel Tanker you have the pic of, which was taken at the AMA museum, belongs to the original owner – Al Born – and the bike is serial # 003. Yep, it is the third Penton ever built. Al is among the original group of riders, who were hand-picked by John Penton to receive (and race and win and promote) the first ten Penton motorcycles produced.
Ted Guthrie
Penton Owners Group