Hodaka was a joint Japanese and American company that manufactured motorcycles in the 1960s and 1970s. The company also went by the name PABATCO, for Pacific Basin Trading Company. Its headquarters were in the rural town of Athena, Oregon. Pabatco was owned by Shell Oil Company from 1965 to 1978. The name Hodaka is rumored to have been borrowed from a mountain near the factory.
Hodaka appeared in 1964. Styling cues for the planned bike were taken from the Cotton, a British-made offroad competition machine with a record of success in offroad racing. The Cotton made heavy use of triangulation to stiffen the frame, and the PABATCO prototype adopted this idea. The all aluminum alloy engine would be based on the two-stroke, piston-port single used in the last Yamaguchi, but with a little more cubic capacity and one more gear, giving it four speeds instead of three.
Hodaka models included the Ace 90, Ace 100, Wombat, Combat Wombat, Super Combat, Super Rat, Dirt Squirt, Road Toad and Thunderdog.It had success in light and easy-to-go models, somewhat kiddy.
Around 1980, Hodaka ceased all operations.
Even having producing bikes for only about 10 years, Hodaka surely left its trace in motorcycle history.
Thu, 12 Feb 2009
Motorcycle Retro is a pet project of former Motorcyclist editor Mitch Boehm, launching as Motorcyclist Retro in early 2008 under the Source Interlink media umbrella. It featured a contemporary look at motorcycles of the 1960s through the 1980s. However, the circulation numbers of MR didnít meet the expectations of the media conglomerate, and they cancelled production of the magazine after just two issues.