’74 Hodaka Super Combat
I’ve said over and over, I dig Hodaka’s. From the story of the company, the bikes, the names and how many of them were sold and enjoyed bt everyone from kids, to pro’s, to little old ladies on a trail ride. You could ride it to school or work and then on the weekend go to the desert or woods on the same bike with ease. Hodaka’s were pretty cheap, in a lot of ways, but anything that wasn’t quite up to the quality standards set by the big 4 Japanese companies or the Europeans was completely over-shadowed by the ‘high giggle factor’ that came stock with every Hodaka motorcycle.
Hodaka has legions of followers around the world, in the US there is a huge event each year called Hodaka days. There are swap meets, bike shows, street rides, trail rides, moto cross races…great fun for lovers of the little bike with the funny names…Ace 90, Ace 100, Rat, Super Rat, Wombat, Combat Wombat, Super Combat Wombat, Dirt Squirt, Road Toad (it was bright!!! green) and the Thunderhog. How can you resist a bike called the ‘Dirt Squirt’??
There are also lots of resources for Hodaka fans out there. The best starting place I have found is the folks at ‘Strictly Hodaka’ www.strictlyhodaka.com from there you’ll photo galleries, events, links, all kinds of parts and a lot more. It’s the perfect place to make your leap into Hodaka World.
A terrific vintage motocrosser, Hodaka upgraded the Super Combat in 1974 with reed valve induction, a bigger carb, a new cylinder arrangement and the newest ‘no flywheel’ CDI ignition. The Super Combat was fast, as a matter of fact, it was faster out of the hole (starting line ) the Honda Elsinore, really it was. A good rider could get the jump on everybody and be to the first turn leading the pack. However, if the track was a long fast one, like some 5th and 6th gear straights, the Hodaka started falling behind. And, if the course was a rough one, well…besides being beat to death by the mediocre suspension, you’d find your self pretty far back in the back wishing the race was really only the first 50 yards. Yes, Hodaka did pinch a few pennies on the suspension but there were a few good aftermarket suppliers that smooth things out for you.
I came across a pretty clean Super Combat on ebay today. The owner doesn’t provide much more information other than it runs good, but the pictures show that it is in good shape and probably well taken care of Looks to me with some of those better shocks I mentioned. It also looks to be a good value so far, not one of those motorcycles that comes with a price tag that makes you laugh. Click on the pics below for more pictures and contact info.