Hodaka Combat Wombat

Hodaka Combat Wombat
One of the biggest names in the dirt bike craze that hit the US in the 1960s was Hodaka. The history of this Oregon-based company is complex, unlike its products: it was a Japanese-American joint venture, was owned by Shell Oil at one point, and towards the end of its life attempted to purchase Fuji Heavy Industries. Hodaka disappeared at the end of the 1970s, leaving a legacy of lightweight and competitive trail bikes—with names such as Combat Wombat, Super Rat, Dirt Squirt, Road Toad and Thunderdog.

The Strictly Hodaka website covers the marque well; the picture above shows a 1973 Hodaka Combat Wombat owned by Bob Fredette, and below is a 1960s Hodaka Short Tracker owned by ex-racer Max Good. [Thanks to Debbie Daugherty for the tip.]

Hodaka motorcycle

  • Don Daugherty

    It’s really great to see that you included my wife Debbie’s Hodaka suggestion to your list. Hodaka was truly a hallmark in the annals of dirtbike history. When other Japanese manufacturers where making pressed steel frames (ala – the Honda step-through 90) Hodaka made some of the most rugged and powerful double-downtube, tubular-framed motorcycles on the market. They were ahead of their time.

    You might also want to include a link to http://www.hodakadays.org. There’s still a huge following for these great little machines, which includes anything from street-trail riding, to scrambles, motocross, road-racing, and even a recent Bonneville Salt Flats speed record by one Californian!

    Among our collection of motorcycles I still have my original 1970 Hodaka (restored to trailer-queen status) Super Rat, a modified race-ready Super Combat 125, and a little green Road Toad which is undergoing a bit of a restoration at present.

    Thanks again for including Hodaka!
    Don Daugherty
    All Moto Tire, LLC
    Graham, Wa.

  • Jake

    So glad to see that Wombat! My first bike was an ancient Dirt Squirt, and I had visions of turning into a cafe racer using the tank from a Combat Wombat. IMHO, the Combat Wombat had one of the best looking tanks of the era (…no Manx Norton…but a guy can dream, right?).

    Fun, simple and easy to fix. Loved my little squirt.