Book Review – Hodaka: The Complete Story of America’s Favorite Trail Bike by Ken Smith

Nov 30, 2014 View Comments by

Book Review - Hodaka: The Complete Story of America’s Favorite Trail Bike by Ken SmithFrom 1964 to 1978, Hodaka was a collaboration of a Japanese manufacturer and an American distributor. Though it only lasted 14 years, the company produced nearly 150,000 bikes. These trail bikes were built in Japan but were distributed by the Pacific Basin Trading Company (PABATCO) based in Athena, OR. Hodaka quickly acquired a strong following in the U.S. as the light and powerful bikes offered class-leading performance. The cult of Hodaka continued to grow as the bikes claimed a number of race wins in off-road, trial, flat track, and even road races. With names like the Combat Wombat, Road Toad, Dirt Squirt, and Super Rat, Hodakas were anything but ordinary, a trait reflected in the brand’s advertising, which further endeared the bikes to fans across the country.

In Hodaka: The Complete Story of America’s Favorite Trail Bike, Ken Smith chronicles the history of this short lived, but deeply loved bike manufacturer. The book’s 192-thick and glossy, full-color pages recount the story of this long-departed brand with insightful commentary, 300 color and black and white photographs, and interesting old artwork and advertisements.

Ken Smith was a young dirt bike rider in Hodaka’s heyday, becoming enamored with the brand from an early age. He is now the editor of VMX Magazine, a publication focused on classic dirt bikes and motocross. He wrote the book to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hodaka’s beginning.

Hodaka: The Complete Story of America’s Favorite Trail Bike
Author: Ken Smith
Published by: Octane Press
Hardcover, 192 pages
ISBN: 978-1937747367
Price: $60
www.octanepress.com

 

Want to receive free Touring Tips, reviews, deals and contests, and additional content? Sign up for your free newsletter now!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , Categories: Product Reviews