I used to want one of these things in the worst possible way, back when I was a boy. And so, while Bobby and Dana do most of the actual riding, the bike is mine, mine, mine! ;-)
I happened across the poor little thing whilst looking over a used lawn mower at a bloke's house barely a mile down the road. He had no use for it, he said, and was overjoyed to accept the $50 I flashed at him. Doh! I could probably have picked it up for $20!
It was in sad shape; the engine was locked up, the tires were flat, and so on. But a lot of patience and a total engine rebuild by Mike Mefford, a northern Hodaka specialist, soon put everything right. This was probably the closest I'll ever come to totally restoring an old dirt bike, and it was beautiful when finished. But dirt bikes aren't complete without dirt, and so it's been ridden regularly, including many vintage and "bomber" motocross races with Bobby at the controls. Also, I laid out a small oval short-track on the back 40, and Bobby got really good at short-tracking the thing. Watching him pitch it into the curves wide-open in 2nd gear and cross it up made all the work it took to restore the bike worthwhile.
Favorite memory; Bobby winning a pre-monoshock "bomber" race at Rose Racing aboard the Rat. He was running against 250 and 350 machines, even one 500! The guy on a clapped-out TT-500 Yamaha nearly pulled by him at the end, but Bobby hung on for the win. He was more proud of that than of any other racing success, I think (as was I!). Of course, we won't mention the fact that he was in absolutely top physical condition, while the other contestants were all old and/or fat..:-) He beat the big bikes with a Super Rat, dammit, that's what counts! ];-)
I've also accumulated several other Hodaka parts bikes, including a complete Dirt Squirt, a mostly-complete Ace 90, and a barely-there Road Toad. The Road Toad pic above is a file photo, but the Super Rat pictured under the title is our bike.
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