Combat Boots: 1973 Hodaka Combat Wombat

Dirt Squirt, Super Rat, Wombat, Road Toad.  All bike names from the nuts in Athena, Oregon that designed Hodaka motorcycles.  I doubt that any of the names were developed by an MBA and focus grouped.  You may not remember YZF250W, but you do remember Combat Wombat.  Find this 1973 Hodaka Combat Wombat for sale in Fairbanks, AK for $5,000 via craigslist.

PABATCO, or Pacific Basin Trading Company was the worldwide distributor of Hodaka motorcycles.  Located in Athena, Oregon, they not only distributed Japanese-built Hodakas, but designed them in the good ol’ US of A.  The Combat Wombat came out in 1973.  It was the MX competition version of the 1972 Wombat, powered by a 123cc air-cooled two stroke twisting out 12.5 hp at 8,500 rpm.  This bike in the ad’s motor is probably cleaner than it was in the showroom in 1973.  It was rebuilt by Dan Cooke, a highly respected builder in the Hodaka world.

The Wombat and Combat Wombat were supposedly named around the the time PABATCO began importing Hodaka’s to Australia.  The Combat Wombat was competitive with the 125’s from the other makes, but in the early 70’s MX technology was advancing rapidly, so Hodaka supplemented the Combat Wombat with the Super Combat in 1974.

This bike is notable in that it still retains its polished metal fenders and un-dented polished metal tank.  According to the ad the tank was re-chromed and the fenders are NOS that took years to locate.  If you check out the ad for this bike, pretty much everything is new or restored.  As with this sort of project, the seller says he has $10,000 into it and is selling it for 50 cents on the dollar.  It does look good enough to eat off of, which is probably why it’s parked in the kitchen.

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Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.  He prefers metal tanks to plastic.