The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle
Hodaka enthusiast Randy Smith gets some air on his heavily
modified 1974 100cc Hodaka Super Rat at the Thayer MX held
outside of Thayer, Mo.
Bike: 1974 100cc Hodaka Super Rat
Owner: Randy Smith
Location: Wakarusa, Kan.
Occupation: Insurance agent
Etc.: A true believer, Randy currently owns four Hodakas and competes regularly in vintage motocross.
Why Hodaka motorcycles? “In the 1960s, everything was chromed. Even our toaster at home was chromed. Hodakas were the ultimate bike and, you guessed it, they were chromed. There were loads of them back then in the beginner and youth classes at the local motocross track. Man, were they COOL. I wanted one real bad, but I was stuck with a 1970 Suzuki TC90 instead.
“Many years later a friend called and asked if I wanted to buy an old non-running Hodaka Thunderdog. With that funny name, it had to be a Hodaka. I lost interest and sold it like a dummy, but later saw an ad for two Hodaka Super Rat bikes in the local paper. I bought them both. When I went on the Internet looking for parts, I was overwhelmed with all of the parts and friendly knowledge that was available. It wasn’t long before I had eight chrome-tanked Hodakas and was racing vintage motocross with my two sons.
“The Hodakas are easy to work on, they are light weight and produce excellent power for such small engines. It brings me huge pleasure to beat much larger bikes. I am 48 years old, but I am a kid when I ride my Hodaka Super Rat. Fun has no age limits.”
Read more about the motorcycles mentioned in this article:
• The Hodaka Motorcycle Experience