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Old 07-01-2013, 10:35 AM   #181
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Just past the pavement's end in North Alabama
Oddometer: 416
This RR is much more interesting than it would have been if nothing went wrong and all time schedules were met. Somebody once defined adventure as when all the best-laid plans fall apart.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:41 AM   #182
flagrant bozo
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It was nice meeting you and Saint Donna at Athena, here's wishing you both the best for the rest of your journy....
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:31 PM   #183
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: East Texas
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Hodaka and the TAT

Wow Andy
I just read your entire RR (didnt get much done today at the office) anyway a great report, well written and fantastic pictures and I commend you for the perseverance

Plus if you got rtwdoug's attention your are a hero as he is the man on motorcycle adventure and trip reporting !!
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:17 PM   #184
We're burning daylight...
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Joined: Sep 2004
Location: Coweta Oklahoma
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Your problem could be a wet air filter or mud blocking a carb drain hose or gas cap vent hose, or ( I have seen it happen) it could have gotten a bit if water in the carb and it is getting sucked into the main jet.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:28 PM   #185
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Cullman AL
Oddometer: 86
Nice rr I was riveted to it, I live near y'all in Cullman al, I think I will start looking for an old 2 stroke enduro
Road King Classic, XT250, Yamaha TY 175, Yamahapper, aero 50
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:49 PM   #186
Joined: Jun 2013
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Greetings from Eureka, CA

Hello ABee,
Congratulations on a fantastic ride!
Missed you at Hodaka Days. You were standing just in front of us when you were introduced before the start of the Bad Rock trail ride. Thought we would catch you later on but that didn't happen and we left Saturday morning early.
We will be back at Hodaka Days next year. Hope to see you there.

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Old 07-02-2013, 08:39 AM   #187
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Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 140
Days 24,25,26

Hodaka Days Bike Show

Days 24, 25, 26
Hodaka Days, Athena, OR

I love vintage bikes. Looking at the past through rose colored lenses, trying to relive my youth-I am guilty of all of those things. Riding and working on old bikes makes me happy, and so does participating in events that center around these machines. I love to race my vintage bikes in MX and flattrack events, and have managed to get to quite a few over the past three decades. Some people say this is “living in the past” and people like me should get over the “old crap” and move on. My feeling is that if I continue to use and enjoy these bikes in the present, than I am really not living in the past at all. I have modern bikes that I enjoy very much, but for whatever reason, they do not evoke the same emotions as my old bikes do. It is probably because I did not form an emotional attachment to them in my youth. My new KTM EXC, as fabulous as it is, seems more like a soulless appliance compared to the little Hodaka and my other vintage bikes. Maybe my attachment is greater to the old bikes because of the “sweat equity” that goes into rebuilding them and keeping them going. Whatever it is, it does not really matter. The fact that they help make me happy is enough.
It is always a treat to go to vintage events and meet other like-minded people. I had never been to Hodaka Days before, simply because it was on the other side of the country and typically conflicted with other commitments, so I really did not know what to expect. As I mentioned, I never had Hodakas as a kid (although I worked for a dealership that sold them), nor did I race them in AHRMA events. As a result, I did not know any of the “Hodaka people” that I was about to meet in Athena. The “Hodaka Days” experience would be new, and I was looking forward to it.
Athena is a tiny town in the northeastern corner of Oregon on the western side of the Blue Mountains. It was once the headquarters of Pacific Basin Trading Company (PABATCO), which began to import Yamaguchi motorcycles in 1961. When Yamaguchi closed its doors around 1963, the employees of PABATCO designed a bike that Hodaka, the last supplier of engines for Yamaguchi, would build for them. The bike, the Ace 90, was a huge success in sales and in racing competition. The Ace 90 was the ancestor of all of the other Hodakas to come- the Ace 100, Super Rat, Wombat, Combat Wombat, Dirt Squirt, Road Toad, Super Combat, 175 SL, 250 SL and Thunderdog 250. By 1978, Shell Oil, which now owned PABATCO, decided to cease operations because of the all of the red ink in the ledgers. By now, it was tough for Hodaka to compete against the R and D might of the other Japanese manufacturers. The impact that Hodaka had, and continues to have on the lives of enthusiasts is undeniable, however. This is apparent by the brand’s popularity in certain classes in AHRMA competition as well as the well-attended Hodaka Days event.
When we first pulled into the parking lot of the high school in Athena, we were met by Kelly, a Hodaka Club officer who said he was following this ride report. I filled Kelly in on what had transpired the past few days and mentioned that I fully expected to finish the ride as soon as we spent a few days in Athena. I also met Greg, another Hodaka Club officer who was busy making preparations for the coming days. I don’t think I saw Greg have an idle moment the whole weekend, he was always busy facilitating the event. In fact, all of the Hodaka Club people were incredibly busy the entire weekend, working hard to ensure that everyone else had a good time. After Greg had to blitz off to take care of business, we met Lori from Texas, who along with her husband, helped to make room for us in the RV camp. It was nice having access to electricity to save propane for the generator. We were to learn that Hodaka people were just like all the other vintage bike people, passionate about their bikes and the sport, but also friendly and helpful to other enthusiasts with similar interests.
The following morning I tore into the Toad looking for the cause of the most recent ignition failure. I had hoped for something simple, like water in the magneto or elsewhere, causing a short. No such luck. A source coil on the magneto tested bad. No problem, I had another one in the spares. I removed the old one and soldered the new one on. The bike still would not start. Only a random pop now and again. When I pulled the plug, held it to the head and kicked it over, it LOOKED like I was getting a good spark. Of course, I did not test the new source coil, assuming it was good right out of its original box. I checked and double checked everything; the carb, exhaust, reeds, all electrical connections. By now, things were looking grim for the Toad. I had its guts strewn out all over the campground, much to the dismay of the Hodaka faithful. Finally, I decided to check the new part. Darn if that rascal did not test bad. I had a good stator and source coil on the spare Toad. Off it came and into the TAT Toad it went. The bike then fired off on the first kick.
I was happy to get the Toad running again. I planned to use the “Bad Rock” trail ride the next day to test the repair. This Hodaka Days event was a 40 to 50 mile ride on a portion of the old 1973 Bad Rock ISDE course. The night before, I had helped change a tube on a bike that belonged to Stu, who was camped across from us. Stu was providing bikes for his friend Tom and son Shaun to ride in the Bad Rock, and invited me to join them in tomorrow’s ride. It would be good to have company on the trail again, after over 4,000 miles of solo riding.
The weather the following day for the trail ride was beautiful, if not a little warm. Over 100 riders total participated, a good turnout. We were released in waves of three to five riders at two minute intervals, to spread us out on the trail. Our group was about the fourth out, but we soon ran into the others that started in front of us congregated at a road crossing. It seems that some local joker thought it would be fun to move some of the directional arrows and “wrong way” signs around to spice things up a little. It did not take the event organizers long to discover this, and soon the needed corrections were made. Nate, who had worked hard helping to lay out the course, rode just ahead of our group, which was now in the lead, to make sure all the directional arrows were correct. Like the bikes themselves, this event was a pure delight. There was a challenging section that paralleled a creek running down a ravine, some fun grass track sections (I later found out that Nate had cut nearly a mile of this with nothing but a weedeater), and some large mud holes and creek crossings. There was also a snack break and lunch stop on the course. It was a great way to spend the morning, as well as perfect way for me to evaluate the Toad’s performance before returning to the TAT. It seemed to run well, although a little down on power. The exhaust was past due for a cleaning, and it was probably a little clogged with oil and carbon, but I would take care of this later.
In the afternoon, I had the opportunity to go to the swap meet to look for spare ignition parts for the Toad. I had no luck. There were stators and ignitions available, but they were attached to project bikes for sale. I had no room on the trailer for any more projects, so I passed on these opportunities. A lot of the “barn find” projects these days look more like “found behind the barn in the manure pile” projects. It made me feel grateful that I got into vintage bikes when the pickings were a little bit better. On the opposite end of spectrum were the bikes entered in the bike show. Some of these bikes were just stunning in their attention to detail. One builder in particular, Lee Fabry, does museum-quality work. It is no wonder that his bikes have been featured in various motorcycle publications throughout the years.
It was also great to meet some of the original PABATCO employees, such as Harry Taylor, Chuck Swanson and Ed Chesnut. It was great to see them involved in the event and their willingness to pass down their wisdom and knowledge of the bikes to the current generation of Hodaka enthusiasts. Chuck was seen putting around town on a road-going Ace that he had just built, while Ed helped preside over the rider’s meeting at the Bad Rock, warning us of the large rocks hidden in high grass that the ride is notorious for. The Hodaka club does a great job organizing social events at Hodaka Days that give you great opportunities to meet and talk with these people, and I took full advantage of them. Oh, and by the way, Bob, Paul, Greg and the other Hodaka Club officers that allowed me to be the “grand marshall” of the Hodaka parade, thanks for the honor. I know it must have been a disappointment to the spectators that were used to seeing moto celebrities such as Preston Petty lead the parade, but it was certainly fun for me. (Say Marge, who is that stranger on the beat-up old Road Toad?) Unfortunately for Donna and I, we had to skip the vintage MX the next day. This broke our hearts, because we love to race and had dragged a Super Combat across the country for the event. However, Donna has to catch a plane to head back east next week and I will be losing my sag wagon. I have to finish the ride by next Tuesday, so with the Toad now repaired, we headed back to Cedarville and the TAT Saturday afternoon.

Some Some of Lee Fabry's works of art. A scaled-down Super Rat mini and a VanTech Webco Hodaka.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:46 AM   #188
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Joined: May 2013
Location: North Georgia
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Photos, Days 24, 25, 26

The start of the Bad Rock Trail Ride, Weston, OR.

Tom crossing a creek on Stu's Wombat, Bad Rock trail ride.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:51 AM   #189
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Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 140
Photos, Days 24, 25, 26

One of the mud bogs on the Bad Rock ride.

Shaun, ABee, Tom and Nate at the lunch break during the Bad Rock ride. Nate rode ahead to scout the trail and replace missing directional arrows.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:54 AM   #190
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Location: North Georgia
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Photos, Days 24, 25, 26

The Toad in the Blue Mountains on the Bad Rock ride.

Lining up for the start of the Hodaka parade through Athena.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:59 AM   #191
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Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 140
Photos, Days 24, 25, 26

Athena PD police bike, a modified Road Toad donated by the Hodaka Club.

Ron Pomeroy before the start of the parade.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:04 AM   #192
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Joined: May 2013
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 140
Photos, Days 24, 25, 26

The Hodaka line-up before the parade. Probably the biggest concentration of Hodakas anywhere.

Check out the radar gun on the police Toad.

ABee screwed with this post 07-02-2013 at 09:31 AM
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:26 AM   #193
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Joined: May 2013
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 140
prsdrat, MaverickChick, rtwdoug, WECSOG, rufus- Thanks for the comments. By the way rufus, someone said that you are the guy that plowed through a cattle fence on the TAT. I almost did that a few times myself!

norham- Nice meeting you as well. Hope you had fun at Hodaka Days.

Steved57- Glad you are enjoying the report.

mashrider- Howdy, neighbor! I am sure there are plenty of old 2-stokes out there waiting for your attention!

Alpenglo- Sorry I missed you. I think I saw your bikes on a trailer behind a white Jeep Cherokee at one of the social events, but I could not find you. Maybe we can go for a ride when I am at our house in Shelter Cove later this summer.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:14 AM   #194
One Less Harley
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Bowling Green, Ky
Oddometer: 4,959
Your story is making me want to do the TAT again!!! What an adventure.....I was lucky enough to have the time available to do it 2 years ago....well under employed and no time like the present and new I'd probably never have that much time again.....glad I did, but make one want to do more of it!!

Thanks for the picts and taking us along!!
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:18 AM   #195
prominent underachiever
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Alabamski Oblast, Redneckistan
Oddometer: 3,733
Hodaka's had the coolest bike names ever. I have a collection of air cleaners, the only one I dont have yet is a combat wombat.

Will you have your toad at Barbers vintage fest?

Good luck on the rest of the TAT!
My bike hotel in Bulgaria. ADVriders get 1st beer free!

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