100cc Hodaka Road Toad on the TAT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ABee, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. ABee

    ABee Near Normal

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
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    142
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    North Georgia
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    I have wanted to ride the Trans America Trail for some time now. In fact, I bought myself a retirement gift, a new KTM 530 EXC, to make the ride. However, my wife and I were on Interstate 84 near Pendleton, Oregon last summer on our way to Portland when we noticed truck after truck going down the road loaded with Hodakas. It was people going home after the Hodaka Days event. My wife then looked up the information about Hodaka Days on her I-Phone as we were driving. She found the article on Jack Broomall's trip from Pennsylvania to Athena on his Hodaka Wombat, which she read to me as we drove. I thought that it was pretty cool that this fellow had the courage to hit the road on a 34 year-old 125cc trailbike.
    When I was in college in Arcata, California, I put myself through school working for a BMW dealership in Eureka, California called Pacific BMW. Another local dealer, Fred Villopoto,of Eureka Cycles (Ryan Villopoto's grandfather, no kidding), was looking to get out of the business and sell off his inventory. Fred sold Bultaco, CZ and Hodakas at the time. We ended up buying all of his Hodaka bikes and parts and established a relationship with the business that was liquidating Hodaka inventory nationally (Wheels of Time, I believe). Anyway, part of Fred's old Hodaka inventory included a 02 Model Road Toad which I ended up buying for my wife (Donna) to learn how to ride on. It was her very first bike, and we have carried it around all of these years. She used to compete in enduros on it, but became interested in vintage MX and so the Hodaka sat in the corner of the garage unused for decades (she has a Super Combat and some MX Yamahas that she uses in AHRMA events). For whatever reason, I ended up acquiring another identical 02 Road Toad along the way.
    So, inspired by Jack's ride, I will leave the new KTM in the garage and head across the country on the 100cc Hodaka around the first of June, giving me a little over three weeks to make Hodaka Days. I am doing the ride solo, but will meet up with friends who will ride portions of the trail with me in places like Colorado. Donna will drive our motorhome and meet me at the end of each day's ride. The motorhome will serve as a support vehicle (sag wagon, if needed). I will bring the additional Road Toad on a trailer behind the motorhome to cannibalize any major components, if needed. I will also get the Super Combat going and throw it on the trailer so Donna and I can race the MX at Hodaka Days.
    The bike itself, other than having the motor freshened, up, new tires and an MZB electronic ignition, will be stone stock. Since I will have a support vehicle, I will not need to carry a lot of gear, other that my GPS, maps, spot locator, plugs, tubes, CO2 cartridges, jets and basic tools.
    Of course, I don’t know if the 35 year-old 100cc two stroke trail bike (or my body) will be able to make it the 4,000 plus miles in the time allotted, but I am going to find out how far I can get before I have to throw the Toad on the trailer. If I kill both of the Toads in the process, I will have at least had some fun doing it.


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    The support vehicle. Note vintage Holsclaw trailer. (Thanks Tom!)
    #1
  2. Yukoner2

    Yukoner2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    183
    My 1st bike was an ACE 100, it got me started, next was an ACE 90, not as much fun, but still only 2 wheels.I hope you have a great trip, would love to see all the old Hodaka's some day, but will probably not happen for me, too far away. PS black letters are very hard to read.
    Looking through some drawers here, I have about 6 pack of un-used original Hodaka matches, must be worth a fortune to some old smoker.
    #2
  3. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    I hope you meet up with the guys from the west coast that are heading east on Trail 90 powered by China motors . It will be race time !
    #3
  4. ABee

    ABee Near Normal

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    North Georgia
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    http://apeppercat.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/TAT-Hodaka/i-vWKZFn3/0/L/IMG_2175-L.jpg

    Leaving Jellico

    We drove up to Jellico from our home on the morning of June 3. Storms had moved through the area the day before so I expected a good bit of mud to be lurking in the hills. The idea for the first day was to ride around 150 miles as a “shakedown” after the engine rebuild. I planned to take it easy and make any needed adjustments to the bike. In the spirit of keeping the bike as stock as possible, I retained the oil injection system, which is a bit of a risk since they have a reputation of being inconsistent. Even though the new oil injection lines had been bled and the oil tank had been flushed, I was running a 32 to 1 mix for the first tank of fuel as insurance. I could then measure the amount of oil pumped at the end of the day, compare it to the fuel consumed and then calculate the ratio.
    The ride started around 1:30. Cool weather, some cloud cover. Just a few miles out of town, I began climbing into the hills on wide gravel roads. Not really much traffic on a Monday afternoon. The scenery was beautiful; there were many single lane wooden and concrete bridges over the numerous creeks. More often than not, there would be people fishing off the bridges or just enjoying the day.
    People in the East Tennessee Mountains seem friendly. I received lots of waves and questions about the weird old bike whenever I would stop to take pictures or get gas.
    Unfortunately (for me), about 75% (or better) of the first 150 miles of the TAT are now paved. I still enjoyed the ride, however. The natural beauty of the area is hard to beat.
    My favorite parts of the ride were the scenery around the Obed River and the dirt trails in the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area.
    I met my wife in the camper in the Rockwood area where we spent the night. 153 miles, 3.2 gallons of gas and 12 oz of injector oil.
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    Wooden Bridge near Winfield, TN
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    Obed River, near Wartburg, TN
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    Baby Mudhole, Catoosa Management Area

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    Toad's Eye View, Catoosa Management Area
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    Who will get to Oregon first?
    #4
  5. Ks-Rydr

    Ks-Rydr from the land of Toto

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Kansas
    How cool ABee, I bought a new "Road Toad" in June of 1976, and had a great time riding that bike. I even took it to Chadwick, Mo. and it did well there. That was back with the old single track trails and not the new wide 4-wheeler trails. It was a good bike and lot's of fun to ride. I think you'll enjoy the ride, 2 years ago some friends and I did part of the T.A.T., from Arkansas to Utah. I rode a '98 Suzuki DR350SE and had a blast. Would love to do it again.... I'll be following along to see how things go.
    Bill
    #5
  6. MUS

    MUS ActaNonVerba

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
    Unlike the guys on the Honda CT90's, are you going to keep up with a RR on this trip on ADV? Please no more Facebook! I had a Hodaka 125 I bought in Pennsylvania in 1976 and road trails all over PA for several years before I somehow broke the engine casing on something. I don't even think I had a skid plate on that bike, but it was sure fun to ride. Wish I still had it. If you do a RR, I am in. :clap
    #6
  7. prsdrat

    prsdrat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I fell in love the old Hodaka's back in the sixty's when they did a run
    down Baja. I still remember the signs they posted, as seen in some
    bike rag at the time, "Hodaka esta aqui!"

    I'm in for the RR. Keep us posted.
    #7
  8. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com TPB all the way

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,880
    Location:
    Texas at large.
    Wow! Dude that is going to be an awesome accomplishment! The TAT is a fantastic ride! I read about Hodaka Days every year, and hope to take it in as part of a long ride some day.
    Ride safe and best wishes!
    #8
  9. socalhodaka

    socalhodaka Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    30
    AB, I look forward to seeing you at Hodaka Days in a couple weeks.

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    #9
  10. Gunslinger1

    Gunslinger1 GIVE'R

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    654
    Location:
    Rolla, MO
    :clap.........Looking forward to your Adventure.....

    My cousin bought and rode a new Hodaka when I was a kid coming off a Trail 90 it was a BIG DEAL.........I remember the chrome tank and the smoke trail it left...:huh........Makes me smile today........I Loved It.
    #10
  11. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Cool old bikes.
    Good luck
    #11
  12. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Andy, All the best to you on your epic journey. One of my great hopes for my 2011 ride to Hodaka Days was that it would inspire others to attempt magnificent adventures on old bikes like your doing. Sorry I won't be at Hodaka Days to welcome you home but hopefully we'll meet at some point. I'll buy! ! Good luck buddy!
    All the best,
    Jack Broomall
    #12
  13. huzar

    huzar Pastor of Muppets

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    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    :lurk

    This should be fun :clap
    #13
  14. Ferguson Valley

    Ferguson Valley n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Have a Great Ride. My wife and I both had Hodakas in the early 70s, lots of fun in the California desert. We'll be folowing your RR.
    #14
  15. ABee

    ABee Near Normal

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
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    142
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    North Georgia
    Day Two

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    Jonathan's Barn
    I was back on the trail around 8:30. I was treated to clear weather, temperatures in the mid-80s. The plan was to meet my wife for lunch in Sparta, about 80 miles into the ride. In this area of Tennessee you are riding across the Cumberland Plateau. Again, beautiful scenery, but with the exception of a few dirt roads here and there, this part of the TAT is all pavement. Without GPS, navigation would be a bit tricky at times in this area with all of the zigzagging on the back road lanes. The highlights of this segment of the ride for me were Rock Island State Park and meeting an interesting fellow named Jonathan on the trail outside of Sparta. Rock Island State Park, named for an island with the same name on the Caney Fork River, runs through Great Falls Gorge in White and Warren Counties. Great Falls Dam is located here, along with the old Great Falls Cotton Mill, which was in operation from 1892-1902. Going up a ”hollow” on the TAT outside of Sparta on one of the few dirt roads on the ride, I spied an interesting barn that someone had built using lumber from other old barns, including some that had the old “See Rock City, Outside of Chattanooga” advertisements painted on the side. This barn also had an intriguing plaque hanging in the front that said “Aunt Sally.” I had to stop and get a picture. While I was doing so, a fellow sporting a long graying beard came running down the hill, spied me and shouted “HELLO,” in a not-so-friendly tone. I explained that I thought the barn was cool and all I wanted was a photo. The fellow, who introduced himself as Jonathan, said he was a little on edge because some local kids had tried to burn the barn down recently. He said that he taught outdoor classes at a nearby college and used the barn as a retreat or getaway when the need arose. This explained the “Aunt Sally” tag from Tom Sawyer, where he rejects civilization at the end of the story. “Aunt Sally, she’s going to adopt me, civilize me, and I can’t stand it. I have been there before.” Jonathan said that he has had to fight the county to keep the road in front of his place unpaved and welcomes the TAT crowd through his corner of Tennessee. Cool.
    222 miles to Bell Buckle, Tennessee. 4.7 gallons of gas and only 10 ounces of oil pushed through the injector pump. Yikes! Time to start mixing oil with the fuel again!
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    Jonathan in front of his Barn
    #15
  16. ABee

    ABee Near Normal

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    Great Falls Cotton Mill

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    Great Falls, Caney Fork, Rock Island State Park
    #16
  17. ABee

    ABee Near Normal

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    Great Falls Dam

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    Marina, Caney Fork, Rock Island State Park
    #17
  18. ABee

    ABee Near Normal

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    Toad's Eye View, one of the few dirt roads on this segment

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    Find the Toad! Near Lake Tansi
    #18
  19. ABee

    ABee Near Normal

    Joined:
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    Bell Buckle, TN Can you see the road?
    Bell Buckle was named for a warning the Indians gave to encroaching settlers. According to legend, Indians had carved a cowbell and a buckle (their symbols for the settlers) into a tree trunk near a creek in the area. The creek was named Bell Buckle, and the town that grew up near the creek took the same name. Today it is the home of the Webb School, a prestigious prep school founded by a civil war veteran by the same name. Today the town is also a tourist attraction with Victorian homes and the requisite boutique shops. We had camped at Old Stone Fort State Park, and were on the way back to where I had left off on the TAT the day before when the skies opened up. Thunder, lightning and torrential rain. We were under a severe thunderstorm warning as well as a flood warning. There was no way to ride in these conditions; I was just going to have to wait it out. The rain was heavy until around 1 pm, when it finally subsided. I hit the road with standing water everywhere; I just took it easy and tiptoed through the flooded areas. Again, this segment of the TAT is nearly all pavement. There are a few nice dirt roads as you get close to Adamsville in the Tennessee River area. The terrain changes from foothills to more of a pastoral patchwork of farms and farming communities and then back into the lowlands and swamps around the Tennessee River. You also go through some Amish farming communities. Many of the Amish seemed interested in the motorcycle as many looked up from what they were doing to wave to me. Of course, being on the TAT, they probably see bikes all the time. TAT navigators must be behaving themselves as they ride through this area, based on the reception I received. (Just a guess.) You would not believe how fast the Amish horses can trot while they are pulling those buggies! (Or maybe it just seems that way on the Toad!) The Toad is still running well so far after the oil pump scare the day before. I don’t feel good unless a small bore two stoke is getting at least 32 to one to that big end bearing.
    I have been riding about 8 hours a day and then I service the bike and tend to domestic chores, so I have been behind in my posts. I hope to get caught up soon. Thanks for all of the comments and encouragement. (Thanks again for planting the seed, Jack!)
    242 miles, five gallons of gas, 12 oz of oil through the pump and another 10 ounces mixed in the gas.
    Camping in Adamsville, Tennessee, the home of Buford Pusser. (Or so the water tank in town says.)
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    The roads outside Bell Buckle, after the storm.
    #19
  20. ABee

    ABee Near Normal

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    Campbell Station, TN

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    Watch out for the slick algae that grows on the concrete creek beds that cross the road!
    #20