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laird387

HODAKA DALESMAN?

20 posts in this topic

Yes Charlie,

"Tis Rob Fitton himself

Cheers

Deryk

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Posted (edited)

Charlie, the bikes you're talking about were built in-house at Hodaka R&D. (The Hodaka R&D guys were keen on trials).  The 1st one used a Saracen frame with a special Hodaka engine, said to be about 175cc, with a Cotton tank.That frame was single front downtube as per Saracen. (If I recall correctly the parent company of Hodaka also imported/distributed Saracens)

Curt Alexander in Hodaka R&D then made 6 frames based on that modified Saracen frame of the prototype but with double front downtubes. When built up they used production Hodaka motors - 100/125. They were called the Bullfrog but were never a production model.

 

On the other hand, the bike pictured in Scot Taco's post is often said to be a Wassell or Wassell-framed Hodaka Wombat. It was actually built by Sprite. If you know Sprites it is very easy to identify as very similar to their Sachs-engined trials frame. It was  sold by the Gemini distributor Terry Faust, who was also the Canadian Hodaka distributor. In the US it was sold as the Hodaka Challenger & in Canada it was known as the Sprite Avenger.

They used Sprite frames, swingarm, wheels/hubs, forks & yokes etc, with Wombat 125 engine and aircleaner. The tank may well be from Wassell, which is probably where the confusion comes from, but it is the same tank as used on the Sprite MX models.

The story from Frank Hipkins sons (Steve & Paul) is that Frank was sent a Hodaka engine by a Canadian Oil/Gas company to be fitted into a rolling chassis for use by their remote workers. It was not originally intended as a competition trials bike. Frank modified an existing chassis to suit the Hodaka engine then those Sprite rolling chassies were sent to the Canadian Hodaka distributor to be fitted with the engines. Sprite were said to have built about 150 of them, in batches of 75 (but I wouldn't be surprised if that figure was considerably exaggerated).

Hodaka Challenger 125.jpg

Hodaka Sprite Avenger.jpg

Hodaka Bullfrog 175 prototype, Saracen frame.jpg

Hodaka Bullfrog 125, double downtube frame.jpg

Hodaka Bullfrogs.jpg

Edited by jc2
spelling typo
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Hi,Guys,

Hi Jc2,

Yes that's about right, other little bits, but that is the story,

Pity they were not made for sale.

As I say More about the bikes on my web site shortly.

Regards Charlie.

 

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The more you look the more complicated it gets!  Looking at the Hodaka in scot tacos posting, particularly at the top mounting of the rear suspension seems to support the story that Pete Edmundson had a hand in the early development, especially when you look at the image of Pete taken when he wanted a blow of fresh air so took one of the production Dalesman models from his works in Otley up on to Otley Chevin.

Then compare the rear suspension upper mounting on the works Sprite Goldfinger ridden by Brian Hutchinson.

I believe Pete, he has bitter memories of his involvement with Hodaka..............

74pete edmondson  copy.jpg

'0-1-Hutch Sprite Goldfinger copy.jpg

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Here is a modernised Hodaka

d5bae0b0c43cc5ef79b99673f5f4f6f6.jpg 

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