Jump to content



Recommended Posts


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
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites


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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...
  • 4 months later...

The bike with the 125 sized engine fitted looks very Sprite...ish although I think Mr Hipkin would not have approved of the welding/sif bronze standard.  Certainly the welding, a deciding factor that swayed my father to pass a cheque straight into Frank Hipkins hands at the Earls Court motorcycle show for a Kit form 37A engined Sprite Trials. We picked this bike up at the factory about a week later. All this information coming onto the site is really interesting and makes you wonder where all the entrepreneurs have disappeared to!

For my two pennies worth the bike with the little Hodoka engine doesn’t look as finished as a Dalesman. The red bike with the obviously larger engine looks more like a one off and a very nice one off at that; I’m sure I have seen that bike pictured elsewhere on the net. The bikes shown on Spens link look more like the type of thing the Americans would conjure up biased heavily towards fire trail riding and street run about than trials bikes. Yam 22 has the fullest account posted August 31st 2014. Hope that’s ok to say?r

Edited by section swept
Spelling error
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

According to Pete there was just one Hodaka engined Dalesman built at the factory.  It was a 100cc engine with a lightweight frame (also built by Jim Lee).  Paul England rode it in (at least) a Wednesday evening trail at Holmfirth.  The bike was sold afterwards so it's maybe still around somewhere.

Pete liked the Hodaka engine but it was just too small.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 14/01/2018 at 6:17 PM, section swept said:

All this information coming onto the site is really interesting and makes you wonder where all the entrepreneurs have disappeared to!


Still a few entrepreneurs involved in pre65 / twin shock, trouble is current bikes are very good right out the box. Back then, factory offering were pretty dire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

I think i could have had the Hodaka that Paul England rode. My dad brought it of his friend Alec Wright of Competition Developments in St Albans. I also thought that Alec had some thing to do with Dalesman at the end. I know he was going to sell my dad a 125 Sach's powered school boy MX for me, that was the Dalesman model. I have been trying to link up how Alec got the Hodaka ( Thought he had a few engines) & i was thinking it could have been through Rickman as i know they had built frames for the 100cc Hodaka engines   .... guess it could remain a mystery. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 31/12/2016 at 6:09 PM, petert said:

Is it just me or does that have a Kawasaki look to it

Do you mean a Honda Kawasaki look, hence Hodoka?


On 31/12/2016 at 5:42 PM, shakennstirred said:

Hodaka 250 Trial


Been raiding the Google pictures again. This bike, lovely as it is and very purposeful has appeared many times before. Who ever has got it will be keeping quiet because they probably want to keep it!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Done a bit more research & spoke to an ex business partner of Alec Wright. He told me they had built the frame & it was a one off, it was the only Hodaka engine they had. If the bike still exists i have no idea. Last time i heard it was in the Stevenage in Hertfordshire area of the U.K. probably long gone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Hi!  New to this page!  My name is Victor Lioce & I’m in Santa Fe, NM!

i have a friend in British Columbia who picked up a Sprite Challenger yesterday. We are trying to find out as much as we can about it. 

The bike has an original F series Hodaka Wombat 125 motor in the chassis, but is missing the original fenders & the exhaust.

We were told by the seller that this was the prototype build for the series.  Don’t know how true that is, but he says he will contact the previous owner and pass our contact info on to my friend, Alan.

I’ve read the background info posted here.  Just have a few questions. 

First, was there a location on this bike for a frame number? If so, where was it located?

Does anyone know where we can buy OEM fenders for her, and it looks like the fender is held on with a fork brace?

And, what kind of exhaust did this bike have?  I’ve seen one photo of another like her in a snowy background.  Would like to know if that was the stock pipe or if it was custom made? The second picture below is the one I am referring to here!

Thanks in advance for any assistance anyone can provide! ; D Victor



Edited by Viclioce
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...