Hodaka was a joint Japanese and American company that manufactured motorcycles from 1964 through 1978. Close to 150,000 motorcycles were produced within that time. Prior to 1964 Hodaka made engines for the Yamaguchi motorcycle brand.
The worldwide distributor of Hodakas was PABATCO, for Pacific Basin Trading Company.Its headquarters were in the rural town of Athena, Oregon.PABATCO designed and engineered a majority of the motorcycle and engine and Hodaka in Japan was responsible for the manufacture and assembly. Pabatco was owned by Shell Oil Company from 1965 to 1978. The name Hodaka comes from a mountain near the factory and means "To grow taller". Starting to manufacture complete motorcycles in 1964, Hodaka/PABATCO is credited by some with starting the trail bike craze in the United States. This was due mainly to the design by the off road motorcycle enthusiasts at PABATCO. Hodaka models are listed below. In the late 1970s, a combination of events led to the demise of Hodaka.Falling US dollar exchange rates against the Japanese yen, a shift in demand from dirt bikes to larger road bikes, and general economic weakness fatally wounded the company.Shell attempted to purchase the Hodaka company at one point but the offer was rebuffed by Hodaka in Japan. Some of the tooling was later sold to the Korean company Daelim after Hodaka closed in 1978. In 2014 a complete history including in house notes, blueprints, photos etc.. was published. The book is called "HODAKA the complete story of America's favorite trailbike". The book is authored by Ken Smith from Australia and has the most comprehensive history of the Hodaka motorcycle brand ever written.