Japanese American Mini Trail – 1977 Hodaka Dirt Squirt 80

In America, Japan, Less than 5k, Off-Road, Small Displacement by Tim HuberLeave a Comment

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Hodaka Motorcycles first started as a producer of engines before later joining forces with another existing outfit and going on to build complete bikes. The Japanese (and American joint) firm capitalized on the influx in popularity of small displacement trail bikes — a phenomenon due largely thanks to Honda’s wares and marketing. Hodaka’s philosophy was that riding should be affordable/accessible, and above all else, it should be fun.

The latter part of said philosophy could be felt through the manufacturer’s jocund model names like the Combat Wombat, Road Toad, and Dirt Squirt — a noticeable departure from the more masculine and bad-ass-sounding monikers commonly used (Challenger, Bandito, Cobra, Lightning, Invader, etc). The fun nature of these little runners was further exemplified through the firm’s branding and marketing, which described one of Hodaka’s tenth-liter cycles as a “fun-hundred”.

Hodaka originally released the Dirt Squirt 100, but not long after followed it up with an 80cc variant. These machines featured oil-injection, three-speed transmissions borrowed from the marque’s Wombat, and laid-down suspension. Though the Squirt didn’t come with road lighting, it did come from the factory with a lighting coil.

At the heart of the Hodaka was an air-cooled, two-stroke single fed via a Mikuni carb. The 25-degree thumper pulled hardest around the 7,500-8,000RPM mark, and with a dry weight of only 150.8lbs, the Squirt’s fore and aft drum brakes were more than sufficient to bring the mini trail bike to a stop. The scoot’s 7.4” of travel was pretty decent as well.

The 80cc Hodaka’s appearance was pretty fun too. The mid-‘70s model was adorned in a firetruck-red paint scheme complete with yellow lightning bolt, Hodaka logos, and a particularly nifty “Dirt Squirt 80” number plate that featured the brand’s “Racing Clam”. Supposedly only 1,000 examples were produced, making it one of the rarer late-model Hodakas.

This particular 1977 example is said to be in solid condition, though it’s not completely original. The red paint has been redone and new decals were applied, plus the exhaust isn’t original but is said to have a USFS approved spark arrestor. And, though the tank doesn’t leak, it does have some light rust on the inside, and a small dent on the (right side of) the outside. The sale also includes an original owners manual/parts list.

You can find this 1977 Hodaka Dirt Squirt 80 (model 82) for sale here on Craigslist in Olympia, Washington with a price of $1,800.

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