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The motorcycle on which young Mike Pearson rips through the Morningside Cemetery was a green 1976 Hodaka Road Toad.

In searching for an appropriate motorcycle for actor Michael Baldwin to ride in the film, unit production manager Bob Del Valle made a call to Hodaka Motors. The managers at the company generously offered to provide the production with a brand new Road Toad for use as a featured vehicle in Phantasm. In addition, the production prominently placed a Road Toad poster on the wall of Mike’s bedroom set.

Manufactured and distributed in the late 1970’s, the Hodaka Road Toad featured a 100cc engine and was designed for use as both a street legal and off road trail bike. Hodaka was a joint Japanese and American company that is credited with starting the trail and dirt bike craze in the United States. Hodaka models included the Ace 100, Wombat, Super Combat, Super Rat, Dirt Squirt, and Thunderdog in addition to the Road Toad.

The Phantasm Hodaka became a source of great amusement for both cast and crew, with rivalry among them as to who would get to ride it! Despite safety concerns, Michael Baldwin frequently spent his down time riding the bike around the set when not actually filming. Such practice gave him confidence for the sequences in which he was required to ride the motorcycle on screen.

 

 
 

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