The Honda Motocompo Is Back… And It’s Called The Motocompacto!

As hard as it might be to believe, the Honda Motocompo is back! Errrr, sort of. The just-announced Honda Motocompacto is built along the same lines as the original machine, but there is one big difference—it’s an EV.

The original Motocompo was a weird and wild commuter intended to work as a sort of commuter accessory. It worked as a “congestion avoidance device.” A driver would keep the Motocompo folded up in their car trunk (indeed, in Japan, it was called a “trunk bike”). Upon arrival at an outside-the-city parking lot, the commuter could whip the Motocompo out, unfold the bars, and slice-and-dice through urban traffic en route to the office.

Credit: Honda

The 2.5-hp engine might not have set any speed records, but it did get you to work quickly and efficiently… smelling of two-stroke smoke. Still, Honda sold more than 50,000 of these bikes over the 1981-1983 production run, so people saw the advantage of two-wheeled transport.

Now, Honda has revived the idea with the new Motocompacto electric bike. Like the original, the Motocompacto folds down into a tidy package for your trunk, looking like a suitcase with wheels. It is 742 mm by 536 mm by 94 mm and weighs just under 20 kg. The battery has a 19-km range and only takes 3.5 hours to recharge from a standard 110V plug. Honda says the 490-watt hub motor in the front gives you 11.8 lb-ft of torque, moving you along at a max speed of 24 km/h.

In other words, this machine is just made for getting you from the carpool parking lot into work, as the original. It doesn’t even have turn signals; the only controls appear to be a throttle and a rear brake pedal. It’s almost as stripped-down as a bicycle.

And, Honda says it’s priced around $1600 CAD and coming to markets in November of 2023—does that mean Canada? We don’t know… yet.


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