Many might be unfamiliar with this, but during the 1980s, Honda offered the Motocompo, a foldable gas-powered scooter designed to fit into the storage area of the Honda City. Despite not being available in the US, Honda labeled it a “trunk bike,” ideal for covering the last mile after parking the City in a spot.
Fast forward to the present era of emphasis on electrification, where Honda has introduced the Motocompacto, drawing inspiration from the original but featuring an electric motor. With a small battery offering a range of up to 12 miles at speeds reaching 12 miles per hour, it may not boast remarkable specs. However, the compact battery recharges fully in just 3.5 hours. Consider this scenario: you commute a short distance to your office on the Motocompacto and while at work, it charges conveniently from a nearby 110-volt outlet. By the time you’re ready to head home, the battery is fully replenished.
The Motocompacto maintains a small footprint, measuring just over 38 inches in length, 35 inches in height, and with a 24.5-inch seat height. When folded, it shrinks to a mere 21.1 inches in height, 3.7 inches in width, and 29.2 inches in length. Weighing only 41.3 pounds, it’s effortlessly portable and can be lifted into your car’s trunk with ease.
Getting it road-ready from its suitcase-like form is a simple task—attach the seat, extend the handbars, and pull out the rear wheel, all achievable in under a minute. Equipped with a small brake light and headlight for visibility, it ensures other riders and drivers spot you on the road.
True to Honda’s reputation, the Motocompacto optimizes its limited space well. Unfolded, it offers a small slot in the center to accommodate a laptop or a small bag. Additionally, a digital screen facilitates scooter activation and choice between two drive modes. Mode 1 limits speed to a walking pace, requiring a kickstart before using the throttle, while Mode 2 propels the Motocompacto from a standstill up to its top speed of 15 mph.
Powered by a single electric front motor with 490 watts of peak output and 11.8 pound-feet of torque, the Motocompacto might not seem overly powerful on paper. However, during a test around Honda’s corporate office in Torrance, CA, it exhibited ample power, providing an enjoyable ride experience. Riding low on the Motocompacto adds to the fun and a sense of security compared to standing scooters—easily putting your feet down if needed.
Mostly ridden on smooth pavements during our test, the absence of suspension implies feeling bumps on rougher roads. Nevertheless, this is in line with typical electric scooters, presenting no surprises.
The most appealing aspect is the price: the Honda Motocompacto comes at a reasonable $995, opening accessibility to a wide range of users. Honda envisions it attracting younger customers and those reliant on public transportation. Picture the convenience of riding the Motocompacto to a train or subway station, folding it up for transit, and then using it to cover the final distance at your destination, eliminating the need to walk.