During the 1980s, Honda unveiled the Motocompo, a foldable gasoline-powered scooter capable of fitting into the trunk of the Honda City. While it was never retailed in the US, Honda marketed it as a “trunk bike” designed to offer last-mile transport after parking the City in a specified location.
With the increasing focus on electric vehicles, Honda has now introduced the Motocompacto, an electric iteration inspired by the original. The Motocompacto showcases a small battery providing a range of up to 12 miles and a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour. Although these specifications may appear unimpressive, the advantage lies in the battery’s ability to be fully recharged in just 3.5 hours. Consider the convenience of riding the Motocompacto to your workplace a few miles away, and while you work, it can be effortlessly recharged from a nearby 110-volt outlet, ensuring a complete charge for your return trip home.
The Motocompacto boasts a compact design, measuring slightly over 38 inches in length, 35 inches in height, and with a seat height of 24.5 inches. When folded, its dimensions are reduced to 21.1 inches in height, 3.7 inches in width, and 29.2 inches in length. Weighing only 41.3 pounds, it is effortlessly portable and easily fits into your car’s trunk.
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Preparing the Motocompacto for a ride is a straightforward process. From its folded state, you simply need to attach the seat, extend the handbars, and pull out the rear wheel, a task achievable in less than a minute. It also includes a small brake light and headlight to improve visibility on the road.
Being a product by Honda, the Motocompacto efficiently utilizes its limited space. When unfolded, it offers a small slot in the middle, perfect for holding a laptop or a small bag. Additionally, it is fitted with a digital screen that facilitates easy startup and allows you to select between two drive modes. Mode 1 limits the speed to a walking pace and necessitates you to kick off before the throttle engages, whereas Mode 2 permits direct acceleration from a standstill to its maximum speed of 15 mph.
The Motocompacto is equipped with a single electric motor at the front, delivering peak output of 490 watts and 11.8 pound-feet of torque. Even though this may not seem like a substantial amount of power, during a trial ride around Honda’s corporate office in Torrance, CA, the Motocompacto provided a thrilling and enjoyable experience. Its low ride height contributes to the enjoyment and instills a sense of safety compared to standing scooters as you can easily place your feet on the ground in case of any issues.
While we predominantly rode the Motocompacto on smooth pavement, rougher roads may feel bumpier due to the absence of suspension. However, this is a common characteristic of electric scooters and should not come as a surprise.
One of the most appealing aspects of the Honda Motocompacto is its affordability, priced at just $995. This makes it within reach for a wide range of consumers. Honda aims to attract younger customers with the Motocompacto, while also targeting commuters who depend on public transportation within the city. Imagine riding the Motocompacto to a train or subway station, folding it up, and effortlessly continuing your journey. This eliminates the need for walking and further enhances convenience.
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