Honda Invents a Suitcase-Sized Ebike in the $1,000 Motocompacto

A nicely photoshopped picture of the Honda Motocompacto parked on a Venice Beach boardwalk. (Honda/)

Honda’s inspiration for the newly unveiled Honda Motocompacto came from its famous 1981–83 Motocompo design exercise. What would a new Motocompo look like today, given the massive popularity of electric scooters, ebikes and “EV-ification” of everything? The resulting Motocompacto is a radically different answer to the same question the Motocompo took on. To hear Honda tell it, the Motocompacto “revolutionizes personal mobility.” Are we experiencing a B.C./A.D. moment in history? Let’s dive in.

The revolution will not be televised, but it can be recharged next to your desk. The Honda Motocompacto being recharged in its folded state, as rendered by Honda artists. (Honda/)

Unlike the classic (and very sought after) Motocompo, the Motocompacto isn’t designed to fit neatly into an existing Honda car. It’s designed to fit anywhere a medium-sized suitcase can fit, which is a lot of places. And it’s clearly designed for bike lanes or even sidewalks (depending on local traffic laws) more than asphalt and centerlines.

In its folded state, the Motocompacto is just 3.7 inches wide, 21.1 inches tall, and 29.2 inches long. The handlebar and stem fold into the body or “fairing,” as does the seat once disconnected. The rear wheel disengages via a pin lever, and folds inward to complete the compact, portable design. That’s assuming you’ve folded the footpegs in. You can leave them out if you feel like riding a suitcase anywhere for comedic effect.

What lurks inside: 32 exclusive patents went into Honda’s new Motocompacto. Note the traditional front wheel motor layout. (Honda/)

Once unfolded, these dimensions become 17.2 inches wide, 35 inches tall, and 38.1 inches long. Non-Californians, your introduction to lane-splitting could start here. It rides on an aluminum frame, with LED lights front and back. A steel sidestand comes with a bike-lock-compatible loop to make thieves earn their filthy lucre.

The charger fits neatly inside the body and fully charges the Motocompacto from a standard 15-amp outlet in 3.5 hours once you’ve lugged it to your office or workplace. It weighs in at 41.3 pounds, which puts it squarely in the median weight for electric scooters, folding or otherwise. As for the rider, if you and your stuff are under the official weight capacity of 265 pounds, you’re good to go.

WESWMMR? It’s hard to know what electric scooter Marc Márquez would ride, but a telltale No. 93 offers a clue in this Honda-drawn artist rendering of the new Motocompacto. (Honda/)

Perhaps you’re inspired by this Honda-penned rising sun/blue mountain design motif of the new Motocompacto. (Honda/)

Tell passersby you’re in

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By: Anders T. Carlson
Title: Honda Invents a Suitcase-Sized Ebike in the $1,000 Motocompacto
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Published Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2023 18:12:34 +0000


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