Honda Motocompo


In 1981, one of the better products in the Honda range was the City. Bigger and wider than a traditional kei-car, it was also more powerful and substantial, with a 1.3L 63ps motor and a curb weight of 675kg. It did quite well in many western markets.

But one of the interesting “options” for the Honda City in Japan was a tiny little motorbike called the Motocompo.


Designed to fit inside the hatch of the City, the Motocompo was powered by a 2.5ps 50cc 2stroke that enabled it to hit a dizzying top speed of 30km/h (sorry no VTEC). Of course given that it’s roughly the size of a footstool that is probably not a bad thing that it doesn’t go any faster.


Its 2.2L fuel tank would give it a reasonable riding range of about 130kms too.


I guess the idea behind the concept was that the Motocompo would live inside the boot of the City. And for the typical Japanese city where there are scarce parking spots near a train station, you could simply park up a distance from the station, then unload your minibike, and ride to the station.


The problem with this of course was that, at 42kg, the little runt-bike would have been quite unwieldy, and lifting an oily (it’s a 2-stroke remember) motorbike out of the boot of your car in your pristine work-clothes is probably not a good look….and of course lifting a 42kg bike with roadgrime all over it and a red hot exhaust back into the car at the end of the day probably isn’t any picnic either…..but as you can see in the promotional pics above, when you’re not riding around, it does make an excellent coffee table or sideboard.


It was the 80s….everyone cool played the saxophone

So for most people, getting a proper scooter and riding that from your home to the station is a much better idea, which is what many people in Japan do….still…this didn’t prevent the Motocompo from selling like Japanese redbean hotcakes, with Honda shifting 5million of the damn things between 1981 and 1984.


The price of Y80,000 seems cheap now (A$800) but in 1981 it would have represented 10% of the purchase price of the Honda City itself.


80’s boy-band pose?

But anyway, nobody *needs* a knee-high, 30km/h motorcycle that you can put in the boot of your car…and yet I am strangely moved by it.

Anyone got one for sale?

This post is filed under: honda.

13 Responses to Honda Motocompo

  1. 31GUN said:

    Probably handles like a foot stool too. One with casters.

  2. RatDat said:

    Those fellas in the last pic looks to be UK pop/ska band “Madness”.

  3. Omawari_San said:

    They are Madness. Madness did commericals for that car in the UK if I remember correct. Great Band! Love their music.

  4. LarryW said:

    Those things look sweet.

    I found one on ebay (in the US):

  5. leongsoon said:

    I’ve been wanting one of these for quite sometime now, pretty rare around my place though.

  6. altoidsburnme said:

    This ad points out the motocompo.

  7. J-Spec said:

    Was there any relationship between the Motocompo and Isuzu? I believe (based on some ad’s of them for sale that I’ve seen around) that the Isuzu Gemini ute also came with a Motocompo? Any ideas Kev? And by the way the Isuzu Gemini ute might be a car worthy of GrandJDM interest… from my sources only about 10 of them were made, and only 6 are still around in one piece.


  8. Kev said:

    Isuzu Gemini came in a ute? That’s news to me! GrandJDM will investigate 🙂

  9. J-Spec said:

    I’ll send you some info on them 😉


  10. Howard G. Singer said:

    22 APR 09


    I am interested in purchasing one. My color preferences are. . .any color will suffice.

    All the very best,
    Howard G. Singer
    Telephone: 858-454-2628 Pacific Daylight Time

  11. Pingback: Japanese Nostalgic Car – Blog » Blog Archive » Our Honda, in the Middle of the Street

  12. Eric said:

    Those fellas ARE ’80s ska band Madness. They did the City commercials in Japan.

    I, too think the idea’s time has come. Honda is introducing electric scooters over the next couple years. Imagine an electric charged via a hybrid vehicle. It could happen!

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