May 18, 2022


Automotive pure lust

1982 Honda MotoCompo Adds a Little Kick to Your Commute

From the August 1982 issue of Car and Driver.

Is this a joke or what?

You open the back of the Honda City and what do you find? Another transportation device, called the MotoCompo. You almost expect to find yet another transportation device inside this two-wheeler; perhaps you’ve stumbled on a set of Chinese boxes. But then you unlock the plastic top-cover and discover the handlebars neatly folded inside. Within seconds they lock in place and you’ve got yourself a fully operational, 50cc, two-stroke motorbike.

But why?

George LippCar and Driver

Well, the MotoCompo has a serious transportation function. Honest. In Japan, parking slots are often located miles from an individual’s place of work. The MotoCompo, a $332 option, is meant to pass the time between parking and working as quickly as possible. So far it all seems pretty reasonable. Then you realize what it’s going to be like lifting that 92-pound motorcycle out of the back of the City; only sumo wrestlers need apply. And there’s no telling what the people in the office elevator are going to think.

George LippCar and Driver

As a plain old motorcycle, though, the MotoCompo is nice enough. It has a centrifugal clutch, so once you’ve kick-started it into life, you can just gas it and go. Better wear a helmet, though. Quick steering, tiny wheels, and a tall center of gravity, and foolhardiness, tend to make mini-bikes the first step toward a lifetime of skinned knees and bruised egos.

The MotoCompo is more than a conspiracy by the Band-Aid lobby, however. Japanese motorcycle manufacturers are convinced that mopeds and such have a future in America despite the bust of the last moped boom in 1978. You’ll be seeing a lot more little motorcycles in the near future. The philosophy behind the City: to get people interested in the big ones, first you have to make the little ones more fun and more affordable.



1982 Honda MotoCompo

Mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 1-passenger motorcycle



single-cylinder, aluminum block and head, 1×1-bbl carburetor

3 in3, 49 cm3

2.5 hp @ 5000 rpm

1-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 32.7 in
Length: 46.6 in
Width: 21.1 in
Height: 35.8 in
Curb weight: 92 lb

Top speed: 25 mph

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