Motorized Suitcase: 1982 Honda Motocompo

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Here to remind you once more of the weirdness of the 1980s is the Motocompo, a “trunk bike” produced by Honda from ’81-’83.  Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!  That Styx song keeps popping into my head as I peruse pictures of the Motocompo here on eBay  It’s madness I tell you!  Actually, the’80s band Madness was hired to shoot a commercial for the Honda City, a compact car whose rear storage compartment was specifically designed to fit one neatly folded up Motocompo.  If you’d like a taste of some period Japanese automotive marketing, check-out that Honda commercial featuring Madness here on Youtube and continue to ponder how outlandish the ’80s truly were.  With just 50 miles on it, this “like new” Motocompo is available for the BIN price of  $7,500 and is located in San Jacinto, California.

I guess you could call the Motocompo the Pack ‘n Play® of motorbikes.  Folded into itself, it presents as a neat little box that measures roughly 47″ in length and 21″ wide.  It stands at about 36″ in height and weighs in at 93 lbs. dry.  The seller of this bike claims it’s been in storage for the past 30 years and is “a true time capsule.”  Everything is original, even the Yuasa battery.  Legally imported, this bike is “plated” and registered and comes with a clear title.

The seller provides lots of crisp and clear photos of the bike in the ad and he even went to the trouble of removing some of the body panels to show a nice close-up picture of the engine.  Powered by a 49cc single speed engine this hog is capable of producing a leaf blower-like 2.5 horsepower.  I’m not trying to be critical or mean, but I’ve watched some Youtube videos of people riding Motocompos and it’s obvious these things weren’t designed for large people.  That’s not surprising since it was during this same time period that the Japanese also introduced the capsule hotel concept!

Honda offered the Motocompo in just three colors.  You guessed it: red, white, and yellow.  This bike truly is pristine and the seller claims he hasn’t even “attempted to do any serious cleaning or detail” work on it.  He also mentions he sold a similar white Motocompo last year at a Mecum auction for $10K, claiming it wasn’t as nice as this example (although that bike came in its original box).  I’m dying to know if any Barnfinds readers have ever owned a Motocompo or even had the unique opportunity to ride one?  Please use the comments section if you have!  This is an awesome example of 1980s innovation and ingenuity.  Do you think it’s worth the price?


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  1. Scotty GilbertsonStaff

    Nice write-up, Jay! I highly recommend the Motocompo for anyone who is into unusual Japanese market bikes. I’ve had mine for almost three years now and it’s my year-round daily-driver. No, just kidding, but it’s as fun to ride as you’d think it would be. I’m 6′-5″ tall and 155 pounds so ha.. yeah, it looks crazy, but who cares. Fun is fun and life is too short to worry about what anyone else thinks about your vehicles. I see them being $7,500 units someday but I paid under $5,000 for mine which I thought the current market was. The original battery is nice to have but I’m guessing that it’s basically worthless by now. They’re $400ish if you can find one in another country and I found one a fraction of an inch wider that works perfectly and only cost $30.

    Like 10
    • Jay BAuthor

      Scotty, I should have guessed you’d have one of these! Awesome!!! I’m highly jealous!

      Like 4
      • Scotty GilbertsonStaff

        I’ll ship it to you, Jay, it folds up into a standard Amazon-sized box..

        Like 7
    • Moparman MoparmanMember

      Scotty: You just answered my question “could I actually ride this thing?!” You’ve got an inch on me, but I’ve got 35 lbs on you, LOL!! Fun is where you find it!!:-)

      Like 5
  2. NotSure

    Maybe Honda should reintroduce these and hire that band again to pump up their slipping Accord sales?

    Like 0
  3. Calvin S

    The real question is does it have V-TEC?

    Like 4
  4. Rusty

    Odd-looking cylinder head. Is it a side-valve engine, or did Honda actually make a 2-stroke?

    Like 0
    • Troyce

      Honda made gobs of two-strokes.

      Like 7
  5. Troyce

    Here a combo video from some years back, just outside my shop in Florida.
    Yam YA6 with the freaky generator starter, and Honda MotoCompo:

    The Motocompo was indeed a tight fit.

    Like 0
  6. Beatnik Bedouin

    These scooters have a cult following in Japan and continue to command high prices (in relative terms) for what is a basic-if-quirky 1980s two-stroke 50cc machine. Knowing what good examples go for in their home country, this particular Motocompo’s price, stateside, is not as outrageous as one might think.

    The Japanese designed some pretty wild and often bizarre (to my Western eyes, at least) scooter and no-ped models during the 1980s (ref my ’81 Honda Stream, posted elsewhere awhile back). Like the Motocompo, there’s a sense of whimsy in their styling – their target market was young, first-time riders.

    Good fun!

    Like 1
  7. geomechs geomechsMember

    This looks like it would be a lot of fun for sure. I once had a Honda Spree, a 50cc scooter that we used to run from my trailer pad at the lake to the convenience store/showers. Even though it wasn’t a moped, we still called it “FLAME.” At least it was red. If I had the cash I would seriously consider something like this, even if it was to run up to the mailbox and back.

    Like 3
  8. Super Bob

    I love my little Motocompo! Here’s the proof.

    Like 5
    • leiniedude leiniedudeMember

      Outstanding Super Bob! Living the dream!

      Like 1
  9. Danh

    That little thing is totally ‘80’s and cool as hell. But, damn, $7500? Uh, I’d rather get a 986 Boxster S thanks….

    Like 4
  10. GerryMember

    These are currently going for $1500-$4000 in Japan for rider quality survivor grade ones.

    If you ever want to check out going prices in Japan just google goo-bike and they have an English language site.

    They also have the same for cars called goo-net

    Like 1
    • Ralph

      Goo net sounds like a NSW site……

      Like 0
  11. SSPBill

    I watched that commercial link and my collars immediately “popped” all on their own.

    Like 1
  12. George

    This commercial actually shows a motocompo in it

    Like 0
    • Jay BAuthor

      Nice find George!

      Like 0
  13. Bryan W Cohn

    I’m probably the rare bird here being a fan of Mighty Car Mods but they did a show on the MotoCompo back in November 2016. I enjoy their sense of humor and mostly realistic approach to car mods and fun with car in general.

    This isn’t as good as Madness doing a commercial for the Honda City but its close!

    Like 0
    • Russell GlantzStaff

      You’re not alone. I’m looking forward to the showdown of 2wisted vs 2sxy. Marty and Moog, 10 years and going strong.

      Like 0

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