Sturgis or Bust: 1960s Valmobile Scooter

If showing up to Sturgis on yet another black Harley-Davidson with the exhaust baffles removed ensures that you’ll be lost in a sea of similar bikes, look no further than this 1960s Valmobile portable scooter! This unusual and rare suitcase scooter can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $1,200. It’s located in the Webster, North Carolina area and you won’t be driving/riding it home. Thanks to Roger for submitting this unusual scooter tip!

As a lover of all things unusual, these Valmobile suitcase scooters are really towards the top of my wishlist as far as two-wheelers go. They were a French design that was made in Japan and it folds into a suitcase. Ok, it’s not really a suitcase, but it folds into its own skin. Unfortunately, they didn’t catch on because they came after the golden era of scooters in the 1950s and then were bombarded by fantastic and “normal” Japanese scooters in the 1960s and beyond. They’re for a different clientele, there is no question about that.

They literally did fold up into this little orange – or creme or blue – box, supposedly in 30 seconds. But, at 94 pounds they weren’t exactly lightweights. They weigh about what my Honda Motocompo does and that’s a somewhat similar concept but it doesn’t go as far in the folding-up department as the Valmobile does.

The seller’s listing is as follows: “1963 Valmobile (I think it’s a ’63, not totally sure). motor stuck but not sure if it’s piston or transmission related, the plug is free so the cylinder is accessible for mystery oil or your choice. asking $1200.” This should be a 49.9 CC single with 2.8 hp which was good for 165 mpg (!) and 35 mph (!!). You don’t know what fast feels like until you’re going 35 mph on a folding scooter with a tiny front wheel ready to catch a pothole and send you flying over the tiny handlebars! Have any of you heard of a Valmobile? Would you have the guts to ride one into Sturgis during the rally? I would.

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  1. Howard A Member

    The king delivers yet again. IDK, be like riding your portable generator around. That was always the selling point of these types, dismantle, store in trunk, away you go,,,it’s just, I don’t ever recall seeing someone taking these out of their trunks. Neat idea, just nobody wanted it.

  2. john

    Looks Like a Suite Case on wheels !!!

  3. LAB3

    A French design built in Japan doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence, it might if it where the other way around. As to riding it around at Sturgis I’ll pass, I like the diameter of my anus just the way it is.

    • Jimmy

      lmao !!!

  4. Calvin S

    I would ride one around my house if my house was big enough.

  5. fcs

    Such an opportunity to tell my favorite small bike story…

    A friend of mine who lives in Florida owns and flies a small plane. He usually only flies with his wife, so he’s taken the other four seats out and carries a Honda 90 postie bike (as the Australians would call it). Helps when going into smaller airports with no ground transportation available.

    Anyway, he was on a cross country trip and happened to drop into Sturgis during the rally. Parks the plane and pulls out the bike. He and his wife hop on and they putt putt off to the nearest convenience store for snacks.

    As they come out of the store a group of bikers roar up and park their hogs, filling the parking lot. This weenie postie bike gets a bit of ridicule, until one of the bikers points to the license plate and asks “You guys really from Florida?”

    My friend replies “Yup. Left this morning”

  6. Ben T. Spanner

    French design built in Japan. Is it a Nissan?

  7. Bill Obrien

    I had one of these, its heavy as hell! doesn’t ride very well either but it sure is a conversation piece. Just kind of sat in the corner taking up space. I sold it to a guy on the airport up in NJ, when he died 2 years ago the wife asked if i wanted to buy it back, NO THANKS

  8. rod444

    I always thought these would catch on with the big Class A motorhome crowd, since they’d easily fit in the underfloor storage. Turns out most of them want to show off the massively chromed out Harley or Goldwing on the trailer instead.

  9. Mercury Man

    A cool little scoot but I bet my Centaur folding scooter would beat it in a race! The Centaur will do 40mph if you have the balls to hold on to it at that rate of speed.
    I tried to add a photo of a Centaur but was unable to so you might have to Google “Centaur folding scooter”

  10. Rspcharger Rspcharger Member

    Seems the perfect ride for a trip to Aspen.

  11. Degoragon

    Good little thing to ride around at a car show or Swap meet!

    As far as Sturgis, you could fold it up and bolt it to the back (or side) of the Hog, then ride it around in sturgis when the Harley is parked for a show. I see little Scooters and mini bikes at Swap meets, Car/Bike shows, and races all the time.


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