Remember Honda’s Motocompo from the early 1980s? It was a tiny little gas-powered motorcycle designed to fit in the trunk of small car and give drivers a way to extend their reach into a city. Based on new trademark filings for a “Motocompacto”, it looks more likely than ever that Honda could be resurrecting it as an electric motorbike.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Honda hint at an upcoming electric motorbike with a strikingly similar name to the original Motocompo.
That original bike may have only lasted two years with a production run from 1981-1983, but around 50,000 were produced. The idea was quite novel — essentially a dinghy for cars that would let drivers park on the outskirts of a city and then commute in on a much more efficient and faster two-wheeler.
The design forced a tiny gas engine to be crammed into the little bike, but an electric version would simplify the setup and present a host of other advantages (such as not leaking hot engine oil into your trunk).
And the newly-trademarked Honda Motocompacto could prove to be an electric reincarnation or reimagination of that iconic little bike.
Over two years ago we covered the company’s filing of a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark office for a “Motocompacto”.
The trademark was filed in July 2020, with the Motocompacto described simply yet unambiguously as relating to “Land vehicles, namely, electric scooters.”
Now Honda has filed a pair of new trademarks, this time with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. The first trademark application included two alternative spellings of Motocompacto and Moto Compacto. It also described the trademarks as relating to “Goods: Land vehicles, namely, self-balancing electric scooters; electrically-powered motor scooters.”
The second application included a logo design for the trademark, which shows a compact-looking scooter.
Honda may be late to the electric two-wheeler party but has recently tried to correct course, announcing that it would roll out 10 new electric motorbikes and scooters by 2025.
The company also unveiled its Honda EM1 design, which will be the first Honda electric moped for the European market.
We saw that vehicle unveiled first hand at the Milan Motorcycle Show earlier this month. It may not have the most creative name (apparently an abbreviation of Electric Moped 1), but the EM1 will become the brand’s first electric model in Europe when it is released this following summer.
We had hoped to learn more tech specs for the moped, but Honda is so far playing it fairly close to the vest. The two main pieces of information we have are that it will use the Honda Mobile Power Pack as its battery, and that the scooter will have a range of 40 km (25 miles).
Not particularly impressive specs, but then again Honda is struggling to play catchup in the electric motorcycle and scooter industry, having long ago missed the chance to lead in innovation.
But could a new pint-sized Honda Motocompacto give the company an opportunity to once again roll out an innovative design for urban-oriented commuters? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section below.