Review: Test Riding Honda’s Motocompacto Electric Scooter

In Steven Delatorre’s review of Honda’s new Motocompacto electric scooter, you’ll get an engaging glimpse into what it’s like to ride this quirky, battery-powered “suitcase with wheels.” Despite its modest 15 mph top speed and the absence of suspension, the scooter’s adorable design and portability make it a head-turner on city streets. Delatorre highlights both the strengths and weaknesses of the Motocompacto, emphasizing how its small size and user-friendly features can make quick errands and short commutes a breeze. While it might not be the most competitive option on the market, this unique scooter stands out for its blend of charm and practicality, offering a fun way to navigate urban environments. Have you ever found yourself wondering if there’s a compact and portable solution for your city commuting needs? Well, you might be interested to learn about Honda’s latest innovation, the Motocompacto electric scooter—a modern twist on effortless urban mobility. Let’s dive into an in-depth review of this intriguing battery-powered device that melds portability, quirky design, and the convenience of electric-powered transportation.

Review: Test Riding Hondas Motocompacto Electric Scooter

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Introduction to Honda’s Motocompacto Electric Scooter

A Brief History

The Motocompacto is not just any electric scooter; it’s a contemporary homage to the original 1983 Honda Motocompo, a gasoline-powered micro-scooter designed to fit in a car’s trunk. The idea behind the original was to offer a solution for those who needed to find parking further away from their destination but still wanted a convenient way to get closer without the hassle of parking a car.

What Sets It Apart?

Honda’s new Motocompacto brings that original concept into the 21st century with a fully electric motor, sleek design, and unique features that make it look and feel like a suitcase on wheels.

Key Specifications

To give you a clearer picture, here are the primary specs at a glance:

Specification Detail
Vehicle Type Scooter
Motor 250 W Permanent-magnet synchronous DC (490W Peak)
Torque 11.8 lb.-ft./16 Nm
Weight Capacity 265 lbs
Wheelbase 29.2 inches
Brakes Single rear drum brake
Charge Time 3.5 hours (110v)
Battery Capacity 6.8Ah
Price $995
Range Up to 12 miles
0-15 mph Time 7 seconds
Weight 41.3 lbs

Design and Aesthetics

Portability and Compactness

The most striking feature of the Motocompacto is its ability to fold down to a compact size. When folded, it measures a mere 3.7 inches in width and 21 inches in height, making it easy to store in a car trunk or even a small closet. Unfolding and folding it might take a few tries to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, you can manage this in less than 30 seconds.

Build Quality

Honda has thoughtfully designed the Motocompacto with synthetic leather handlebar grips and a seat that add a touch of elegance. The overall build quality is sturdy, and what stands out is its user-repairable nature. This is a huge plus, especially considering its price point.

Riding Experience

Speed and Performance

With a top speed capped at 15 mph, the Motocompacto isn’t designed for high-speed travel but rather for short, stylish commutes. Its 490W peak output helps it achieve a 0-15 mph time in about 7 seconds, but don’t expect to cover large distances quickly.


The scooter offers two riding modes. Mode one has a speed limit of 10 mph and requires a kick-off to start, making it a safer choice for crowded areas. Mode two eliminates the kick-off requirement, letting you zip off by simply pushing the throttle.


The small wheels and lack of suspension might make you wary of riding it over uneven surfaces. While 15 mph might be the top speed, it’s also about the highest speed you’d feel safe on this scooter. The ride can be quite bumpy on rough city streets, so keep that in mind if you consider buying this for daily commutes.

Review: Test Riding Hondas Motocompacto Electric Scooter

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Storage Space

Despite its small profile, the Motocompacto surprisingly offers a little storage space. Situated between the handlebars and the seat, you’ll find a compartment enough for snacks, a laptop, or even the charger.

Charging and Battery Life

The scooter can be fully charged in about 3.5 hours, which is fairly standard for electric scooters of this size. The 6.8Ah battery offers a range of up to 12 miles, making it adequate for short trips to the grocery store or around college campuses.

Safety Features

Braking System

The Motocompacto features a single rear drum brake, which may not offer the quickest stopping power but is sufficient for its intended speed and use cases. Additionally, a bell is included as a safety measure, which also adds a touch of charm to this miniature vehicle.

User Repairability

One of the standout features is its user-repairable design. This means you won’t need to rely heavily on professional services for minor fixes, making it more cost-effective over the long term.

Review: Test Riding Hondas Motocompacto Electric Scooter

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Usability and Versatility

Urban Commuting

For city dwellers who have to navigate through crowded streets and face parking issues, the Motocompacto offers a convenient solution. Its small size and portability make it ideal for short urban commutes, where finding parking for a traditional vehicle can be a nightmare.

College Campuses

The Motocompacto can also be a boon for college students. Getting from one end of a large campus to another is simplified with this tiny electric scooter. However, the lack of suspension might make for an uncomfortable ride over longer distances.

Pricing and Availability

Cost Analysis

Priced at $995, the Motocompacto might seem a bit steep compared to other electric scooters on the market. For what it offers—portability, user-repairable design, and the unique factor of looking like a suitcase—it sits at a premium price point.

Where to Buy

You can order the Motocompacto through participating Honda or Acura dealerships, as well as online. Given its unique appeal and the brand backing of Honda, it’s likely to find a dedicated albeit niche customer base.

Review: Test Riding Hondas Motocompacto Electric Scooter

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Pros and Cons


  • Portability: Easily foldable and compact.
  • Design: Unique and attention-grabbing.
  • User-Repairable: Easy to fix minor issues yourself.
  • Adequate Storage: Small yet useful storage compartment.
  • Quick Charge Time: Full charge in 3.5 hours.


  • Price: At $995, it’s quite expensive for what it offers.
  • Speed: Max speed of 15 mph is limiting.
  • Comfort: Lack of suspension makes for a bumpy ride.
  • Brakes: Single rear drum brake may not be sufficient in all scenarios.

Future Potential

Early Days in Electric PEV Space

It’s essential to note that this is Honda’s early foray into the electric personal electric vehicle (PEV) space. While the Motocompacto has its quirks and limitations, it also showcases Honda’s willingness to innovate and experiment in this growing market.

Potential Improvements

Looking ahead, improvements around suspension, speed, and even a more powerful braking system could make future iterations more competitive. The idea of a portable, foldable electric scooter certainly has its merits, and with some tweaks, Honda could set new standards in this niche.

Review: Test Riding Hondas Motocompacto Electric Scooter

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Final Thoughts

Who is It For?

If you’re looking for a quirky, stylish way to get around the city or a college campus, and don’t mind the premium price, the Motocompacto can be an excellent choice. Its portability, unique design, and user-friendly features make it a standout option for specific commuting needs.

Is It Worth It?

While it’s not the most practical or cost-effective solution for everyone, there’s something undeniably charming about the Motocompacto. It might not be a game-changer in the electric scooter market, but it aligns perfectly with Honda’s tradition of innovation and addressing niche needs.

As for Honda, the Motocompacto represents just the beginning. With more advancements and continued forays into the electric PEV space, the future looks promising for those seeking compact and efficient commuting solutions.

Stay tuned with Electrek for more updates and insightful reviews on electric vehicles and green energy innovations. Whether you’re a city dweller, a college student, or someone who simply loves unique mobility solutions, the Honda Motocompacto offers a delightful glimpse into the future of urban commuting. Happy riding!

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