Review: Honda’s Compact Electric Scooter Offers Last-Mile Fun
In a world where the adage “it’s better to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow” holds sway, it appears that the principle extends to tiny electric scooters as well. Honda recently provided a group of journalists with the opportunity to experience their new MotoCompacto battery-powered scooter in Torrance, California, and the verdict is in: it’s a thrilling ride.
Designed as a last-mile solution for urban commuters, the MotoCompacto is aimed at those who need to cover the final stretch of their journey efficiently. Whether it’s parking on the outskirts of the city or a bus stop a couple of miles away from the workplace, this scooter is designed to get you there and fold up neatly for easy transport.
Interestingly, this concept isn’t entirely new for Honda. Back in the 1980s, they introduced the MotoCompo, a collapsible scooter that was offered as an option with their subcompact cars in the Japanese market. While it didn’t gain immense popularity at the time, it has since gained nostalgic appeal, particularly among enthusiasts.
The MotoCompacto e-scooter, in its unfolded form, greets riders with its minimalistic design. Equipped with a small LCD screen displaying battery life and speed, a hand brake, and a throttle, it’s intuitive to operate. A gentle ring from the bell alerts pedestrians to your presence. However, it lacks turn signals and has limited storage space. While you might squeeze a laptop, water bottle, and sunscreen in the narrow center compartment, it’s advisable for buyers to invest in a spacious backpack.
Taking the scooter for a spin, one might notice that it delivers a unique riding experience. With a performance reminiscent of riding a Chinese monkey bike through Mongolia, it requires patience and a realistic expectation of its capabilities. However, when the group ventures into a parking area transformed into a makeshift track marked with cones, the atmosphere takes a thrilling turn.
Auto journalists, often known for their spirited driving, seize the opportunity to push the limits, engaging in playful racing, daring maneuvers, and even front-wheel burnouts. Laughter fills the air as they embrace the sheer fun of it all, feeling like kids let loose during an unexpected afternoon recess.
The MotoCompacto’s modest power output of 490 watts and 11.8 lb-ft of torque means that acceleration to its maximum speed of 15 mph varies with rider size. Nevertheless, Honda claims it can reach this top speed in seven seconds. A slender rider with an excellent power-to-weight ratio excels in the group, although even the less lightweight riders manage to stay ahead of him. It offers a range of 12 miles on a single charge and can be fully replenished in three and a half hours using a standard 110-volt outlet.
Folding up the MotoCompacto may take a bit of practice, but it’s a fairly straightforward process. The seat comes out and folds flat, while the handlebars rotate 90 degrees and fold neatly into the narrow center space. The front wheel retracts with a simple twist of a latch, resulting in a perfectly balanced, compact package with final dimensions of 29.2 x 21.1 x 3.7 inches.
Despite the thrilling ride, there are a few quibbles to consider. After approximately 15 minutes of riding, the comfort of the seat diminishes, which might be a concern for those with sensitive backsides. Furthermore, the scooter’s weight of 41.3 pounds makes it less than ideal for lugging onto buses, up stairs, or through crowded city blocks.
However, there’s a silver lining in the form of foldable handlebars that allow it to be rolled along like a 40-pound suitcase without retracting the front wheel. Priced at $995, the MotoCompacto is a standalone solution, meaning you don’t need to purchase a car alongside it. Accessories will be available, and it’s quite likely we’ll see some impressive custom designs on these scooters. You can purchase one online or at your local Honda or Acura dealership, making it a convenient option for urban commuters in need of a last-mile solution.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Honda MotoCompacto Review
What is the Honda MotoCompacto’s primary purpose?
The primary purpose of the Honda MotoCompacto is to serve as a last-mile solution for urban transportation, ideal for those who need to cover the final leg of their journey efficiently.
How does the MotoCompacto’s design differ from traditional scooters?
The MotoCompacto boasts a foldable design, allowing it to be compact and easily transportable. This design sets it apart from traditional scooters, making it suitable for urban commuting.
What are the key features of the MotoCompacto?
The MotoCompacto features a small LCD screen displaying battery life and speed, a hand brake, a throttle, and a bell to alert pedestrians. However, it lacks turn signals and has limited storage space.
What kind of riding experience does the MotoCompacto offer?
Riding the MotoCompacto offers a unique and entertaining experience, somewhat reminiscent of riding a small bike through varied terrain. It may not deliver high-speed thrills, but it’s perfect for urban environments.
What is the MotoCompacto’s range and charging time?
The MotoCompacto provides a range of 12 miles on a single charge and can be fully charged in three and a half hours using a standard 110-volt outlet.
How easy is it to fold and transport the MotoCompacto?
Folding the MotoCompacto is a straightforward process. The seat, handlebars, and front wheel can be folded neatly, resulting in a compact package with convenient dimensions.
Are there any drawbacks to the MotoCompacto?
While the MotoCompacto offers an enjoyable ride, the comfort of the seat might diminish after about 15 minutes. Additionally, its weight of 41.3 pounds can make it challenging to carry over longer distances.
What is the price of the Honda MotoCompacto?
The MotoCompacto is priced at $995, and it can be purchased online or at your local Honda or Acura dealership. Accessories are also available for customization.
More about Honda MotoCompacto Review
- Honda MotoCompacto Official Website
- Urban Scooter Commuting
- Last-Mile Transportation Solutions
- Electric Scooter Reviews
- Honda and Acura Dealerships