The Chinese motorcycle maker FELO has just unveiled its newest model at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show, and it’s basically a modern-day take on an old classic from Honda known as the Motocompo. The new FELOTOO M One may just be the electric Motocompo you didn’t know you needed.
As a quick refresher, the Motocompo was an innovative compact motorcycle introduced by Honda in 1981. The goal was to create a unique solution for urban transportation. Designed to fit neatly into the trunk of small cars like the Honda City, the Motocompo featured a minimalist, boxy design with foldable handlebars and seat, making it easily portable and storable.
It was originally powered by a small 49cc two-stroke engine. Although production ceased in 1983, the Motocompo’s distinctive design and practicality have earned it a devoted fanbase and a lasting place in the history of innovative urban transportation solutions.
So it comes as no surprise that the design would be rehashed as new technologies allow for improvements. And with small electric powertrains replacing leaky engines, a trunk-sized folding motorcycle is ripe for a comeback.
Now FELO is taking a stab at the classic design with a surprisingly true-to-form interpretation. Called the M One, this modern-day folding motorcycle is positively pint-sized. It weighs a mere 37 kg (82 lb.). That’s even lighter than the original Motocompo’s 45 kg (99 lb.) curb weight.
The M One uses a tiny full-suspension frame and replaces the original 49cc combustion engine with a 1,000W peak-rated electric motor. A 48V and 20Ah battery provides around 1 kWh of capacity, which the company claims is good for 100 km (62 miles) of range. That high range figure implies that the M One likely won’t be very fast, as you’d need to maintain an average speed of around 25 km/h (15 mph) to get that kind of range on an electric vehicle of this size and power level.
That might not sound very fast, but the original Motocompo wasn’t a crotch rocket either. Its speedometer went up to 50 km/h (31 mph), though most sources put the actual top speed at closer to 30 km/h (18 mph). Lighter riders were said to be able to eke out a tiny bit more top end speed.
But speed was never the point of a tiny folding motorcycle like the Motocompo, nor is it for M One. The whole point is to have a small format vehicle that can extend your range without needing to drive your car. Commuters could theoretically drive a small car in from the suburbs and park on the outskirts of a city. Then they could use the M One in their trunk like a dinghy on a sailboat, only they’d be cruising through the city instead of rowing to shore.
Another interesting feature of the M One is that it will have V2L (vehicle to load) capabilities. With a 220VAC 50Hz power outlet, it can run household appliances directly from the motorcycle’s battery and inverter.
Some might argue the little two-wheeler’s classification as a motorcycle, instead preferring to lump it in with scooters or mopeds. Generally the scooter vs. motorcycle debate boils down to whether or not the vehicle is straddled like a bike or step-through like a Vespa. In reality though, scooters and mopeds are simply subsets of the larger motorcycle world, making the M One one of the smallest electric motorcycles out there.
The M One is said to be priced at around US $2,900, though it looks like it will first debut in China and perhaps Japan. The little bike is said to become available in Q4 of this year, so we’ll have to keep our eye out for this one.
In the meantime, you can check out the slick unveiling video below to see how it folds.
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