The Honda Motocompo is back, electric, and cuter than ever. In other news, Deus Milan has just built a Ron Wood Rotax framer, the Classic GP Assen yielded an immaculate Cagiva C588, and our friends at Purpose Built Moto have turned the Harley Fat Bob into an adventure bike.
New Honda Motocompacto Back in 1981, Honda created a folding scooter that could fit into the trunk of a car. It was called the Motocompo, it was adorable, and it’s finally back… which makes us very, very happy.
Meet the new Honda Motocompacto—a 21st-century, all-electric Motocompo. And yes, it’s very real. So real, that you’ll be able to buy it in November, at the modest price of $995.
The Motocompacto adopts the same philosophy that the Motocompo did all those years ago. It’s designed as a last-mile solution—something that can get you from your parking spot to your destination in urban areas where parking is hard to come by. So it’s designed to be utilitarian and compact, with a limited top speed and range.
Like its predecessor, the Motocompacto is designed to transform into its own carrying case (loosely resembling a foldable picnic table with wheels). The idea is that you can stick it in your car’s trunk or take it with you while using public transportation, then stash it away easily when you get to work. Perfect for anyone who works in the city and parks far from their office—or for students who want to zip around campus.
This tiny scooter boasts a top speed of 15 mph, with a range of up to 12 miles. So it really is designed just for that last (or first) stretch of your commute. It also takes 3.5 hours to charge, so topping it up overnight or during the day is a piece of cake.
Naturally, the Motocompacto also has the same quirky and blocky aesthetic as its predecessor. It uses a heat-treated aluminum frame and wheels, and is stacked with a plethora of practical features. The side stand has a steel lock loop welded to it that’ll work with most bike locks, the lighting is all-LED, and there’s on-board storage too.
Honda has also included a digital speedo, and there’s a smartphone app that lets you adjust the Motocompacto’s settings. The OEM charger is stowed on board too.
Designed by Honda engineers in Ohio and California, the Motocompacto has only been announced for the US market so far. It’ll be available online or at Honda and Acura automobile dealers. Who else wants one? [More]
Ron Wood Rotax flat tracker by Deus ex Machina Milan The classic combination of a chromoly Ron Wood flat track racing frame and a single-cylinder Rotax engine is hard to beat. But it’s also hard to come by—so leaving one to gather dust in the corner of a workshop is borderline criminal.
That’s how the story of this svelte Wood Rotax racer started. Its frame and engine had been stashed at Deus Ex Machina’s Venice Beach shop in Los Angeles for years—until their Milan shop laid claim to them and had them shipped over to Italy. The second it arrived, Deus Milan’s mechanics set about turning it back into a fully functioning flat tracker.
As far as Deus Milan is concerned, the Ron Wood frame and Rotax motor are sacred—but every other component is fair game. So this isn’t exactly a period-correct restoration. This bike uses a Discacciati brake, Yamaha R6 forks, and fully adjustable piggyback shocks from TFX Suspension in the Netherlands. The bike’s been upgraded with an electric starter too.
Redmax Speedshop in the UK supplied the classic flat track-style tank and tail, with number boards at the front and sides. (And those aren’t just for show either—this bike gets raced.)
The radical vintage-style alloy wheels are from Performance Machine, and the custom exhaust system comes from DBR. A handful of custom-made parts are sprinkled throughout the build, while flat track handlebars with Biltwell Inc. grips complete the package.
It’s a well-judged combination of parts, and it makes for one very attractive machine. Next time we’re in Milan, perhaps we can convince the team there to let us take it for a spin. [More]
Randy Mamola Cagiva C588 Scores of racing enthusiasts and splendorous vintage machines descended on the Cathedral of Speed last weekend, for the TABAC Classic GP Assen. Photographer Sascha Nagal was there and spotted a very rare motorcycle among the other classics—a 1988 Cagiva C588.
What makes the Cagiva C588 so special, is that it was the bike that secured Cagiva Corse their first-ever Grand Prix podium, piloted by the legendary Randy Mamola. Mamola had been let go by Yamaha after the 1987 season and snagged by Cagiva for 1988. After a rocky season start, he eventually put the C588 on the podium—earning himself a Ferrari Testarossa as a reward in the process.
There’s also the fact that it’s drop-dead gorgeous. It was designed by another legend of the sport, Massimo Tamburini, and although it took cues from Mamola’s 1987 Yamaha YZR, it stands as an icon in its own right.
Putting it on the podium was no walk in the park though. The 150 hp Cagiva was the only bike running Pirelli tires in 1988, and the combination was reportedly not great. Both Mamola and his teammate, Raymond Roche, described the bike as ‘unrideable,’ suffering some gnarly crashes during the season.
But Pirelli made improvements, and Mamola eventually rode the Cagiva C588 to a third-place finish in the rain at the ninth race of the season, held at Spa-Franchorchamps. It was a big milestone for the Italian marque, who had entered Grand Prix racing in 1980, and picked up their first championship points in 1982.
Only six factory C588s were ever built, making this beauty ultra-rare too. Sascha tells us that this particular bike came to Assen from Scotland, which means it’s most likely the C588 that the Classic GP website reports as being restored by Dunbar Race Engineering in the UK. Either way, it’s a stunning example of a noteworthy motorcycle from one of the golden eras of racing. [Images by, and with thanks to, Sascha M. Nagel]
Harley-Davidson Fat Bob by Purpose Built Moto The idea of turning a meaty Harley-Davidson Fat Bob into something resembling an adventure bike might sound bonkers to most people—but no idea is off limits for the crew at Australia’s Purpose Built Moto. When their client rolled in with a 2021 Fat Bob and a desire to take it further off the beaten track than most Fat Bob owners would, the PBM team sprung to work.
The brief was to improve the Milwaukee-Eight-powered Harley’s handling, retain an upright riding position for long days in the saddle, and give it just a smidge of off-road capability for gravel detours. PBM’s client also wanted a little street tracker-slash-supermoto styling, removable luggage racks, and a nasty exhaust. The result is a bike that he loves—and purists are likely to hate.
PBM set its sights on the suspension and wheels first. They’re the Australian distributor for Canyon Wheels, so they ordered a set of custom 17” hoops for the build, fitted with Pirelli MT60RS tires. Speaking from experience, the MT60 hits the mark for light off-road duty, but still has oodles of asphalt grip; a wise choice.
Ride Dynamics helped out on the suspension setup, which ended up consisting of a longer-than-stock Legends rear shock and Öhlins fork cartridges. PBM added custom fork extensions too, effectively adding a significant lift to both ends of the bike.
Other performance upgrades include a stage three Screamin’ Eagle engine kit, and a new braking package with Lyndall and Brembo components. The exhaust system is a custom two-into-one-into-two system, using a pair of rowdy Competition Werkes mufflers. Some crafty tuning courtesy of Dynomite Moto, and this Fat Bob now makes 116 hp at the rear wheel, with 125 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm.
Moving to the bodywork, PBM wanted to add a tracker-style tail section, but the Fat Bob’s frame wasn’t playing ball. In the end, they built an aluminum box to ‘raise’ the seat, then fabricated the tail unit on top of it. The box doubles up as a storage space, and the tail unit houses a pair of LED taillights.
The Harley’s finishing kit includes Performance Machine foot pegs, custom-made handlebar risers, and a bunch of Rough Crafts engine trim bits. There’s also a set of removable saddlebag racks, made out of chromoly tubing.
Livin’ Loco Garage handled the bike’s paint job. It looks simple from afar, but get close and you’ll notice a host of details to complement the glossy black base, including copper candy, copper leaf work, and flat grey hand-brushed striping. Dubbed the ‘Gravel Gorilla,’ this Fat Bob is sure to raise some eyebrows… but we’d still ride it. [More]