Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |  Get This: 1984 Honda City, Complete with Motocompo Under the Hatch
Subscribe to the Free

Get This: 1984 Honda City, Complete with Motocompo Under the Hatch

A legit cool classic kei car that comes with its own pit bike

Alex Kierstein
Jun 16, 2020

Images by Bring A Trailer

From the Editors of Honda Tuning: There isn't much time left on the auction for this 1984 Honda City Kei car - complete with Motocompo "trunk bike"—over at Bring A Trailer, but as writer Alex Kierstein indicates these do come up for sale every so often. We've always been intrigued by the quirky JDM subcompact-minibike combo, mostly because in the US we don't have a lot of history with hatchbacks that feature a fold-up scooter in the back as one of the options. This particular example happens to include some of the rarest and hardest to track down original goods, the bike's cover and a color-matched helmet that Honda also threw in.

Peanut butter and jelly. Ume and shiso. Some things just go together. And there's no way you can talk about the first-generation subcompact Honda City without talking about its dorky-cool folding sidekick, the Motocompo scooter. Like an animal companion plugged into some fantasy anime for comic relief , the adorable Motocompo could be stowed in the City's trunk, ready for the sort of adventures we now call, in our less whimsical reality, "last mile trips." Park the City in, well, a city, and ride the Motocompo the rest of the way to your destination. Or so the idea goes.

The City itself is a fairly basic front-drive econobox, blessed with an adorable and charismatic front end that made even the low-level versions charming—even if, with as little as 44 horsepower, they were slugs. Several variations of the ER-series 1.2-liter inline-four brought increased horsepower, but the truly exciting models are the Turbo and Turbo II, which more than doubled the output of the wheeziest single-barrel carburetor models. Both featured fuel injection, and the Turbo II was even intercooled to pump out 108 horsepower.

1984 Honda City Cargo Area 01 Photo 23/23   |   Get This: 1984 Honda City, Complete with Motocompo Under the Hatch

That doesn't seem like much, but the thing weighed a meager 1,650 pounds. The "Bulldog" nickname it got back in the day seems a little more appropriate when you consider its power-to-weight ratio. But the Motocompo is the same regardless of which City you put it in.

The Motocompo is a design icon in its own right, a useful little device that excludes charm unintentionally. It's a brightly colored rectangle with wheels, really, but the clever use of the trim housing the grab handles, the bold and fanciful "MOTOCOMPO" logo on the side, the improbable proportions, all make the very minimalist scooter pop. The handlebars and seat fold down, providing a flat top that makes it easy to slip inside the City's cargo area. Tie-downs attach to convenient loops on the Motocompo to secure it. The whole thing weighs just under 100 pounds, motivated by a 2.5-horsepower, 49-cc two-stroke engine.

Could it get more 1980s than this combo? Well, yes. Have you seen the Japanese home market ads for the City? They're legendary. Western celebrities have been a big part of Japanese advertising for a long time, and for the cheap-and-cheerful City/Motocompo combo, Honda's ad agency recruited then-hot U.K. ska outfit Madness—best known here for the hit "Our House"—you know, the one in the middle of our street. Good luck getting that out of your head now. Their Honda ads remain popular online, a slice of the intersection of late 1970s/early 1980s ska movement and the light-hearted absurdist advertising of the time.

1984 Honda City 1984 Honda City Cargo Area Photo 23/23   |   Get This: 1984 Honda City, Complete with Motocompo Under the Hatch

For the right person, a clean City/Motocompo team is a hypnotic combination—funky, practical, attention-grabbing, and frankly easy to store. Never sold on these shores, the best bet to find a good one is to look to a Japanese car importer or find one already over here. This one, on Bring a Trailer, was brought over by Nippon Imports. The City has low mileage, and the Motocompo is in great condition and even comes with the amazing dust cover and a matching, "MOTOCOMPO"-emblazoned helmet.

1984 Honda City Motocompo Helmet Photo 23/23   |   Get This: 1984 Honda City, Complete with Motocompo Under the Hatch

The City is a carbureted, non-Turbo model, but pop the hood and the little 1.2 has some serious attitude, sporting a red valve covered with a big "COMBAX" badge—an acronym for "Compact Blazing-combustion Axiom," a successor to the non-catalyst CVCC engines. When has stratified-charge combustion ever been so cool?

1984 Honda City Engine Photo 23/23   |   Get This: 1984 Honda City, Complete with Motocompo Under the Hatch

These are cult classics, with a legit following, and we've seen lots of examples come up for sale. If you have a bigger budget, hold out for a more fun Turbo or Turbo II, or even the cabriolet version. But if you just want to make a big statement with a (very) small car and its even smaller two-wheeled companion, any City will do.

JDM Edification
Top 20 JDM Cars of All Time
Classic JDM Cars You've Probably Never Heard Of

By Alex Kierstein
7 Articles



Taking a look at how a couple "tuner-friendly" vehicles came up short and what we'd like to see the OEMs do to fix them.
RodrezJul 10, 2020
One renderer's take on what the current Mazda MX-5 would look like as a sport wagon and coupe.
Alex KiersteinJul 9, 2020
Mazda made a huge step in introducing a more seductive hatch style for the latest-gen Mazda3, but this new, more powerful engine option with AWD is certain to bring the model up a few notches
RodrezJul 8, 2020
Paying homage to the best Unlimited Class teams and drivers that have been a part of Super Lap Battle
Sam DuJul 8, 2020
When Sean Murphy isn't putting ink to paper in the studio, he is upgrading his Datsun 280Z, collecting die-cast model cars, or riding his custom 1976 Honda CB550 on the backroads of Maine.
Eleonor SeguraJul 7, 2020
Sponsored Links