Honda Motocompo Motorcycle

Honda Motocompo

This is a free kit published on the web by Yasu Tanaka. It is relatively simple, consisting of only three pages of parts. Three colour variations are available, red, yellow and white, though the white one is hosted elsewhere. Quite detailed instructions are provided, in four HTML pages, each with a number of photographs, and some auto-translated text. It is all quite straightforward, though the text is often rather quaint.

The prototype was sold only in Japan in the 1980s, as a sort of lifestyle toy. The handlebars, footrests and seat fold down into the body, making a package small enough to fit in the back of a small car. I wonder how many people actually did so, though, as it weighed in at a hefty 45kg (100lb). I have trouble enough getting a 30kg bass amplifier into and out of my car.

I first made this model in 2002, but recently decided to make a new version at reduced scale to match my half-scale Yamaha models, to demonstrate how tiny this motorcycle was. The model web page says that the scale is 1:12, so I printed a copy at 86%, to get 1:14. As I started building, I quickly got the feeling that it was still too big, a feeling strengthened by looking at a number of pictures available on the web. Going back to the Tanaka web page, I noticed his description contained measurements of the original. Measuring my first full-size model, it was clear that its scale was in fact 1:10. So back to the start with a new copy printed at 71%.

Looking at the photos and model, two things struck me. Firstly, the "MOTOCOMPO" logo on the sides of the body was considerably larger than in the photos of the real thing, so I spent some time with GIMP redrawing it. I just did so by eye, so the result is not super-precise, but I think the appearance is now rather better than before. The second thing was that I was even less satisfied with the wheels and tyres than normal, so I drew new ones in the Yamaha style. I think that the result is an improvement, though bulbous motorcycle tyres will never look good in plain paper.

Right side view Front right view
Front left view Rear left quarter
Rear right quarter

Folded for carrying

Folded left view Folded rear right
Lying down Folded front right

The old and the new

Two together

The BIG (Yamaha MT-01) and the small

Two together Two together