My collection of folding mopeds
Over the years quite a few folding mopeds and small motorbikes have been put on the market. This website is a place for me to store - and make available - information about the bikes in my collection (or which I hope to add to the collection!)
Di Blasi R7
The first one that I acquired was a Di Blasi R7. This little bike is still in production, though there have been many small changes in the design over the years. Di Blasi had introduced the R2 folding moped in 1974 and this was replaced with the R7 in 1979. It was imported into the UK by Britax (probably best known for seat belts and child seats) which is why my 1979 example is branded a "Britax Karribike"
My second folding moped is a Motobecane X1. I'm not sure about its exact age yet (I've never bothered to register it) but the model was imported into the UK from 1973 to 1976. I first saw mine when it was exhibited at the Earls Barton steam fair alongside my di Blasi R7. It was exhibited again the next year and I found the owner and discussed buying it. A few weeks later the deal was done and I had it in my possession.
This got added because it is a close relation to the X1, but it isn't really a folding moped because - although the handlebars do fold and the seat drops - tools are needed to do it. However, an example came along cheaply enough - but it was in rather poor condition and rather got forgotten about. And then I found another. This one was already registered and will attain "Historic Vehicle status soon. So I'm in the process of making one good bike out of the two delapidated ones...
A chance search on Ebay for "folding moped" came up with a listing for an Alkro Bylight. I managed to win the auction and collected the bike. This is unusual for the plastic wheels with a rack moulded into the plastic back wheel. A small gear meshes with this to provide the drive from the engine. The plastic wheels reduce the weight to only 20Kg. Apparently only 200 of these were imported into the UK (and I now have three of them!
A few years passed before I came across my Garnielli Motograziella. This strange little bike was on the market from 1968 to 1979 - mine dates from 1971. It was available in red, blue and green. Mine is green a has a striking resemblance to a grasshopper.
Honda NCZ50 Motocompo
Next I found a Honda NCZ50 Motocompo. This was made from 1981 - 1983. Mine dates from 1981 and is red. The Motocompo was designed to be used with the Honda City car whose boot was designed to accept the bike. The car exceeded sales projections. The bike didn't. In all only 53,000 were made, mostly selling in Japan.
My most recent folding bike isn't really a moped. It has a 98cc engine and derived from the 2nd World War Welbike. The Brockhouse Corgi is a little bigger and heavier than the earlier bike, but it didn't have to fit into the standard parachute airdrop container (just 51 inches (130 cm) long, 15 inches (38 cm) high, and 12 inches (30 cm) wide). The Welbike did not have any front brakes, lights etc. These, of course, had to included on a bike designed to be used by members of the general public. The first Corgis were sold in North America under the name "Indian Papoose" in 1947. From 1948 the Mk2 model was sold in the UK as the Brockhouse Corgi. Mine date from 1948 and 1950. The first is in civilian colours, the second in military - they were used on army and airforce bases.
Still researching this one! See the pictures :-)