It’s a well known fact that the best nights out are usually the ones you don’t plan for. As a feckless undergraduate at the University in Plymouth, I remember half-heartedly meeting up for a pub lunch with an old school chum who had a spare day’s shore leave from his destroyer – at 9.00pm I regained my faculties just as the hammer was coming down at a charity auction in Exeter. Apparently we’d just sold ourselves as Michelin starred chefs prepared to rustle up any dish the lady bidder might fancy. OK, so she bought us both for a mere £20, but that was an interesting night!
Nowadays an unplanned bender usually results in your P&J being abandoned overnight in the car park of your local. How will you retrieve the car? While you might be a fitness fanatic with a predilection for Lycra, the last thing you want to do with a stinking gin hangover is jog to the boozer – what if it were more than a mile away for heaven’s sake? We’re not Olympic athletes!

However, we at Motorpunk think we have the answer with this range of collapsible mopeds that can be ridden to the inn and then popped in the boot of your motor … once the waves of nausea and self-loathing have subsided to a sensible level.

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FOR THE IPOD GENERATION…

Firstly, we have BOXX Corps’ two-wheeled electric transportation device. If Imperial Stormtroopers had designed the Trunki ride-on suitcase then it would probably have looked like this. Measuring just a metre square the Boxx has a low centre of gravity and clever AWD with ABS. Although, as a moped, top speed is limited to 30mph, with upgraded power packs it has a potential range of 120 miles and can be fast-charged in one hour. Since it contains no fluids Boxx reckon their compact machine could be stored in the cloakroom of the most bijou urban pads.


In any case, since it costs $3995 before upgrades, it’s not the kind of thing you’re likely to see lashed to a tree with a rusty Halfords bike lock. Ideal for retrieving your Avantador from a swanky West End wine bar.

Get one from: www.boxxcorp.com
Priced from: $3995

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FOR THE RETRONAUT…

The granddaddy of all compact mopeds must be the Excelsior Welbike.
This British single-seat machine was devised during WWII at Station IX for use by the Special Operations Executive, and is the smallest motorcycle ever used by British Armed Forces.

Between 1942 and 1943 nearly 3,700 units were built and many saw action with the 6th Airborne Division at Arnhem during Operation Market Garden. They were dropped with the paratroopers in special impact resistant canisters and could be assembled and started in just 15 seconds. Powered by a Villiers 98cc single-cylinder two-stroke engine, a fully fuelled Welbike could cover a respectable 90 miles at 30mph. However, many of these little bikes tended to go AWOL as soon as they were delivered to the RAF as the fly-boys found them handy for pottering around the airfields.


With no front brake, lights or horn these highly collectable war relics are not strictly road legal, but could still be useful on a cross-country mission to recover your ratty ex-MOD Defender from a rural Free House car park. Roughly 300 Welbikes are thought to have survived; if you want your own hand-built replica, fabricated by craftsmen at the modern-day Welbike Company, it will cost you around £4,500.

Get one from: eBay
Priced around: £4,500

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FOR THE BANZAI BOOZEHOUND…

Over thirty years ago the clever engineers at Honda had already solved the dreaded car recovery conundrum. After a heavy session on the sake and Sapporo the (now sober) Japanese gentleman could assemble his 50cc Motocompo “Trunk Bike” safe in the knowledge that when he was reunited with his Honda City AA motorcar outside his local karaoke bar the scooter would collapse to a perfect fit in the subcompact’s boot.

The Honda City was actually designed around the Lilliputian scooter which weighed only 92.5lbs and could return over 100mpg. In the early ‘80s Nutty Boy ska band, Madness (below), were given several sacks of Yen to knock out some pretty dreadful ads for this traffic-busting car/bike combo; in all, over 53,369 Motocompos were sold between 1981 and 1983. These bikes still crop up for sale from time to time, priced from £700 for fixer-uppers, to £3,000 for a MIB collector’s piece. With nearly 3bhp and a 110mile range the Motocompo is ideal for recovering … anything other than the fugly Honda City.

Get one from: eBay
Priced around: £700 – £3000

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FOR THE PRAGMATIST…

Di Blasi’s range of folding scooters are the practical go-to solutions for the Sunday morning chore of recovering your marooned motor. The Italian engineers have been churning them out since 1952 and they have been used as backup vehicles in campervans, luxury yachts, light aircraft and are even stowed in the helicopters of the Italian National Police.

DiBlasi
You might recall that in 2007 Top Gear’s May and Hammond used the petrol powered Di Blasi R7 in their on-call chauffeuring challenge, ferrying home revellers in their own cars with the collapsed R7 in the boot. Being the lightest and most compact mini-moped on the market the £2,000 R7 is the sensible choice for the regularly stranded, well-healed bar fly.

A Di Blasi is perfect for retrieving your abandoned Alfa Brera from a well-reviewed gastro pub – or as backup transport when it breaks down.

Get one from: www.diblasi.co.uk
Priced around: £2000

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