|Honda Announces Launch of Folding Racoon Compo Lightweight, Compact Electric Power-Assisted Bicycle|
|Tokyo, March 23, 1998 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced the launch of the new Honda Racoon Compo electric power-assisted bicycle, which will go on sale on April 22. The Racoon Compo features a lightweight, compact aluminum frame and a detachable battery pack. It can also be folded up for easy storage.
Having seen the market for power-assisted bicycles grow, Honda first displayed the Racoon Compo at the 32nd Tokyo Motor Show in 1997, where its dual potential for shopping around town and storage in a car for use with travel or leisure pursuits made it a popular attraction.
The lightweight, strong aluminum frame brings the weight of the bicycle to just below 20 kg. It can be folded up with the pull of a single lever, and easily stores away in tight spaces - either in a car trunk or inside an apartment.
The battery is light, compact and detachable so it can be carried around when the bicycle is not in use. A specially designed battery charger can supply the battery with enough power in just two hours to allow the bicycle to travel 16 km (in Honda tests). A battery level indicator also allows the rider to quickly ascertain how much power is left at any time.
The effect of the pedal-assistance power system is to enable a Racoon Compo rider to travel six meters on a single rotation of the crank arm - this is what you would expect from a machine with 26-inch wheels, compared with the Racoon Compo's 18-inch wheels. A grip-shift designed to be used with the power-assist system provides easy-to-use 3-speed gears, a comparative rarity with this sort of small-wheeled machine.
Other features include a sturdy plated chain, lightweight aluminum rims, and specially patterned tires designed for riding equally well on paved or unpaved road. A double-bolt arrangement allows the comfortable saddle to be adjusted quickly, both in terms of angle of inclination and saddle position (forward or backward). Also saddle height is adjustable from 795 mm to 930 mm. The Racoon Compo comes in three colors: Surf Blue Metallic, Matte Gray Metallic, and Fighting Red.
Honda Racoon Compo
Domestic annual sales target: 20,000 units