Valmobile Scooter can Unfold and Go

By: On: May 14th, 200916 Comments »Updated: October 14, 2012

Valmobile Suitcase

Valmobile folding scooters were made in Japan during the 1950’s and 60’s. They were often referred to as Suitcase Scooters because they folded down into something that looked very much like a suitcase.

This interesting little motor scooter weighed 75 pounds and measured 27.5 x 14 x 24.5 inches for storage in a “boat, plane, car, closet or basement” and could be unfolded and ready to ride in “30 seconds” according to their advertisements.

The engine was a 49cc 2-stroke that had a kick starter, automatic transmission (centrifugal clutch type), and was advertised to get up to 165 miles per gallon fuel economy and to go up to 35 miles per hour.  This is pretty similar to many scooters and mopeds today, but this one seems much more fun to have!

Valmobile Suitcase Scooter

While this scooter did not have any front suspension, it did have a simple type of rear suspension.  The Neimen ring rubber-band style rear suspension was advertised as giving a “limousine” ride quality.  Now that’s one wild claim. I’ve got to believe that even in the 1950’s, limousines had a ride quality much better than riding a motorized suitcase!  A rear drum brake did the stopping.

Valmobile scooters were distributed in North America through OCCO Specialites, Inc. in Hackensack, New Jersey.  They were actually sold world-wide through other distribution channels and got a fair amount of publicity back then, even though the idea of a folding scooter was not entirely new.

Valmobile Folding Scooter

Manufacturing of the Valmobile scooter was done in Japan, but the design was French and is said to be adapted from portable motor scooters that were used during the 1940’s for military purposes.

Today, a Valmobile scooter can sell for about $1000-$3000 dollars  depending on the condition of it.  A professionally restored Valmobile may sell for much more.   One resource for parts and information is at Valmobile.com, but it seems they have not updated their inventory listings since 2005.  Occasionally you can find one of these scooters on eBay.  Not quite as popular as an old Harley-Davidson scooter or a Cushman scooter, a real Valmobile is still a gem to find.

Visit Motorcycle Information again for more fun and interesting articles as we look back at more unusual motorcycles and motor scooters.  If you know of  any good sources for Valmobile scooter parts, or if you have owned or currently own a Valmobile, please share your comments about it below.

About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotorcycleInfo.Org. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding his Moto Guzzi in charity rides and serves as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for an annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

» has written 131 posts

16 Responded

  1. Greg Crosser says:

    Looking for valmobile sidecar! Also any parts out there!

  2. http://motorcycleinfo.org/2009/05/valmobile-scooter/ says:

    Hi
    Does any valmobile expert let me know
    The size of the drive belt
    What brand and size of piston rings to be used
    What is a healthy ,strong compression
    Reading of this engine.
    Whats the prefrence when buying tires
    Brand and source
    Also has any one done any engine swap or mods
    Thanks
    To all.

  3. changaa007 says:

    Hello, I just got a Valmobile and i noticed its missing a few items like the suspension rubber bands and the head light. The tank has some old fuel but I was able to fire it up so yes it runs. I also need to know the size of the drive belt ,the current one on there looks quite worn and probably a bit larger since its rubbing on the carburetor. Thanks to all in advance. I can surely use some parts and info.

  4. Kevin says:

    Looking for Valmobile gas cap, headlight and hand controls. Maybe more….

  5. irene Warner says:

    I also have a never restored Valmobile scooter for sale. It is blue and not running at this time. I also have spare tubes, brakes and other miscellaneous items. If interested please email me for more details and photos: irene.warner@att.net

  6. Rigo fajardo says:

    I currently own two never restored Valmobile scooters and have them for sale. The orange is running and only needs new suspension rubber bands and the tan one is missing a carburetor. If interested please give me a call 760 238 0559

  7. Chuck Sessler says:

    I have a complete Valmobile and Centaur scooter for sale. For more info email me at sessler@verizon.net. Thanks Chuck.

  8. Matt says:

    I have an all original, orange Valmobile in great original condition I am interested in selling. Email me in interested: grnlark@gmail.com

  9. reefroamers says:

    The Valmobile in the above video is for sale.

  10. deadfish says:

    i am looking for a valemobile engine please contact me

  11. Rudy says:

    I’m interested in buying Valmobile Please contact me. Thanks

  12. jones says:

    I have a complete Valmobile for sale. It’s missing the original tank and air box and head light though.

  13. knuck says:

    anyone can tell me where to find valmobile parts.Thank you. Jack…

  14. wayne says:

    hello,can you please tell me if you still have
    the valmobil engine,thank you,wayne.

  15. Johnace says:

    I Have a running Valemobile engine for sale