Brand collaborations aren’t uncommon in the automotive and fashion worlds—and lately, we’ve been seeing more of them in motorbikes, too. In July, 2022, it’s apparently Honda’s turn, as the OEM teams up with Japanese mega-retail giant MUJI on a new e-bike design, the MS01. The minimalist take on a simple e-bike showcases simplicity and functionality within a pleasing, modern form.
For those unfamiliar, MUJI is a Japanese lifestyle and home brand that prides itself on minimalist, useful designs in everything it makes, from housewares to clothing to the MUJI Hut tiny, pre-fabbed house (no, really). So, the knowledge that MUJI’s creative director, Kenya Hara, was behind the design of the MS01, is not particularly surprising if you’re familiar with MUJI’s aesthetic.
To be fair, though, it also fits in well with Honda’s current aesthetic on some of its other electric two-wheelers as well. One look at the Benly:e or the Gyro e: and Gyro Canopy:e shows you, in a visual sense, how easily the MS01 fits in with that design language.
Gallery: MUJI x Honda MS01 e-bike
In fact, Hara took inspiration from MUJI’s H-type bicycle, while Honda developed both the motor and the way riders would interface with the e-bike. The resulting MS01 is made to seat just one person, and packs a 400W electric motor and a 48V battery inside. The battery is easily removable for charging purposes, although a fairly lightweight bike like this probably wouldn’t be difficult to wheel inside for charging.
Top speed is around 15 mph—so it really is just meant for local commuting. A single charge will get you around a claimed 40 miles of riding—which is pretty useful if you live close to where you work, go to school, or do errands like grocery shopping. Beyond that, clearly, you’d need something with a bit longer range.
It could be a good option if you’re in a situation where you can divide chores among multiple vehicles, though—opting for short-range trips on the MS01, to cut down on use of a car or other high-emissions vehicle. The MS01 comes in black and white colorways, and is currently only available in the Chinese market at a price of RMB 4,980 (or about $744).
Sources: Weibo, Designboom, Yanko Design