proved it is aggressively exploring new segments after the Bavarian marque introduced the BMW C 600 Sport and C 650 GT scooters at Milan. BMW is aware that cities are more crowded than ever (we just topped seven billion people on Earth!), gas prices are never coming down, and scooters are slowly but surely gaining more acceptance in the
BMW unveiled its two performance-oriented scooters at the EICMA today, the C 650 GT and the C 600 Sport.
mainstream. The two new maxi-scooters will be produced in the BMW
Motorrad plant in Berlin and are aimed to please two different demographics, one more sport-minded while the other looks to do longer rides, more than likely two-up.
Though we knew from BMW’s Concept C Scooter that the two new offerings would operate with a continuously variable transmission, engine size had been a point of speculation. The guessing game is over as both the C 600 Sport and C 650 GT will be powered by a 647cc Parallel Twin with power ratings claimed to be 60 hp @ 7500 rpm and 48.7 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm. The engine has a 90-degree crank pin offset and 270-degree ignition spacing aimed at keeping vibrations low and is facilitated by two balancer shafts. It’s mounted low on the frame courtesy of a 70-degree forward tilt of its cylinder bank which helps in mass centralization and allowed BMW to make the scooters step-thru. Spent gases are jettisoned from a little, stubby pipe jutting off the right side. The stainless steel exhaust has a closed loop catalytic converter and O2 sensor which meets the upcoming stringent Euro 4 standards.
BMW engineers sought to give the BMW C 600 Sport and C 650 GT a rigid, stable ride so they utilized a tubular steel bridge frame mated to a diecast aluminum swingarm with the engine serving as a stressed member of the frame. The cast swingarm connects to a single rear shock to stabilize the rider of the rear while an upside-down fork with a 40mm tube anchors the front.
It's a BMW, so you know the C 600 Sport will offer a spirited ride.
The performance-based scooters come with ABS standard. The braking system features three 270mm discs, two-rotors on the front and a single disc on the rear. Both tires stand 15 inches tall and measure out at 120/70 up front and 160/60 on the backside. Though a full spec sheet hasn’t been disclosed yet, there’s a pretty healthy stretch between the spoked wheels.
BMW chose the C 600 Sport for the world premiere of its FlexCase stowage system. From what we understand, the FlexCase uses a flap in the tail base under the seat which unfolds to make the storage space bigger when the vehicle is parked. There are also a couple of smaller storage compartments built into the front fairing. Since the C 650 GT is built with long-distance rides in mind, its standard storage compartment is a tad larger.
The C 600 Sport and C 650 GT scooters are full of the modern, edgy styling you’d expect from BMW Motorrad. Its split-face front fairing looks like something you’d find on a sportbike instead of a scooter. It has air intakes on its sides ala the BMW GS while its single-sided swingarm isn’t standard scooter fare, either. It has a multifunctional instrument panel highlighted by a large LCD display with an analog speedo and digital bar tach. BMW Motorrad is also offering an LED daytime running light as an option. We were hoping BMW’s C scooters would come with the twin LCD monitors that were connected to two rear-facing video cameras the BMW Concept C Scooter
used as mirrors, but that option has been ditched for conventional mirrors. Attractive features like heated seats and heated grips are optional accessories.
BMW chose the C 600 Sport to debut its FlexCase storage system. Heated seats and heated grips are optional accessories for BMW's 650 line of scooters.
The C 650 GT has a greater emphasis on comfort and touring so its riding position is a little more relaxed, the passenger seat is designed to be even more comfortable on long stints, and it has passenger floorboards instead of fold-out foot pegs. The rider’s seat comes up a little higher and has more of a true backrest which is adjustable and its bars are a touch higher than the C 600 Sport as well. Its windscreen is larger and electronically adjustable while the one on the C 600 Sport is manually adjustable to three different settings. The seat height on the C 650 GT is 30mm lower, too. Other differences between the two are the bodywork as the panels on the front and rear of the C 650 GT cover up more of the bike while the C 600 Sport is more streamline. As mentioned above the C 650 GT has a larger stowage area, claimed to be almost 60 liters in the tail. Other small differences include the location of the turn signals, with the C 650 GT’s units integrated into the mirrors on the front and with the LED light cluster on the rear.
The BMW C 600 Sport is available in Cosmic Blue Metallic Matt, Titanium Silver Metallic, and Sapphire Black Metallic while the C 650 T is offered in Sapphire Black Metallic, Platinum Bronze Metallic, and Vermillion Red Metallic. BMW’s new maxi-scooters will be available in spring of 2012 while prices have yet to be announced.