Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) jumped into the motor scooter market in a big way in 2012, introducing its first ever scooters, the BMW C 600 Sport and BMC C 650 GT for the 2013 model year. These touring scooters have enough oomph to keep up with the fastest freeway traffic yet are gentle enough to ride around town. The two scooters use the same 647cc engine and chassis, but there are subtle differences. The GT (for Grand Touring) scooter is aimed at long-distance riders. It is 26 pounds heavier than its sibling and offers 60 liters of under-seat storage, which BMW says is the most storage of any maxi-scooter. Top cases are options for riders who want more luggage space. The C 600 Sport has foot pegs for the passenger.
BMW is targeting these scooters at various groups of riders, ranging from entry-level to re-entry scooter riders ready to move up. Newbie riders might want to think twice before investing the big bucks in these BMWs, however. New riders tend to crash a lot; do they really want that many dings and dents in this one before they’ve ridden very far? These scooters have a top speed of 109 mph, and can go from zero to 40 mph in four seconds, which is likely to be more power than a new rider can handle. Plus, the scooters weigh around 550 pounds, so maneuvering them around takes skill that new riders might not have. That said, with the experience to handle the challenges this scooter presents, test riders for motorcycle publications love these maxi-scooters because they are so powerful and respond well at fast speeds. While maneuverability presents some problems even for experienced riders because of the scooter's size and weight, the ride is comfortable, with the scooters living up to the quality riders have come to expect from BMW’s two-wheeled vehicles.
The 2013 BMC C scooters come in three metallic colors: platinum bronze, vermilion red, and sapphire black. They also come with a lot of goodies, such as heated seats for the passenger and driver and heated hand grips. The heated seats and grips supposedly are optional, but reportedly few of the scooters leave the German factory without them. The instrument panel has a speedometer as well as digital read-outs for time, temperature and fuel warnings. BMW says the scooters get 53 mpg when ridden at a constant speed of 56 mph; gas mileage goes down, however, as speed goes up.