When you think of BMW motorcycles, chances are an image of a GS Adventure pops in your head. After all, the German company is widely credited with creating the adventure-touring category of motorcycles. But associate BMW with scooters? Not so much. Nevertheless, the times are changing, and with annual worldwide sales of scooters topping 40 million, BMW wants a piece of the action.
For model year 2013, BMW introduced two all-new maxi-scooters, the C 650 GT and C 600 Sport, each offering a unique riding experience. These scooters have the power and weight of many midsize motorcycles, can go long distances, and have top speeds exceeding 100 mph (109 mph, to be exact). But because, like most scooters, the GT and Sport require no shifting, they make a great option for men and women riders who want a simpler two-wheeled experience.
The GTshigh seat heightof 31.7 inches is a potential downside for female or male riders of shorter statures. The Sport’s seat height, at 31.5 inches, is also on the high side. Fortunately, BMW offers a lower seat for both models, either as an accessory option or right from the factory. The GT lowers to 30.9 inches and the Sport to 30.7 inches, but riders should still take into account the leg inches lost in the spread from the wide-ish seat.
Heres a riddle for you: When is a 600 not a 600? When it’s a 650, of course. Even BMW reps had trouble explaining why the Sport has a “600” written on its side panel when it shares the same parallel-twin 647cc engine as the GT. In fact, everything under the bodywork on both scooters is exactly the same. Only the outward appearances differ, and either will take you on many adventures in comfort and with sufficient packing room.
Although the C 600 Sport model has less underseat storage than the GT, its innovative “Flex Case” drops down with the push of a release lever when the scooter is parked, offering a perfect space to nestle a full-face helmet.
The C 650 GT’s adjustable windshield, powered by a handlebar-mounted switch on the left handgrip, adjusts up or down slowly, allowing the rider to place it in an optimal position that doesnt block the line of sight. Adjustable wind vanes on the sides of thewindshieldcan be positioned to either block the wind or allow a breeze to pass through for cooling purposes.
The C 600 Sport (left) has minimalist styling andless bodywork thanthe C 650 GT (right).
A passenger fits comfortably on both the C 600 Sport (left) and C 650 GT (right), but the GT is roomier and provides more foot space. The Sport is designed for short jaunts around town.
With no shifting required and price tags coming in at just under $10,000, these BMW scooters offer an affordable, low-key, and fun alternative to their two-wheeled Adventure cousins.
Specs At A Glance: 2013 BMW C 650 GT and2013 BMWC 600 Sport
Colors: GT: Platinum Bronze Metallic, Sapphire Black Metallic, Vermillion Red Metallic; Sport: Cosmic Blue Metallic Matte, Titan Silver Metallic, Sapphire Black Metallic
We write a lot about motorcyclists who trade up to bigger and plusher machines as they gain experience, but for many riders, the perfect bike has nothing to do with adding more power and displacement. As we age, our ability to manage those big bikes becomes more difficult, both physically and mentally. Sometimes a simpler, easier to handle, and less complicated machine is just what the doctor ordered. These BMW scooters offer all that, along with great touring features and all that superb BMW technology at an affordable price. Aging riders considering trading in their motorcycle for a trike should consider these BMW scooters before giving up on two wheels.