BMW takes wraps off uberscooters
POWER AND STYLE... and a great deal of comfort from BMW's new uberscooters. Why don't they catch on in SA?
Two production-ready models have been unveiled on the back of the company’s 2010 Concept C Scooter,
They claim to be the most revolutionary launched by BMW Motorrad in recent years but at the same time are the least relevant to riders in South Africa where maxiscooters still have a long way to go before they are generally accepted as a viable transport option.
The C600 Sport and C650 GT maxi-scooters are billed as "the transport solution to address the needs of tomorrow" and indeed sport some truly striking design. They aren’t slowpokes either; power comes courtesy of a new 647cc parallel-twin engine good for 44kW at 7000rpm and maximum torque of 66Nm.
The engine owes its low position and the resulting low centre of gravity to its cylinder bank, which is inclined to the front through 70 degrees. According to BMW, “the characteristic sound and low vibration levels are the result of the 90 degree crank pin offset, 270 degree ignition spacing and two balance shafts driven by spur gears".
The key difference between the Sport and GT is the Sport’s higher and slightly sportier riding position but the GT benefits from a higher handlebars, a larger and electronically adjustable windscreen and greater under-seat storage.
As is common on all new BMW models, both machines come with anti-lock brakes linked to two 270mm discs up front and one at the rear. Heatable seats and handlebar grips are optional extras.
ENGINE PART OF CHASSIS
BMW says: “Two objectives in the development of the C600 Sport and C650 GT were combining directional stability at high speed with playful handling in traffic and clear feedback to the rider – just like a motorcycle."
With that in mind, the two machines' suspension has a torsionally rigid hybrid interconnection of a steel tube bridge frame and a die-cast aluminium unit at the swing-arm bearing. The two-cylinder engine further functions as a chassis element, which helps to create a rigid construction.
The BMW C600 Sport will be available in blue, silver or black metallic; the C650 GT in black, bronze or red metallic.
The bikes are expected to go on sale in Europe in March, when prices will be announced.