Living in a city connotes a pacy, frantic and demanding lifestyle. But a city is not a city without its irritating traffic congestion and this is where the term ‘mobility’ comes into play. Sure, getting from point A to point B in a congested city is still possible but, what matters here is how it is done. You can either drive a car and get yourself stuck in traffic, or you can get on the new BMW C650 GT maxi-scooter and discover the true meaning of ‘mobility’ yourself.
BMW Group Malaysia launched the C600 Sport and C650 GT maxi-scooters or “maxis” to overcome the challenges of inner city traffic while combining the riding properties of a motorcycle with the specific agility and comfort of a scooter. And because of that, both scooters are expected to not only dominate the city traffic but to also have the ability of confronting the highways, travelling as far as a touring motorcycle could go.
I was looking forward to try out the C600 Sport but BMW Group Malaysia was only kind enough to lend us the C650 GT… for a week. I guess the saying “beggars can’t be choosers” was befitting at that time. First of all, the C650 GT is a clean-cut two-wheeler and might be the best looking maxi you will ever find in the market. Although the C600 Sport may look more flamboyant with its slimmer and sporty profile, the C650 GT’s design is splendid on its own. Its front fascia is highlighted by the aggressive looking headlights which feature three vertical LED bars as its daytime running lights (DRL). The rear features eight vertical LED bars for maximum visibility.
Hidden under the good looking paneling parts is the main frame constructed from steel tube trellis, which is reinforced in the swingarm area for stability. The frame also has a higher centre section for improved stiffness. If you have not seen this scooter in real life, there is one thing that you should know – it is HUGE! Measuring at 2,155 mm long and 877 mm (including mirrors) wide, the C650 GT almost looks like a jet ski.
Since it has a bulkier profile compared to the other variant, the C650 GT has a big storage space of 60 litres. That’s really big, especially for a scooter. Just pop the seat up and you will find a storage space, complete with illuminating light, that you can fit two helmets in, with ample space left for your other junk. If that is not enough, there are two storage compartments located conveniently along the front leg well, big enough to put things like handphones, wallets or cameras. Also, there is a power socket installed on the left compartment so you can charge your devices on the go.
The C650 GT is quite a heavy scooter. Weighing around 261kg (road ready), it proved to be a little bit too much for me at first. Maybe I just need to hit the gym more. Nevertheless, I managed to reconcile myself to the weight. Even though this scooter is heavy, almost 90 percent of the weight is at the lower part because the fuel tank and the engine are located there, unlike a conventional sports bike with the tank at the top. Yes, it was a tad bit tiring for me to weave my way through the busy start-stop traffic condition of Klang Valley, but the highway was where the scooter showed me its true colours.
On paper, the 647cc, 2-cylinder inline power unit churns out 60 hp at 7,500 rpm and has a maximum torque of 67 Nm, available at 6,000 rpm. Power is delivered smoothly through the rear wheel via a directly integrated CVT. I have to say that I liked the C650 GT better on the open roads. At cruising speed (around 110 to 120 km/h), the GT was effortless. The wind was not an issue at all, thanks to the electronically adjustable windshield which can be easily accessed via a button on the left side of the handlebar. After five days with the bike, I managed to achieve an average of 4.9l/100km. With a full tank (16 litres), the scooter can go more than 300 km, which makes it a deserved candidate for a touring machine.
Another aspect that would make the C650 GT a good touring scooter is its comfort. The seat comes with a bolster so you can lean backwards a little and put your back to rest. On top of that, the scooter comes with three mode heating system (low, high or auto) on both the handgrips and on the seat. I, at first, thought that I would never have to use the heater in our hot and humid country but on cold nights, the feature works wonders. It was drizzling when I made my way to Putrajaya but the heaters kept my hands and bottom warm and dry. “I like”.
The C650 GT is priced at RM68,800 while the C600 Sport comes cheaper at RM65,000 (both on-the-road without insurance). The hefty price tag might choke you, but it is a BMW after all and you do get what you pay for right? Apart from the power, comfort and convenience, you are looking at one of the best maxi-scooters that could make the word ‘mobility’ be meaningful again.
[table class=”table table-bordered table-condensed” style=”width:400px;” th=”0″ caption=”2012 BMW C650 GT Specs”]
“Engine Type”, “Water-cooled, inline 2-cylinder, 4-stroke”
“Displacement”, “647 cc”
“Power”, “60hp @ 7,500 rpm”
“Torque”, “66Nm @ 6,000 rpm”
“Brakes”, “Dual Disc (F), Single Disc (R), ABS”
“Kerb Mass”, “261 kg”
“Dry Weight”, “241 kg”
“Length”, “2,218 mm”
“Width”, “916 mm”
“Seat Height”, “795 mm”
“Fuel Capacity”, “16 Litres”
“Tyres”, “120/70 ZR 15 (F), 160/60 ZR 15(R)”