Fun, spirited, stylish and a real pleasure to ride sums up my ride review of BMW’s maxi scooter model the C 650 GT. Though BMW Motorrad say this GT model, versus the C600 Sport is aimed the mature rider –I prefer to say it’s more for the multi rider. A rider who enjoys city, commuting and longer distance touring because the BMW Maxi Scooter C650GT has some great features for multitasking!
Since our partners KYMCO introduced their maxi scooter the Xciting 500Ri (500cc) a few years ago – and who now have three maxi scooter to their line; I’ve been promoting the fun of ‘twist and go’ motorcycle riding to both women riders and men. Thanks to KYMCO I spend a lot of time on a scooter. And now with BMW adding scooters to their product mix indicating the increasing popularity of scooters especially in North America.
By the way, both BMW scooter models are powered by a 647cc parallel twin engine manufactured by BMW techs in Germany and built in Taiwan by KYMCO. The company known for scooters and ATV’s, supply the CVT (continuously variable transmission-read more on CVT) which is the scooters core power.
Both BMW scooter models are quite similar, other than a few design details. The C650GT is longer, wider and little heavier at 261kgs (road ready, fully fuelled). There’s also a luxurious seat with backrest offering great support. Passengers on the C650 GT also enjoy the deep and wide padding of the seat.
A few of my favourite features:
- Automatically adjustable three-position windscreen! This mechanically adjusts by way of a button on the left handlebar. I made great use of this when transferring from city to highway to control the buffeting winds.
- Heated seats! Also for the passengers. And of course BMW’s famed heated hand grips. Making this easy to ride all year long.
- Mirrors which adjust from the base by twisting.
- Parking brake which activates when the side stand is down.
- Glove boxes which lock when you switch off the ignition
The Ride – Stability Like a Motorcycle.
As scooters carry most of their weight down low and close to the ground this makes the bike feel incredibly stable and tends to mask their size feel. They also tend to get a bit better fuel economy than a standard motorcycle- pretty decent inter-city range of more than 300km from its 16L tank.
Powering the C 650 GT is a 647cc, 2-cylinder 4-stroke liquid-cooled engine which creates a considerable 60hp and 49 lb-ft of torque. You won’t feel lacking in this area at all.
The front tire is a 120/70 so it doesn’t track and the rear is a fattish 160/60 so there is plenty of corner grip and highway stability. These larger wheels offer minimal feedback from the road and the better you’ll ride out of a pothole. The usual smaller scooter wheels feel much more of the roads imperfect surface and cannot produce as smooth results coming out of an unexpected pothole.
Added to the almost motorbike-style tires is the sophisticated suspension with 40mm upside down forks and seven-step adjustable shock. The shock is easily adjusted for pre-load with a C spanner.
Brakes are simply spectacular. The front brakes have a nice feel with better than expected results. The rear felt equally astounding and in a quicker stop the ABS activated and performed with perfection.
There are floorboards as well as foot wells offering sit options. I found myself switching between the two.
- The front turn indicators are integrated into the mirrors and you’ve two circular headlights with an LED rear light cluster with integrated turn indicators. Beautiful and smart for your safety.
- Large storage space of about 2.1 cubic feet in the tail for storing two helmets and some additional items.
- An alarm system is available and a wide range of accessories that include luggage, racks, Akrapovic muffler.
- There is also an on-board computer with all the usual comprehensive info about range, economy, temperature etc.
- A lower seat option is available but without heating if you’re going for this option.
BMW have outdone themselves on their first entry to the maxi scooter market and you can’t go wrong with a reliable, well running CVT transmission from KYMCO.
Outside of the expected performance and build quality of BMW, the manufacturer have gone above and beyond by including some superbly smart features: parking brake side stand combo, heated seats and the electronic windscreen make for stellar rider/owner benefits.
The pricing is a bit high yet in line with the reputation and quality the BMW brand carries.
The C 650GT MSRP: CAD11,450. / USD9,999. Financing available
Who is the BMW C 650GT for?
- City commuters; long distance tourers
- Riders frequently taking passengers
- Ok for newly licensed rider
Visit BMW website for full specifications.
MOTORESS director, Vicki Gray is a basic and advanced motorcycle instructor – certified for over 25 years. She is a motorcycle licensing examiner and has instructed, examined and licensed riders for European and North American road racing schools.