Having shown its Concept C scooter at the Milan Show in late 2010, few were surprised when BMW unveiled its C 600 Sport and C 650 GT maxi scooters the following year. Both models are powered by a 647cc parallel twin said to generate 60 horsepower and 49 lb-ft of torque. If they have the same engine, why is one called a 600 and the other a 650? It’s all about perception. For a sport scooter, BMW believes a 600 is seen as the upper limit, anything larger perceived as too heavy, especially since the C 600 Sport’s primary competition will be the 499cc Yamaha Tmax. The C 650 GT, on the other hand, will go head-to-head with the Suzuki Burgman 650 (638cc) and Honda Silver Wing (582cc), and BMW hopes its higher displacement will be seen as an advantage.
The four-valve, DOHC, fuel-injected, counterbalanced engine is laid down nearly flat to keep the center of gravity low. Power is transferred to the rear wheel through a directly integrated CVT. A diecast aluminum housing connects the tubular steel bridge frame to the cast aluminum single-sided swingarm. Both wheels are 15 inches in diameter, and triple disc brakes with linked ABS are standard. Other standard equipment includes an onboard computer and a parking brake engaged automatically via the sidestand.
With aggressive styling, the C 600 Sport has a 31.8-inch-high seat and a manually adjustable windscreen. Its FlexCase uses a flap under the seat to enlarge the storage space when the scooter is parked. With styling reminiscent of the K 1600, the C 650 GT has a larger seat with a rider backrest, 30.7-inch seat height, higher handlebar, passenger floorboards, a larger, electrically adjustable windscreen, and 2.1 cubic feet of underseat storage space.
BMW has confirmed that both scooters will be coming to the U.S., though a delivery date in 2012 and pricing have not been set. We’re headed to Spain in March to get a first ride on both scooters, so stayed tuned for a full report.