BMW C650 GT and C600 Sport scooters unveiled at Milan Motor Show
BMW Motorard, has finally unveiled the all new Maxi Scooters range at the Milan Motor Show earlier this week. The two new BMW Scooters are named, C650 GT and C600 Sport. Both these BMW Maxi range scooters are powered by the same 657 cc engine generating 60 bhp and 50 lb-ft torque.
BMW C650 GT is specially built for people living in big cities. Due to rise in traffic congestions and decreasing parking spaces, BMW C650 GT is the ideal two wheeler to get through busy city traffic. The new BMW scooter is also quite comfortable for long road trips. Features of BMW C650 GT include bigger cargo space, larger pillon seat, and electronically adjustable windscreen.
On the other hand, BMW C600 is equally easy to ride in cities, but might not be as comfortable on long trips. BMW C600 has smaller seats and lesser cargo space compared to the C650GT. BMW Motorard has designed C600 Sport to give an enhanced ride performance with better acceleration.
More than 50 per cent of the world’s population now lives in cities and this figure is rising all the time. A rapidly growing world population is causing cities to swell into huge areas of urban sprawl. ‘Mega-cities’ is the term now being used to describe these rapidly expanding population centres and in the years to come, people are going to have to learn to be as space efficient as possible, not just in the way they live, but also in their transportation needs.
It is estimated that by 2050, over 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities. Clearly, conventional transport options such as petrol-driven cars won’t be compatible with our ‘mega-cities’ of the future, the answer will lie with efficient, affordable, clean technology that takes up little road space and allows us to get wherever we want to go, with the least amount of fuss? This is something the BMW Group has been working on for some time…
Individual mobility is what the BMW Group is all about and its strategy is to provide new innovative concepts to help keep us moving – wherever we live – now and in the future. From BMW’s new mobility brand (www.bmw-i.com) to BMW Motorrad and its new Maxi-Scooter range, the debate on the subject of future mobility is very much alive within the BMW Group.
Things have to change of course, as many cities are already struggling to meet the needs of an ever increasing number of citizens. The planners, designers, manufacturers and politicians are all trying to find a way to rethink the way we live, but the simple fact is that in many of our cities, the two words ‘urban’ and ‘mobility’ are a contradiction in terms, with high levels of congestion and pollution, and overstretched, overpriced public transport networks failing to alleviate the gridlock.
Think about it: cars are actually parked about 90 per cent of the time and even though there are attempts to make their manufacture and use more environmentally friendly, the simple fact is that they take up the space of around three to four powered two-wheelers (PTWs) and create congestion – whether moving or stationary.
Charges apply for city driving in many countries and capitals around the world, with various ‘green’ initiatives introduced in an attempt to cut pollution. Quite rightly, there is often exemption for PTWs, as their benefits are numerous, including the small amount of space required on the road and for parking; a low level of fuel consumption; and their great versatility.
There is, without a doubt, a great future for PTWs, especially in the context of the growing debate on environment and transportation in cities. Urban mobility cannot be achieved by public transport alone – the infrastructure generally just isn’t there to deal with all the people and their varying needs. Greater commuting distances mean that walking and cycling are increasingly difficult, while much of the traffic congestion is caused by cars just driving around looking for a parking space. The knock-on effect in terms of journey times, hours worked and work/family balance cannot be underestimated.
Every motorcyclist knows that PTWs are not part of the problem, but are actually a big part of the solution. But how do you get this message across to the masses? And how do you get these car drivers to make the transition and just “get on” a scooter or a motorcycle? In an ideal world, cars would be used for transporting multiple occupants for longer distances, sharing rides and filling all seats whenever possible, whereas PTWs would be used for commuting purposes and travelling shorter distances. In fact, this is already happening in many countries, because it is the only viable option to get across the city.
Those who already ride know the fun and the advantages of PTWs, but it is necessary to educate car drivers about the benefits we enjoy as riders – and then encourage them to join the ranks. Many of them still see motorcycles as ‘dangerous’ or ‘too powerful’, which is why a Maxi-Scooter is the best single-track option for them to consider, for several reasons.
First and foremost, a Maxi-Scooter is by design, easy to ride and has more benefits in an urban setting, with its automatic gearbox (continuously variable transmission), twist-and-go throttle, step-through frame, and storage space.
Car drivers are used to being dry, warm and cosy. To tempt them onto two wheels, a Maxi-Scooter must have class-leading ergonomics, from heated grips and supportive, comfort seats, to clever storage that can easily hold two helmets, a briefcase or sport bag, to aerodynamics that offer superior protection from rain and wind.
With its Concept C design study, BMW Motorrad paved the way for its entry to the Urban Mobility segment and its two new series production Maxi-Scooters – the C 600 Sport and C 650 GT – were unveiled to a packed press conference at the EICMA international motorcycle show in Milan on 8 November.
Both these exciting new machines will be on sale to the public in Spring 2012. Targeted at the millions of people who currently drive to work everyday, these petrol-powered Maxi-Scooters will have outstanding fuel efficiency and low emissions, and will be a practical and fun alternative to the car. They will be quick to accelerate, narrow enough to squeeze through traffic in urban environments, have a low centre of gravity for confident handling, and will be easy to park.
The time is right for BMW Motorrad to enter the Urban Mobility category. This new market segment will see more change in the next 10 years than the motorcycle industry has seen in the last 50 years, with new technology, tighter emissions controls and greater competition from emerging markets. Only those who have planned for the future will be successful and here BMW Motorrad has a great advantage: it is able to able to tap into the enormous expertise of the BMW Group again and again.
In the area of electric drive as well as in the fields of safety and chassis, there are a great many opportunities for synergies, and the BMW group makes full use of them. BMW motorcycle engineers invest a lot of time in adapting these kinds of technologies so that they can be put to sensible use in the motorcycle sector.
The expertise is there and in addition to the C 600 Sport and C 650 GT series production Maxi-Scooters, many avenues are currently being explored, developed and shown in various stages, including the Concept e scooter and Husqvarna E-go motorcycle unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motorshow (IAA) in Germany, the MINI electric scooter and the C1-E study. Some ideas are years ahead of their time – such as the innovative C1 that BMW tested the market with over a decade ago – but even this remains the safest two-wheel concept in the world.
The BMW Group has already announced that new, revolutionary BMW cars with electric drive will be available from 2013, and as the future e-scooter will build on this technology, we can safely assume it won’t be available until after the launch of these electric drive cars. The first steps in BMW’s journey ‘into the city’ are the introduction of the two Maxi-Scooters that are powered by combustion engines, clearly showing that the BMW Group is taking a central role in shaping the future of individual mobility.
Like it or not, our world is changing faster than ever, and with increased political regulation of traffic, our transport needs have to adapt accordingly. Rest assured that manufacturers and lobby groups are doing lots of work behind the scenes to enable dedicated motorcycle and scooter parking facilities at workplaces, in residential blocks and in city centres.
These two new Maxi-Scooters are heralding the start of a new era within BMW Motorrad, so expect and trust the brand to be right at the forefront of a new era in individual mobility that brings worlds together, unites efficiency and dynamic performance.
BMW C650 GT is the one in silver-grey color while the C600 Sport is in Blue color above.