Posted: 30 Dec 2013
BMW will release two new maxi-scooters in 2014, the C 650 GT and C 600 Sport special edition models. BMW say they are 'designed to allow the rider to conquer the city in style', whatever that means. BMW Motorrad’s Product Manager for maxi-scooters, Peter Maier, tells us more…
What’s new about the two BMW maxi-scooters for 2014?
These special edition models are quite striking. The C 650 GT has a very special colour – Granite Grey – as a base, but with a matt finish. It makes it look very elegant and fits well with all the components. In addition, there is a ‘highline package’ on this model which includes heated grips, heated seat, LED turn signals, daytime riding light and even tyre pressure monitors. Plus, as an add-on, you can specify a luggage rack, top-box and back-rest.
And what about the C 600 Sport?
The Sport has a base colour of Alpine White, but with the addition of the BMW Motorsport colours on the front and side fairing. We’ve also made a red-coloured spring visible on the rear suspension and included special colour-matched stitching on the seat. This stitching is normally available as an accessory for the other scooters, but is now included for the special edition model. And of course, because it’s a Sport Special Edition, there’s an Akrapovic silencer offered with this version.
Sounds great, but when will these maxi-scooters be available to customers?
Both ‘SE’ machines will be available in European and overseas markets from March next year. We’re starting production in January 2014 to be ready in time for the new season start.
What kind of customers is BMW attracting to these maxi-scooters?
Our buyers are mostly coming from the areas we thought they would, but what’s been a surprise for us is that many existing BMW riders are coming to us and saying that they hadn’t ever considered a scooter until now. They are saying that as they get older and begin to find their RT or GS starting to become heavy, then they are attracted to the benefits of these powered two-wheelers because you don’t have to swing a leg over the seat, the ‘step-thru’ is easier and the low centre of gravity are just a few of the many advantages to scooter ownership. Then of course we have many ‘competitor brand’ riders who are coming from lower displacement categories. And naturally, we are attracting some of the T-Max and Suzuki Burgman riders now we have an interesting offer from BMW.
How are the two BMW models doing in comparison tests?
Both models are still doing well in the specialist magazine tests. It’s very interesting because overall, the BMWs tend to come out slightly ahead. There are different characteristics of course with all models but BMW always has on the plus side dynamics, riding stability and fun. We are high-end, top of the line in this area and we’re getting closer to the best-selling models.
Which is the most successful model of the two BMW maxi-scooters?
Our initial planning and market research told us that we’d sell an equal number of both scooters, but what we’ve learnt is that it is closer to 60/40 in favour of the C 650 GT, which attracts more customers simply because there’s more you can do with it (it provides the biggest storage volume in its class along with excellent wind and weather protection) and as such it’s an easier machine for a dealer to sell. Those who want extra agility for the city, combined with a fun and pleasurable riding experience, tend to go for the C 600 Sport."