Scooting to the max

BMW Malaysia launches the C 600 Sport and C 650 GT.

Are you tired of the daily traffic grind but find bikes intimidating? Perhaps you're a senior manager who can't quite see the point of a Japanese moped or even a Vespa? Admittedly, these are issues few will face because it's tough to replace the all-weather ability of a car for a bike in rain lashed Malaysia and most of us can't imagine spending more than RM60,000 on a scooter; but for the specific few, BMW now has an answer.

The Munich firm has entered the 'Maxi Scooters' market with the introduction of their all-new BMW C 600 Sport and BMW C 650 GT by BMW Motorrad. Designed to match the evolving challenges of inner city traffic, rising energy costs and with a stringent focus on delivering reduced greenhouse emission standards, the all new bikes are among the most advanced Maxi Scooters available in the world today and combine the outstanding riding properties of a motorcycle with the specific agility and comfort of a scooter. In layman's terms it means you get the big-engine grunt of a superbike with scooter agility and ease of use. It also means no more creased shirts from crouching arse-up on a racer-replica.

Visually, BMW's maxi scooters marry big bike aggression with clever futuristic detailing. Think of a scooter for Judge Dredd and you wouldn't far off. Each machine features generously sized upside down forks and two-rotor disc brake, just as you would find on a proper motorcycle. The tails proudly bear a dynamically designed single swing-arm, which looks a lot like a miniaturised version of the Paralever suspension arm you find on bigger BMW Motorrad bikes.

If Judge Dredd rode a scooter this would be it

Both bikes use an all-new parallel 2-cylinder engine, which develops an impressive 60bhp and 66Nm of torque. Power is transferred to the rear wheel through a drive shaft and via a directly integrated CVT 'box. Typically for BMW, this is the most powerful engine in its class, enabling the C 600 Sport to cover the 0-100km/h sprint in 7.1 seconds with the heavier C 650 GT doing it in 7.5 seconds.

Do not however mistake these as fizzy scooters with buzzy engines. They have exceptionally low sound and vibration characteristics thanks in large to a 90° crank pin offset, 270° ignition spacing and a pair of balancer shafts driven by spur gears so you'll barely feel any buzz when on the move. ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬Such technical refinements ensure BMW is also able to meet its environmental targets, which are impressively stringent. The 2-cylinder engine is touted as the most efficient powertrain in its class with a CO2 emission level of only 0.01 grams per kilometre and an average fuel consumption of 4.8 l/100km at speeds of up to 100km/h.

Take the long way to work and still arrive crease free

Befitting any BMW product, the scooters are fitted with a CAN bus (controller area network) electrical system which networks the instrument cluster, ABS and engine controller as well as the electronic immobiliser and the anti-theft alarm system and tyre pressure control (RDC). Both also feature a power socket installed in the left storage compartment, which can be used to recharge a mobile phone and is connected via Bluetooth to the BMW Motorrad communication system in the rider's helmet, allowing for convenient and safe communications.

Available in a variety of colours the retail price for the all-new BMW C 600 Sport and BMW C 650 GT are RM65,000 and RM68,800 respectively.

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