It was a cold, rainy day in late October, and I insisted on taking two new BMW scooters for a spin. Despite inclement weather, the machine felt really good after just a few kilometres.
What's so special about the 2013 BMW C600 Sport
? Well, from a comfort standpoint, it features a heated seat and heated grips, the former offering a nice relief to our imperfect roads. What's more, the adjustable windscreen provides decent protection against Mother Nature's elements.
I hit the highway on the way home, and the C600 Sport stuck to the road in surprising fashion, which quickly boosted my confidence. This sport-oriented scooter, introduced in Canada in 2012 along with the more touring-focused C650GT
, is one heck of a two-wheeler!
2013 BMW C600 Sport frame and powertrain
BMW doesn't do things half-heartedly; every new product is designed to become a hit. In this case, the Bavarian company fully intends to grab the largest share of the maxi-scooter segment.
The tubular steel and aluminum frame combines with a solidly mounted engine to create a low centre of gravity that makes riding almost effortless. Equipped with a 60-horsepower, 8-valve, twin-cylinder engine, the 2013 BMW C600 Sport offers plenty of torque once up to speed (44 lb-ft at 6,000 rpm). It rides on 15” cast aluminum wheels wrapped in 120/70 front and 160/60 rear tires -- a nice match given its sporty aspirations. As for the brakes, there are 2 discs up front and a single disc in the rear, all bitten by dual-piston floating callipers and backed by ABS.
Surprising cargo capacity
Storage is typically more limited on a sporty scooter, yet engineers found a clever way to increase the cargo capacity of the 2013 BMW C600 Sport. You see, the underseat compartment can be extended backward in a flash, so much so that you can fit a second helmet. Although it has to return to its original shape before you start the engine, the mechanism remains perfectly sealed and weatherproof.
Further enhancing the 2013 BMW C600 Sport's practicality are 2 gloveboxes within the front panel including a larger, lockable one.
|Engineers found a clever way to increase the cargo capacity. The underseat compartment can be extended backward in a flash, so much so that you can fit a second helmet. (Photo: Amyot Bachand)
2013 BMW C600 Sport ergonomics
The seat height of 810 mm gave me a hard time. Once, my right foot slipped as I was about to start the engine, and I lost my balance: I had to use all my strength to prevent the 249kg scooter from tipping over. Before you buy the 2013 BMW C600 Sport, make sure it's not too tall for you. By the way, the C650GT boasts a seat height of just 780 mm, which makes it more suitable for short- and medium-legged riders while improving manoeuvrability around town.
The controls, switches and brake levers all prove readily accessible. The latter can easily be adjusted thanks to an integrated dial. The design of the handlebars and seat contributes to a decidedly sporty riding position, so you can confidently lean with the scooter in corners. I also liked the floorboard, which is long enough to stretch your legs while cruising on the open road.
Riding the 2013 BMW C600 Sport
As far as I'm concerned, this scooter is made for suburban riding. It will adapt to downtown conditions, but won't particularly excel in them. The high seat and sporty riding position complicate manoeuvres in tight spots. On the plus side, the tapered mirrors are adequately sized and provide good visibility.
When gently taking off, you'll feel the engine hesitate for half a second before getting to work, so bear that in mind whenever you find yourself in the middle of traffic. Once underway, however, the 2013 BMW C600 Sport proves lively and surefooted. Acceleration is sharp, quick, and reassuring. Braking power is generous, yet easy to modulate, which makes you feel safer even under the rain.
I love how the 2013 BMW C600 Sport changes directions and attacks corners with quick and sharp weight transfers. Balance is great, irrespective of road conditions. Sure, crosswinds slightly affect its handling, but incoming trucks do not. As mentioned earlier, the windscreen offers good protection, although I would have liked a fourth, higher position at highway speeds.
You must keep a constant eye on the speedometer, because the 2013 BMW C600 Sport is deceptively fast and agile. This thing craves long stretches of pavement and twisty roads alike. It makes riding comfortable, safe, and fun. There's a certain price to pay at the pump, not to mention the fact that it requires premium gas, but as with any great sport model, you'll surely forget about it.
|As far as I'm concerned, this scooter is made for suburban riding. It will adapt to downtown conditions, but won't particularly excel in them. (Photo: Amyot Bachand)
- Heated seat and grips
- Superb handling
- Confident braking
- Generous power
- High seat
- Heavy weight
- Lack of throttle response off the line