I’m a fan of all things two and four wheeled but my taste in cars and bikes has been described as eclectic (at best). So when the opportunity came up to ride BMW’s first foray into the maxi scooter market I obviously jumped at the opportunity that many wouldn’t. The C600 Sport is the ‘entry’ model of BMW’s scooter range. I say ‘entry’ because it’s a range that starts at around $13,000 in Australia…that’s an expensive scooter no matter how you look at it.
For your significant investment you get a 647cc parallel twin, pushing out 44kw and 66nm of torque. Not massive figures for a motorbike, but pretty impressive for a scooter. These figures become slightly more notable when you compare them to the previous king of the maxi scooter, Yamaha’s TMAX, which uses a 530cc parallel twin to produce 34kw and 52nm. The C600 will do 0-100km/h in about five seconds and continue on to a claimed 175km/h. Evidently, this is not your average scooter then.
The C600 continues with BMW Motorrad’s occasionally confusing nomenclature (due to its engine size having little to do with its name) and its huge equipment list. You get heated grips and a heated seat, tyre pressure monitoring, ABS, twin front discs, ambient temperature display, a huge analogue speedometer and a digital tachometer. The tachometer is irrelevant as the C600 uses a CVT transmission, meaning no matter what you do, then engine sits at about 4,000rpm. This produces a fairly average drone from the low slung muffler. An Akrapovic slip-on is optional to make this drone more noticeable to the rider and surrounding public.
despite the CVT induced engine drone, the C600 offer pretty spirited performance. It would easily keep up with your average motorbike and definitely feels lighter than its 249kg wet weight; no doubt thanks to its low centre of gravity. Its 1,591mm wheelbase (80mm longer than a Harley-Davidson Iron 883) provides excellent stability but does make the C600 a little slow to turn and also makes it feel its size when maneuvering through traffic. Another thing that makes traffic a little difficult is its relatively high 810mm seat height, this is all relative though as I’m no what you’d call tall. The C600 will easily cruise at 110km/h (and much more) all day. The adjustable screen provides good protection from wind and the elements, while the 16L tank should give you a 300km range. Making this scooter a genuine do everything mode of transport.
After spending a day with the C600 Sport to say I was impressed would be an understatement. It’s quicker than it should be, it handles better than a maxi scooter has any right to and its fit-and-finish is typical BMW. The only hurdle I can see is its $13,000 price of admission. Admittedly this is the same price as Yamaha’s TMAX 530, but it’s also the same price as many other more versatile motorbikes. But if a maxi scooter is your thing, the C600 Sport would have to be one of the best. Ever.