BMW plans to bring their first scooters to the United States. At the International Motorcycle Shows event in Long Beach, the company says it plans to introduce next year to their U.S. lineup the C 600 Sport and C 650 GT.
For LA Times, BMW Motorrad USA vice president Pieter de Waal said these scooters are a “step in the dark” for the company that has produced motorcycles since 1923. He said BMW expects 70 percent of its scooter sales to come from Italy, France, and Spain, where BMW has garnered “overwhelming support” from the market to produce the two-wheelers.
Pricing hasn’t yet been announced either, but De Waal estimates that the scooters will cost about $10,000 when they enter the U.S. market next fall, most likely as a 2013 model.
The two scooters share the same 647 cubic-centimeter two-cylinder engine. The 2-cylinder inline engine of the C 600 Sport and C 650 GT is an all new development by BMW Motorrad with a displacement of 647 cc. In both models, its rated power output is 44 kW (60 hp) at 7500 rpm, and its max torque of 66 Nm is available at 6000 rpm. The power is transferred via a directly integrated CVT, or continuously variable transmission.
They’re capable of reaching a top speed of 100 mph. By comparison, the most powerful Vespa you can buy has an engine less than half as large and makes just 22 horsepower.
The differing characteristics of the concepts behind these two maxi scooters appeal to a wide target group: the C 600 Sport for the riders with sports ambitions, and the C 650 GT for customers attaching greater importance to comfort and touring ability.
The BMW C 600 Sport has a taller seat, flatter handlebars, and sportier styling. The C 650 GT will differ by having a larger saddle, higher handlebars, and adjustable backrests.
How they’ll do in the U.S. is “a step in the dark,” said Pieter de Waal, vice president of BMW Motorrad USA. Scooters aren’t nearly as commonplace in the U.S. as they are in Europe, and their sales are correlated with gas prices.