The Ideal Companion

The surroundings got dark and cloudy by the minute. You could feel the cool breeze getting stronger. It was only half past 4 in the evening, but already felt like 7. Finally it had to happen.

Driving Impressions
The day we decided to ride, test and shoot the BMW C650GT for this review, the rain gods made a grand Middle East visit that literally drowned the streets and highways of Dubai. But it was a blessing in disguise to reveal the true potential of this Maxi Scooter’s ability. Two days earlier when the roads were still dry and weather was perfect, I did some 150 kilometers on this machine and reached my destination comfortably and safely. Not to mention quickly.

Comfort and safety are the key words here. Riding constantly above 140 km/hr and sitting snugly behind the tall electrically adjustable front windscreen with my legs stretched out, I could have forgotten I was actually piloting a two wheeler. At the end of the journey I felt more relaxed and energetic than when I had initially started.

Coming to this futuristic looking non geared machine, it is a cross between your average twist and go step thru scooter and a high capacity touring motorcycle. The BMW C650GT sports an all new 2 cylinder inline 650cc engine nestled in a super rigid steel tube frame. It rolls on 15 inch Metzelers suspended on 40mm upside down front forks and single sided rear swing arms. You get a seamlessly spinning CVT transmission that is eager to respond to the smallest twist of your right wrist. The dry sump lubricated 4 valves per cylinder engine’s output of 60hp and 66 Nm of torque is sufficient enough for the intended application. The characteristic engine note and low vibration levels are courtesy of a 90° crank pin offset and 270° ignition spacing along with two balancer shafts driven by spur gears. Acceleration is brisk and super smooth which keeps you ahead of all the urban traffic in a jiffy.

There is abundant storage space underneath the seat to hold a full size helmet along with proper riding jacket, gloves, backpacks and what not. On the front fairing you have two cubby holes one of which locks itself along with the vehicles central locking system when the ignition key is taken out. A very useful addition is the 12V power supply inside the glove box that can be used to charge up anything from your mobile phones to navigation units. Another clever feature worth mentioning is the side stand, which when deployed activates the brakes. Other aids that improve riding comfort are heated grips and seats. These have a couple of settings to fiddle around with to feel from comfortably warm to seriously hot. Addition of daytime running lights adds to the sophisticated look up front.

The riding position was almost perfect for my riding frame even if coming to a stop meant balancing the vehicle on my tip toes. The tall seat height is not friendly to short riders. Also tall riders may feel the need to adjust a bit to settle into a comfortable position for your frequent long journeys.

Wet roads let me experience firsthand how much confidence-inspiring the ABS and traction control system on the C650GT is. Never once did I have second thoughts while overtaking cars on the outside of roundabouts in heavy rain. Even though I did get soaked, my body fought off the cold with the motherly warmth received from the heated grips and seats.

Build quality, good looks, predictable engine performance, reasonable fuel efficiency, supreme comfort, practical storage space, awesome stoppers and functional traction control are the main areas going for the C650GT.

This is a stylish alternative to a car when you need to get to the other end of town quickly, safely and comfortably. You won't have to worry about your traffic route or parking space once you have reached the destination.

Will you be rushing to your nearby BMW dealer to get one? If you think the price of 46,000 Dirhams justifies the above mentioned facts, this machine does belong in your garage as a perfect partner to your 5 Series. JOY is a 3 letter word and BMW does give it in truckloads.


BMW C 650 GT, 2012 MODEL

Type: 647 cc, In Line 2, 4 Valve per cylinder, DOHC
Bore X Stroke: 76x66mm
Fuelling: Electronic fuel injection, BMSE electronic engine management
Power: 60 hp @ 7500 rpm
Torque: 66 Nm @ 6000 rpm
Gears: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

Frame: Steel tube construction with die-cast aluminum unit
Front Suspension: Upside-down fork, stanchion diameter 40 mm
Rear Suspension: Single-sided swing arm
Front Brakes: Double disc brakes, diameter 270 mm,
Rear Brakes: Single disc brake, diameter 270 mm, double-piston floating caliper

Wheelbase 1591 mm
Height: 1411 mm
Dry Weight: 259 kg
Fuel Consumption: 4.8 liters per 100 km @ constant 100kmphr

Photos credit goes to Arun M Nair

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