Conurbations-bound: BMW’s solution for the urban commuter.

December 15 2010

Unfortunately, many motorcyclists tend to view scooters as less than exhilarating machinery – which is why we don’t typically cover the genre in Motorcycle Mojo. However, as anyone who has ever ridden a maxi-scooter can attest, not only are they entertaining to ride, but their performance is often comparable to motorcycles with similar displacements.

BMW recently made public its development of the Concept C big scooter, a project they claim was motivated by the constant increase of urban sprawl and continued dwindling of road space. It’s the company’s second kick at the scooter design can; ten years ago BMW launched the C1, a wonky scooter that had more than its share of idiosyncrasies that included a roof, a windshield wiper and a four-point seat belt.

The Concept C (which stands for commuter) is a completely different animal. BMW says that the new design combines the handling of a motorcycle with the comfort and convenience of a scooter. Scheduled for manufacture in their Berlin plant, the Concept C incorporates the same “split face” design philosophy found on the S1000RR superbike and takes styling cues from their off-road GS models.

The chassis features items familiar to motorcyclists: a monolever rear suspension, an inverted front fork and an ABS equipped brake system that features two radially mounted callipers at the front wheel. Powering the machine is a new inline twin-cylinder engine mated to a CVT transmission. Although BMW hasn’t revealed its displacement or power output, they are promising that it will offer class-leading performance. Under consideration is a second, electrically powered Concept C model that will appeal to environmentally conscious crowd.

Almost expected, the Scooter C will be loaded with techno touches that include an LED headlamp and the replacement of rear view mirrors with two video cameras transferring the rear view to two LCD screens in the cockpit. A third LCD will be used to replace the traditional instrument panel.

Although there aren’t any details yet concerning pricing or availability for Canada, BMW have told us that they are keen to see the Concept C in Canadian showrooms. And so are we; with a number of impressive maxi-scooters already on the market, we’ll be eager to test the BMW and find out how it stacks up against the competition.

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