Something is coming at us; something we may not be paying much attention to presently with all the other distractions in our lives – making money, buying food, etc. A new category is upon the industry – not completely new, no, but some manufacturers are unquestionably pushing the envelope nowadays.
News recently came out of the 2010 EICMA Milan show about an updated Gilera GP800 which is destined for world markets (not the US, unfortunately) and currently reigns as the world’s most powerful scoot. It has a sporting character and is no slouch on a twisty back-road. BMW was also at EICMA with what could be considered the world’s most sophisticated step-through. It certainly possesses its own character and will stand out anywhere outside of the set of TRON or the upcoming TRON: Legacy. Blue accented tires, really?
Actually, the scooter on display at the Italian show is just a concept, but the go-ahead for production has already come down from the executive offices. BMW has focused on making a scooter which will be worthy of carrying the BMW roundel, and by the looks of it, they have succeeded.
An early look at the machine has provided precious few details on the more technical points of the design or what aspects from the concept will be kept when it enters production. It is rumored to have a liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine – yes, the first models will be petrol-powered, but an electric version is in the works – which sends power to the rear wheel through a constantly-variable transmission (CVT) and into a maintenance free shaft drive enclosed in a new-tech single-sided swingarm. The C will also carry ABS, LED headlights, an advanced on-board computer, and it may have a rear-view camera with twin monitors in the dash (though, this final feature is unlikely to reach the production version).
The look is decidedly BMW; it has the split-face front end which is popular on their K bikes, for example. The bodywork is directly descended from the GS adventure bikes and the new S1000RR superbike. Edgy styling right out of a science-fiction film…hopefully the final production version will retain the Concept C’s personality combined with scooter-like efficient operation.
The Concept C is not a relative of the short-lived, but coveted and loved by many, C1; that scooter is not longer produced, but it still serves to influence BMW engineers. The “C” name here refers to Commuters, the sector of the market to which this machine is targeted. The German marque sees scooters as a rather intelligent mode of personal transportation for the congested urban landscape of today’s busy world cities.
This ideal city scoot is to be produced at BMW’s Berlin factory in two versions, but facts such as when it will be available and where you will be able to purchase it are unknown at this time. Watch this space for more when there is something to report.