BMW has been trying to reconcile its image as a luxury automaker with its desire to sell motorcycles. Many bikers view BMW bikes as safety heavy rides designed for old men. Just when the company begins to build exciting bikes like the S 1000 RR and K 1600 LT, it announces that it will be building scooters.
The International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach will see the North American debut of BMW’s scooters. These scooters are built to wind through city traffic with ease, but be large enough for a weekend trip. The C 600 Sport and C 650 GT are a shot in the dark in the North American market according to Pieter de Waal, vice president of BMW Motorrad USA. Scooters lack a large customer base in the U.S. and sales wholly depend on steep gas prices.
Both scooters use an inline twin cylinder that produces 60 hp and can reach a top speed of about 100 mph. Both feature a continuously variable transmission. The have suspension systems that are based on BMW motorcycles and offer anti-lock brakes.
It sounds as if BMW is still confused as to what it wants to be. The traditional luxury car maker, a builder of lightening fast motorcycles, or a provider of safety conscious scooters.